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Old 01-13-2010, 01:17 AM   #151
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And those that live in the warm liberal cocoon of pop culture and academia will never understand that.
Half of America is stupid. Social conservatism is an inherently stupid concept.
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Old 01-13-2010, 01:33 AM   #152
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Half of America is stupid.
Half of America may well be less intelligent or less learned than you. But stupid? Is that how you would wish to be described by those smarter than YOU? Life is too precious to live as a misanthrope and your too young to be a curmudgeon. How's about a little brotherly love for your fellow citizens.

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Social conservatism is an inherently stupid concept.
... to any teenager.
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Old 01-13-2010, 02:02 AM   #153
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Half of America may well be less intelligent or less learned than you. But stupid? Is that how you would wish to be described by those smarter than YOU? Life is too precious to live as a misanthrope and your too young to be a curmudgeon. How's about a little brotherly love for your fellow citizens.



... to any teenager.
I can understand fiscally conservative. But socially conservative? Anything that celebrates tradition simply because it's tradition is a stupid idea, and that's all social conservatives do. Gay marriage? They're not different from me, they're wrong. Death penalty? They're not different from me, they're wrong. Just wrong. I can prove it with facts and arguments based on realities in this world. Both of them. It's so incredibly frustrating that I have to labeled close-minded simply because I call it what it is. Close-minded is something else.

Melon is right when he says that your defense for yourself now is not a defense based on reality; rather, it's an offense against those calling it like it is, saying that the problem is them and not you.

And your only other defense is that a lot of people agree with you or people have agreed with you in the past. That's it, and it's either lazy or stupid.
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Old 01-13-2010, 03:04 PM   #154
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I can understand fiscally conservative. But socially conservative? Anything that celebrates tradition simply because it's tradition is a stupid idea, and that's all social conservatives do. Gay marriage? They're not different from me, they're wrong. Death penalty? They're not different from me, they're wrong. Just wrong. I can prove it with facts and arguments based on realities in this world. Both of them. It's so incredibly frustrating that I have to labeled close-minded simply because I call it what it is. Close-minded is something else.

Melon is right when he says that your defense for yourself now is not a defense based on reality; rather, it's an offense against those calling it like it is, saying that the problem is them and not you.

And your only other defense is that a lot of people agree with you or people have agreed with you in the past. That's it, and it's either lazy or stupid.
We could go waaaay off the thread on this.

What you are buying into is the same philosophy that drove the French Revolution, Nazism, Communism, The New Deal and Sixties Liberalism. All very different in their methods to be sure (eugenics, redistribution, propaganda, tyranny, etc) but all transfixed on the transformation of society, the tearing up of all institutions and traditions by the roots, to create a New Man.
While I believe man can never be perfect and thus needs institutions and moral limitations to improve the human condition. New Man philosophy believes society can only be improved by naturally virtuous humans freed from the shackles of old ideas and moral codes, traditional religion, Christian marriage and other repressive institutions. When Morality is no longer defined by oppressive hegemonies and Reason no longer hindered by superstitious thought; then, and only then, can Man reach his true potential.

That's why you and Melon disdain social conservatism. Your vision of human nature.
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Old 01-13-2010, 04:27 PM   #155
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Back to the thread, sort of.

Keith O did do a good job of taking Mark McGuire to task over his steroid confession last night. But then he always was an entertaining sports reporter. Too bad he became the poster boy for Bush Derangement Syndrome.
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Old 01-13-2010, 04:59 PM   #156
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We could go waaaay off the thread on this.

What you are buying into is the same philosophy that drove the French Revolution, Nazism, Communism, The New Deal and Sixties Liberalism. All very different in their methods to be sure (eugenics, redistribution, propaganda, tyranny, etc) but all transfixed on the transformation of society, the tearing up of all institutions and traditions by the roots, to create a New Man.
While I believe man can never be perfect and thus needs institutions and moral limitations to improve the human condition. New Man philosophy believes society can only be improved by naturally virtuous humans freed from the shackles of old ideas and moral codes, traditional religion, Christian marriage and other repressive institutions. When Morality is no longer defined by oppressive hegemonies and Reason no longer hindered by superstitious thought; then, and only then, can Man reach his true potential.

That's why you and Melon disdain social conservatism. Your vision of human nature.
I'm not at all about tearing up tradition. I'm against tradition for tradition's sake. There are traditions that are good: not killing people, not stealing, etc. There are traditions that are bad: discrimination, the relegation of minority groups to second class citizenship, etc.

Your accusation is that I'm for anything that goes against tradition, which would be a stupid way to look at these issues and moral codes. My point is that each issue needs to be looked at individually. Your explanation for everything seems to be, "A lot of people agree with me!" or "A lot of people have thought this has made sense for a long time!" which isn't an explanation at all, and it's exactly the lazy, illogical take on these issues that makes me and many others frustrated. You're not arguing the merits of the issue, you're arguing the perception of the issue.

My main problem with social conservatism is two-sided: a misguided nostalgia that results in said love of tradition, and a tendency to make issues black-or-white. Nothing epitomizes the latter better than the conservative viewpoint better than the death penalty issue. Conservatives see nothing wrong with the death penalty because they believe these people are guilty with certainty. But our system is not certain and has never claimed to be. At the same time, torture tactics are supported by conservatives because conservatives are sure that whoever we're torturing must be guilty and must have information, even though in most cases that isn't true. Social issues are never as black-and-white or cut-and-dry as social conservatives make them out to be.

And the comparison to Nazism is the kind of stuff that makes BVS's scattershot accusations about you occasionally ring true.
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Old 01-13-2010, 05:00 PM   #157
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While I believe man can never be perfect and thus needs institutions and moral limitations to improve the human condition. New Man philosophy believes society can only be improved by naturally virtuous humans freed from the shackles of old ideas and moral codes, traditional religion, Christian marriage and other repressive institutions.
Have no fear of teh libruls! Pat Robertson's here to "improve the human condition" and save the day!

Pat Robertson: Haiti 'Cursed' By 'Pact To The Devil' (VIDEO)

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Televangelist Pat Robertson said Wednesday that earthquake-ravaged Haiti has been "cursed" by a "pact to the devil."

"Something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it," he said on Christian Broadcasting Network's "The 700 Club." "They were under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon III, or whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, we will serve you if you'll get us free from the French. True story. And so, the devil said, okay it's a deal."
I find it laughable how much you're willing to concede man's flawed nature, and then put so much unquestioning trust in the institutions of man--owned and run by those same imperfect and flawed men.

I'll respond to the rest later, but, needless to say, your description of me, much like your observations regarding gay marriage, is loaded with convenient stereotypes that are completely baseless.

So much for that "wisdom."
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Old 01-13-2010, 05:40 PM   #158
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Have no fear of teh libruls! Pat Robertson's here to "improve the human condition" and save the day!

I find it laughable how much you're willing to concede man's flawed nature, and then put so much unquestioning trust in the institutions of man--owned and run by those same imperfect and flawed men.
Exactly why the Founders feared government growing too large and why, though they thought separation of Church and State was vital, they thought it equally vital that those individuals in government have religious principles upon which to base their decisions. That is the key, the principles upon which the institutions run.
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I'll respond to the rest later, but, needless to say, your description of me, much like your observations regarding gay marriage, is loaded with convenient stereotypes that are completely baseless.

So much for that "wisdom."
I see. Pat Robertson is a crackpot. Pat Robertson does not support gay marriage. Therefore all people who don't support gay marriage are crackpots.

And I stereotype.
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Old 01-13-2010, 05:47 PM   #159
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Old 01-13-2010, 05:47 PM   #160
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That's why you and Melon disdain social conservatism. Your vision of human nature.
I just dislike it because it's 99% wrong.

You're notoriously on the wrong side of history
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Old 01-13-2010, 05:49 PM   #161
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I'd say Pat Robertson gives Christians a bad name, but it goes deeper than that - he gives human beings a bad name.
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Old 01-13-2010, 06:34 PM   #162
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Exactly why the Founders feared government growing too large and why, though they thought separation of Church and State was vital, they thought it equally vital that those individuals in government have religious principles upon which to base their decisions. That is the key, the principles upon which the institutions run.
Those who are not religious are not principled?
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Old 01-13-2010, 06:46 PM   #163
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Exactly why the Founders feared government growing too large and why, though they thought separation of Church and State was vital, they thought it equally vital that those individuals in government have religious principles upon which to base their decisions. That is the key, the principles upon which the institutions run.
The trouble with this is when man, who you agree is inherently flawed, presents a flawed interpretation of religious principles and then tries to apply that in the governance of a multi-cultural country comprised of peoples of myriad (or no) faiths.
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:11 PM   #164
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As promised, here's my response to the rest:

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We could go waaaay off the thread on this.

What you are buying into is the same philosophy that drove the French Revolution, Nazism, Communism, The New Deal and Sixties Liberalism. All very different in their methods to be sure (eugenics, redistribution, propaganda, tyranny, etc) but all transfixed on the transformation of society, the tearing up of all institutions and traditions by the roots, to create a New Man.
With this kind of logic, we might as well throw in the American Revolution. The formation of the United States was the original transformation of the Western world away from an unelected monarchy and a complete reliance on unwritten, common law (and it is worth noting that a good number of British philosophers mostly supported the idea of an unwritten Constitution, out of fear that it would inhibit flexibility) to an elected representative republic, a written Constitution, and--even more brashly--a document that explicitly outlined freedoms, the Bill of Rights.

To be "conservative" in these days would have been to support an absolute monarch and the state-sponsored religion, which you'd have no say in. And, even then, to presume that the previous eighteen centuries were an unbroken continuum of tradition would be similarly nonsensical. Certainly, up until the 17th/18th centuries or so, people did believe this, thus trumpeting their ties to "Roman law" and traditions. Of course, once historians actually decided to investigate these claims and strip down to what "Roman culture" actually boiled down to, they soberly came to the realization that what they had deemed to be "Roman" in the early modern period was anything but. Society, whether they had liked it or not, had changed to the point that the Romans might as well have been aliens.

And this leads to my point...

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While I believe man can never be perfect and thus needs institutions and moral limitations to improve the human condition. New Man philosophy believes society can only be improved by naturally virtuous humans freed from the shackles of old ideas and moral codes, traditional religion, Christian marriage and other repressive institutions. When Morality is no longer defined by oppressive hegemonies and Reason no longer hindered by superstitious thought; then, and only then, can Man reach his true potential.

That's why you and Melon disdain social conservatism. Your vision of human nature.
I'm sure that the above makes for some nice right-wing historical narrative, but it's as fatally flawed as Marx's historical narrative. If you're looking for me to adhere to this rather terrible stereotype of liberalism that is really more a parody of socialism/communism, I'm sorry to disappoint you, but this is not how I think at all.

Man can never be perfect, and, as such, institutions and moral limitations are necessary. Nonetheless, institutions are the provenance of mankind, and share the flaws of mankind--thus worthy of scrutiny and oversight. And this is precisely what we have in democracy, particularly with the three branches of government in the United States all designed to keep each other in check, with complete freedom of religion--and freedom from religion--so as to allow reason, rather than superstition, to guide the "moral limitations" that we deem "law." Now, on that note, just because religion is prone to superstition by nature of its allowance for the non-empirical, doesn't mean that religion is incapable of reason. It is just that religious notions, in a democratic society, are placed no higher nor lower than any other notion in the marketplace of ideas. No idea, religious or secular, should be immune from criticism.

With that, since I presume that you're, at least, partly inferring to the issue of gay rights and marriage, it is becoming increasingly apparent that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is indefensible through reason. Neither science, nor psychology, nor--in many cases--even serious Biblical criticism can support the view that homosexuality is aberrant and thus worthy of inherent condemnation. And it is, at this juncture in history, that a conservative case for gay marriage is able to be made, just as much as Theodore Olson and others before him have elucidated. It is humorous that you're crying "the end of tradition," when, in fact, the notion of falling in love, settling down, and getting married to start a family is, unto itself, a very conservative desire compared to, say, having sex with multiple partners and never settling down through old age. If anything, the desire for gay marriage is a validation of tradition, not the destruction of it. As such, the notion of gay Christians and gay Republicans is far less of a shocking concept than it was 20-30 years ago. In fact, it is now downright normal.

At this point, I'm inclined to say that your insistence on the contrary is prejudiced, but I'm more inclined to say that it's stubbornness. Your stubborn clinging to some romanticist notion of "tradition" isn't grounded in a factual basis. If I have a "disdain for social conservatism," it's not because I have some Marxist anarchist fantasy; ideologically, I increasingly lean toward classical liberalism and its support of limited government which a great number of Republicans also claim to believe. Nor is it because I have some utopian ideal of mankind; I share the Straussian disdain for utopianism. Nor is it because I hate religion; in fact, I have a great respect for and faith in the Catholic tradition--which, incidentally, has a strong tradition in faith grounded in reason.

No, if I have a disdain for social conservatism, it's because I despise nonsense. If you want me to, at least, respect your beliefs beyond the basic democratic respect for your freedom of speech, then you have to do much better than arguments based on fallacious appeals to tradition or fictitious strawmen claims based on fear. You have to back up your claims, rather than expect respect out of some notion of entitlement masquerading as "balance." After all, don't conservatives hate entitlements?
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:34 PM   #165
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Man can never be perfect, and, as such, institutions and moral limitations are necessary. Nonetheless, institutions are the provenance of mankind, and share the flaws of mankind--thus worthy of scrutiny and oversight. And this is precisely what we have in democracy, particularly with the three branches of government in the United States all designed to keep each other in check, with complete freedom of religion--and freedom from religion--so as to allow reason, rather than superstition, to guide the "moral limitations" that we deem "law." Now, on that note, just because religion is prone to superstition by nature of its allowance for the non-empirical, doesn't mean that religion is incapable of reason. It is just that religious notions, in a democratic society, are placed no higher nor lower than any other notion in the marketplace of ideas. No idea, religious or secular, should be immune from criticism.
Yeah, yeah, that's what I meant.

Seriously though, I love when you (or yolland) can come in and thoughtfully and thoroughly articulate arguments that I struggle to scratch the surface of.

Outstanding post, melon.
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