It is visible then that it was not any Heathen Religion or other Idolatrous Superstition, that first put Man upon crossing his Appetites and subduing his dearest Inclinations, but the skilful Management of wary Politicians; and the nearer we search into human Nature, the more we shall be convinced, that the Moral Virtues are the Political Offspring which Flattery begot upon Pride.
The most fundamental liberal failure of the current era: the failure to embrace a moral vision of America based on the transcendent faith that human beings are more than the sum of their material appetites, our country is more than an economic machine, and freedom is not license but responsibility.
In bad or corrupted natures the body will often appear to rule over the soul, because they are in an evil and unnatural condition. At all events we may firstly observe in living creatures both a despotical and a constitutional rule; for the soul rules the body with a despotical rule, whereas the intellect rules the appetites with a constitutional and royal rule. And it is clear that the rule of the soul over the body, and of the mind and the rational element over the passionate, is natural and expedient; whereas the equality of the two or the rule... Read more »
What, but the rapacity of the only men who exercised their reason, the priests, secured such vast property to the church, when a man gave his perishable substance to save himself from the dark torments of purgatory; and found it more convenient to indulge his depraved appetites, and pay an exorbitant price for absolution, than listen to the suggestions of reason, and work out his own salvation: in a word, was not the separation of religion from morality the work of the priests...?
For those who do not make the transition to a matured, more spiritual self-will reason will indeed be no more than rationalization. Here is a prodigious parallel: just as in antiquity the dysdaimonic personality could not appreciate how his mentality was bound in by his characterological (banausic, doulic) biases, so in modernity the facile or abstractivist rationalist cannot comprehend how his "rationality" merely slavishly subserves his appetites, delusions, preconceptions, ideologies, etc.
In most old communities there is a common sense even in sensuality. Vice itself gets gradually digested into a system, is amenable to certain laws of conventional propriety and honor, has for its object simply the gratification of its appetites, and frowns with quite a conservative air on all new inventions, all untried experiments in iniquity.
We compliment weight loss, monitor our appetites, and shrink ourselves to fit some kind of standard. I wish we could all be the size we actually are. One size doesn't fit all because there are as many sizes as there are women. Let's look closer at the size of our hearts, the width of our souls, and the length of our spirits.
We get trapped and configured in patterns of consumption, patterns of social organization, of education and value systems that don't seem to be feeding that sense of our original being. We fight ourselves, repeating other people's games and being fed their appetites and their amusements.