language and mind

May 8, 2013

The apostasy of the First Amendment?

Ideas of governments over tongues are aged. They have been about curbing language.   I came across a book stern in criticizing the human liberty to speak; the resource is ascribed to Richard Allestree, an author within the recognized scope of religious thought.

The text of the Government of the Tongue

Let us “begin with the very beginning”: there are things that change about the humanity over time; there are respects with which humanity remains invariable.

We humans are mortal and realize this. No one may assert that he or she knows what happens after his or her death. Faith is not knowledge, and no knowledge is all-encompassing. Therefore, people have been believers and non-believers, never to become intellectually strict opposites.

The non-believer does not necessarily claim there is no God: he or she may just decline concluding on the universe entire. The believer may reject holistic postulates, too: religion is not about picturing the cosmos. The non-believer may live and work without a yearning for God’s existence as well as non-existence. The believer will live and work without God being his or her very focus a proportion of the time.

The resolve on belief or non-belief remains equally with the individual. A non-believer might refuse deliberation on existence of a being not believed. A believer can leave comprehension of existence with the deity understood to have originated gnosis altogether.

Here are a few Greek words on existence, as for the matters that happen to change from time to time ;)

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/definitionlookup?type=begin&q=exist&lang=greek

Therefore, let us try thinking about freedom of speech in some detachment from the actuality of belief and disbelief. The distance may keep The Government for the resource with one reservation: the book does not figure in the bibliographical notes for Richard Allestree, same as The Whole Duty of Man, ascribed to 27 people so far.

Open BookGovernment of the Tongue second impression

 The Government recommends memorization.

But sure tis a pitiful pretence to ingenuity that can be thus kept up, there being little need of any other faculty but memory to be able to cap Texts.

 The book ascribes the tongue an independent volition.

The Tongue is so slippery, that it easily deceives a drowsy or heedless guard.

 The writing has speech for separate from mind.

 … so the childish parts of us, our passions, our fancies, all our mere animal faculties, can thrust our tongues into such disorder, as our reason cannot easily rectify.

  It condemns linguistic fluency.

Language command is attributed supra-individual qualities.

David uttered a bloody vow against Nabal, spake words smoother than oil to Uriah …

The due management therefore of this unruly member, may be rightly be esteemed one of the greatest mysteries of Wisdom and Virtue.

The effort associated with controlling speech makes the author(s) invoke King Solomon.

42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here (Matthew 12).

27 Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. (Luke 12)

And here, the irresistible philological temptation is to compare Wycliffe.

28 And of clothing what ben ye bisye? Biholde ye the lilies of the feeld, how thei wexen. Thei trauelen not, nether spynnen;29 and Y seie to you, Salomon in al his glorie was not keuered as oon of these. (Matheu 6)

42 The queene of the south shal rise in doom with this generacioun, and schal condempne it; for she cam fro the eendis of the erthe to here the wisdom of Salomon, and lo! here a gretter than Salomon. (Matheu 12)

The history of the First Amendment emphasizes the separation of the Church from the State: In Everson v. Board of Education (1947), the Court drew on Founding Father Thomas Jefferson‘s correspondence to call for “a wall of separation between church and State”, though the precise boundary of this separation remains in dispute, says Wikipedia.

It was yet the fluent quality in the tongue to encourage reference to Wycliffe in preparing the new version of King James Bible: :)

Simply put, in countless passages of the “Early Version”, both the poetry of the language and fidelity to the original Greek text are superior to that found in the “Later Version”, says the Bible Gateway.

Looking to Wycliffe is another of my projects, strictly philological, intended to show English as a live tongue. :)

Looking to WycliffeLooking to Wycliffe sample with preface

978-1-304-02730-6

Freedom of speech is a most important human freedom. There is much room for it in my grammar: the course invites student independent practice, some exercises being open-ended or left without any prescribed answer at all. :)

View this document on Scribd

Travelers in Grammar Appendix 3 contains faithful typescripts of the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights: Dunlap, Carter and Wheeler prints, respectively. I think the material vital for comprehension of the American language and thought; students may benefit considerably from copies at hand.

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