On this day, October 31, 2017, it is pleasing for me to post on the Internet this Thesis that tries to outline the cascade of errors that--inadvertently--flowed from Martin Luther's 95 Theses, which are believed to have been affixed onto the door of the Cathedral at Wittenberg on this very day 500 years ago.
Martin Luther was well aware of the pitfalls ahead. He was convinced that the changes we make seldom improve anything, and that the best we can do is only, paradoxically, to start all over again and again (Luther's Works 13:217, 25:478).
In fact, as rarely realized Luther's rejection of external authority and the Catholic Church's unwillingness/inability to answer each one of those Theses in order to (re-)establish the foundation of her moral authority eventually resulted in the separation of the actions of men and women from morality.
In the following, I will shy away from theological controversies.
These are the errors that flow from the implicit Declaration of Freedom of Conscience. The goal then, as the great goal now for us, is the search for balance between the rights of freedom and the duties of authority:
1. The conscience becomes unmoored from the virtues;
2. Hence, freedom is no longer moral freedom, but becomes political freedom;
3. Political freedom is granted by other people's will: the will of the King in a monarchy, the will of the majority in a democracy;
4. As Shakespeare knew, freedom of conscience leads to a tortured conscience: "to be or not to be";
5. The elimination of doubt is resolved by the assumption that the mind is fount of all certitude;
6. This lead to Descartes' affirmation of "I think, therefore I am";
7. Which led to the separation of the mind from body--and soul;
8. Which led to rejection of God in human affairs; see David Hume et al:
9. Since "I" am, who needs anyone or anything else?