Just read a Den Beste piece here. It was going along nicely, getting stuff about right, and then out of nowhere came:
It's true that all powerful nations eventually decline
which just makes no sense at all. It seems to say that moral behavior will invariably self-destruct, which is to deny that morality exists. (Or I suppose it could deny that morality can lead to being powerful, which also basically means denying morality exists.)
> *It's true that all powerful nations eventually decline*
seems like he's taking history and turning trends into "laws of nature".
which doesn't work because:
- history is an account of choices (and the results of those choices) made by individuals
- their choices depend on their ideas
- their ideas evolve over time
so, if you compare today to the past, people today will make choices differently than in the past because today they have more different(i.e. better) ideas than compared to the past.