The Sale of Indulgences
Since the heyday of Billy Graham in the 1950s to the 1980s, Protestantism has evolved mostly to become silent on secular issues or to speak only to promulgate politically correct (PC) proclamations depending on the trendy issues of the day. I was brought up as a Presbyterian. Presbyterianism originally believed in the Elect and predestination. As a 14-year-old boy when I discussed this with my pastor, a learned man and respected pillar of the Miami community, he brushed it aside to talk to me about the power of faith.
The study of the nature of reality leads to the Medieval argument (conflict) between Realists and Nominalists. I will defer further discussion on that controversy for now, and instead, deal with more contemporary philosophies.
Pragmatism or Idealism
Let us now discuss the more arcane, extreme and revolutionary, right-wing philosophy, namely anarchism. You may ask when and where in recent history have anarchist revolutionaries been successful? For the answer, we must travel back in time to Spain during the Spanish Civil War (1936-39). It was in Barcelona and surrounding districts that idealist anarchism flourished in the early period of the war as anarchists defended the radical Republican government that the communists also supported against the military insurrection of General Francisco Franco.
The Founding Fathers of this great nation designed a Republican form of government. By this, they meant a government under the rule of law and not the capricious rule of man, under a written constitution whose main function is to clearly demarcate the limits of authority of the federal government.
The "Right" versus "Left" convenient but capricious political arrangement came from the seating position of delegates to the National Assembly during the French Revolution, but it is at times a confusing concept and too often subject to media and academic bias and even misinformation. I have found it easier to have a political spectrum based on degrees of government control.
I apologize in advance to those here who have already assiduously learned these Medieval history lessons and find them redundant in their intellectual ordnance. If you already know about the Inquisition, the Crusades — and their historic relationship to Western civilization, please skip this post!
Dear Dr. Faria,
Is Insufficient Spending the Culprit?
*This article is excerpted from the Foreword of Dr. Prioreschi's latest volume (Vol. III --- Roman Medicine) of his A History of Medicine, released this year.(1)
In this essay, I propose to 'tour' the subject of privacy in our civilization, its importance and its pending destruction: Why does privacy matter? What should we expect from its destruction? Finally, does privacy in medical matters have a special significance? I will draw the conclusions that privacy is an extension of property rights; that respect for privacy, a bourgeois concept, is inherent in the success of our civilization and necessary for a thriving middle class. A thriving middle class represents the essence of Western civilization.
Our country is rotting. It is sick with a disease so shocking
that we turn our faces from it in dread.
Increasingly, it is home to a class of citizens for whom
the most basic rules of social
organization have come unraveled.
Paved With Good Intentions
The word hygiene comes from Hygeia, the Greek goddess of health (photo, below), who was the daughter of Aesculapius, the god of medicine. Since the advent of the Industrial Revolution (c.1750-1850) and the discovery of the germ theory of disease in the second half of the nineteenth century, hygiene and sanitation have been at the forefront of the struggle against illness and disease.(1)
Since the fall of the Western Roman Empire, there have been three major bubonic plague epidemics, which afflicted large segments of the population in the continuous Eurasian landmass and North Africa. Death quickly followed the trade routes of the times. The death toll is almost incomprehensible. The Plague of Justinian (6th Century A.D.), the Black Death (14th Century A.D.), and the Bubonic Plague (1665-1666, which coincided with the Great Fire of London) caused an estimated 137 million dead in a world much more sparsely populated than it is today.
Macon Telegraph journalist Charles Richardson, former Mercer University President, Dr. Kirby Godsey, and Mercer Law Professor David Oedel have all brought interesting points to the discussion of the problem of education and ethics. I believe this is a problem -- not just affecting Georgia and Bibb County -- but also the nation. And, in contemporary society, it goes deeper than educational methodology and throwing money at the problem.