In this article Dr. Mirus contrasts theocrats with meocrats. What are meocrats? "Those who ultimately regard their own materialistic selves as the measure of all things."
How do we identify meocrats, and how does one become a meocrat? There is some difficulty in identifying meocrats because a meocrat looks very much like a person of principle caught in an inconsistency, or a religious person caught in sin. You become a meocrat only when you persistently, over an extended period of time, deal with your inconsistencies (or sins) by redefining your principles to suit your inclinations. If you do this, you will also find yourself taking delight in the failures of persons of principle to live up to what they believe, and you will publicly denounce sin and failure as hypocrisy whenever you can, the better to discredit those who claim a transcendent point of view.
If this sort of behavior sounds familiar, it may be because meocracy is one of the most potent forces in American politics today, and it is rooted in that unbridling of the passions which we call vice. By its very nature, vice clouds the intellect. It begins by making it difficult for people to reach sound conclusions about how best to live personally and how best to promote the common good politically. It continues by causing increasingly stupid people to deny that transcendent principles and values are anything more than peculiar prejudices. And it ends in the blind defense mechanism by which people define good as evil and evil as good, adopting false principles to protect their passions.Why make up "meocrat" then--let's just call a spade a spade--what Dr. Mirus is talking about is rule by the vicious and the corruption of reason.
Although it is very hard to find a theocrat in America, it is not hard to find those who create the same kind of conflict by denying transcendence and redefining reality to suit their own inclinations. Yet transcendence is essential to both public discourse and the proper exercise of authority. Without transcendence, there is only meocracy, because without transcendence there is only me.Is it more important to have knowledge of the transcendent than to have a genuine love of the political common good? Is it possible for a virtuous agnostic to exist and rule well? It seems to me that this is a false dichotomy--one does not need to believe in God or recognize His existence in order to be aware of the common good and to live in accordance with it.