Belief is a form that is constructed by certain groups that maintain their group identity. These are groups such as faith groups, social groups, nation states, etc. Those that are the leaders within these groups formulate what is to be believed to maintain identification and social order to accomplish their particular purposes. Beliefs form laws, and are speicified by the group's values .
While beliefs form laws, these beliefs also define behavior that is appropriate within a certain group. Those who maintain the behavior that is defined as appropriate are the ones on the "inside". These people "belong". "Others" do not belong. These boundaries help to define the "self'.
"Self" is a function of the ego and those who have healthy egos are defined by no source outside of themselves, as they are defined by their own values and not group identification.
If the ego is not formed or values are not clarified, then the ego is formed by those in their particular cultural location. This frames the ego's defenses and helps the "ego" to define itself over against another ego. This maintains an "us and them" mentality. But, "us and them" mentality is healthy, in that it distinguishes between. Healthy egos do make distinctions.
I have come to the conclusion that believers base their faith on belief systems (and systems are part of the definition of "original sin"). These maintain religious identification, while those who base their faith in reason have two responses.
Those who base their reason on bahavior are agnostic. They do not want to commit to a particular definition of value, whereas, those who are atheistic base their value on reason alone. Self is defined by reason's assessment of greatest value.
Agnostics are tenuous in their commitment because their "self" has not commited one way or another. Perhaps, ego definition is needed by identifying with others in their behavior, while those whose ego is defined does not hesitate to define themselves outside of any other framework. They evaluate their commitment on "self-interest". So, conflict in self interest brings about a resolution of one's important and most valued commitments.
I think that committing to oneself in what one values most is not dismissing the other, but defining self. This is a necessary "duty", as without definition, there can be no resolution, commitment, or focus in one's life as to values.
Diversity in unity is for the functioning of society that is reasonable. While all men are created equal, there are differences that must be allowed. These distinctions are where boundaries must be maintained in valuing the best. It is ethical in focus, as it chooses between two "goods". It distinguishes and discerns. This is why it is important that leadership is not given to those who cannot be diverse in their understanding of "diversity". Otherwise, we allow absolutist to draw lines that need more nuance, subtlty, understanding etc.This is what diplomacy is about. But diplomats also have to deal with absolutists. This view of diversity in unity defines what is "true" for one's "self definition.
Unity in diversity is the view of group identification and not self identification. Unity in diversity calls for conformity to group identifiers, so that the stated purposes of leadership can be followed. This does not allow freedom of conscience, but a commitment to certain purposes already defined. This view is a functional approach to orgaizational structuring and societial functioning. This view defines what is "love" or tolerance.
Therefore, I continue to uphold our Representative Republic as the highest moral order and value for it allows the individual to choose his greatest good and greatest value within the definitions of lawful behavior. The individual pursues his own course, and not another's for his own life and as he does so, he brings value to society and understands his own values better.
Someone said on another blog site that America does not have a culture. Culture is defined by religious tradition and we do not define ourselves on religious tradition, but a freedom of conscience, that is upheld by laws. This is what the separation of Church and State is about. The State protects the individual from being accused as a criminal based on religious ideals., and yet, it protects the religious individuals freedoms, as well.
Our laws are defined by universal human ideals that protect individuality or human rights. But, "We, the People" have defined oursevles by our Constitutional government and discriminate based on citizen rights. Therefore, "We, the people" do exist apart from another nation's interests. We must maintain the distincition and stop allowing multiculturalism to play into the hands of dissolving our freedoms "as a people". The Nation State still has significance and the citizen still has rights!
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