One of Western Civilization’s greatest achievements?
or the white patriarchy at work?
Given the riots last summer and the lawlessness and urban degradation continuing to plague the nation (not to mention Afghanistan), many believe that America is on the brink of a slide into chaos. What started as open-hearted social activism in support of the “oppressed” now seems to be be taking the form of radicalism that’s influencing almost all American institutions.
We know that radical Left and Right elements exist that exhibit fundamentalist elements or even extreme religious fervor; whether religious or ideological, it doesn’t matter. However, it seems what really distinguishes the Far Left is that it seeks to bring down American institutions and the Constitution. Just listen to what they say or apply their own techniques of deconstruction to uncover their true motivations. This very small minority has made great strides in the last 10 – 20 years, its power accumulation accelerating in the last few.
The fear of the vast majority in the middle is that America might go beyond a tipping point. In other words, we might not be able to pull ourselves back from ruinous bankruptcy, social violence, open regional civil war, national fragmentation, or even revolution, as we’ve done a surprising number of times in the past.
To Boomers, today’s times feel somewhat like the late 1960’s, but with the radical, Marxist or allied strands being far more advanced, if not dominant, in many of our institutions, including local, state, and federal government. Clearly, Marxist forces have joined with postmodernists and CRT junkies. Such destructive elements make the most of every crisis they create, then they do their best to sell or force on American citizens their next catastrophically expensive, utopian, and hair-brained solution.
Governments and their affiliated beneficiaries outside the public sector are bribing the people to gain their support, while they destroy their country.
Like the African-American gentleman at the top, most Americans in the middle class who inhabit the private sector and “have a life” do not see America as predominantly unjust, especially during the last 50 years. On the contrary, they feel they’ve been working all their lives to make it more just.
In any case, they have not had time, while raising families and fulfilling their work duties, including church, community, or charitable work, to spend much time on political or social activism. Most important, activism has become less necessary because our free private sector systems are working and increasing happiness and wealth worldwide.
But given events over the last year, many today like the gentleman above are now done trusting formerly reliable institutions in education, media, churches, large corporations, and even government.
In sum, many like our readers want to do something now because we see in a rear view mirror going back only months where the trend line will take us. It’s damn scary. We have heard from credible historians for years who study national trends that freedom and democracy usually self-destruct; we just never thought it could happen on our watch.
Well, it just might.
Praxis Circle believes that political parties and voting are not enough today to turn the tide; the struggle is much more time sensitive, local, and hands on, and it requires much more knowledge of worldview-related thinking and skill in dealing with the many varieties. Much of the political and personal debate today is over worldview basics.
The Far Left excels at this and relentlessly attacks the foundations of society beginning with truth and it’s underlying human and possibly God-given support system, human reason. The Far Left’s sophistry imported into the U.S. since before World War II is working, and regular Americans must fight intellectual fire-with-fire or accept continued trends which will end in national destruction.
So, we want to help you get up the learning curve on certain key worldview basics that maybe you weren’t taught in school. What? Schools not teaching useful material? Not teaching you how to think rather than what to think? Why would institutions reimagined into brainwashing political viewpoints teach useful material that would frustrate their purposes?
Or maybe you just haven’t thought about these basics in a long while. In any case, we all need to keep our eyes on the basics when these foundations are under frontal assault.
Whether lucky or good, we aren’t sure, but for the last several years we’ve prepared ourselves for this cultural food fight with interviews of Contributors with diverse perspectives covering most major American worldviews and some major worldviews dominant abroad. We realized that together they offer a clear view of how human beings have treated the idea of human reason across the globe.
In sum, we would like to remind you of these human reason basics so that you can use the material to your own advantage, we hope for the common good. You can decide for yourself whether it’s a function of an amazingly successful yet mostly clandestine white conspiracy or not. We have constructed our six-part Road to Reason Series with these goals in mind.
We highlight the two videos above because they represent the two primary prize-fighters in today’s American political ring: the American Creed versus Critical Theory (CT). CT is latter-day Marxism informed by postmodernist analysis and principles broadened by Gramsci and the Frankfurt School with a direct line to today’s CRT academics and consultants from a formerly rigid Marxist focus on economics (homo economicus) to all cultural categories (race, gender, class, etc.) directed at upending the U.S. Constitution and thus America, as we know it.
That might have sounded preposterous five years ago, but if you don’t see it now, you have been asleep at the media wheel.
In the case of the African-American man in the video at top we have someone who believes that, as a descendant of slaves on both sides, he has achieved a place of freedom, opportunity, and happiness, due in large measure to the efforts of those who came before him, where the American Dream is a real possibility. He believes prior levels of American racism and sexism are under control. He sees the opportunities available for those who are willing to do their part and work for themselves, their family, many other key groups, and, in turn, America and global society.
America as “the Land of Prosperity” is still the reason why immigrants are breaking down our doors.
The Colorado Springs Dad (again, see video at top) will make you swallow hard with pride as an American. As Georg and Maria sing in The Sound of Music, “Nothing comes from nothing. Nothing ever could . . . I must have done something good.”
Yes, we as Americans must have been doing something right since the early 1600’s when we landed in North America for the duration. African-Americans’ rise from slavery to freedom, opportunity, and success through an uneven but steady pursuit of Classical Judeo-Christian justice over the last 100 – 150 years is one of the finest, most astonishing achievements in human history.
What is so overwhelming to most white men and women today is that it has been due in large measure since at least 1619 to the wisdom, courage, brilliance, kindness, perseverance, and forgiveness of great African-Americans themselves, like the Dad from Colorado. Some might say it’s also due to the inherent grace of God.
In stark contrast, the African-American woman in the Nike commercial also at top believes that a Western white patriarchy dominates and oppresses her to the point she needs to high-horse about a woman’s basketball team being more impressive than Alexander the Great, who by the way was also undefeated against absurd odds in conquering all of the known world.
She represents all the elements of CT: a Woke, large publicly-traded company in Nike patronizing the CT Occupy Wall Street elements that were assaulting global corporate America during the Great Recession, a raced-based presentation indirectly but unmistakably assaulting Western civilization (there was no “Western civ” when Alexander from “civilization’s” periphery conquered the much more powerful and wealthy known world to the East), an indirect but unmistakable sex-based LGBTQ point of view flipping its nose at the traditional “Mom and Dad” team who still constitutes the vast majority of relationships and who most likely made her life possible.
On the one hand, we seriously doubt her basketball team is better than Alexander’s army on any real historical basis. For her to have an opinion worth listening to she might need to take a serious course on Alexander and the Alexandrian period of that part of the world. I.e., she would have to take the course and learn the known history. If she did, such a tough and clever lesbian female (only mention that because she does) would probably love or at least stand in awe of the Great Alexander, even more than her hoops team (on a basis).
On the other hand, we do celebrate that she lives in a country that allows her to study whomever she admires, though we won’t be buying more Nike products anytime soon. We would also strive to see the good in those she admires and holds up as heroes, if they’re truly worthy. We like judging people as individuals in their own context, and don’t like placing persons in group categories.
Obviously, the two videos at top here prove that all African-Americans don’t think alike, anymore than all men or lesbians. We have beaten this tom-tom before and will continue to do so relentlessly. Group-labeling persons (God-created creatures or individual human beings) has mostly gotten America into trouble as a nation.
It’s useful to Far Left CRT advocates, however, and local power-grabbers because they can use the majority or near majority of “whites” in America to then tag the system, starting with the Constitution but going all the way down to local institutions, with the ultimate goal of destroying it/them or reimagining all of the above their way.
Fortunately, the truth is each person is a child of God in America, whether he or she likes it or not. Furthermore, based on the vast resources of time, money, sweat, and tears poured into Praxis Circle’s research on the subject (and we’re not done yet), Jesus does not appear to have been a white person.
It bears repeating: The reason we selected the Nike commercial as an anchor to our Road to Reason Series is that it’s a not very subtle slam on Western civilization. We are seeing more of this daily from elements like Woke companies, BLM, Anti-Fa, Old School Marxists and Cultural Marxists, certain postmodernists, and the often commercially-motivated CRT-DEI educational mafia. Together, they are committed to an outright, long-term attack on Christianity, Western civilization, and morality.
But the starting point is always the attempted canceling of reason and truth. From what we can gather, reason and truth are only the purview of Caucasians, as part of a vast racial, fascist conspiracy.
We have noticed this cancer growing in dark places for fifty years, but it really sprang into the light of day during the Trump presidency, the COVID crisis, and especially the riots last summer. Whether one likes or hates the former president, we’ll all agree he made them crazy and enjoyed doing it. The riots and defund the police movement have simmered down a bit for now, but that’s what they said back when the 1960’s turned into the 1970’s. What we see is that the extremely powerful far-beyond-their numbers, radical minority continues to consolidate gains in the commanding heights of culture.
It’s fundamentalist and cult-like activity. That’s the only way Cancel Culture operates. Just recently, see Soviet Russia, the Eastern block, Communist China, Cuba, Venezuela; there is a long list.
Finally, we believe our concerns go very much across Democrat – Republican Party lines, and we continue to believe that the vast majority of Americans want to do the right thing – and that there is a “right thing” called truth. Understanding reason, logic, and truth at rudimentary levels is essential to America’s defense.
The first time we addressed reason specifically was in a short post of the same title (“The Road to Reason”, 6-8-21). Subsequently, we decided we needed to break it all down for our PC fans much more carefully, knowing we have the video to do so. Again, without the alignment of these concepts, societies quickly descend into unreconcilable division and societal chaos. Logical reasoning is what keeps us humans progressing on the upside and in check on the downside.
Understanding these mechanics is crucial to understanding other ways of approaching reason across the globe, and then settling in on your own worldview. To the thinking person: We want to help you answer the important question – What is my view on reason and what path will I choose to take with it?
At long last, we move formally to the heart of this post, “The Scarecrow and Reason’s Tools.”
Where we left left ourselves last time in Today’s Yellow Brick Road was escaping the Wicked Witch of the West with those Ruby Slippers stuck to our feet, and with the witch herself likely in hot pursuit. We’ve enjoyed the Munchkin parade tribute and have moved beyond the town. Our skip has slowed to a walk, and Toto is getting excited again.
We have a fork in the Yellow Brick Road. What do we do?
Dorothy meets the Scarecrow first and has the most special place for him in her heart in the end—reasoning is what makes us the most conscious, rational, and politically social of living creatures. We cannot control emotion much and must act virtuously, certainly, but without reasoning as our starting point, we circumvent our most distinctly human characteristics when trying to understand and navigate the world around us.
So let’s ask before proceeding: What exactly is steering us as conscious human beings in our journey toward our own Emerald City or other more concrete realities, like Dorothy’s notion of home?
While the Scarecrow is correct – plenty of people do an awful lot of talking and living without a brain (or understanding worldview) – it’s much better to use yours well. Believe it or not, all the elements of reason are illustrated in just this one scene. The videos below describe key tools you will find absolutely necessary to understand reason. They are tools of logic—essential to reason well and crucial to our conceptions of reason itself, truth, and ultimate reality.
Deductive and Inductive Reasoning
The First Tool of Reason is the Deductive/Inductive method. In sum, there are two ways we reach conclusions at all: through either deductive or inductive reasoning. There are several common ways ways we describe truth, and deductive and inductive are two. As the video so concisely explains, deduction is a “top-down” approach where one takes general premises or proportions and reduces them down to a conclusion. On the other hand, induction is a “bottom-up” approach that takes specific premises to make a general conclusion based on probability, not certainty. Deduction uses statements or proportions to reach conclusions, and induction uses practical experience.
Many believe that stories are necessary for all human reasoning (from short ones like subject verb object to long ones like The Wizard of Oz). With human actors and actresses, deductive and inductive reasoning often determine what happens.
The Four Causes
The Second Tool of Reason is the The Four Causes scheme. It powerfully explains the “why” of things. Let’s use the example of a house. The material cause is the material used to build a house: concrete, bricks, wood, metal, plastic, insulation, shingles, etc. The formal cause is the designer or design that shapes the materials used, in this case the architect’s plans. The efficient cause is the agent or thing that does the construction or makes something happen, like a homebuilder in this example or the carpenter who built the table in the video. The final cause is the ultimate end or reason for the home—not simply the homebuilder’s profit, but what the home will actually be used for.
To survive? Is that it? Well, yes, that’s a big one, but there are certainly others that could be motivating the owner. Hard to say with human beings which reasons are decisive.
According to Aristotle, we can only fully understand a home and its “why” when we know all four causes. Of course, such reasoning only leads to further related questions, like what is a home, why have a home other than to survive, where is our final or real home, and why go on a journey to find or create one?
Such is life, Dorothy! But that’s what makes life special.
The Scarecrow has enough sense to deduce that if the Wizard is as good as Dorothy says, then he might be able to supply a brain. His inductive reason tells him that he isn’t so good at his day job anyway (scaring crows), so he might as well head on down the road with his new friend. They know through practical experience that they’re likely to find other friends or make a good singing & dance team, worst case.
Now that wasn’t so bad, was it? We’ll stop here after having introduced two tools of reason – Deductive/Inductive reasoning and the Four Causes – and build on these concepts later in the rest of this Road to Reason Series.
But before we sign off, we want to offer any PC stalwart, graduate-level fans two videos from our PC Library of our star Contributor, Dr. James Hall. In the video below, Dr. Hall moves from an analytical approach to truth to a more practical one: What is the Western idea of God?
Dr. Hall establishes a number of propositions that he then examines using deductive and inductive reasoning. Of course, there are many basic inductive and deductive proofs of God, some of which we’ve featured in prior posts. Human beings have recognized this since time eternal. And yet, sometimes it’s just as simple as experiencing and even meeting God yourself. But whether He’s like human reason or the mind itself, God seems to have spiritual characteristics that do not easily fit the practical, inductive, perhaps material world we live in.
Dr. Hall proposes that God must have aseity, meaning that God is explainable and only dependent on Himself. The God of the Abrahamic monotheists (Jews, Christians, and Muslims) is omniscient, omnipotent, and as Dr. Hall puts it, omnibenevolent. We should also note that the orthodox Christian idea of God is not that He (for lack of a better pronoun) is not a Person (old man) with such characteristics who lives somewhere inside or outside this world, but instead the source, essence, or being of those characteristics themselves, creating their genesis in this world. In other words, God isn’t, say, truthful, just, and loving; God is Truth, Goodness, and Love.
There are many excellent deductive and inductive reasons to go there, but that would be far beyond the scope of this Road to Reason For Beginners, such as us.
In any case, perhaps most monotheists in the West believe that while God is all-powerful and all-knowing, there certainly are things He can’t know or do based on our human deductive reasoning. We could either be correct about God or wrong here. Can we know for sure?
For example, the traditional reading of Scripture explains that God can’t sin—not that He chooses to never sin, but because, again, it’s actually impossible for Him as an absolutely righteous and holy God. Some propose that He also can’t know what it’s like personally to commit a sin because He simply can never have that experience. Likewise, God can’t draw circle squares or create rocks too heavy for Him to lift—a logical impossibility.
Instead, in the West, His omniscience and omnipotence refer only to what can be done and can be known without creating logical fallacies and inconsistencies. God and our perception of Him (or Her, or Them, or not at all) seem linked to the way we choose to reason, which we will flesh out more in future posts. Clearly, believers attach their own best characteristics to God and also take on the spiritual characteristics they see in Him and His creation.
Human deductive reasoning capability seems above all nature and Godly, and many Westerners worship a fully divine, fully human God-man. The Bible describes that man in John 1:1 as logos, and in Revelation 19:15 it describes his Word as the only sword needed to fell whatever ails us, the Anti-Christ/the Beast/Babylon.
We also read in Genesis 1:26-27 that God created man in His own image (Imago Dei), and then, by the 1700’s, our American Founders were claiming the Creator God has been and is doing what such good Biblical god should do: “all men are created equal.” It all seems to make sense, and more so with every passing century.
Therefore, we could argue the Dad from Colorado at top is simply applying deductive reasoning to the world he’s experienced inductively during his life.
What a triumph for all Americans!
In this last, next video, Dr. Hall describes the human mind from a predominantly material point of view. We offer this to show how a Professor of the Philosophy of Religion describes or uses the tools we’ve introduced in this post, Deduction/Induction and the Four Causes.
By the end of this six part Series, you will understand how thinking across the world ranges from seeing reason as a totally spiritual or deductive endeavor to a totally material or inductive one. We might add that from our rather extensive study of the issue, in spite of all we know about the brain today that we didn’t know even 50 – 100 years ago, scientists really have no idea what the mind is or whether its fully spiritual or material. Hardly more so than when the ancients started speculating:
In sum, Dr. Hall gives us his view through Aristotle’s Four Causes. He concludes that the mind is the way in which we talk about the complex organization of humankind, and reason is one of the key, primarily (though perhaps not wholly) material functions the mind carries out—there might be nothing mysterious or ethereal about it.
We believe this is a more problematic view to be fleshed out later on in our series, but it does skillfully start the conversation on what reason actually is. If the brain is hardware and the mind software, who made the software and how does it freely think and perceive all of this show we call life? Can a computer ever know itself like this?
What does Dr. Hall really think? Check here.
In any case, Dr. Hall also begins to highlight an extremely important aspect of reason: how critical definition-in-language is when using reason’s tools. After talking about a primarily spiritual reality called God in the first video, here Dr.Hall has presented the mind as a purely biological process using extremely broad definitions that allow us to come to rational conclusions.
We hope you will consider the simple Tools of Reason we’ve highlighted today until next time. These are foundations of Western thought, the foundations that the professors haunting the Nike commercial are tying to dynamite. How do you see people using them—if at all? How are you using them yourself? Are they of any value to you as you consider the role of reason in your life? Are they a white man’s fabrication to suit supremacy, or simply true universals for human beings?
Next time we’ll discuss the most potent Tools of Reason in Scarecrow’s bag of tricks – Aristotle’s Three Laws of Logic. When used properly, Marxist/Postmodernist Wicked Witches everywhere forget all about falling houses and poorly aimed water buckets. It doesn’t matter what kind of sneakers they wear or brooms they ride.
One hint or whiff of the Law of Non-Contradiction:
With a swing of a broom, Poof! Green-faced women vanish in a cloud of red smoke every time.
You will love it.