Are we WORTHY of our founding fathers?

Discussion in 'General Conversation' started by sal_jr, Jan 23, 2007.

  1. sal_jr

    sal_jr New Member

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    I posted this in the general area for a reason. I dont care what your politics are for the sake of this thread... but I do want you to read it and think to yourself the question asked by the thread title:

    Are we WORTHY of our founding fathers?

    Let me qualify this a bit better- I absolutely think I am not, given THIS article. I try but come up short again and again... maintaining that my constant daily effort to be a better fellow to those I share this planet with will become a trait some day in the future that I dont have to "work on", but instead just maintain. Sorta like my diet. :big_smile:

    When I read this, the first thing I wondered about is the fact that so many people for so many different reasons always drop the names of our founding fathers to make a political point. I dont want to make a political point with this at all. I am making a cultural point. A sociological point. I am asking what our founding fathers would have celebrated that we carry to this day as true traits of our selves... the Americans they helped forge with a document, a handful of horrific battles, and their very souls. By creating a political framework for a new country... a new state among states in the world, they by default created a culture. What then of that culture they created IS distinctly "American"?

    Is it our battle prowess? Did they really wish that to be a telltale sign of being "American"? Folks point to our "independence" as the simple end-all-be-all answer... but what then is implied by that word alone? Independent of what- other governments, or freedom from the greed that cause man to falter, or independence of our other vices? Proper acion and thoughtful beginnings to all days? All of these things? Quite possibly the latter option is what Washington saw in his own heart.

    SO.... read the article and post your thoughts on the question, if you would be so kind as to indulge my curiosity.


    At the very least we all will have learned something about ourselves and our "American cultural identity" when this thread has run its course.

    -Sal
     
  2. pk_powell

    pk_powell New Member

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    Very interesting read.All I can say is I wish people today had the morals and the gentleman qualities that George Washington obviously posessed. Back in those days men were men and ladies were ladies.Children were brought properly and were taught how to politely behave in public.I believe this world would be a better place if we all had these attributes.:smile2:
     

  3. Ol Man

    Ol Man New Member

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    Sal, my not being as eloquent or articulate as you precludes me from making any other observations than, thank you for posting this article...

    Ol' Man
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    You can't help the poor man by destroying the rich.
     
  4. loanwizard

    loanwizard Well-Known Member

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    In my opinion, some of us are, and some of us aren't. Remember, Society as a whole, was very different during those times. At that time, women could not show ankle nor neck. Ther were also a lot less people to deal with. 1 abberation, one town crazy was enough to deal with, it did not become a class of people clamoring for rights. At that time the genteel did not curse around others and damnation was a rather strong expletive, unlike when our VP said the big nasty word on the Senate Floor (not being political, that action is terrible no matter which side of the aisle). News travelled slow in that day and age, remember ot was Pony or runner, compared to email and thus changes were slower. There were not nearly the number of literate citizens in that day which gave strength to the media and the pulpit. There were very few books and one of the staples of course was the Bible. Today there are multitudes of media available leaving the Bible as unfortunately just one of many choices. I wonder how many of our elder statesmen would have behaved differently had they had the internet?
    I still believe, that humans, Americans in particular are still basically good people. Sin is more abundant, easier to hide these days. Adam had only the apple. We the People have Vegas, the internet, satellite TV, alcohol is legal, drugs are available at the corner. How many people of yesteryear that were addicted to Laudanum would be addicted to another substance today?
    How many of them, when faced with the choices we have today, would have made the good choice?
     
  5. Katmandeux

    Katmandeux New Member

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    Sal, you're too hard on yourself. It's a war against human nature you're fighting, and it will never be won; all you can do is win the battles one by one.

    Thanks for the thread!:smile2:
     
  6. sal_jr

    sal_jr New Member

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    Oh man... great response!

    Question for you: Do you think that those men would have been morally strong enough to fend off the cornucopia of vices that we have today or do you think they would succumb to them as we believe every american does to one extent or another?

    I mean... given Washington's stance in his maxims I find it hard to think that a man raised in such a way would join in a "sinner's free-for-all" like we have today.

    Also we have to remember that history is limited by what is recorded and saved for the future. We dont know of any Old-time colonail orgies... lol... but that doesnt mean that didnt happen. It just means that "what happened in jamestown stayed in jamestown". We know of Washington's alcohol still and setup. We know he made a lot of it.... so if being plastered was common then maybe it was not worth recording.... not as something that was looked down upon but something that was so normal that it was not worth mentioning. These sorts of things happened, of course. Look at the act of (i think it was called) "Boarding"... where young couples slept in a bed tgether before mariage separated by their morals and a slim piece of wood.... and they werent believed to be engaging in anything??? COME ON!

    Anyhow... given that I still think that at the very surface level the founding fathers had a stndard that we all have yet to live up to.... the stadard they did put in print.
     
  7. sal_jr

    sal_jr New Member

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    I am hard on myself just like any one person is their own worst critic. Sometimes one battles the reality of what they do and all the darkness that they also think but do not say.... I am sure that all plays a part in how we judge ourselves. I have never committed a crime in reality, but in my head I had some vicious thoughts.... and ill will as well. THAT is human nature. I cannot be an internal jury that is forced to exit the room of conscious thinking and judgement when I take a side bar to burn off a lil steam on someone within my head.... we all have this problem. The only ones that dont are those with multiple personalities... and they hav bigger problems than self-judgement cause they have many selves and a whole panel of self-judges. LOL
     
  8. loanwizard

    loanwizard Well-Known Member

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    Times were so very different that I don't believe it is even a fair comparison. Remember the old west where your saloons had legal brothels for "compaionship" In 1776 I believe that practice would be frowned upon... much like today only much stricter.
    Very good comment on the recording of history.
    I disagree completely the thought that George Washington, the original GW, would not have succumbed to temptations. Back in HI not too long ago a very Christian guy was hooked on some of what is found on the net (actually the number 1 content but that is a different conversation). These things are big business for 1 reason. It is available.

    The question begs, Why is today a sinners free for all. It is called Capitalism. How many of us really NEED a car? 2-3 cars? a boat? a 2200sq ft house? cases of Pepsi in the closet? a 52 inch big screen flat screen HD TV? A Nintendo DS, a Computer, an Xbox, 5 fishing rods?
    We have a stock market where people place money to become part owners in companies where it then becomes ok to advertise and push people to improve profits and returns to shareholders. We also have a pervasive attitude of "Well the Joneses have one, Are they any better than us? We deserve it too)

    Oops, a lightbulb just went off. While my points may be valid, your point of our countries forefathers being more moral, while not comparable to today, yes of course they were. Their lives were forged from completely different circumstances. Look at the kids today. Tomorrows leaders have never been told no! Don't tell me that is a liberal thing. I have seen many a professed Republican "soccer mom" that refuses to spank her child, gives them voting power, and will sue you if you look at her child cross eyed. Sal, when we are in the golden years we will also reminisce about the good old days when children were respectful, yada yada yada.
     
  9. sal_jr

    sal_jr New Member

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    I just told someone today the same thing, sort of:

    Our people have been going to hell in a handbasket since handbaskets were made. Before that the world was going to Hades in a reed basket, and before that Down the river Styx on a piece of driftwood, and before that the world was going downstream from the Garden of Eden in some rudimentary floating dried gourd.

    Amazing... for each thing that makes us better and healthier and more efficient as a people, there will always be a balancing evil that ruins the sweetness for the generation on their way out.
     
  10. FishBrew

    FishBrew New Member

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    the fleas come with the dog ...
     
  11. Katmandeux

    Katmandeux New Member

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    I have a problem with sin as a concept, because its only basis is religeous dogma, which varies from faith to faith. I eat pork, dance, drink, work on the Sabbath and so on, all things that someone out there considers "sinful". I don't, and I reject the notion that I can be adjudged sinful on the basis of someone else's religeous convictions.

    I read GW's writing as being directed at moral, considerate behaviour, something all humans can, or should, embrace.
     
  12. DANZIG

    DANZIG New Member

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    Interesting question. Though I think I would phase it, "Are we worthy of our Founding Fathers' Ideals?"

    Our FFs were just people, with all of the faults people have. For instance, there is evidence that George Washington was "less than moral" or at least "extra legal", perhaps both, in his acquisition of land and the methods he used to maintain his investment.
    That one may be new to you but I am sure you are acquainted with the dalliances of Benjamin Franklin and/or Thomas Jefferson.

    This is in no way a cut on our FFs, it is just the way they were, Humans.

    I find that far more comforting than thinking of them as "Shining Gods".
    Why? Because that means we have a shot at doing well and living up to those Ideals too.

    Our Country's best days need not be behind us, but it is up to us whether they are or not.
    We can do it if we try, just like they did. :)
     
  13. bootshowl

    bootshowl New Member

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    Just "class" Sal. Affiably put a round ball in your chest at ten paces with the upmost politeness in front of witnesses, with seconds standing by. And use not one word of vulgarity in the process. So no we aren't living up to those standards. But when it comes to politics I wish it were so.
    :smile2:
    We could vote for the best shot....