View Poll Results: Is founding fatherism a religion?

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Thread: Is founding fatherism a religion?

  1. #161
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    Re: Is founding fatherism a religion?

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    Is founding fatherism a religion?Let's reduce the personal attacks and increase the civility.
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  2. #162
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    Re: Is founding fatherism a religion?

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    I think that in certain cases it can be argued that while there is little historical consistency, if there is internal consistency for the modern thinker, they are still on better ground than they would be otherwise. There is no rule that one should build their views solely based on the thoughts of historical figures.
    The problem I'm talking about is that Hamilton and Jefferson had fundamentally oppositional base philosophies regarding constitutional interpretation. People today continue to espouse those same underlying philosphies as a primary basis, but they will "shift" toward the alternative philosophy when the results suit their personal preferences.

    It's not that they are supposed to build their views based solely on teh thoughts of historical figures, it's that they should build their views based on some form of underlying principles, and that they should be consistent in teh applicatiopn of these principles.

    The historical figures, in this case, did that.
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    Re: Is founding fatherism a religion?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    Madison had more to do with writing the constitution than Hamilton did and he alligned with Jefferson.

    In fact, the main differences today regarding constitutional interpretation can really be traced directly back to the disagreements between the Jefferson/Madison school of thought and the Hamilton/Adams school of thought.

    Unfortunately, back then they were consistent in their views, while the modern politicalparties will pick and choose when to be Jeffersonian and when to be Hamiltonian based solely on how these interpretations will assist their own personal views on specific issues. There is a distinct lack of philosophical consistency for many.
    Thank for you adding to my point, clearly if there are different views of thoughts among the Founding Fathers on the Constitution than following all of their opinions, as if they were all united and the same, is impossible. One would have to pick and choose which to follow or to agree upon, which would inevitably disagree with another. Or you could attempt to justify which Founding Father's opinion, when there is disagreement, is 'worth' more.

    And there's also the problem of who will determine the Constitutionality of issues which the Founding Fathers never addressed, how will we interpret the Founding Father's intent on amendments behind the original 10? Or if an issue arises in the courts which is not talked about in the Constitution, how can the Founding Fathers opinions help us there?

  4. #164
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    Re: Is founding fatherism a religion?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wiseone View Post
    Thank for you adding to my point, clearly if there are different views of thoughts among the Founding Fathers on the Constitution than following all of their opinions, as if they were all united and the same, is impossible. One would have to pick and choose which to follow or to agree upon, which would inevitably disagree with another. Or you could attempt to justify which Founding Father's opinion, when there is disagreement, is 'worth' more.

    And there's also the problem of who will determine the Constitutionality of issues which the Founding Fathers never addressed, how will we interpret the Founding Father's intent on amendments behind the original 10? Or if an issue arises in the courts which is not talked about in the Constitution, how can the Founding Fathers opinions help us there?
    One can use them as part of an argument, but it can't be considered the end all-be all of an argument. One must still present their case effectively to convince others to support the aoproach one promotes.

    Personally, I hold many of the same underlying principles that Jefferson and Madison did, coupled with many of the views espoused in the anti-federalist papers. It's still my job to argue in favor of others adopting those same types of views. I can use their words to bolster my positions, or provide a historical basis for them, but I can't simply claim that my views are those expressed by the "founders" and that makes me "right".
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  5. #165
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    Re: Is founding fatherism a religion?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    The problem I'm talking about is that Hamilton and Jefferson had fundamentally oppositional base philosophies regarding constitutional interpretation. People today continue to espouse those same underlying philosphies as a primary basis, but they will "shift" toward the alternative philosophy when the results suit their personal preferences.

    It's not that they are supposed to build their views based solely on teh thoughts of historical figures, it's that they should build their views based on some form of underlying principles, and that they should be consistent in teh applicatiopn of these principles.

    The historical figures, in this case, did that.
    I largely agree with the caveat that since I don't really consider the FF's an authoritative source, I am free to pick and choose as I see fit

  6. #166
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    Re: Is founding fatherism a religion?

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    I largely agree with the caveat that since I don't really consider the FF's an authoritative source, I am free to pick and choose as I see fit
    To me, there should be no distinctions based on how you perceive teh FF's. To me, being consistent with your foundational philosphical principles is, in many ways, more important than the actual principles.

    If one believes in loose interpretations of teh constitutional clauses (as Hamilton did), they should be willing to entertain loose interpretations that do not fit with their own personal views on the issues.

    If one believes in a strict interpretation (like Madison and Jefferson did), then one should be strict in their interpretations regardless of whether or not it fits with their personal views on the issues.

    Picking and choosing when to be loose with your interpretations and when to be strict is, IMO, an intellectually dishonest approach to constituional law. This is what both major political parties do right now, though.

    However, if someone uses some other underlying philosophy as their guiding force for their interpretations, and has an understanding of those principles, then they have some sort of intelelctual footing to base their argumetns on. One doesn't need to see the FF's as authoritative, oone only needs to be consistent in their own approach.
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    Re: Is founding fatherism a religion?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    To me, there should be no distinctions based on how you perceive teh FF's. To me, being consistent with your foundational philosphical principles is, in many ways, more important than the actual principles.

    If one believes in loose interpretations of teh constitutional clauses (as Hamilton did), they should be willing to entertain loose interpretations that do not fit with their own personal views on the issues.

    If one believes in a strict interpretation (like Madison and Jefferson did), then one should be strict in their interpretations regardless of whether or not it fits with their personal views on the issues.

    Picking and choosing when to be loose with your interpretations and when to be strict is, IMO, an intellectually dishonest approach to constituional law. This is what both major political parties do right now, though.

    However, if someone uses some other underlying philosophy as their guiding force for their interpretations, and has an understanding of those principles, then they have some sort of intelelctual footing to base their argumetns on. One doesn't need to see the FF's as authoritative, oone only needs to be consistent in their own approach.
    Ahh I misunderstood you I think. I was thinking more about my stance on specific issues, not necessarily constitutional interpretation. But yeah, I essentially agree.

  8. #168
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    Re: Is founding fatherism a religion?

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    Ahh I misunderstood you I think. I was thinking more about my stance on specific issues, not necessarily constitutional interpretation. But yeah, I essentially agree.
    Ah, I thought your response was kind of strange.

    My point is that the way that Hamilton or Jefferson viewed the issues were consistent with their philosophical foundations. Hamilton, who wished for more federal authority, favored loose interpretations to increase that federal authority.

    Jefferson, who wanted restricted federal authority, sought stricter interpretations as a limitation of that authority.

    Generally, I'd say the Hamiltonian way of thinking won out.

    So when people discuss the founding fathers and how they would view the US today, one could say that Hamilton would be very pleased with most of it, while Jefferson and Madison would probably vomit.
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