BEN SHAPIRO: MAN MADE IN THE IMAGE AND LIKENESS OF GOD IS THE BASIS OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION
Speaks to students at University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Speaking to a large crowd at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee, on October 18, Shapiro laid out the argument that America was founded on Judeo-Christian moral values, and “right reason is what is going to endow you with a life of happiness and meaning.”
Shapiro called “the first fundamental basis of Western civilization” the “idea that we, each of us and every one of us, is made in the image of God.”
He went on to declare the second “fundamental basis of Western civilization” is an idea of the Greek philosopher, Aristotle, who determined that a person must use their reason in order to act virtuously.
Shapiro clarifies, “One of our jobs is to help train our feelings to move in accordance with our reason,” adding, “If we’re not reasoning, we’re not using logic; we’re not using facts; then we’re doing something wrong.”
He tells his enthusiastic audience: “You are an actual individual human being, not just a cluster of cells that changes every day; you’re an individual human being who makes decisions on a day-to-day basis and then you’re responsible for those decisions, using something called reason.”
He went further to express that the Founding Fathers of the United States intended the “pursuit of happiness” to be in line, not with a hedonistic “get your rocks off and smoke pot in your dorm room” sense but with the idea that all people are free to pursue being “a more virtuous human being,” explaining, “what makes you happier is the pursuit of virtue” and the freedom to be able to pursue it.
Shapiro’s sentiments are close to a statement Pope St. John Paul II made to Americans in 1995, saying:
America has always wanted to be a land of the free. Today, the challenge facing America is to find freedom’s fulfillment in the Truth: the Truth that is intrinsic to human life created in God’s image and likeness, the Truth that is written on the human heart, the Truth that can be known by reason and can therefore form the basis of a profound and universal dialogue among people about the direction they must give to their lives and their activities.
Shapiro’s talk was sponsored by the Young America’s Foundation (YAF), which sponsors conservative clubs on college and university campuses and helps to enable speakers like Anne Coulter, Steven Crowder and Dinesh D’Souza
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