stay tuned for the next exciting scenes.

I will. It's not very often that I encounter someone (much less a group of someone's) who understand any of this stuff, much less are in basic agreement with me about it. I'm hooked.

Thanks for the blogroll. Will be doing likewise.

I agree with your assessment of Kant. That was the point I was making as well.

As for the semantic bridge, you seem to be saying (or saying Derrida says) that there is no such ground on the other side at all. If that's your point, I would disagree. I think nihilism is a genuine alternative, a separate place if you will. This, I believe, is where existentialism always ends up if it's honest, which is why real atheists have angst not humanist manifestos. That gap will, IMO, always remain unbridgeable. And so I think the easier job would be to try and convince the humanist atheists (you mentioned Allahpundit, whose work I respect tremendously) that they're not really living on the ground they claim to be living on. They're expatriates who really live in the same world of unsupportable moral beliefs as the rest of us (and not among the nihilists). Of course I have to acknowledge that my take is influenced by my perspective as an evangelical. We tend to see conversion as the answer to everything ;-)

I hope you didn't take my jumping in as an attempt to be critical. On the contrary, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this thread and was impressed with the level of thought going on. I envy you your readers very much and just wanted to get in on some of the fun you seemed to be having kicking this thing around. And frankly I'm a bit weary of discussing SB1070 over at my place.

the existentialist position can only offer a pretense of being non-mythological.

Yes, I caught that. And I do agree that atheists of a certain stripe frequently sneak God in the back door without admitting it. Along those lines, Adam seems to be seeking an evolutionary explanation for a Kantian categorical imperative in #73. I think this is, once again, the bridge to nowhere, i.e. you can't get there from here. It may work semantically (or appear to work) but you never really go anywhere.

Kant tried to do for the golden rule what you've been toying with doing to the Declaration. But I think we might agree that all he's really done is give it a patina of disbelief. There's still a lot of magic hiding underneath which he can't account for.

Interesting discussion.

Seems to me there is no semantic bridge capable of spanning the philosophical gap at the base of the question. An existential view of life (which I would say necessarily devolves to the will to power) or an essentialist view (which would include Christianity, Judaism, deism and all of the founders). The line in question presumes the latter view and cannot be rendered coherently without the essentialist presuppositions on which it is based. Any attempt to de-mythologize this statement destroys its meaning.