David Davis. Conservative Party. UK’s freedom fighter?


"David Davis has said his surprise resignation was no "moment of madness" but a stand against the government’s "assaults" on civil liberties".
Freedom and Values
 
Freedom is a word rather like time: everyone thinks that they know what it means, but cannot define it. The foundation of freedom is knowledge and without knowledge – "no man can be free". That is why religious and secular dictators throughout history have burned and censored books, closed universities, imprisoned professors, and do so in some parts of the world today. Freedom is the ability to choose courses of action and to make decisions that are based on an objective knowledge of the world. Without such knowledge primitive subjective feelings (The Savage Mind or, "How did primitive man think?"), values and goals: remain the primary determinants of human action. Knowing this the unscrupulous manipulate the credulous.
 
True freedom is frightening to many, because it necessitates the individual breaking out of the cocoon of half-truths, ignorance, and ready-made opinions; in which most of humankind is happily and comfortably imprisoned. No man can be free until he seeks objective answers to three questions, namely: "Where am I"? "What am I"? "Why am I"?
 
For it is the ability to frame these questions that separates us from the rest of the animal world and little else. And, it is the approach to finding the answers that distinguishes the educated from the ignorant and the cultured from the philistine. Any attempt to answer these questions must be made with ruthless determination to avoid conclusions that are based on poor evidence or a desire to see the world as so many wish it to be: magical and made for us.
 
I say any attempt to answer these questions, because few people ever try to do so. Most prefer what Huxley called, "The sleep of every day living". Even the brilliant Voltaire wrote, "Through a quarter of my lifetime I was absolutely ignorant of the reasons for everything I saw, and heard, and felt, and I was merely a parrot: prompted by other parrots".
 
Knowledge and freedom are nowadays regarded as values, but the role of values in human behaviour has always been a difficult problem. As values may be expressed in poetry or in prose. I have selected examples of each in order to make a particular point.
 
Roaring Boys an Whores
 
While food has flavour and limbs are shapely
 
And hearts beat bravely to fiddle or drum
 
Our proper employment is reckless enjoyment
 
For soon the noiseless night will come.
"Our species has been favoured on this planet, although we have not always been good caretakers of our globes resources. Our stay here in the spaces of geological time has been brief. No one can tell us our business. But, I think it is something more than to consume as much as we can and then blow the place up"!
 
Undoubtedly, Auden’s poem represents the viewpoint of many; right across the age and social spectrum. Whilst Thompson’s prose suggests a different attitude to life is desirable. Both viewpoints are tenable, but whilst the poem contains only one fact – the fact of death, the prose incorporates a number of scientific statements.
 
What I wish to suggest is that values may be obtained from knowledge and the more comprehensive our knowledge the more worthwhile are our values likely to be. The great Dr Bronowski (The Ascent of Man – TV series and book) wrote, "I believe that science can create values and will create them, precisely as literature does by looking into the human personality, by discovering what divides it and what cements it".
 
Science is not technology!
 
Science is a Latin word meaning knowledge and one of Bronowski’s great achievements was to show the unity of art, and science. Can a few lines of poetry contain as much knowledge as a prose passage, and thus: suggest worthwhile values? You may consider that Wordsworth accomplished this difficult feat when he wrote.
 
The world is too much with us, late and soon.
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers,
Little we see in nature that is ours,
We have given our hearts away…..
 
Look around you. I think Wordsworth’s poem contains a number of facts – yes facts – about human behaviour and he uses his knowledge to create values. The essential message of Thompson’s prose and Wordsworth’s poem is that we are of the evolving animal world and that this is a fact, which individually and collectively, we prefer to ignore. We pretend we are god like creatures playing with nature, not subject to her inexorable law: smart organisms survive and those which fail to make sense of their environment – perish. We must understand ourselves and our place in nature or die!
 
There is no choice about this. The only choice is to recognise it and to do so in time.
 

About luckyme0

My First family, second marriage, bringing up my 18-year-old twins, boy, and girl. I am a third generation Humanist, who has some old handwritten information and notes; collected over many years. Someone may find the articles interesting, or helpful. They could bring back a little ‘reality’, after being ‘shocked’ and ‘brainwashed’, by some malicious group, or institution (REBT Therapy). People should know better, than to do this, to our very young, and the ‘obviously’ vulnerable! Go to easily accessible, non-superstitious knowledge that is not charlatanism! https://charleslizzy.com/2011/08/06/independent-schools-inspectorate-isi-marketing-spirituality-buzzword-or-maybe-even-for-you-to-shiver-at-the-something/ The blog has given me an incentive to order my thoughts, learn, and read up again, after a few non-thinking years of (very silly) imagination and passion. Why not, get your own key to a ‘door’, customise it to suit you, and it can be, all of your very own! Don’t believe, or be led by someone else’s; inherited, stupid, and a very likely (past, and not of today’s) ‘totally preposterous reality’s’. Only some interest in the ‘really big questions’, keeps life above the level of a farce, and very little else! KEEP THINKING! Some of the posts may need some correcting. Interests: REBT Counselling, Atheism, Secularism, Humanism, Psychology, Reading, Popular Science, School Ethos, Philosophy, History, Family, Parenting, Psychology, Horse Riding, Sailing, Rescue Boat Driver, Skiing (Teppichswinger), TV Documentaries, Motorbike Cross Country Riding, Volunteer Sports Stewarding, Writing, Primitive Man, Pre-history, Social Anthropology, British Humanist Association, BHA, Meaning of Life, The Big Questions, Where am I, What am I, Why am I, Hippie Love, Knowledge, Education, Globalisation. Favorite quote: “The world belongs to those who, at least to some degree, have figured it out.” Carl Sagan, ‘The Demon Haunted World’, ‘Contact’, and other famous books DVD ‘Cosmos’. The warning of another and horrendous, “Age of Superstition”. “Isn’t there something deeply absurd in the presumption that children ought to inherit beliefs from their parents. It can be deeply damaging, even lethally divisive. A ‘them’, with an ‘against us’, mentality” – Professor Richard Dawkins. “The will to believe is stronger than mere reason in the vast majority of people” – Dr J.Brown, Army Psychologist of the 1960′s. Humans will believe in almost anything, in fact, they seek it! Why? “98% of us, trained to be just good consumers, let’s train our children to be the 2% who have their very own creativity and discernment”; quote by a famous surreal artist. “The lack of reason brings forth monsters”. “Global interconnectedness is lethal against mass religion, nationalism, racism, and other destructive memeplexes. Let us connect everybody they hate it in restrictive regimes”; from the ‘meme learning group’, Richard Brodie’s book, ‘Virus Of The Mind’ (Richard Brodie a designer for ‘Microsoft Word’). Following on, J.Bronowski, and ‘The Ascent Of Man’ TV series, and a book http://www.bbcshop.com/science+nature/the-ascent-of-man/invt/9781849901154/ with the last DVD in this series, ‘The Long Childhood’ being especially revealing. ‘Prehistory’ and the ‘Making of the Human Mind’ by Colin Renfrew, with P.Wilson’s, ‘The Domestication of the Human Species’, and Nigel Spivey’s, TV series and book, ‘How Art Made The World’, offers some further explanations. Latest reading: Jared Diamond http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jared_Diamond
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