The “Declaration” of Voluntarism

Editor’s note: in which, to be clear, our esteemed Jesuit contributor describes what “they” declare, not what he or we believe. – RR

We hold that any “law” of nature or polity can be other than it is.

Each human being is what he declares itself to be. No stable “human nature” exists apart from the individual citizen’s definition of what he is.

Civil law is the only law human beings are not free to disobey, as it belongs to everyone. This limitation of personal freedom is the meaning of “common good” or “commonweal.”

Society’s purpose is to enable human beings to be whatever they chose to be, whatever it is.

No transcendent order exists to which any appeal against the civil law can be directed or justified.

The well-being of the planet Earth down the ages is more important than the lives of individual citizens at any time.

Human “rights” are determined and defined by civil law alone.

Religion has no objective validity; its customs and practices are subject to the civil law and must conform to it.

No organization or society stands between the individual citizen and the state.

No human being has a “right” to exist apart from the civil law’s determination of when human life begins and ends, or whether it is worthy of continued existence.

Children belong to whoever takes care of them. Civil society decides who is qualified to exercise this role.

The nature and constitution of a “family” is defined by the civil society.

The diversity of all members of any institution or society recognized by the civil society is to reflect the diversity of the citizens. A society not recognized by the state has no standing.

“Truth” is not a category recognized by civil society. No contradiction between truth and civil society is possible. “Truth” is what civil society decides it is.

Whatever the civil society wills is the law.

Freedom, both individual and societal, is conditioned by what the civil society decides. The will to be “free” means the will to obey the law, whatever it is.

“Science” does not run against civil law. In a conflict between science and civil law, civil law decides.

Human equality means obedience to the way the law treats individual citizens.

What is law in one time or place can be its opposite in another time and place.

Marriage is a civil contract with no intrinsic relation to children. The education of children is the sole responsibility of civil society and whomever it designates.

Queer times . . . [Image: AgendaEurope]

The adult members of a “family” can be composed of any combination of sex, gender, or other form of diversity.

No transcendent judgment about final punishment or reward for human conduct exists.

The purpose of civil society is to provide for the health, the material and cultural well-being of its citizens through its own agencies and defined by its own norms.

The words and language of citizens are subject to state surveillance. “Hate-language” is to be defined and punished by civil law.

Citizens are free to do what they want, provided it does not infringe on what others want to do. It is the function of civil society to define what infringes on the freedom of others.

The Socratic principle that it is “never right to do wrong” is incoherent.

Every citizen has a “right” not merely to pursue happiness, but to be happy. It is the function of the state to guarantee and bring this right to its completion.

Freedom is unrelated to property or purpose.

Good government requires citizens who freely obey the law, whatever it is.

The terms “God,” Logos, Trinity, Incarnation, and Redemption are incoherent and have no legal standing. They are unrelated to anything in reality.

Virtue is a habit whereby we are able to do what we want to do, whatever it is.

No independent order of reason exists. Reason is the capacity that enables us more easily to achieve what we want.

The distinction of the sexes has no purpose or foundation.

Abortion and euthanasia are guaranteed “rights” because, without them, citizens would not be free to define their own lives.

The cosmos has no intrinsic purpose. Its order is arbitrary and by chance. It has no origin in “mind” or “intelligence.” The only intelligence in the universe belongs to men. It enables them to impose their own “values” on the world. These “values” change according to the desires of human beings.

Human beings are not exceptions to the arbitrariness of the cosmos. They are free because they have no internal or external order to direct them.

Education deals with ideas. Ideas contradict each other. Education for freedom means understanding the intrinsic nature of ideas. A “liberal” education is one that frees us from any claim to truth.

Revelation of a “god” from outside the cosmos cannot happen. Nothing exists outside the cosmos. Anything “revealed” could be “otherwise.” Hence, it would be indistinguishable from whatever exists, which can also be otherwise.

James V. Schall, S.J. (1928-2019), who served as a professor at Georgetown University for thirty-five years, was one of the most prolific Catholic writers in America. Among his many books are The Mind That Is Catholic, The Modern Age, Political Philosophy and Revelation: A Catholic Reading, Reasonable Pleasures, Docilitas: On Teaching and Being Taught, Catholicism and Intelligence, and, most recently, On Islam: A Chronological Record, 2002-2018.

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