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Principles Inside Western Tradition

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Joseph A. Bailey, II M.D., F.A.C.S.

Joseph A. Bailey, II
Joseph A. Bailey, II
Trying to grasp European ideas about principles is like trying to paint a moving train. Ancient European philosophers designed principles from momentary flashes and memorialized "snapshots" of events they believed were generated by the gods. Today, they rely heavily on the "moving picture" of prioritized causes and effects occurring in the physical world while typically and falsely relating to ancient Greece the origin of profound ideas. Example: original concepts inside "principle" are not Greek but are from the Old Kingdom's Black Egyptian pharaohs (per-aa, "great house", king's palace, royal court). These concepts expanded during the New Kingdom (1550-1069 BC) to describe the ruler (i.e. the king) himself. Similar to Egyptian kings (normally sons and heirs of their immediate predecessors), princes "everywhere" were sons of the sovereign and their sons.

 Centuries later, the Greeks borrowed all of  this from Africans but used "pharaoh" to especially embrace the "prince" in the  Latin "principium" sense of chief, leader, ruler, first in power, and one who makes a beginning.  Besides possessing royal weight and power, they focused on the "prince" because he was a rejuvenated and a renewed form of the king-the one with the youth, vigor, and glitter-the one in charge of things like starting religious and secular laws destined to come into being-and the one who orchestrated order into human affairs. Whatever was the best in things or privileges, the prince would "take it" first, followed by those of lesser titles (e.g. earls, counts, dukes). 

Since Europeans were more concerned with basic facts than morals, Machiavelli (1469-1527) elaborated in "The Prince" on how rulers should use cunning, ruthlessness, and the subordination of moral principles to political goals. Furthermore, he said all others should be forced to answer only to the ruler. Thereafter, "principle" referred not to a person but to an accepted or professed man-made rule of action or conduct-and most of those were immoral.  Hence, ushering in the Renaissance was the European focus on hedonism (pleasure is the highest good) and materialism. Simultaneously, Europeans gave respectability to dishonorableness, self-centeredness, appearances, and greed. Their fantasy focus on man as the center of the universe further shaped the false definition of "principle" as a fundamental, primary, or general man-made basic "truth. This spawned such "bad" dictionary definitions of "principle" as: (1) a general law of cause and effect; (2) an elementary proposition held basic in any system of reasoning, conduct, or procedure; (3) the agreement or consensus of a number of competent authorities; and (4) a maxim (a principle generally accepted without necessarily being the best or true)."

Note that Western principles are lacking in any point of stability; are not about any underlying moral theme; and have no accountability to any authority higher than man. In other words, each part of the entire "bad" tree of European principles possesses mis-information which, in turn, has given rise to weak, limited, and incomplete definitions. They fail to address even a few of the different planes of existence where principles can be found. They show conflicting definitions about the same thing and they fashioned "bad" definitions which adversely affect our lives. For example, not only are these "bad" definitions of principles basic to canons for scientific investigation but they stand for generalized and abbreviated statements of public policy-- "the fundamental principles upon which the Republic is founded". Obviously, the USA constitution sets USA guidelines which govern those people who are not at the top of the social ladder. The point is that for any word used to build a philosophical structure, know where and when the word and its original concept arose as well as what meaning it had then, has now, and has for you. Compare this with principles of African Tradition.

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Joseph A. Bailey, II, M.D.