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Is Pragmatism the Solution?

I’m intrigued by William James’ “Pragmatism” as a solution for the endless wrangling in modern society.

His idea is that when we speak theoretically, we can argue contradictory positions and both can seem plausible. This leads to endless wrangling.

James argues that when this occurs, we need to move away from the theoretical talk and consider the practical implications of the two ideas.

If one idea leads to better practical results, then that idea should be preferred.

If the two ideas lead to no practical differences, then they are practically the same idea.

So, for example, consider the political dilemma:

1. Trump is the savior of America.

2. Trump is the end of American democracy.

Theoretically, these ideas can battle forever. Practically, they lead to different outcomes.

The end of the government is not the material prosperity and happiness of the population. The emd of the government is domestic safety and tranquility.

Which candidate will bring greater safety and tranquility?

I would argue that the truly democratic population of America, most of whom are Christians and Jews, can live peacefully under an unfavorable government and that the anti-Christian population cannot.

Thus, if the Biden is elected, both the anti-Christian crowd and the Christian crowd will be able to live in peace (as they are today).

If Trump is elected, the anti-Christian crowd will go berserk, turning every city upside down with riots and troublemaking. Trump has already shown that he will not impose “law and order” but will hand over responsibility to unelected officials and blame them for the results. We’ve already seen his leadership in crisis: the COVID lockdown.

According to Pragmatism, the theoretical arguments may go on forever, but the practical results may contain the solution.

Life under Biden is imperfect for sure, but peaceful for Christians. Life under Trump may fill some Christians with material excitement, but the practical results were not what was promised–quite the opposite.

Though one may prefer Trump for theoretical reasons, he may wish to live under Biden for practical reasons.

That’s Pragmatism.

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