In an effort to diminish the multiple and persistent dangers and abuses which have characterized the affairs of man in his every Age, and to assist in the requisite search for human identity, it is essential to perceive and specify that distinction which naturally and most uniquely defines the human being. Because definitions rule in the minds, behav- iors, and institutions of men, we can be confident that delineating and communicating that quality will assist the process of resolution and the courageous ascension to which man is called. We are obliged and privi- leged to participate in its proclamation.
MAN: THE CHOICEMAKER
by James Fletcher Baxter (c) 1996
All Rights Reserved
Human knowledge is a fraction of the universe. The balance is a vast void of ignorance. Human reason cannot function in a void, thus, the intellect can rise no higher than the criteria by which it perceives and measures values.
Humanism makes man his own standard of measure, however, as with all measuring systems, a standard must be greater than the value measured.
Based on ignorance and an egocentric carnal nature, humanism demotes reason to the simpleton task of excuse-making for the rule of feelings and glands.
Because man cannot invent criteria greater than himself, the humanist lacks a predictive capability. Without transcendent criteria, humanism cannot evaluate options with foresight for survival and progression. Without foresight, man is blind to potential consequence and is unwittingly committed to averages, mediocrity, and regression.
The void of human ignorance can easily be filled with a functional faith while not-so-patiently awaiting the foot-dragging growth of human knowledge and behavior. Faith, initiated by the Creator and revealed and validated in the Bible, brings a transcendent standard to man the choice-maker. Other philosophies and religions are man-made and thereby lack transcendent prophetic validation. The vision of faith in God and His Word is survival equipment for today and the future.
Man is The Choicemaker. He is by nature and nature's God a creature of Choice - and of Criteria. His unique and definitive characteristic is, and of Right ought to be, the natural foundation of his environment, his institutions, and his relations to his fellow-man. Thus, he is oriented to a Freedom whose roots are in the natural Order of the universe.
At the sub-atomic level of the physical universe quantum physics indicates a multifarious gap or division in the causal chain; particles to which position cannot be assigned at all times, systems that pass from one energy state to another without manifestation in intermediate states, entities without mass, fields whose substance is as insubstantial as "a probability."
Only statistical conglomerates pay tribute to deterministic forces. Singularities do not and are therefore random, unpredictable, mutant, and in this sense, uncaused.
The finest contribution inanimate reality is capable of making toward choice, without its own selective agencies, is this continuing manifestation of opportunity as the pre-condition to choice it defers to the natural action of living forms.
Biological science affirms that each level of life, single-cell to man himself, possesses attributes of sensitivity, discrimination, and selectivity, and in the exclusive and unique nature of each diversified life form.
The survival and progression of life forms has all too often been totally dependent upon the everpresent mutative potential and undeterminative appearance of one unique individual organism within the whole spectrum of a given species. Only the uniquely equipped individual organism is, like The Golden Wedge of Ophir, capable of traversing the causal gap to survival and progression. Mere reproductive determinacy would have rendered life forms incapable of such potential. Only a moving universe of opportunity plus choice enables the present reality.
The human being possesses a unique, highly developed, and sensitive perception of diversity. Thus aware, man is endowed with a natural capability for enacting internal mental and external physical selectivity. Quantitative and qualitative choice-making thus lends itself as the superior basis of an active intelligence.
Man is The Choicemaker. His title describes his definitive and typifying characteristic. Recall that his other features are but vehicles of experience intent on the development of perceptive awareness and the following acts of decision. Note that the products of man cannot define him for they are the fruit of the discerning choice-making process and include the cognition of self, the utility of experience, the development of value-measuring systems and language, and the acculturation of civilization.
The arts and the sciences of man, as with his habits, customs, and traditions, are the creative harvest of his perceptive and selective powers. His articles, constructs, and commodities, however marvelous to behold, deserve neither awe nor idolatry, for man, not his contrivance, is earth's own highest expression of the creative process.
Man is The Choicemaker. The sublime and significant act of choosing is, itself, the Archemedean fulcrum upon which man levers and redirects the forces of cause and effect to an elected level of quality and diversity. Further, it orients him toward a natural environmental opportunity, freedom, and bestows earth's title, The Choicemaker, on his singular and plural brow.
Deterministic systems, ideological symbols of abdication by man from his natural role as earth's Choicemaker, inevitably degenerate into collectivism; the negation of singularity, they become a conglomerate plural-based system of measuring human value. Blunting an awareness of diversity, blurring alternatives, and limiting the selective creative process, they are self-relegated to a passive and circular regression.
Tampering with man's selective nature endangers his survival, for it would render him impotent and obsolete by denying the tools of diversity, individuality, perception, criteria, selectivity, and progress. Coercive attempts produce revulsion, for such acts are contrary to an indeterminate nature and nature's indeterminate off-spring, Man the Choicemaker.
Until the oppressors discover that wisdom only just begins with a respectful acknowledgement of The Creator, The Creation, and The Choicemaker, they will be ever learning but never coming to a knowledge of the truth. The rejection of Creator-initiated standards relegates the mind of man to its own primitive, empirical, and de-limited devices. It is thus that the human intellect cannot ascend and function at any level higher than the criteria by which it perceives and measures values. Additionally, such rejection of transcendent criteria self-denies man the vision and foresight essential to decision-making for survival and progression. He is left, instead, with the redundant wreckage of expensive hindsight, including human institutions characterized by averages, mediocrity, and regression.
Humanism, mired in the circular and mundane egocentric predicament, is ill-equipped to produce transcendent criteria. Evidenced by those who do not perceive superiority and thus find themselves beset by the shifting winds of the carnal-ego; i.e., moods, feelings, desires, appetites, etc., the mind becomes subordinate - a mere device for excuse-making and rationalizing self-justification.
The carnal-ego rejects criteria and self-discipline for such instruments are tools of the mind and the attitude. The appetites of the flesh have no need of standards, for at the point of contention standards are perceived as alien, restrictive, and inhibiting. Yet, the very survival of our physical nature itself depends upon a maintained sovereignty of the mind and of the spirit.
It remained, therefore, to the initiative of a personal and living Creator to traverse the human horizon and fill the vast void of human ignorance with an intelligent and definitive faith. Man is thus afforded the prime tool of the intellect - a Transcendent Standard by which he may measure values in experience, anticipate results, and make enlightened and visionary choices.
Only the unique and superior God-man Person can deservedly displace the ego-person from his predicament and free the individual to measure values and choose in a more excellent way. That sublime Person was indicated in the words of the prophet Amos, "...said the Lord, Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel." Y'shua Mashiyach Jesus said, "If I be lifted up I will draw all men unto myself."
As long as some choose to abdicate their personal reality and submit to the delusions of humanism, determinism, and collectivism, just so long will they be subject and re-acting only, to be tossed by every impulse emanating from others. Those who abdicate such reality may, in perfect justice, find themselves weighed in the balances of their own choosing.
That human institution which is structured on the principle, "...all men are endowed by their Creator with...Liberty...," is a system with its roots in the natural order of the universe. The opponents of such a system are necessarily engaged in a losing contest with nature and nature's God.
To the advent of a new era we commend the present generation and the multitudes in the valley of decision.
Let us proclaim it. Behold! The Age of Man the Choicemaker.
"I should think that if there is one thing that man has learned about himself it is that he is a creature of choice," - Richard M. Weaver
"Man is a being capable of subduing his emotions and impulses; he can rationalize his behavior. He arranges his wishes into a scale, he chooses; in short, he acts. What distinguishes man from beasts is precisely that he adjusts his behavior deliberately." - Ludwig von Mises
"To make any sense of the idea of morality, it must be presumed that the human being is responsible for his actions and responsibility cannot be understood apart from the presumption of freedom of choice." -John Chamberlain
"The advocate of liberty believes that it is complementary of the orderly laws of cause and effect, of probability and of chance, of which man is not completely informed. It is complementary of them because it rests in part upon the faith that each individual is endowed by his Creator with the power of individual choice." -Wendell J. Brown
"Our Founding Fathers believed that we live in an ordered universe. They believed themselves to be a part of the universal order of things. Stated another way, they believed in God. They believed that every man must find his own place in a world where a place has been made for him. They sought independence for their nation but, more importantly, they sought freedom for individuals to think and act for themselves. They established a republic dedicated to one purpose above all others - the preservation of individual liberty..."- Ralph W. Husted
"We have the gift of an inner liberty so far-reaching that we can choose either to accept or reject the God who gave it to us, and it would seem to follow that the Author of a liberty so radical wills that we should be equally free in our relationships with other men. Spiritual liberty logically demands conditions of outer and social freedom for its completion." - Edmund A. Opitz
"Above all I see an ability to choose the better from the worse that has made possible life's progress." - Charles Lindbergh
"Freedom is the Right to Choose, the Right to create for oneself the alternatives of Choice. Without the possibility of Choice, and the exercise of Choice, a man is not a man but a member, an instrument, a thing." - Thomas Jefferson
THE QUESTION AND THE ANSWER
Q: "What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him." - Psalm 8:4
A: "I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live." - Deuteronomy 30:19
Q: "Lord, what is man, that You take knowledge of him? Or the son of man, that you are mindful of him?" - Psalm 144:3
A: "And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the river, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." - Joshua 24:15
Q: "What is man, that he could be pure? And he who is born of a woman, that he could be righteous?" - Job 15:14
A: "Who is the man that fears the Lord? Him shall He teach in the way he chooses." - Psalm 25:12
Q: "What is man, that You should magnify him, that You should set Your heart on him?" - Job 7:17
A: "Do not envy the oppressor and choose none of his ways." - Proverbs 3:31
Q: "What is man that You are mindful of him, or the son of man that You take care of him?"- Hebrews 2:6
A: "I have chosen the way of truth; your judgments I have laid before me." - Psalm 119:30
Genesis 3:3,6 Deuteronomy 11:26-28; 30:19 Joshua 24:15 Isaiah 7:14-15; 13:12; 61:1 Joel 3:14 Amos 7:8