Tradition and Moral Discipline:
on Knowing Right from Wrong.
Vic Biorseth, Sunday, February 07, 2010
Tradition and Moral Discipline discusses the triangle of relationship between tradition, morality and discipline. Perhaps it might be best to start with discipline:
What we are primarily talking about here is the self-discipline and group discipline necessary to carry on in our daily living. It takes a certain amount of self-discipline just to regularly get up every morning and follow a regular daily routine, whatever it may be. The undisciplined person does not (because he cannot) follow a regular routine, of any kind. I submit that discipline is necessary for normal life in any social order at all.
- Training to perform in accordance with a rule, or a set of rules.
- A regimen or repeated exercise that develops and improves a skill, as in daily violin practice, typing practice, marksmanship, penmanship, etc.
- Punishment intended to correct and train.
- Behavior in accordance with a rule or set of rules.
- A rule or set of rules.
- A branch of instruction, learning, study or profession.
In recent decades it has become the educational norm in many institutions to view tradition, and the discipline it required, in a negative light, and radically alter the teaching method. Students no longer sat in rows of seats facing the teacher, but sat randomly on the floor or at tables with no particular orientation unless circular. Competition was de-emphasized as was individual grading in favor of “the curve” in the interest of promoting a general sense of self esteem equally among all students. Scores over time seem to indicate that the change has been unsuccessful; at least, academically.
Perhaps improved academic skills was not the real goal.
Perform a thought experiment.
If you love music, imagine a fully assembled symphony orchestra – with no discipline. Imagine what kind of sounds it might make. There is no attention paid to the conductor, no one is interested in any particular page or line of the music to be performed, or they may not all even be looking at the same document, if indeed they are all looking at written music at all. It would be just a bunch of people with various instruments, each doing his or her own thing.
If you are a veteran, imagine a military unit, of any size at all, with no discipline. It’s easy to imagine how they might mal-perform on the parade ground, but their performance on the field of battle might well be catastrophic. A military unit without discipline is known in military parlance as a rabble, easily put to route or wiped out by any smaller but well disciplined military unit. All the training in the world is worthless in the absence of unit discipline.
If you are an engineer, imagine a work force of engineers, draftsmen and highly skilled workers cooperating in the building a bridge, or a road, or a rocket ship, but with no discipline. No discipline anywhere, from the original design, to the making of blueprints, to the following of the plan, to the sequence of events, to the quality of the materials, to the way they are put together. Imagine, if you can, the quality of the final product.
If you are a grand parent or a great grand parent, imagine an unusually large family gathering as at Thanksgiving or another extra-special occasion, with the whole large family all seated together at table, but with no discipline. No attention to manners, no attention to properly passing and receiving, no attention even to common civility let alone proper appearance, deportment and behavior at table. Perhaps you don’t have to imagine it; if so, I pity you and yours.
There is nothing wrong with discipline. There is everything right with it.
The “new” teachers are wrong about this. There is nothing wrong with the newly demonized “learning by rote,” or memorizing, as in, learning one’s multiplication tables. It works. It produces better future mathematicians.
Newthink – an Orwellian word – holds that Tradition and Moral Discipline are somehow bad, and that mankind needs to break out into some sort of vague, undefined freedom. And that notion necessitates a new social order of some kind, or perhaps a lack of order, which would mean chaos, or anarchy in some form. But against all that, I submit that Tradition and Moral Discipline are not only good but absolutely necessary. So we need to discuss
It would seem obvious that the first tools of education involved repetition and memorization. Language is first learned, in infancy, orally rather than in formal written form. Our first language is learned by listening, imitating, and sounding-out words. The most ancient traditions were passed on orally before they were written. Even after written language was invented, for many centuries many if not most could not read or write, and the oral tradition continued. Whole books of, first, the Torah, then, the Bible, were memorized by those who would regularly sing or recite them for the benefit of all within earshot, in an oral teaching tradition passed on from father to son or from master to disciple. Tradition is best learned from infancy on.
- Teaching or passing of cultural elements from generation to generation, most especially but not exclusively by oral tradition, and by example.
- A set of customs and rules, and a mode of behavior and activity followed continuously by a people from generation to generation.
- A recognized time-honored set of practices.
- A body of unwritten oral religious precepts.
- Among Jews, the body of teachings and laws, collectively or singly, originally received from Moses and passed on orally from generation to generation.
- Among Christians, the body of teachings and laws, collectively or singly, originally received from Jesus Christ and His apostles but not originally committed to writing.
Tradition is thus first instilled (or first broken) in the home. If it is a beloved tradition, then it should always be reinforced rather than weakened in any outside-the-home formal education the family’s children are subjected to. Similarly, beloved tradition should be reinforced rather than weakened or attacked by entertainment material and social inputs. There is a valid reason for monitoring, recommending, encouraging and restricting various kinds of information available to your children. The same can be said of associations with other children and other families.
Unfortunately, today classical music, classical literature, art, history and more are not just considered to be passé; they are virtually forgotten, and even purposely not taught. Authors of the classics are scornfully referred to by professional educators as “dead white poets” without regard for their contribution to our heritage via their composition of words, or of music, or of form and color, or of our cultural memory of our own history and where our roots are, and how we got here.
There is nothing wrong, and everything right, with such things as school uniforms. There is nothing wrong with the “old time” class-room customs of seating boys on one side, girls on the other. There is nothing wrong with all boy’s classes and all girl’s classes. There is nothing wrong with boy’s schools, and there is nothing wrong with girl’s schools. There is nothing wrong with male or female colleges or universities; there is most particularly nothing wrong with all male military academies.
In any culture in which the tradition of chastity is still valued as a virtue, there is, on the other hand, much wrong with such things as co-ed dorms, male and female membership in the same military units, females on ships of war and so forth. Such things can only lead to romantic and/or sexual undercurrents adversely affecting education or the mission of the military unit. If the word chastity has any meaning at all in a culture, and if chastity remains a cultural tradition, then single men and single women should be kept a decent distance apart from each other within that culture. In a similar vein, in any decent culture, homosexuality should not even be a topic worthy of consideration.
To break with cultural tradition is to break a culture. A people without a tradition is a people without heritage, without roots, and without culture. A people without a culture is a people who will, sooner or later, one way or another, make a new culture, for better or for worse. No social order can endure in the complete absence of any sense of culture, and culture is what tradition brings to the table. It defines a people and distinguishes them from other peoples. Tradition therefore requires discipline to be continued as a tradition, lest the culture descend into barbarity.
Considering the most important reason to protect tradition brings us to the topic of Morality:
Knowing right from wrong used to be such an incredibly simple matter. How did we ever allow it to become so complex?
- A system of doctrines and ideas defining right and wrong human conduct.
- A system defining sexual virtue or chastity.
- Conduct conforming to rules of right, good, moral and virtuous living.
- A moral precept, lesson, discourse, instruction or utterance.
The Ten Commandments are all over the outside and the inside of the United States Supreme Court building, and all over Washington D.C., where our representative laws are legislated, executed and adjudicated, as you can plainly see in the Church and State in Art page on this site. The Ten Commandments are our cultural moral foundation stone. Building upon that foundation are the Beatitudes; the Blessings and the Curses; the Precepts of the Church, and all the other examples and teachings of Jesus Christ and His Apostles.
This is our morality; the larger context, the Gospel or the Good News is our religion. We can argue about the finer points of religion as held by various Jews and denominations of Christians, and that’s fine, there’s nothing wrong with decent argument among gentle folk. But when it comes to major, even radical changes to our ancient moral code, whoever promotes the change should be made to substantiate the reason and logic behind the change. If the majority position and the ancient traditional position says a thing is wrong, and someone now says it is right, then there ought to be a very good and strong logical argument supporting the new position. Otherwise, why should we adopt it?
I submit that untruth animates our moral decline. Consider the first lie:
Now the serpent was more subtle than any other wild creature that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God say, `You shall not eat of any tree of the garden'?"
And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; but God said, `You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'"
But the serpent said to the woman, "You will not die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." [Gen 3; 1-5]
Man is always, always, tempted to try to be like God. To take charge. To know all. To control destiny. To put God aside. To take over. It was what Lucifer intended to do when he said “I will not serve.” Above, and now, he tempts mankind, with pure untruth.
Enter Scientism. The Austrian economist Hayek was the first, to my knowledge, to coin the term for the practice of any pseudo-science that no longer rigorously followed the scientific method. The jargon may have sounded scientific, but the evidences and rigor were missing. In this site I typically refer to practitioners of scientism as TTRSTF.
Scientistic lies support each other and build upon each other, even to the point of creating giant, overwhelming global consensual frauds with inter-disciplinary support from many branches of “science.” At the root of much of this is the purposeful disinformation perpetrated on world society by the lie of Marxism, which was able to commandeer, build upon and capitalize on the lie of Freudianism and the lie of Darwinism to further it’s goal of world domination and the destruction of capitalism and liberty.
All three of these major, world-accepted, scientifically-embraced lies are refuted with ridiculous ease, as can be seen in the arguments Refuting Marx, Refuting Freud and Refuting Darwin. Nevertheless, major segments of whole populations, including even majorities, embrace these untrue theories as somehow being proven and factual.
Early Darwinists began the trend of turning away from God; early Freudians began the social obsession with all topics sexual; and early Marxists began the trend of demonizing Constitutional America, as the greatest existing adversary to any form of Socialism. All of them worked together to destroy our common Western Culture morality.
Getting with the times, or getting with tradition; which would you say was more important to your family and to your lager culture and to your nation? Does anyone in your household recognize the meaning of the word sin? Does your household see anything wrong with cohabitation? Sex before marriage? Sex outside of an existing marriage? Homosexuality?
You need to look at what your tax dollars are paying public school teachers to do to your children. Ever since the shining moral example of Billary Clinton publicly declared that he didn’t consider oral sex to actually be sex, millions of kids have taken oral sex to be a casual activity. Not even an intimate act. It’s now just something to do at any party when the adults aren’t looking, even with a stranger. It’s called “Hooking Up.” (White Ghetto; Star Parker; pp 15-16.)
The effort to “Queer the schools” is going full blast. There is a GLEN (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education network) resource manual distributed to all K-12 public schools in Saint Paul and Minneapolis. I’ll just talk about one little part of it here, as follows.
While certain states have taken the lead, the educational goals of the homosexual movement in general and the GLSEN in particular have tead inroads throughout the entire American landscape. It won’t surprise you that their prize pupil has been the state of California,
Entertainment is doing it’s part by promoting all of this to the hilt. Your TV today will show homosexuals as harmless, loveable, funny and entertaining neighbors, and portray all opponents of homosexuality as mentally ill, suffering from the invented, rhetorical mental disorder of homophobia. We have a sitting President and Commander-in-Chief anxious to force normal soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen and coast-guardsmen into extremely close company, common showers and common sleeping facilities with open homosexuals, with in-your-face screaming queens and flaming faggots among them. All blessed by Obama. All protected by special “hate” laws.
where a new state law requires public schools to teach all K-12 (and K means five-year-olds) “to appreciate various sexual orientations.” What the new law might mean in practice, warned a state assemblyman, was on display at Santa Rosa High School, where invited homosexual activists “talked about using cellophane during group sex and said that ‘clear is best because you can see what you want to lick,” or Hale Middle School in Los Angeles, where during and AIDS ecucation course, “12-year-olds were subjected to graphic descriptions of anal sex and tips on how to dispose of codoms so parents don’t find out.”
(White Ghetto; Star Parker; pp 23-24.)
Our culture is on a horrible moral slide, which has radically increased in steepness since the so-called Sexual Revolution, and black America has been in moral free-fall since the Great Society. Star Parker has amply pointed out that white America is following black America in the methodological destruction of the normative family in America, and she provides the statistics to prove the point. Sexual disgusting practices your grandparents never even heard of are now becoming normal daily events, not even intimate events, not even done between friends or even acquaintances. Kids who don’t even know each other’s names are now doing these things to each other.
What our religion tells us about it.
When we ask the question, what are we doing here, or, what is our purpose for being, we need to look a little deeper and ask the question what is God’s purpose for creating us in the first place. We took a shot at answering that question in the Nature of Freedom page, where we argued that God wanted man to love God. Very simple, in the end. The way to displease God is to not love Him, for then, we defeat His purpose for our being here.
It is not good to displease God. Adam and Eve and their seed were forced out of the garden over it. The Great Flood destroyed all but a few righteous, including even women and children, because they had been brought up in wrong ways with habits and life-styles not pleasing to God. Sodom and Gomorrah were burned with brimstone for the same reason. Nineveh was narrowly spared because they repented and turned, showing that the mercy of God is available. Tribe after tribe of people gone over to pagan worship were put under the ban and slain by the armies of Joshua, because they were so displeasing to God.
Again and again in human history, men turned from God or lost sight of their purpose, created with their own hands images of wood or stone or whatever, and then bowed down and worshiped them as real gods, and prayed to them, as if they could actually do something. Then, when their doom was upon them, they turned back to God begging for deliverance, and the response from God was for them to turn back to the gods they had created with their own hands and pray to them for deliverance, and depend upon them alone, and see what they might do, what miracles they might perform and what deliverance they might bring to their worshipers.
But, you see, the Lord thy God is one, and there is no other.
Children have to be brought up in accordance with correct tradition and moral discipline. When they are not, they themselves will sin, father bastards, reject responsibility, and they will turn to worship stone (or humpback whales, or spotted owls, or whatever endangered species, or the earth, or “equality,” or money, or power, of forms of sexual gratification, etc., etc., etc.) and they will not know, and they will not teach, love of God. They become an increasing curse on mankind, for they ever increasingly displease God. Eventually, a whole culture becomes odious to God.
Many read lines like the following one from Psalms,
Happy shall he be who takes your little ones and dashes them against the rock! [Ps 137;1:9]
and interpret it to mean that God is somehow evil rather than just. But that interpretation shows that the interpreter has put man at the center of everything rather than God. Man determines what is righteous and what is evil; man determines right from wrong. Man determines even his own purpose.
But what of God’s original purpose for us? Is it of no importance to us? If I am correct in my argument at the Nature of Freedom page then God wanted us to love Him. If we no longer love Him, then we no longer have any purpose for being, and He no longer has any purpose for us to be.
It is, after all, very simple.
Where our culture is taking us.
Does man drive culture, or does culture drive man?
How does your household treat the subject of artificial contraception? Go read the Artificial Contraception page on this site and then come back here and try to keep a straight face while you tell me exactly how artificial contraception ever came to be considered to be a moral and decent practice in your view, and why you blessed it in your house. Then get on your knees and try to explain it to God.
Go read the Abortion In America page, or the Refuting Pro-Choice page, and then tell me exactly how the possibility of thousands or millions of medically unnecessary abortions per year could ever have been legitimized and blessed by anyone in your household. Then get on your knees and explain it to God.
If you are a member of any of the denominations that holds that Scripture is the sole authority, then look to your Scripture. Show me the blessing for abortion, or for sodomy, or for spilling seed on the ground, or for unchastity. Has your Scripture changed? If Scripture has not changed, then, why has our culture changed?
We all know what our Judao-Christian religion says about all of these things. They are all condemned. Saying yes to any of them is saying no to God.
Sodomy and perversion is a plank in the Democrat Party platform. Willful abortion is a plank in the Democrat Party platform. These are the things they champion, sponsor, promote and defend. This is what they stand for; what they are about; what their purpose is. It is what drives them. And it raises the question:
What religion in Hell provides the moral foundation for the Democrat Party? What whim of Satan perverts their very purpose for being?
Love of God is a very simple thing. There is nothing complicated about it.
You must do whatever you can to turn your house around.
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Tradition and Moral Discipline
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