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Messages - Norman Teigen

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1666
Well, I think that we are off to a good start.  Respondents are raising good questions and making valid points.   Here is another place to start from.  Yesterday, as I was reading about the death of Chuck Colson I learned of a document with which I was unfamiliar.   The document was prepared in May 1994 under the title "Evangelicals and Catholics Together:   The Christian Mission in the Third Millennium."

The authors asserts that "Christians individually and the church corporately have a responsibility for the right ordering of civil society."   And, "law and culture must be secured by moral truth."

Is THIS where the debate about the Affordable Health Care debate has its origination?   Is it true that Christians have a responsibility for the right ordering of civil society?  Must law and culture be secured for moral truth?

These are important questions, I think.  I propose that how one answers these core questions determines in some way how one perceives the Affordable Care Act debate.

1667
Well, we're off to a start.   I want to get deeper on this subject.  I want to get  beyond the repetition of the common phrases.   

This is not an original idea with me, but in any discussion there has to be a starting point.  Somewhere there is a Thomas Kelly who wrote:  "At any given time which theories are accepted typically plays a crucial role in guiding the subsequent search for evidence which bears on their theories."  What, in  this Affordance Care Act discussion are the core theories?

To put it another way, as the eminent philosopher Leo Strauss titled his book "What Is Political Philosophy?"

Strauss states that "philosophy is essentially not possession of the truth, but quest for the truth."     Political philosophy has its intention "the attempt to replace opinion about the nature of political things by knowledge of the nature of political things."

Is the Affordable Care Act  debate about philosophy?  Is it about political philosophy?

Or, is it about theology and religion?   Strauss states that "by political theology we understand political teachings which are based on divine revelation."

Is this Affordable Care Act debate about revelation?

What are the underlying principles of this debate?   Where the debate starts indicates where it will ultimately go.


1668
I am interested in the general theory of the ethics of rhetoric.  How do people persuade, what methods do people use in their persuasive arguments?  What assumptions have been made about the intended audience and how have these assumptions determined  the content of the arguments in the two months since the matter became a main topic of consideration for many religious organizations.

I am indicating here a dissatisfaction with the techniques of persuasion used in the HHS debate.  I am suggesting that there has been a deficiency in the quality of the arguments used to advance the interests of a religious coalition made up of bishops,  evangelicals, and  conservative Lutherans against the Affordable Care Act. 

Norman Teigen, Layman
Evangelical Lutheran Synod

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