I understand your desire for there to be a document that answers all questions, settles all disputes, and relinquish us all from the duty of critical thinking in perpetuity. It would be great. It would really free up a lot of time. A magic document that anticipates every conceivable permutation the future has to offer, and contains ALL solutions? Right at our finger tips? Who wouldn’t want that?!
An oracle would also be great. Like the Oracle Of Delphi. Ask it a question. Get an answer. Get the right answer, always. Your way, right away.
Thomas Jefferson and the gang did not think the document they were constructing was flawless, which is why they designed it in a way that allowed it to be changed. It was designed to evolve and be amended. There are mechanisms in place to do so. They knew that as kick-ass as the constitution was, it wasn’t magic. It would need to grow and keep pace with the world it attempts to organize.
People have the same desire for the Bible; for it to be beyond reproach. Forget that it said every known species filed two-by-two onto an ark, or that Earth was formed in under a week. Just forget that stuff. It doesn’t matter.
I suppose it’s because some people, out of a sense of loyalty, will always chose respect over truth. They will defend a lie if it somehow honors this bigger thing they are committed to, or to perpetuate some hero-worship. That would be great if there really were infallible people or concepts. But there aren’t. People are messy, and the world is messy. We have to constantly reevaluate. We have to think and discuss and try to make the best decision based on whatever new information comes to light. Sure we would have sent our kids over to Mike Jackson’s house for a sleepover between “Off The Wall” and “Thriller,” but not between “HiStory” and “Invincible.” No way. Things change and we can’t be blindly committed to earlier decisions.
Lastly, our “Founding Fathers” are not mythical creatures. They’re not deities. They were just men, and the collective intelligence has not plummeted since 1775. In fact, by most indicators: infant mortality, life expectancy, literacy rates, education level, human rights, we are quite a few steps ahead of them. So we shouldn’t fear making our own decisions. We shouldn’t strive to honor historic decisions in the face of obvious contradictions and concrete data for the sake of piety. We should believe in ourselves and our ability to be compassionate and judicious. I don’t want to live in a world where we think all of our best thinking is behind us. I want to live in a world were the future holds dazzling and mind-boggling solutions to yet-unseen challenges. I want us to be open to that.