Sunday, November 1, 2015

Argument Cop-Outs, Part 3: The Masonic Origin of ‘Never Talk Politics or Religion’

Argument Cop-Outs, Part 3: The Masonic Origin of ‘Never Talk Politics or Religion’

In a previous installment, titled “Argument Cop-Outs, Part 1,” I picked a few bones with “Let’s just agree to disagree.” In this post, I will register a few points concerning the practical so-called “advice” that encourages aspiring well-mannered types to forebear from discussing “politics and religion.”[1]

For example, a quick Google search turned up the following.

“I was always raised that as an adult, there are certain things you do not discuss in public. …There are certain things that no one should discuss in public. …[D]iscussing [your political views] in public …is rude. …Everyone should just avoid the possibility of starting an argument by never speaking about [religion].”[2]

How did this claptrap come to pass for sage advice? To get a fix on the contours of phrase’s supposed purview, let us inspect its origins.

At the website The Phrase Finder, one Larry C. Shelton asked: “Who originated the phrase ‘never discuss politics and religion’?”[3]

By way of reply, a responder wrote: “I couldn’t find anything specific. But the rule is to not discuss politics or religion at the dinner table. ‘Emily Post and other self appointed arbiters of etiquette have long ruled that politics and religion should be scrupulously avoided at dinner…’ …’Religion is by no means a proper subject of conversation in mixed company.’ Earl of Chesterfield, letter to his godson, undated.”[4]

In Emily Post’s Etiquette, we read: “Conversation is …[an] essential ingredient to every meal. …For the most part, avoid controversial topics such as money, politics, and religion. That’s not to say you can’t discuss the news of the day, but be careful if you are with people who are staunchly on the opposite end of any spectrum.”[5]

Instead, the manual recommends staying with “Safe Topics.” “You can always count on pop culture - sports, sports personalities, TV music, and films.”[6]

In other words, as Noam Chomsky once put it, the etiquette guide suggests sticking with topics that have no importance for our lives.

The daughter of architect Bruce Price, Post (born Emily Price) was a late-19th/early-20th century American aristocrat and socialite. Can her “advice” be traced back further in time?

Philip Dormer Stanhope, the Fourth Earl of Chesterfield, was born in 1694 and died in 1773. His statement on polite conversation, partially quoted above,[7] does appear to express sentiments similar to those of Post.

“The three commonest topics of conversation are religion, politics, and news. All people think that they understand the two first perfectly, though they never studied either, and are therefore very apt to talk of them both dogmatically and ignorantly, consequently with warmth.

“But religion is by no means a proper subject for conversation in a mixed company. It should only be treated among a very few people of learning for mutual instruction. It is too awful [i.e., full of aw - Ed.] and respectable a subject to become a familiar[8] one. Therefore never mingle yourself in it, any further than to express a universal toleration and indulgence to all errors in it, if conscientiously entertained; for every man has as good a right to think as he does as you have to think as you do; nay, in truth he cannot help it.

“As for politics, they are still more universally understood, and as every one thinks his private interest more or less concerned in them, nobody hesitates to pronounce decisively upon them, not even the ladies; the copiousness of whose eloquence is more to be admired upon that subject than the conclusiveness of their logic.

“It will be impossible for you to avoid engaging in these conversations, for there are hardly any others; but take care to do it very coolly and with great good-humor; and whenever you find that the company begins to be heated and noisy for the good of their country, be only a patient hearer; unless you can interpose by some agreeable badinage and restore good-humor to the company.”[9]

Stanhope’s counsel is nearly equal parts a regurgitation of the religious toleration common by the 18th century and a Machiavellian directive aimed at helping his godson successfully “network” (to use today's lingo).

Of course, the idea of “every man [having] as good a right to think as he does as you have to think as you do” – whether in politics or religion – basically summarizes a few strands of the First Amendment.[10]

Therefore, at best, the “never talk politics or religion” guidance is a contemporary rehashing of an Enlightenment-era plea for “toleration.” If it had merit, its origin would be irrelevant. But it appears to me to depend upon, embody or imply two mistakes.

Before I endeavor to take the titular prescription back a few notches prior to Stanhope, let me just say a word about these. Number one, the word “argument” is ambiguous. On the one hand, it designates a dispute, possibly involving commotion and yelling. On the other hand, it refers to sets of statements such that some proper subset, called the “premises,” entail the complementary subset, called the “conclusions.” Writers like poor Mrs. Batista have no familiarity with the latter and therefore resist any philosophically-weighty discussion out of fear of starting a ruckus. For such as she, I recommend associating with a higher caliber of individual.

Number two, as I have written elsewhere, “right” is also ambiguous. We might speak about moral rights, or entitlement based upon the objective Good; legal rights, or entitlement stemming from some positive law code; human rights, or entitlement rooted in essential human properties; rational rights, or doxastic-epistemic entitlement as an outgrowth of sound evidence; and so on. Although several (or even all) of these sorts arguably overlap, they are nonetheless separable and distinguishable. And we need to know which sort is in view. [11]

I do not wish to dispute that, for example, any given American citizen has as good a right to think as he/she does as any other citizen. Let’s say that this is because the Constitution grounds theses rights and guarantees “equal protection” and so on.[12]

What is most relevant for the purposes of a discussion of “argument cop-outs,” is the fact that a rational entitlement and a legal entitlement are not the same thing. While (in theory) any given American citizen enjoys the same legal right to his or her beliefs as any other American citizen, any given American citizen does not necessarily have the same rational right to his or her beliefs as another person chosen at random. The reason is straightforward. Rational rights for x to believe some proposition, p, proceed from the arguments and evidence that x has for p.[13]

If John Doe has little to nothing by way of (good) arguments or evidence for p, and Jane Doe has (good) arguments and evidence for not-p, then Jane will have a measure of rational entitlement for her belief (in the pertinent case) that John does not have. If John manages to secure some evidence, then this justificatory imbalance might even out a bit. Otherwise it is true to say that John lacks a right - a rational right - that Jane possesses.

In terms of argument, it is a “cop-out” to make hand-waiving remarks about “everyone’s having a right to his or her opinion.” This is so because putting a legal right to believe p to work grounding a rational right to believe p, eo ipso, shows that true rational foundation for p is lacking (or at least not forthcoming).

Are we able to conclude, then, that the saying is merely a slogan promoting “toleration,” 18th-century style? Close. But there is a additional detail that is worth disclosing.

My researches suggest to me that the source is possibly masonic - specifically, issuing out of the meeting rules of the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) as composed by the Scottish clergyman James Anderson.

It is true that the rise of the UGLE and, indeed, the beginning of institutional Freemasonry, took place inside of the wider socio-cultural framework of the Enlightenment. Nevertheless, it is striking that our phrase apears nearly verbatim in Anderson’s The Constitutions of the Free-Masons (London, 1723), where we read:

“Avoid especially controversies on religion, nationality and politics.”[14]

I advise against limiting one’s conversations to banalities in deference to this masonic dictum. For, in addition to the sentiment’s other demerits, rehearsed above, “[t]he bane of our civil institutions is to be found in Masonry…”.[15]


[1] Yes, this is part 3 - to keep my numbering here in line with my previous enumeration, loc. cit. Hey, if George Lucas could make his Star Wars movies out-of-sequence, why can't I write these weblog posts that way?

[2] Ally Batista, “The Things You Should Never Talk About,” Elite Daily, Aug. 27, 2012, <>. Batista’s reasoning is a mess. In the first place, she reduces all talk about “money” down to either braggadocio or lamentation. Forget accounting, economics or fiscal policy. You’re either an “a******” (her word) or a whiner. Secondly, in terms of politics, Batista is a defeatist. To her, all politics is presumably a totally private - indeed secretive enterprise. Her reason? “Politics always begins arguments” and this is futile since, ultimately, “no one can change” your opinion. This is just misology run amok. Such self-destructive pessimism is for the rubes. After all, if taken literally, such advice would destroy political parties and, in fact, all political discourse. It’s lunacy. Her remarks about religion are not even worth my time to relate.

[3] Larry C. Shelton, “Never Discuss Politics and Religion,” phrases [dot] org, Jun. 8, 2010, <>.

[4] ESC, “Re: Never Discuss Politics and Religion,” phrases [dot] org, Jun. 8, 2010, <>; citing <>. A more accurate citation for embedded “Emily Post…” quotation is: Admin, “Climate Change Threatens Conversation – As Well as the Coast,” LACoastPost [weblog], Dec. 15, 2009, <>.

[5] Emily Post Institute, Emily Post’s Etiquette, 18th Edition, New York: HarperCollins; William Morrow, 2011, p. 60. But see Anna Post [great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post], “The Etiquette of Talking Politics,” Huffington Post, Feb. 21, 2008, updated Nov. 17, 2011, <>.

[6] Ibid.

[7] And elsewhere; see, e.g., <>, where it is dated “1754,” without attribution.

[8] That is, evidently, “not formal; easy in conversation.” See Samuel Johnson, A Dictionary of the English Language, 3rd ed., Dublin: W. G. Jones, 1768, n.p.; archived online at <>.

[9] Philip Dormer Stanhope Earl of Chesterfield, The Best Letters of Lord Chesterfield: Letters to His Son and Letters to His Godson, Edward Gilpin Johnson, ed., Chicago: A. C. McClurg, 1893, pp. 276-277; archived online at <>.

[10] “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” “First Amendment,” Cornell Univ. Law School, <>.

[11] Matthew J. Bell, Blueprint for Opposing “‘Gay’ Marriage”, draft, Sept. 8, 2013, pp. 74-75, n. 91. Secondly, on one straightforward schema, the notion of a “right” implies that some entity (call that entity the “right giver”) grants to some other entity (call that the “right receiver”) a justifiable claim (the “right”) to something (call it the “right object”). RIGHT GIVER -------->| THE RIGHT to the RIGHT OBJECT | ----------> RIGHT RECEIVER. For instance, The Big Box Company (the right giver) grants the right to a yearly week-long vacation (object) to its employees (right receiver). Or, Our Creator grants the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to us (we the people). Or, according to Nietzsche (and others before him, e.g. Plato’s Thrasymachus, Hobbes, etc.), “Nature” grants the right of force to the strong. Or, finally, The Chinese State grants the right to life to whomever the State sees fit. The point here is that claims such as “xs have right r” …are incomplete claims. For a right-claim we want to know, minimally, who or what the right-giver is, who the right receiver is, what the right is, and what the right’s object is. Ibid.

[12] In reality, I would say that the rights themselves come from the “Creator,” while the Constitution merely enumerates the rights and provides for their protection. But let this pass.

[13] At least, this - or something like it - is true with respect to an internalist conception of justification. Externalist construals of justification will cash things out differently. I put this aside, also.

[14] James Anderson, The Constitutions of the Free-Masons: Containing the History, Charges, Regulations, &c. of That Most Ancient and Right-Worshipful Fraternity. For the Use of the Lodges, London: William Hunter, John Senex and John Hooke, 1723, article 6; quoted by Charles H. Lyttle, “Historical Bases of Rome’s Conflict With Freemasonry,” Church History, vol. 9, no. 1, Mar., 1940, p. 5, n. 10.

[15] William Morgan monument; quoted by Michael Anthony Hoffman, Masonic Assassination, 2nd ed., Geneva, N.Y.: Rialto Books, 1978, p. 8.


apsterian said...

Discussion Of Religion, Politics, Only Requires Grasp Of Ethical Pretext

Being avid scholar of economics, history and theory, I can assure u main purpose of masonry fm 17th through 18th and into the 19th cent.s was as conduit for Judaic infiltration of gentile society, esp. upon pretext of finance. Note establishment of Bank of England fractional-reserve institution of 1694. John Law's paper-money scheme went into business in early 18th cent. Richard Cantillon, the first scientific economist made his great economic analysis and observations, as well as a fortune, as he commented upon his friend, John Law.

Observe further, the masonic membership of Fred. the Great of Prussia and other contemporary imperialists of England and France--what could be the purpose for such common masonic "internationalism" among otherwise highly competitive rival empires?--answer: FINANCE--by who?--by the u-know-whos--who else? Ho ho ho ho

Masonry closely paralleled the court Jews, as the infamous "Jud Suess" in early 18th cent. Masonry was the way the Jews interfaced w. gentiles, u see? So naturally, they MUST keep secret their designs for international financial empire built upon legalized COUNTERFEITING and fiat-money/central-banking systems--discretion was the watchword for these criminals and frauds. DON'T attract attn.

Spartacus-Weishaupt of the infamous "illuminati" was only one of Jews' prominent and quite successful front-men and organizers who worked to organize the masons w. even greater centralized control and definite plan for controlling society.

Regarding political and religious discussions, it only demands diplomacy and strategy for choice and achievement of whatever ends are sought. Ultimate ends must be agreed upon prior to any serious discussions, for politics and religion are designed for such ultimate ends and only if these ends are well recognized are discussions of mere means even allowed or tolerated, obviously.

And that's the problem: what should be ultimate ends?--a heavily ethical subject-matter, obviously. Here in Jew S A, presently, obvious problem is the satanism and hence extreme subjectivism which ravages and steadily destroys our very system of law, hence then economic system--IT MUST BE ADDRESSED and in successful and effective fashion or there will be nothing less than catastrophe which beckons as we speak, US Dollar about to decisively COLLAPSE, the economy following, USA then to becoming a 3rd world nation.

So we need to REMOVE this horrific satanic central gov. we have and to restoring US Constitution, states-rights, nullification, and commodity-based monetary standard. Removing Jews, leaders of satanism, will require removing Jews' strongest, most effective allies, the Judeo-Christian heretics and Satanists--and this isn't difficult in theory.

But people still require motivation and inspiration, positive or negative, to be willing to consider necessity of facing-up to this horrific, dread satanism, and it seems it will only come w. stimulus of social turmoil and greater dis-comfort--people observing, for example, the Jews gloating in midst of gentile misery and mis-fortune. Things will have to get worse before Christian patriots can make more dramatic progress.

But remember, and be inspired by the great Christian revolution of early 4th cent. Roman empire which revived the empire, briefly at least, under leadership of St. Constantine the Great.

Maurice Pinay said...

Thank you for this insightful research. It's noteworthy that James Anderson's masonic constitution included the exhortation: “A Mason is obliged by his tenure to observe the Moral Law, as a true Noachida ..." which is to place masons into a lower-tier category ('Noahides') subservient to the rabbis who created it.

I believe that port cities, crossroads territories, 'marketplaces' and trade centers which brought people from different cultures together for the purpose of trade necessitate 'tolerance' for the 'marketplace' to operate smoothly. Naturally, arguments over religion, morals, ethics, etc. would disrupt 'the market.' One can imagine that the rabbis, moneymen, pirates and their agents who operated in and passed through such areas would have imposed this kind of 'tolerance' for the good of their business.

I've given a brief sketch of how rabbinic ghettos pioneered globalism here:

Note that tolerance is for the 'Noahides' but not the rabbis. To wit, one can end up in prison today for questioning Holocaust doctrine, while ridiculing Catholic doctrine is more likely to provoke a chummy pat on the back.

It doesn't take much intelligence to predict the trajectory which society would proceed upon if 99% of the population is tolerant to the intolerance of a 1% supremacist minority. Things would necessarily end up as they are today.

apsterian said...

Rise Of Pelagianism And "Good" For Overthrow Of Truth (= Christ)

Mr. Pinay: thanks for ur useful expo, but I'd like to bring up another pt. regarding "...Mason is obliged by his tenure to observe the Moral Law...." And this regards important issue of Pharisaic moralism replacing and superseding Christian TRUTH (= Christ, Gosp. JOHN 14:6), truth the highest virtue/value of Christian, the ethical means being subservient to this end of truth (= Christ), HONESTY, for example, necessary means towards such truth (= Christ).

Note the (Pharisaic, effectively) philosopher, Plato, equated truth w. beauty and "good."

Pt. then is if there is TRUTH (= Christ), then there MUST BE an OBJECTIVE REALITY, God-given and -created, this providing the necessary basis/premise to such truth (= Christ).

And this absolute objectivity for reality is precisely what Pharisaics, Talmudists, and Jews, including their flunkies, including masons, deny as they insist reality is what they want it to be, especially beginning w. Torah/Mosaic law, holding that it's what rabbis say it is for object, object being WHATEVER serves Jews--SUBJECTIVISM. Thus rabbis effectively hold God's highest purpose was/is to creating his favorites, Jews, God mere slave of Jews, excusing their mass-murder of gentiles, creating miracles to make their satanic wishes come true.

Hence then basic philosophic difference btwn Christian and Jew is the nature of reality, Christians holding to the objective ("God-given/-created") vs. Jew subjective (hence satanic).

Note further what we see in our culture: rampant satanism, thus subjectivism, (extreme) subjectivism being the means by which one makes oneself God, holding one's view of reality, mentality, and consciousness to actually being of reality. And we see confirmation of this rampant, raging satanism in hip-hop music industry, noted by many, many vids on u-tube (just use search term to verify). And subjectivism is also manifest in the application of law regarding hitlery Clinton, for another example, and the big banks and corp.s, utterly destroying our rule-of-law and overthrow of US Constitution.

I want thus to bringing this radical conflict and contrast in basic principle to ur attn. regarding Christianity and Pharisaism, so clear, simple, and EASY to discern and verify: objective nature of reality, God-given according to Christianity, vs. the Jew subjectivism by which they make themselves God the creator of reality by means of subjectivism, justified in "good" which is necessarily subjective by essence, Christianity, St.s Augustine and Paul, holding we're all sinners incapable of "good," this being heresy of Pelagianism (Augustine).

Thus Jews RULE the corrupt, hence subjectivistic culture in "Decline of the West," by Oswald Spengler, as Jews are collectivist, unified, most organized, and "connected," even though out-numbered by satanic/subjectivistic gentiles who are typically far more individualistic, dis-connected, un-organized except by Jews, and utterly dis-unified, the perfect pawns and zombies for Jew master-minds--like the masons, as u pt.-out.

And again, KEY to this gentile passivity and submission to Jew enslavement is willingness to submit to subjectivism especially upon pretext of "good-evil" fallacy/delusion beginning in child-hood which gentiles cannot over-come, esp. as the culture becomes evermore corrupt in the false "prosperity," gentiles addicted to "bread and circuses," as we see.

Thus it is Jew subjectivism/satanism overthrows Christian truth in the corrupt culture, this satanist hegemony founded upon original pretext of subjectivist "good" and Pelagian heresy, non-existent, hereticalist "good" truly the WORST ENEMY of truth and Christ.

hereisjorgebergoglio said...

Proof the 'Paris Attacks' were a RITUAL SACRIFICE