Thursday, August 22, 2019

Civilization Values Part VI: Repenting as a Civilization

We’ve been doing something of a civilization primer series here of late. Civilization requires valuing God, life, family, truth, and property—which is shorthand for the Ten Commandments. Part I of this series was on Life; part II was on Truth; part III was on property ownership. Next up is valuing God, in three parts of the series. Part IV was on Freedom of Religion, and part V was on defining Civilizing Religion. 

Today’s part VI is on turning a society away from savagery and back toward civilization. For individuals we call that repentance. So, what does repentance look like for a society?

We just did a road trip by way of Colorado and the Continental Divide.
The hairpin turns, making sharp changes in direction
 and heading upward, are a good metaphor for repentance.

I can describe what it looks like. I don’t pretend to know how to initiate it, to get it underway. But I think civilization is something most people prefer to savagery. When the chaos gets intolerable, people want something better. It has happened at times, historically. Phases pass. The world domination attempts of the past century were quelled, although possibly not wiped out forever. But good people stood up and fought for freedom, prosperity, and civilization, rather than succumb to tyranny, poverty, and savagery. We could catalog a few such turnaround examples, but we’ll save that for another day beyond this series.

My hope is that we don’t need to reach a near rock bottom before turning upward.

As in the past several posts, the material below is from the Spherical Model website, Civilization vs. Savagery section, published there in 2010.


Converting from Savagery to Civilization
As we find our society decaying further and further south into Savagery, the question is, what can we do to get back to Civilization? Repent. In religion, when you have sinned (committed an act that doesn’t qualify as civilized), you as an individual must follow a process to get out of the dishonorable position.
·       Recognize that you have done wrong—get past denial.
·       Confess that you are wrong (depending on situation, this may need to be public).
·       Make restitution. (Include your plans to make restitution when asking forgiveness of anyone you have wronged, which is part of the confession step.)
·       Change your way of thinking to prevent yourself from falling into the negative behavior again, and then live honorably from this point onward.
Steps aren’t that different for a society that needs to repent. When society has been going the wrong direction and decaying, it needs to recognize the wrong, then admit the wrong, make restitution, and then change and continue on the new path.
Society repents when a critical mass of individuals in the community take the necessary steps to change. When one person changes, that is a beginning. When an entire family changes, that family becomes a civilized societal unit. When that family joins with other families that have chosen to give up savage behaviors and continue with civilized behaviors, that becomes a larger civilized society. When a strong majority of families in a community choose civilization, they can benefit the large society and pull it upward, and have the strength, then, to separate out the savage actors, so that the civilization is no longer at risk of being decayed by them.
At every step it is a matter of choosing. Government cannot force Civilization on a people, so the solution isn’t governmental intervention. The role of government is, at the lowest possible level, to support people in protecting their hard-won Civilization. It has to be the Civilized people themselves who set the standard for living among them. A family has that right. A church has that right. A school has that right. And as you get larger, when the strong majority, a critical mass, choose to live in a civilized way, they can set law—as a municipality, a city or county, and a state. Civilization can only happen at a national level when the lower levels have already made the changes.
family illustration found here
The good news is that you can enjoy many the benefits of Civilization in even the smallest unit—the family. When parents and children live together in peace and love, adhering to the requirements of Civilization, they benefit. Beyond the family, the benefits grow as larger units become Civilized, but a single family in and of itself can flourish. So helping our own family, and then preserving the concept of family, is where most of us should be spending our energies. We’re almost ready for “Family is the Basic Unit of Civilization.” But first, let’s go through a reminder list (incomplete, as any list must be) of what civilized people will and will not do.

Civilized Behaviors
·       Civilized people work to support themselves and their families.
·       Civilized people welcome children into their family with rejoicing and commit to nurturing the child physically, emotionally, educationally, and spiritually to ensure that the next generation remains civilized.
·       Civilized people will give freely from their surplus wealth and time to help shore up people going through hard times.
·       Civilized people are honest in their dealings with others, in business and in personal relationships.
·       Civilized people are peacefully law-abiding in a community with fair, people-led laws.
·       Civilized people don’t get intoxicated or use recreational mind-altering drugs.
·       Civilized people never attack their civilized neighbors in anger, nor provoke their neighbors. If there are disputes, they work them out, with the help of courts if other negotiations fail to resolve.
·       Civilized people do not have sex outside of marriage. Once married they remain faithful and committed for life. When there are marital problems, they seek help to work through the problem, rather than leaving the marriage, as long as the spouse has not committed serious uncivilized acts that might not be recoverable: adultery, addiction, abuse (specifically defined), or abandonment.
·       Civilized people never participate in pornography, neither in production, dissemination, nor use. All aspects of pornography are savage.
·       Civilized people never even consider prostitution, as every aspect of the practice is savage.
·       Civilized people never even consider committing a sexual act that is not mutually desired; i.e., rape, incest, child abuse are nonexistent among civilized people. The acts can only be committed by a savage, and every effort should be made to keep such savages from having freedom to commit their crime within the civilization.
·       Civilized people will not allow uncivilized behavior among them; they hold people accountable. Depending on the uncivilized act and the willingness of the perpetrator to repent, being held accountable could include lawful punishment, ostracism from some segments from society (excommunication from a church, for example), limitations in employment (people shacking up together, for example, could be limited from having teaching or other positions that influence children), or simply a stern correction followed by an offer to help change.
·       Civilized people are quick to forgive the repentant, but never by releasing the wrongdoer from making restitution; both the person repenting and the society require the restitution to prevent Civilization’s decay.

One thing about a repenting society: it’s done by a critical mass of individuals doing the necessary repentance in their own lives. I have control over my own life. Maybe I have some influence over a small circle. I can share ideas that might help a larger circle. I pray it happens soon. My tolerance for savagery is low.

Upcoming is the remaining portion of the series, on valuing family. My guess is it will take more than one additional post.

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