Do you believe that there are certain fundamental tensions in human nature, that these tensions are intractable, that the challenge of surviving these tensions reasonably well is essentially what living a good life means, and that finding one’s way through these incongruities of our nature is possible only or primarily at the individual level, which is not to say in isolation, but rather to say simply on a personal and voluntary basis?
Or do you believe that the tensions we experience must be smoothed over and ameliorated, that they arise entirely or primarily due to errant beliefs or presuppositions, that correcting these beliefs or presuppositions is not only possible but the necessary and sufficient condition of producing a more perfect kind of human and society, and that the only reason these tensions have come to appear innate and intractable is that mankind has hitherto lacked governmental institutions scientific enough to understand the needed remedies, and expansive enough to apply these remedies through universal corrective influence?
Classicism vs. Romanticism. Freedom vs. Utilitarianism. Republicanism vs. Socialism. The Soul-Body Problem vs. Materialist Reductionism. The Problem of Evil vs. Nihilistic Relativism. Virtue Ethics vs. Duty Ethics. Love and Death vs. Sexuality and Pleasure. Education vs. Indoctrination. Limited Government vs. Utopianism. The Friendship of Spiritual Union vs. Universal Brotherhood. The Socratic Method vs. The Ministry of Truth. Rhetoric vs. Propaganda. The Past Viewed as Precious Repository of Alternatives and Wisdom vs. The Past Viewed as Pernicious Continuum of Systemic Oppression and Error. The Longing for Immortality vs. The Dream of Social Progress. Man as Incomplete Being Seeking Completion vs. Man as Perfectible.
This is the choice that defines our age.