America, is it the city upon a hill?

Use this forum to discuss the June 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, What Makes America Great by Bob Dowell
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Sushan
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America, is it the city upon a hill?

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This topic is about the June 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, What Makes America Great by Bob Dowell


For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill,” a phrase echoing a passage from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount [Matthew: 5-7] in which he addresses his disciples saying, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.” Unquestionably, this exemplary city upon a hill concept permeates early American literature. We see it in document after document from Winthrop’s A Model of Christian Charity (1630) to Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence (1776), a political tract promoting the exemplary.
(Location 151 - Kindle version)

Seemingly the ancestors of USA wanted to set their country the example to the outer world? Considering what it has achieved and become today will those ancestors be happy? Has it become the city upon a hill?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
heracleitos
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Re: America, is it the city upon a hill?

Post by heracleitos »

One answer: hookup culture.

Acts 15:19: “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20 Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood."

When Peter decided to exempt the Gentiles from the Law, which was clearly a mistake, he did not give them a license to engage in hookup culture or to turn the city on the hill into one gigantic open-air brothel.
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Re: America, is it the city upon a hill?

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Sushan wrote: June 5th, 2022, 11:41 am This topic is about the June 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, What Makes America Great by Bob Dowell


For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill,” a phrase echoing a passage from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount [Matthew: 5-7] in which he addresses his disciples saying, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.” Unquestionably, this exemplary city upon a hill concept permeates early American literature. We see it in document after document from Winthrop’s A Model of Christian Charity (1630) to Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence (1776), a political tract promoting the exemplary.
(Location 151 - Kindle version)

Seemingly the ancestors of USA wanted to set their country the example to the outer world? Considering what it has achieved and become today will those ancestors be happy? Has it become the city upon a hill?
The (white, rich, male) founders of the US would be completely disoriented by what the US is doing, has done and is headed. IMO too much is being attributed to jingoistic posturing of preserved writings. These were politicians with personal ambitions who sought to blend what they felt was best for the country with what would serve them personally.
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Re: America, is it the city upon a hill?

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heracleitos wrote: June 5th, 2022, 11:08 pm One answer: hookup culture.

Acts 15:19: “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20 Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood."

When Peter decided to exempt the Gentiles from the Law, which was clearly a mistake, he did not give them a license to engage in hookup culture or to turn the city on the hill into one gigantic open-air brothel.
When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
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Re: America, is it the city upon a hill?

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Sushan wrote: June 5th, 2022, 11:41 am Seemingly the ancestors of USA wanted to set their country the example to the outer world? Considering what it has achieved and become today will those ancestors be happy? Has it become the city upon a hill?
If you poll the people of the world, and ask them which country they think is the greatest threat to world peace, many of them will respond "America!". Therefore, I would guess that "those ancestors" you refer to would indeed be disappointed.
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Re: America, is it the city upon a hill?

Post by Sculptor1 »

Biden has been busy recently trying to isolate China and Russia.
The current "Monroe Doctrine" inspired activity, and meant dumping $50billion in arms to Ukraine and traducing any country supporting China.
Right now S America's biggest trading partner is China and Biden is trying to split Latin America against China, to try to preserve its own powers in the region.
It is ironic the the figure usually offered to vaccinate the world, which the US failed to do was also £50billion - the same amount of money they are happy to spend on machines of death to upgrade their arms dealerships, so that the US tax payers are basically handing blank cheques to bomb makers.

I can't help but think that the vaccine roll out would have done the US more good in the long run.
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Re: America, is it the city upon a hill?

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heracleitos wrote: June 5th, 2022, 11:08 pm One answer: hookup culture.

Acts 15:19: “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20 Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood."

When Peter decided to exempt the Gentiles from the Law, which was clearly a mistake, he did not give them a license to engage in hookup culture or to turn the city on the hill into one gigantic open-air brothel.
From what I read I get your answer as NO. There can be sexual immortality in the culture, but I think that has occurred with the freedom given to its people, which was the idea since the very beginning, freedom to all. From that aspect can't it be the city upon a hill?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

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Re: America, is it the city upon a hill?

Post by Sushan »

LuckyR wrote: June 6th, 2022, 5:06 am
Sushan wrote: June 5th, 2022, 11:41 am This topic is about the June 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, What Makes America Great by Bob Dowell


For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill,” a phrase echoing a passage from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount [Matthew: 5-7] in which he addresses his disciples saying, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.” Unquestionably, this exemplary city upon a hill concept permeates early American literature. We see it in document after document from Winthrop’s A Model of Christian Charity (1630) to Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence (1776), a political tract promoting the exemplary.
(Location 151 - Kindle version)

Seemingly the ancestors of USA wanted to set their country the example to the outer world? Considering what it has achieved and become today will those ancestors be happy? Has it become the city upon a hill?
The (white, rich, male) founders of the US would be completely disoriented by what the US is doing, has done and is headed. IMO too much is being attributed to jingoistic posturing of preserved writings. These were politicians with personal ambitions who sought to blend what they felt was best for the country with what would serve them personally.
Apart from a handful, all the politicians do as you say, and I totally agree with you although I am not okay with that. Yes, the writings may have been altered, or understood in a distorted manner. But what about the common people? Do they feel like they live in a city which is exemplary to the whole world? And because of that they have the right to advice and consult the rest of the world?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: America, is it the city upon a hill?

Post by Sushan »

LuckyR wrote: June 6th, 2022, 5:14 am
heracleitos wrote: June 5th, 2022, 11:08 pm One answer: hookup culture.

Acts 15:19: “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20 Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood."

When Peter decided to exempt the Gentiles from the Law, which was clearly a mistake, he did not give them a license to engage in hookup culture or to turn the city on the hill into one gigantic open-air brothel.
When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
Totally agreed. And we see in every aspect that America is involved in international matters they always hold the hammer. They occasionally pass it to their friends, or they hit the nails on behalf of their friends (or atleast they say so) and fulfill their personal agendas. Many chaotic ooccurrings are more or less results of their acts either directly or indirectly, in open or in discreet.
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Sushan
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Re: America, is it the city upon a hill?

Post by Sushan »

Pattern-chaser wrote: June 6th, 2022, 10:14 am
Sushan wrote: June 5th, 2022, 11:41 am Seemingly the ancestors of USA wanted to set their country the example to the outer world? Considering what it has achieved and become today will those ancestors be happy? Has it become the city upon a hill?
If you poll the people of the world, and ask them which country they think is the greatest threat to world peace, many of them will respond "America!". Therefore, I would guess that "those ancestors" you refer to would indeed be disappointed.
Yes, I will also vote exactly as you said 😉. America is continuing their intervention in international matters to gain profit since world war era. And their latest success is the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, in which neither country will fully recover but America will gain profit by selling weapons to Ukraine and establishing a threat to Russia in Ukraine by arming the non-military fighting groups.
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: America, is it the city upon a hill?

Post by Sushan »

Sculptor1 wrote: June 8th, 2022, 9:43 am Biden has been busy recently trying to isolate China and Russia.
The current "Monroe Doctrine" inspired activity, and meant dumping $50billion in arms to Ukraine and traducing any country supporting China.
Right now S America's biggest trading partner is China and Biden is trying to split Latin America against China, to try to preserve its own powers in the region.
It is ironic the the figure usually offered to vaccinate the world, which the US failed to do was also £50billion - the same amount of money they are happy to spend on machines of death to upgrade their arms dealerships, so that the US tax payers are basically handing blank cheques to bomb makers.

I can't help but think that the vaccine roll out would have done the US more good in the long run.
I agree. If America donated the same amount that they pump into Ukraine as weapons for the Covid 19 vaccines many of the poor countries and people could have been helped. But seemingly US president cares nothing about the country's image, but only targeted on gaining the superiority among all the countries in every possible aspect. It is like a kid doing various things to other bright kids to protect his first place in the classroom. No one likes that kid, but he ultimately wins. It is same for America as well, apart from the certainty in winning.
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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