We are made in the image of the gods, because unlike the other animals, we can reason, and engage in abstract thinking. We can discuss things until there is consensus on the best reasoning, and this is what makes democracy possible.
The Greek philosophers asked how do the immortals resolve their differences? They determined they argued until there was agreement. Right now North Korea and South Korea are threatening war. This is behaving like animals that have fangs and claws, but the not the power of reason. Representatives of both sides need to be brought together and held together, until they resolve their conflict with reason. I purpose a city for this purpose, where all the needs to the conflicting parties are met. A Mount Olympus, large to accommendate their families and visits from friends and advisors. Those who represent their countries in these nogiations, do not leave until they resolve their differences. Excuse me, but how much do we all pay for war? Not just in money, but in lives, damage and suffering. These wars do not involve just two parties in conflict but also their allies. We must be able to hold our leaders accountable for resolving differences without war. That is democracy. Rule by reason.
If we all studied Latin it would be much easier to understand the reasoning of democracy. Our bible tells us, "in the beginning is logos". Logos is the thought or reason. Democracy is about seeking the the reason of all things and understanding universal law. Moral being a Greek concept meaning to know "the Law" and good manners. Athens had education for well rounded individual development, and provided paid public jobs for citizens without land, so that they could earn a decent income, and have the time and energy to participate in government. The participation in government was mandatory. It was mandatory because it was deemed essential to knowing the reasoning of the law. This is what makes us the most moral. It is knowing the reasoning of law and that there is agreement the law is necessary to avoid bad things happening and will cause good things to happen.
Lincoln was quoting Pericles, "government of the people, by the people, for the people". This is government by reason, as opposed to government that is power over subjects. Immortals can not die, so their conflicts do not end until they resolve the cause of the conflict. Zeus is not a king over the other gods and goddesses, but is a brother, and they are all brothers and sisters. Apollo is a rather late coming god, and he is a god of creativity and reason. His name also gives us the words "apollogetic, apologist, apologize, apology". The reasoing I am giving here did not come with the first stories of the gods, but came later as Athens developed the skills of abstract thinking and debate.
This is all tied up with our understanding of our nature and God and morals. It is moral if good results and immoral if harm is caused. The US was an extremely morally conscious nation when the reasoning for democracy was better understood. I really do not like what has happened since we replaced liberal education with education for technology and left moral training to the church. Religions gives us a perverse understanding of government and morality. It is all mixed up with superstitious notions, distorting our national history and understanding of our democracy.
Edited by Athena - 25-Nov-2010 at 13:25