By David Grant
They need to believe that statistical probability, reason, and science cannot adequately calculate the likelihood that future events will occur as predicted.
Some of the more gullible believe that sexual attraction will ensure lasting happiness or that will power and the latest diet prophet will have them wearing a size two by October.
People need to believe in a being or group that can deliver mystical, positive outcomes. As faith in the Judeo-Christian God has retreated, other charlatans, impostors, and imitators have gained ground.
Faith has not diminished; it has shifted.
Never is this more evident as a national phenomenon than has been shown by the election of Barack Obama. He was elected on faith in the unseen, untried and untested. He was elected on promises of goods that have not and will never be delivered.
He is not alone in his message of mystical over-delivery. John McCain could not have delivered on his promises either.
Any successful candidate must harness the faith of the people, however misguided.
The Obama camp understood this and created a campaign that emulated a religious revival but in secular garb, and like other revivals, faith in the promised, yet unseen was the campaign’s core message.
HOPE was chosen over FAITH only to avoid an overtly religious reference.
Modern politicians have borrowed a page from 14th century Christian history. Leaders of Christianity of the day were sure that they would lose their positions of power if the scriptures were able to be read by the masses.
They believed, rightly, that the proliferation of the doctrine of Christ as revealed in the Bible would ennoble and liberate the masses who would then require conditions, such as accountability to a clear standard, of their clergy.
This accountability was intolerable to the degree that when William Tyndale published and distributed what became known as the Tyndale Bible to the masses in England, he was arrested by church authorities, held in prison for over a year, tried for heresy, strangled and burned at the stake.
A knowledgeable public, even in 14th century England, would have little tolerance for mischievous ministers who would fudge doctrine for the political expediency of cajoling vile Henry VIII.
Accountability is also intolerable to modern politicians. These political priests would rather have their works shrouded in darkness. If they can mystify an opiated public, they can create multiple unholy alliances with modern Henry VIII.
Today’s remedy is similar to Tyndale’s. If a public is informed and engaged, mountainous works of darkness and debauchery will be exposed. A politician’s aspiration will cease to be Caesar and turn to emulation of Teresa of Calcutta.
A knowledge of logic, statistics, history, civics and economics applied to the Constitution (the how) and the Declaration (the why) will reign in false priesthood such as a rogue justice department whose civil rights division suffers a fondness for political alter boys. It will depose would-be tyrants, and it will curb wanton debt inebriation.
Regardless of your political ideology, it’s time to engage. Have faith, but bring to bear all of your intellectual and informational faculties.
If your faith is well-founded, it will be enhanced by rigorous testing.
David B. Grant is the founder of Summa Logica Productions, which promotes formal logic training, particularly among youth, and helps you become a better thinker, reader, and writer. He is the author of Joseph Spider and the Fallacy Farm.
David holds degrees in Philosophy (BA) and Business (MBA) from Brigham Young University. He teaches Entrepreneurship and Operations at Southern Utah University.
He resides in Cedar City, Utah with his wife and five children.