Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Every Good Man is Free: A Review

     The title of this writing, Every Good Man is Free, from Philo caught my eye a few years ago and I found it extremely interesting because it seems to conform to my belief that a man who is good is one who is free.  I had never heard it stated in that manner.  I want to go through this writing and point out the things that I think are useful and true.  Since Philo lived around 40CE, I only have the text on which to rely.  I consider any writing secondary information.  What I like to do is to look at a writing and then figure out if what it has to say is true or false.  I never accept the authority of any writing unless I have some kind of way to verify the veracity of it.

"....every wicked man was a slave, and that proposition I fully established by many natural and unquestionable argument;"   "......we will proceed to show that every virtuous man is free."

     Anyone who offends God in any way is indeed a slave.  He is in bondage to Satan or evil and there is no way a man can please God in breaking any of His commandments.  An evil man constantly lives with the guilty conscience that is provoked by his wicked acts.  He lives in a satanic stupor in which good and evil are blurred to the point that he has a very difficult life.  I remember how I have been repaid for every evil thing I ever did and the only way for me to avoid any more payback in the future is to stop doing evil things and learn to be a good man.
     Almost every church or religious groups say that it is impossible to be a good person.  This is the kind of nonsense that distorts reality because we are supposed to be good people.  So why would a religious group say the opposite?  It is simple: They are liars.  The whole point of the commandments is for mankind to live within those boundaries which will produce an enormous benefit for those people who do good things, but evil to those that don't.

"...God is my ruler, and no mortal man....."
"For, in real truth, that man alone is free who has God for his leader;..."
 
     Ultimately, this is the only viable condition for any man, woman, or child.  Because man-made laws are too inconsistent, too capricious, and too convoluted to be of any practical use.  However, God's natural laws are very easy to understand because they are self-evident.  By taking other men out of the equation, the true relationship between God and man is direct and profound.  There is no middleman because it isn't needed.  The goal should be the acquisition of virtue and good character.  These things can be acquired by keeping within the natural law of God's creation.  And that is all for which most people are responsible.  We don't need any religious nonsense to satisfy God.  What we need is to build good character within ourselves in order to defeat the evil.  Evil is weak and ineffective, and there is no good thing that can come from it.  And people who are engaged in evil are then slaves to it.  There's a reason why it is called bondage.

"But the virtuous man has absolutely no obstacle at all since he rises up against, and resists, and overthrows, and tramples on love, and fear, and cowardice, and pain, and all things of that kind, as if they were rivals defeated by him in the public games.  For he has learnt to disregard all the commands which those most unlawful masters of the soul seek to imposed upon him,"

Notice the use of the words "unlawful masters."  Can we not apply them to our religious and political leaders?  All politicians and religious leaders I am aware of are chronic liars and only use God's laws if it suits their agenda.  But when their laws are in opposition to God's order, then they will use their own laws and attempt to usurp the authority of God.  These people are losers because their actions will incur the wrath of God.  They not only disrespect God's wishes but also, they want to replace God with a form of a "god-state."  If evil people cannot reside within God's natural order, then he is a slave to the depravity of Satan.  There is no point in cursing evil people because they have already done it to themselves.  This is why it is very important to build the character with virtues.

"..though still the laws of nature, which are more stable than those of men,..."
You don't really need a philosopher to point out this fact, but many of us just haven't thought about it very much.  God's existence is self-evident in nature itself.  Nature or the created thing isn't God, but simply the creation of God.  No one but a complete lunatic would deny the existence of God.  Now, to be fair to atheists, it is my opinion that what atheists really object to is organized religion more than they disbelieve in the existence of God.  I think all of the religious groups in the world do more harm to the betterment of mankind than any explosion of a nuclear weapon.  Most are rabid liars, and they don't have a clue about the natural order of life.  All men are in awe and admiration of the things of nature and nature can give us better entertainment or enjoyment than anything in the various medias.  And by observing nature, we see how it has worked for thousands and thousands of years; flawlessly, with unspeakable beauty.  My goal in life is to finish it out observing those natural laws and try to keep my mind free of the intellectual garbage that has done so much damage to us all in the past.  Nature's laws work for the betterment of everything; man's laws do not.  The stability of nature's laws is self-evident, and there can be no argument within rational thought.

"But the virtuous man does do everything wisely; therefore he alone is free.  And indeed the man whom it is not possible either to compel to do anything or to prevent from doing anything, cannot possibly be a slave; and one cannot compel or prevent the virtuous man."

This is a very important point.  A wise man cannot be compelled to do anything that he doesn't want to do.  A virtuous man cannot be corrupted.  And I think that if more men and women made it a point to avoid their evil inclinations it would make their lives--and those around them-- a lot more pleasant.
No matter what the situation, the virtuous man will always have the upper hand in everything because he is setting his foundation upon the natural law that is in turn established by the God who created us.

"...But the wise man only desires such things as proceed from virtue,..."

A virtuous man understands that there is nothing to be gained from the fruit of evil.  There is no benefit to evil.  The wise many only desires that which he has lawfully gained and not from
that which was obtained through an evil source.  There is a lot of self-preservation in knowing how to be a good man.  Most of all the bad things that happen to us be a result of the evil we have done.  Of course, we do know that sometimes bad things happen to good people; but I'm not talking about that.  I know just about every reader can identify something bad that happened to them, and many times may have thought that somehow God paid him back for the evil that he had done.  Every man who builds up his own character is the one who becomes pleasing to God and he doesn't have to worry about God's wrath paying him back for any evil deeds.

"..and thus the people are taught piety, and holiness, and justice, and economy, and the science of regulating the state, and the knowledge of such things as are naturally good, or bad, for indifferent, and to choose what is right to avoid what is wrong, using a threefold variety of definitions, and rules, and criteria, namely, the love of God, and the love of virtue, and the love of mankind.  Accordingly, the sacred volumes present an infinite number of instances of the disposition devoted to the love of God, and of a continued and uninterrupted purity throughout the whole of life, of a careful avoidance of oaths and falsehood, and of a strict adherence to the
principle of looking on the Deity as the cause of everything which is good and nothing which is evil."

In most decisions of our lives, the primary issue should always be this: Is it good or is it evil?  This is what we all should be asking ourselves before we do anything.   Then remember that if we choose good, then we are free; and, if we choose evil, then we become slaves.  We should be matching up our thinking with God's commandments and His natural law.  God created everything to be good and He didn't create any evil as mankind does that himself through the exercise of his free will.  Notice that he also warns the reader to avoid oaths and falsehood.  I've written a lot about the dangers of the oath on this blog, and I just want to point out that I'm not the only one what has noticed the evil of oath-taking.

"..Slavery, then, is of two kinds; slavery of the soul and slavery of the body.  Now, of our bodies, men are masters; but over our souls, wickedness and the passions have the dominion.  And we may speak of freedom in the same manner.  For one kind of freedom gives fearlessness of body in respect of any dangers which can come upon it from men of still more powerful body; while the other produces peace to the mind, by putting a check upon the authority of the passions."

Evil and passions have a way of putting us into a type of stupor to where we do evil things and we can't seem to control it.  By exercising a little self-control, any man can separate himself from evil and build up his character by obeying God's commandments and stay within the natural order.    The mind and the soul should be the easiest things to get under control.  I'm just expressing an opinion here because I think these passions of the soul are contained within every man's body.  Once the mind and soul are free, then the work can begin to get the body out of slavery too.  This may be more difficult because that would take the consideration of the oppressors and that's not likely to happen.

The reason that I found this article so interesting is that it shows the relationship of a man who is good and stays within the natural law which is easy to understand.  Religions seem to blur the common sense that God established under natural law.  When I conduct my behavior to be in line with God's commandments, I seem to have  more inner peace and I don't have a lot of bad things happening around me.  This is in contrast as I look back in my life and I can attribute some bad things happening to me because of my disobedience to God's law.  Having said that, I am not a religious man, and I don't practice any religious rituals because they always have the potential to lead me into idolatry.  I just leave all religious rituals alone as they are too dangerous to use.  I don't go to any churches or religious functions  because there is simply too much idolatry.  If I read any religious writings, I always try to confirm them with God's commandments or the natural law.  If the writings don't fit those parameters, or there are a lot of contradictions, I just leave them alone as they will be too unreliable to base a true faith in God.

Goodness and virtue are things that every man, woman, or child should be pursuing rather than digging themselves deeper and deeper into the hole of evil.  Everyone should be using rational thought and ask themselves if their beliefs in anything stand the test of common sense.  In addition, there is no sense in studying evil people and evil events.  They are what they are and it is destructive to the mind to keep studying things that are stupid; nothing smart comes from it.  Sure, you need to know the basics, but after that, there's no sense in view it over and over again.  Keeping the mind continually focused on the goal of becoming a good man or woman should be of the highest priority.


Walter Allen Thompson











    










No comments:

Post a Comment