World Views in Conflict

We have, in the United States, basically two world views vying for dominance. In one, man is seen as greedy and self serving. The solution is seen to be control of these selfish desires in corrupt individuals by powerful government. Under this system of belief, the mechanism of control is obvious: regulations that spell out the limits to which an individual can go and a system to enforce the regulations. In effect, this system is control of selfish desires by force. In the second world view, man is also seen as greedy and self serving. While the basic problem is not one that produces disagreement, the solution under the second world view takes a dramatically different turn. The second world view gives assent to the problem of corruption of the individual, but asserts that the solution is given by the supernatural redeeming work of Christ, working to change the heart of the corrupt individual from self serving to Christ serving. (In practice, this amounts to serving others, rather than self).

Now, the redemption approach requires complete freedom. God appears to place great value on the freedom of man to choose. Why? Because He wants the relationship to be one of love, rather than one of coercion. Any honest philosopher can recognize that freedom is essential to love.

Failure to recognize this fact lies at the root of the motivation for the world view that requires a powerful government to set things right. Maybe it is cynicism; doubt that the individual can be trusted to do the right thing.

The trouble with the powerful government model is this: government ends up being comprised of the same corrupt individuals as the rest of the population. Only, once they are in power, they have the power of the government behind them. They are not just corrupt individuals, they are corrupt individuals in charge of the government power structure.

This is one place where the philosophy of the Occupy Wall Street (or Occupy Wherever) crowd is gone awry. The protesters recognize the corruption (the part that is not in dispute), and have been goaded into action by their organizers. They haven’t thought about the problem with the solution that they are seeking. They naively think that if “their” guys are in charge, everything will get better.

Our founding fathers were not unclear on this issue. Their solution was to propose a limited government, to set some loose constraints to deal with those who would use their freedom inappropriately, and leave room for the individual to make their own way under the guidance of God, the only being who is above corruption.

In a nutshell, we are in the fix we are in because we have gotten too far away from Him.

Just something for you occupiers to think about while you are sitting around on Wall Street.


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