Seems most of the posters here don't understand Mark's PHILOSPHICAL point. It is a deeper point than most appreciate, but it is also quite simple. Look, if the Founders had not felt that man in his nature was inherently good, they would not have entrusted him with so much freedom and have subjected the federal government to so much restraint. Would the Founders allowed all men to keep and bear arms if man was perceived as being an evil creature deep in his soul? Of course not. And that is the point here. Of the FREE people around the world interacting among themselves, only a small fraction at any given time are evildoers. In arms length transactions, we give the counterparty the benefit of the doubt that he is going to stand by his promises. We do this because there is a mutual benefit, and we see the virtue of being honest and decent to our fellow men.
OK, I like Levin generally, but the "ENLIGHTENMENT" didn't do JACK DIDDLY SQUAT to create America as we know it!
How do I know? because while the French were abandoning God and EMBRACING the notion of "enlightenment" (man as god), AMERICA was undergoing a spiritual REVIVAL reinforcing the supremacy of God as our moral authority. That's right. The SECOND GREAT AWAKENING in America was a response to the "enlightenment" movement in Europe!
But I bet you've never even HEARD of the two Great Awakenings in America, have you?
While the "enlightenment" sought to cast off God from society in Europe, much like godless liberals are doing today, the Second Great Awakening sparked a RETURN to God, and THAT ALONE is why America eventually became the greatest nation on earth.
Need I remind you that as a result of embracing the phoney and ridiculous notion of the "enlightenment", that generations later France now has a SOCIALIST as a President?? Guess what, this didn't happen over night. This is a result of generations of abandoning God.
Guess where America is heading by throwing God off of OUR society?
The "enlightenment" was a joke and an abject failure. What we need is a THIRD Great Awakening! A spiritual resurgence of faith in the One true God. AND THEN America will be great again!
BTW, I like Mark Levin, but you don't have to agree with everything he says and jump to his defense, just because you like him. He is wrong on this, plain and simple. Read a Bible.
The "fair" thing to do is to allow us to keep our guns... because the bad guys surely have guns. Police forces aren't manned at levels that they were before. The military is being drawn down. The economic situation in this country isn't good and gets worse by the hour (literally). Unemployment is high and expected to get worse. Violence is a real possibility... AND IT'S LAWFUL TO OWN A GUN.
I could go on and on... there is no logic to their actions to try and confiscate guns or make it illegal to have them - other than making us vulnerable to a tyrannical government.
Could you imagine what the movie: "Red Dawn" would look like now if it was honest and made during this time? I can see defending America from Russia or the Chinese (North Koreans? Puh-lease). But this version would be about protecting ourselves from domestic tyranny. It's actually becoming plausible.
What Mark Levin is trying to work out is the complete difference between the view that people are generally inclined to behave 'virtuously' when left alone. This is so because, left alone, they have learned that their acts have consequences, some of which can be really bad for the individual.
But with the constant lefty propaganda in our educational system - which Mark Levin points out - the left has painted everybody as bad, as guilty of something, while establishing 'victim' groups which cannot help themselves and must be protected by the state.
So where we're now, at least one generation has learned that Daddy State will look after them because they're victims, and all who don't need looking after by Daddy State have to be bad and need to be held in check by Daddy State.
I think this brief clip shows Mark Levin thinking, trying out an argument, it's work in progress, like the first notes for a first draft to a new book.
But one usually doesn't publish a rough draft for everyone to read. He makes a crucial error by saying this is the basis of Christianity. If he were arguing that many people assume this about people, for example, he might be on stronger ground. That most people don't act on the impulses of their wicked hearts most of the time, is due to the restraining hand of Providence, not to any inherent goodness in men. Mark should work out his ideas more carefully, and make sure he isn't making unfounded claims about something precious to millions of readers, before putting his thoughts out there.
"Do we believe people are virtuous or not"
No. I don't think most of us anyways do, Mark.
Most people are low-info sheep who just voted a nanny state back in. Some of them are not just sheep but wolves.
While I'm not confident in the electorate, it's a jungle out there and we need to defend ourselves from the animals who may want to do us harm. I'm against gun control because most people and especially criminals AREN'T virtuous...and that goes along with what the Bible teaches about us being depraved and full of sin.
Of course a criminal isn't going to turn their gun in, they're a criminal!
The virtuous among us, getting to be more and more of a minority, need to protect ourselves against those scum with bad intentions. I see that as the conservative framing.
I usually like Mark's stuff but disagree with him philosophically and strongly here. He should learn this from Michael Savage.
The answer to the question of whether people are virtuous or not as stated by a global authoritarian: NO!!! They do not see the good in any human being besides themselves. To them, a person who has a gun will eventually use that gun to indiscriminately murder other people. To them, there is no justification in killing. Why do they continue to want to abolish the death penalty? They don't see any justification in putting a murderer to death. The result: taxpayers funding the incarceration of convicted murderers for the rest of their lives. The murderers get to enjoy living, which cannot be said of those they murdered. There is justification in killing: self-defense, to prevent the taking of lives by a perpetrator or oppressor, and protection of those who cannot protect themselves. Global authoritarians don't want to see it that way. That is because global authoritarians bow to the totalitarian belief that an unarmed populace is a controlled populace. They know that in order to subjugate the masses, they must wrench guns out of the hands of those who would rise against them. How else will they exercise control over and force their will upon others?
I don't know. I believe that there are a lot of people with the potential to be evil out there and so it follows, ipso facto, that I need the ability to protect myself - from evil individuals and a tyrannical government...Guns do just fine, thank you.
I hate to disagree with Mr. Levin, but it is the basis of Christianity that men are fundamentally fallen, not good. This isn't exactly a minor issue either, it's critical to the concept of Christian redemption from "The Fall."
The Founding Fathers--students of the Enlightenment--also did not consider men to be inherently good, and this was their rationale for setting up the Constitution the way they did. The Federalist Papers address this over and over. (Federalist 51, "If men were angels", etc.)
If anything, 2nd amendment rights stem from an insight that people are not good, and we cannot trust a benevolent ruler to do morally correct things.
I disagree with you. Christianity is based on men as fundamentally good but the temptations of power turn them evil. That is the basis for Jesus's teachings of humility -the meek shall inherit the Earth. Additionally, His greatest commandment, one espoused to be greater than even all Ten Commandments, is inherently based on the goodness of men, that they should love one another as Jesus has loved them.
I think the emphasis should be on man's INHERENT nature. For a civil society to function, there must be trust, which rests essentially upon most people being honest. This also underpins free market capitalism. We are becoming less trusting, and more of the belief that men are inherently evil when we see islamists who are the personification of evil in today's world. Man is free to choose good and evil action, however, most people are essentially good, otherwise Western Civilization has we have known it would never function. If men were fundamentally evil, we would be in a perpetual state of conflict with everyone around us in a dystopian world. To your point Mr. Bernard, man is definitely not an angel or a pure spirit, and that was not Levin's point. Publius is in accord with this view, that men are good, but are also free to choose to be evil, and often can be, despite the fact that this is not their inherent nature.
You misunderstand. He's not talking spiritually. Of course we all deserve hell apart from Christ.
Rather Levin is talking about civil society and how it's based on virtuous people. Rick Santorum spoke about this on the campaign trail - http://www.therightscoop.com/santorum-pursuit-of-happiness-means-doing-the-morally-right-thing/ - and Bill Whittle has also spoken on it as well - http://www.therightscoop.com/bill-whittle-on-why-we-must-restore-virtue/
Check out those links.
"Mark Levin explains that the basis of the enlightenment and Western civilization, of Judaism and Christianity is that we believe people are for the most part good and virtuous"
No. Levin does make all of those claims in this video; your summary is accurate. It is *not* the basis of Christianity, Western Civilization, or the Enlightenment that men are generally good (or even virtuous). It also was directly argued in this history of this country that precisely because people are bad, we should not have a paternalistic government. This is a 180 from what Levin is claiming.
Just because the GOP and conservatives have a vested interest in conflating civil society and religion for political purposes does not make those claims true.
The History of Gun Control - FULL LENGTH