The Founding Fathers were neither passive, death-worshipping mystics nor
mindless, power-seeking looters; as a political group, they were a phenomenon
unprecedented in history: they were thinkers who were also men of action.
They had rejected the soul-body dichotomy, with its two corollaries: the
impotence of man’s mind and the damnation of this earth; they had rejected the
doctrine of suffering as man’s metaphysical fate, they proclaimed man’s right
to the pursuit of happiness and were determined to establish on earth the
conditions required for man’s proper existence, by the “unaided” power of their