Warrior Poets are lovers of truth, lovers of people and defenders of both. I admit that what follows is a bit of a tirade that may not seem to have a lot of relevance to guns and home defense, 2nd Amendment, etc.
But unless you know why you want to defend something or someone and have the will to actually fight on behalf of that belief, you're basically just a gun hobbyist.
The drafters of the Bill of Rights weren't doing so simply so they'd have a nice list to support lofty idealism. They viewed the words as having real meaning about our God-given rights and our ability to defend those rights.
Those beliefs came from understanding and internalizing the many thinkers and statesmen who had gone before them. In other words, they understood and sought to live out the philosophies they believed to be true.
They believed that we were endowed with those rights just as much as they believed that 2+2=4. This is why they were willing to defend and even die for those rights.
The Mind and Heart of a Warrior
John Steinbeck wrote this: "The final weapon is the mind. All else is supplemental."
In other words, if your mind is structured appropriately around ideas and beliefs that reflect reality, then you have a strong weapon that can capably defend against fools and tyrants. Otherwise, all the guns in the world can't save you.
I am fearful for my generation--the millennials--because for a lot of us our education was worthless. Even the word "philosophy" conjures up crusty bearded men lounging in Lazy Boy chairs puffing away on Gandalf the Grey pipes. For others, you might be reminded of your History of Philosophy classes that provided a flyby survey of the history of thought.
What I mean when I say that "warriors need to be philosophers" is that you need to have a solid grasp of tangible and intangible reality--that 2 + 2 = 4 and that there's a definite difference between right and wrong. Math and Morality. Logic and Ethics.
Your philosophy is essentially the means by which you make sense of the world and thus arrive at true truth. Objective truth. Absolute truth. Everyone has a philosophy, but some of our philosophies are terrible.
Philosophy vs Antiphilosophy
Academically speaking, philosophy is the discipline that all the other disciplines have to filter through to arrive at themselves. For example, a philosophy of science dictates the approach and constraints for arriving at scientific conclusions. Science doesn't dictate itself. Philosophy does.
Practically speaking, your philosophy is the process by which you determine what you believe. There are formal ways and informal ways that you arrive at this over the course of days and months and years.
When I came out of the military and started attending college, I sadly had a philosophy professor who didn't seem to have arrived at any absolute truth except that there is no absolute truth. Of course this drove me crazy at the moment, and then drove me toward despair about the minds of mine and future generations.
The famous Christian philosopher Francis Schaeffer actually would call this a drop below the line of despair. He would say that in a world where there are no logical answers to the human dilemmas, everything becomes chaotic, irrational and absurd. This is the very definition of despair.
In some people's minds, though, 2 + 2 doesn't always equal 4, and this is the difference. Philosophy seeks to arrive at the truth. Antiphilosophy seeks to arrive at preferences masquerading at truth.
Know Your Past to Understand Your Future
Before the 1700s, pretty much everyone in the western world lived from the basic premise that "God said" was the fulcrum for all understanding.
After the 1700s, reason and God were pitted against each other during the Enlightenment. Whereas science was previously thought of as an aid to good theology and worship of God, now science was the new theology and the theological realm was relegated to the "religious, mystical realm."
They thought of this as throwing off the shackles of religious superstitious thought. Unfortunately the enlightenment failed to provide a cohesive understanding through human reason apart from God. Understanding morality, love, free will, and other intangibles were difficult to reconcile with a strictly material existence.
From Modern to Postmodern
After realizing that Sherlock Holmes (Enlightenment Super Hero) was a miserable human being trapped in a world of absolute reason but moral ambiguity, the modern era emerged with a search for truth in the arts and literature. And this was followed by the Postmodern era in which truth originates from each individual.
So now instead of the law of non contradiction determining right from wrong, A from Not A, etc. we have become a law unto ourselves determining what's right for me.
Now we get to determine what truth is. This is not philosophy. Rather than pulling the pieces together, postmodernism destroyed the pieces. It's antiphilosophy.
Truth is Narrow
Either something is true, or it's not. I heard one Christian philosopher put it this way. "Even in India, if you step into traffic, it's either you or the bus, but it can't be both."
In my generation and in this era, we are drifting quickly away from ways of thinking that are based in reality. Unfortunately, truth and reality don't care if you believe in them or not. Eventually you have to answer to what is real, not to the fairytale of your own creation.,
I hope that mine and future generations will abandon the bankrupt thinking produced by academics and intellectuals in pursuit of unicorns. The truth is the truth and the truth is what will set you free.
Train Hard. Train Smart. Think Clearly.