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There is an equivocation in the word and notion “hierarchy”, especially in the combination “natural hierarchy”. This equivocation is often exploited by ideologues of the political right-wing. The fact is that ability ranking does not imply command or supervisory legitimacy. Neither competence nor merit of any kind carries special rights to sovereignty. Superior ability or giftedness does not confer any kind of ownership of other people or the work of other people. There is no legitimate way for any gradient of competences to become a chain of command, which morphs so effortlessly into a food chain.

Copernican Dualism

The Copernican Revolution highlights a basic dualism in experience. Not only does the cosmos not revolve around us but it also has no other specific accommodation for our sensitivity, consciousness, freedom, or teleology. Objective actuality does not care, respond, or prepare. Subjectivity, which is to say, spirituality, is not determinative of objective actuality as a whole or on the grand scale. Considering the dire fears of social authorities at the time of the Copernican revolution, it is remarkable that it is no longer taken as a devastating idea that the objective world of actuality would roll along quite unaffected in the total absence of our presence as spiritual ideality. This highlights the transcendent peculiarity of caring sensitivity and consciousness and of the teleological freedom in our preparing and responding.

Copyright © 2018 Sandy MacDonald.