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Thursday, March 16, 2006

"What don't you like about liberalism?"

The question is out there, having been asked, and so I mulled that over seriously. What don't I like about liberalism?

Liberalism. n.

1. The state or quality of being liberal.

2. Liberalism

1. A political theory founded on the natural goodness of humans and the autonomy of the individual and favoring civil and political liberties, government by law with the consent of the governed, and protection from arbitrary authority.
2. often Liberalism The tenets or policies of a Liberal party.

3. An economic theory in favor of laissez-faire, the free market, and the gold standard.

4. Liberalism

1. A 19th-century Protestant movement that favored free intellectual inquiry, stressed the ethical and humanitarian content of Christianity, and de-emphasized dogmatic theology.
2. A 19th-century Roman Catholic movement that favored political democracy and ecclesiastical reform but was theologically orthodox.


There is a lot there. Liberalism is a movement for change, and that in itself is not bad. It is, in fact, inevitable. To hold on to tradition simply because it is tradition is a losing proposition. I picture Tevye singing "Tradition" in the musical Fiddler on the Roof while the life he has known comes under attack. He found himself unable to withstand forces he didn't entirely understand.

There are religious sects that believe that life ended in, say, 1830, like the Amish. There are some highly conservative Christian groups who think that clothes and hairstyles must be from 1962 or earlier, or so one would think. I don't suppose that really harms anyone but it strikes me as a bit odd.

Change can be good. In the computer world, change helps pay the bills. Everything is dog years in the computer world, we say, so companies have to keep updating their hardware and software and the way security operates is continually in flux. I change my clothes (heck, even take a shower first) so I won't stink.

I also like "free intellectual inquiry". Man has a mind, he should use it. Great Christian scientists like Newton, great semi-believers like Einstein and great atheists like Isaac Asimiov all pursued truth as they understood it rather than to be content with what others believed. Man has a creative and inquisitive mind. I would say that this is because he is modeled after his Creator. He should not be afraid to seek out the truth, no matter where it leads him. If it leads him to God, as it did in my case, then the man becomes a Christian.

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." --Galileo Galilei

Where I first have problems with liberalism is here: "the natural goodness of humans and the autonomy of the individual". I don't believe that people are naturally good, first of all. You have to teach a child the difference between right and wrong, but you sure don't have to teach him to do wrong! People are born selfish. Goodness is something we train into our children, not something that just naturally happens. The best of us still struggle with evil thoughts and compunctions and hopefully overcome the desire to do them. But I sure don't believe in the natural goodness of man, not by a long shot.

Romans 3:10 - As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one;

Jesus said this in Matthew 19:17 - "Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments."

Both echo words from the Psalms, such as Psalm 41:1 - The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

This country was founded on the Judeo-Christian ethics taken from the Bible. We have the Ten Commandments as foundational to what is considered right and wrong. Because liberalism rejects God as the authority for what is right or wrong, then man makes his own rules. This is why a liberal will typically be pro-abortion. Now I believe that it is obviously murder when you kill an unborn child. Did any of you have the stomach to look into Abortion73.com?Even very early in a pregnancy, the baby is obviously a small child. Liberals almost always champion the murder of the unborn. That is one thing I have against liberalism.

Secondly, there is the tendency of liberalism to take civil liberties and under that guise try to invent civil "rights" such as the "right to gay marriage" or "right to free healthcare" and so on. What? Who says you have a RIGHT to change the institution of marriage. Who says healthcare must be free and that is a right? Liberalism is great for inventing "rights" and then trying to circumvent the established laws by packing the courts with lefty judges who overturn the laws enacted by the representatives of the people in order to advance liberal agendas (so much for "government by law with the consent of the governed")! The 9th Circuit Court is a great example of judges who believe they are there to make law rather than preserve it.

I mentioned in an earlier posting that Humanism is the foundational belief for a large segment of the Darwinist community and that is true of a large segment of the liberal community. The tend to be one and the same. Humanism is a very selfish philosophy, even though humanists may endorse some self-sacrificing activities. Humanism says that even though one man may not be the center of the universe, mankind IS and liberalism says the same thing. Man is the ultimate authority.

A Christian believes that God is the final authority and will base his philosophy on that idea. Now Christians vary widely in belief systems even with that said, and so there are Christians who are pretty liberal as well as Christians who are staunch conservatives. Labels, generalities, they all fail to define individuals. I am likely more conservative than the evolution-believers who usually comment on this site, but less so than a couple of the creationists. We are all individuals and this, too, should be part of the Christian outlook. God gave us all free will, we are free to be right or wrong, to succeed or fail, to seek God out or turn away from Him.

In summary, I find that the majority of liberals are Darwinists, they are pro-abortion, they are for "gay marriage", they were against going to Iraq and they are usually Democrats. I am a creationist, pro-life, for us going to Iraq and usually vote Republican. But I do find liberal politicians and celebrities to be a rich source of humor. For instance:

Actress Drew Barrymore, who reportedly earns $15 million a film, told MTV viewers in one episode that after spending time in a primitive, electricity-free Chilean village, "I aspire to be like them more."

Barrymore, apparently enthralled by the lack of a modern sanitary facilities, gleefully bragged, "I took a poo in the woods hunched over like an animal. It was awesome."

Cameron Diaz, who earns a reported $20-million a movie, boasted that the cow-dung slathered walls of a Nepalese village hut were "beautiful" and "inspiring," and she called the primitive practice of "pounding mud" with sticks to construct a building foundation "the coolest thing."

"I'm not going to have some reporters pawing through Our papers. We are the president." --Hillary Clinton

"We are ready for an unforeseen event that may or may not occur."--Al Gore

"If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure." --Bill Clinton, President

"Whenever I watch TV and see those poor starving kids all over the world, I can't help but cry. I mean I'd love to be skinny like that, but not with all those flies and death and stuff." --Mariah Carey

"Smoking kills. If you're killed, you've lost a very important part of your life." -- Brooke Shields

"Those who survived the San Francisco earthquake said, 'Thank God, I'm still alive.' But, of course, those who died, their lives will never be the same again." --Barbara Boxer

Pretty much anything that Barbra Streisand, Johnny Depp or Martin Sheen has said concerning geopolitical matters over the last few years. Do conservatives ever say any dumb, funny stuff? Sure, but they just don't do it as often and with as much vigor. As Howard Dean would say,

"Yeahaarfgghtyhhhhhh!!!!!!!!"

12 comments:

highboy said...

As I said in an earlier post, liberalism in America is insulting. It tells me I'm not smart enough to save my own money or mangage my own future. Therefore, it is safer for a politician to hold onto that money for me. Yet we humans are at the same time so infinitely wise that we can make life and death decisions concerning babies, and the mentally or physically handicapped. Liberalism allows humans to decide for other humans whether or not their life is worth living, and lets humans decide for themselves when a human is a human. It is all relativism.

Liberalism is countered by people who feel that they can think for themselves, and take care of themselves. This is evidence that the only thing liberals are pro-choice about is abortion. It is also interesting that most liberals oppose theocracy, yet will demand forced charity, such as welfare, social security, and the like. I say forced, because I'm paying not just for my retirement but for someone else's, without a CHOICE in the matter. I'm also forced to pay taxes that go toward the feeding or housing of someone else, without given a CHOICE in the matter. Liberalism is insulting because it says that I cannot survive without their interference in everything. It is one step away from socialism/communism. Most liberals oppose the death penalty for the guilty, on the off chance they are really innocent, while allowing the murder of children, on the off chance they are not children, and allowing the murder of mentally handicapped, on the off chance that they are not aware. Basically, "what they don't know won't hurt them" is in effect here. Lest we forget, the human mind cannot be located in ANY human being, let alone brain damage victims. Liberals oppose the war in Iraq, regardless of uranium, chemical weapons agents, or chemical warheads that have been found there. Liberals oppose any displays of the Ten Commandments, public prayer endorsed by the goverment, or any other acknowledgement of religion, despite the fact that the Framers of the establishment clause they misinterperet are the same who advocated the Ten Commandments, established prayer before every session of Congress, threw tax payer money at converting Indians to Christianity, and swore on the Holy Bible when taking an oath of office. Liberals would spend less money on the military, (which, according to the Constitution, protecting US is the government's primary job, and providing law and order)but would spend more on public education, which is not described as the responsibility of government in the Constiution anywhere, though the Constitution clearly outlines the rights, responsibilities, powers, and the limits to our government. Nothing in there about education.

If liberals want to continue to force others to operate under their code of ethics, or their standard of right and wrong, (which is as consistent as silly puddy) then they can congratulate themselves, they have their theocracy, though they would claim it is not a religion.

Amy Proctor said...

This was great! I needed it. Awesome post. The downfall of liberalism is that it is secular; if you look historically at societies that embrace secular humanism and evolution, they always end up crumbling from the inside out.

I recognized many of the quotes at the bottom.

creeper said...

"I recognized many of the quotes at the bottom."

C'mon, Radar, is a little factchecking really that difficult?

Juggling Mother said...

"I don't believe that people are naturally good, first of all"

How sad for you.

Do you honestly believe, that all else being equal, with no loss/gain to ourselves whichever we chose, we would invariably chose an evil act over a good one? What a horrible world you must live in.

Children need to be taught right from wrong according to our current social standards left to its own devices, a young child will often show true empathy, kindness and a willingness to help. They have just published an interesting articke on natural Altruism in humans (and other animals) I'll try and look it up fir you.

"Humanism says that even though one man may not be the center of the universe, mankind IS "

no, it doesn't. It says that each individual is the centre of their universe and can affect it for good or bad. It says that mankind is the highest form of life on this planet and has a responsibility for it. It does not dey the possibility of other beings who are more powerful/good/knowing etc than us, just that we should not look to them for guidence/solace or excuses for our own decisions

great qotes, but wow do conservatives say some stupid things too! I think it says more about the type od people who seek the public eye, than about any type of political leanings.

Elephant said...

I mentioned in an earlier posting that Humanism is the foundational belief for a large segment of the Darwinist community and that is true of a large segment of the liberal community... Humanism says that even though one man may not be the center of the universe, mankind IS and liberalism says the same thing. Man is the ultimate authority.

Darwinism actually removes man from the centre of the universe, since it proves we are just a branch on the tree of life. It's the other way round I'm afraid - Christian ethics place God at the centre and Man just slightly off-centre next to God. Can I just remind you that Darwinism says we're just a jumped-up ape (a view which you creationist types have indicated your distaste for in the past). You can't have it both ways - either Darwinism says we're apes and nothing special or it doesn't.

Anonymous said...

"I recognized many of the quotes at the bottom . . ."

Like the Mariah Carey one?

What's frightening is how many of the quotes in the Snopes list actually were said by Dan Quayle . . . What was Bush I thinking? Assasination insurance?

TalkOrigins could really be thought of as just a big, rather specialized urban legend website, when you get down to it . .

It's a shame about the quotes, too (perhaps one or two of the others are true, I'm not wasting time checking), because the post itself was well-written and interesting. A few points:

Definition. Liberalism as a term covers many things, and has changed over time. Any dictionary definition is going to leave out a lot, and this isn't quite the best. "The natural goodness of humans" as a fundamental aspect of liberalism is questionable at best, although liberalism does assume that humans are capable of managing their own affairs to some degree. While liberalism and conservatism are sometimes seen as change vs. stabilty (and there's a great deal of historical truth to that, making both moving targets) liberalism is fundamentally about human liberty (albeit not as single-mindedly as libertarianism). In the broader sense, we're all liberals, the American Revolution was a liberal act, and our country is a liberal democracy. The specific modern versions . . . now that's where it gets interesting.

Wikipedia: "Liberalism is an ideology, philosophy, political tradition, and current of politicalthought, which holds liberty as the primary political value Broadly speaking, liberalism seeks a society characterized by freedom of thought for individuals, limitations on the power of government and religion (and sometimes corporations), the rule of law, the free exchange of ideas, a market economy that supports private enterprise, and a system of government that is transparent. This form of government favors liberal democracy with open and fair elections, where all citizens have equal rights by law, and an equal opportunity to succeed. Liberalism rejected many foundational assumptions which dominated most earlier theories of government, such as the Divine Right of Kings, hereditary status, and establishedreligion. Fundamental human rights that all liberals support include the right to life, liberty, and property. In many countries, modern liberalism differs from classical liberalism by asserting that government provision of some minimal level of material well-being takes priority over freedom from taxation. "

Liberalism at the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Liberalism's place on a five-part political spectrum here.

Fiddler on the Roof - : )

" Man has a mind, he should use it." (etc.)
Agreed.

"I don't believe that people are naturally good, first of all."
Me either. People are naturally people. I think that people are inherently directed towards other people, and this social urge pulls us towards something at least akin to goodness. At the same time, ingroup solidarity can translate into outgroup agression (as we see at every level, from cliques to genocide), which is why I think one of the most importnat political/philosophical projects of our time is widening the circles of "us and ours" as much as possible.

"This country was founded on the Judeo-Christian ethics taken from the Bible. We have the Ten Commandments as foundational to what is considered right and wrong."

As the recent saying goes (paraphrased) - did our elected officials put their hand on a Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution, or did they put their hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible?

It's not that your statement is wrong, exactly. Certainly this religious tradition has been of enormous importance in America's history. But at the level of government . . .
10 Commandments foundational? How do you square the First Amendment with "no other Gods before me", no worship of graven images, no taking in the name of the Lord in vain? Where are the laws enforcing santification of the sabbath day? The honoring of one's parents? And as for not coveting your neighbor's ass - I mean, stuff - isn't that what America's built on? And whatever else one might think of it, adultery isn't illegal. So we're left with no killing, no stealing, and no perjuring oneself, which are good, I grant you, but a bit . . .

Remember, the Constitutition doesn't start off. "God," but rather, "We the People." (And that is liberalism for you . . . those crazy kids . . .) It also bans religious tests for office - although a number of states had them, because if not, just think: you might end up with an elected official who's a Jew, a Muslim, or ]]shudder[[ . . . a Catholic!

"Who says you have a RIGHT to change the institution of marriage. "
You support women retaining property rights even in marriage? You support laws against marital rape? Then you say it.

'judicial activism'
A principled defense against judical overreach is one thing (although this generally just translates into: they made a decision I didn't agree with!). Unfortunately, this can also be an attack on a fundamental principle of our system of government, which isn't a pure democracy. Simple majority rule is a dangerous thing, especially for minorities. You can't just make any law: it has to be Constitutional. Now, on a case by case basis, I'm not saying this charge has no merit . .

But to think that some people are still fighting Marbury v. Madison . .

Highboy - wow, impassioned post. I'll be back in a bit . . .

-Dan S., 8th Amendment absolutist.

Anonymous said...

I mean comment. Impassioned comment.
-Dan S.

creeper said...

"great qotes, but wow do conservatives say some stupid things too!"

And in fact two of the three quotes Radar wrongly attributed to "liberal" politicians were actually Dan Quayle's.

The third quote, from Hilary Clinton, was a dumb thing to say fer sure, but can you name a politician who doesn't think this? Especially the Bush White House, which is at least as secretive and insistent on executive privilege ("We are the president!") as just about any previous administration one can name.

Add to that a couple of quotes from some numbskull celebrities that have nothing to do with your earlier and more sober discussion of the subject, and the whole quotes section you stuck on here adds up to zilch, including the weasly (and of course utterly insupportable) coda ("Do conservatives ever say any dumb, funny stuff? Sure, but they just don't do it as often and with as much vigor."). Keep in mind that both Dan Quayle and George W. Bush hail from the conservative side of the aisle, and they represent some pretty stiff competition as far as verbal blunders go.

But anyway... the whole liberal/conservative tribal catfight doesn't interest me a whole lot, and I'm not going to spend too much time on it. Let the facts speak for themselves and the dice fall where they may.

Juggling Mother said...

sorry it took so long - too many sick kids!

innate altruistism article

highboy said...

"Children need to be taught right from wrong according to our current social standards"

No children need to be taught by clear standards that don't shift with whatever the wants and desires of humanity are. Morality in this country didn't change out of enlightenment. It changed out ou pure selfishness.

"Do you honestly believe, that all else being equal, with no loss/gain to ourselves whichever we chose, we would invariably chose an evil act over a good one? What a horrible world you must live in."

That question isn't valid if you believe that what is good and evil changes over time.

Anonymous said...

A few questions, all for highboy!

" It tells me I'm not smart enough to save my own money or mangage my own future."

Are you talking about social security?

"I'm also forced to pay taxes that go toward the feeding or housing of someone else, without given a CHOICE in the matter."

Would I then be justified in complaining about paying taxes that go to the torture of someone else, or, say, to what I see as an unjustified war, without being given a CHOICE in the matter?

"Liberalism is insulting because it says that I cannot survive without their interference in everything."

So, you've made it to your current station in life without you or your parents ever relying on - or even being helped by - the social programs that are a legacy of the New Deal and later years?

"[liberals] would spend more on public education, which is not described as the responsibility of government in the Constiution anywhere"

a) Can the govenment only, under any and all circumstances, deal with those responsibilities explicitly ennumerated in the Constitution?
b) What can you tell me about the origin and purpose of public ed. - extra points for explaining Jefferson's position (limited as it was)?
c) Is public ed a valid responsibility of state governments?
d) Why do you think liberals want to increase funding for public education?

"Liberals oppose any displays of the Ten Commandments, public prayer endorsed by the goverment, or any other acknowledgement of religion,"
You're good with statues of Hindu deities, public Wiccan rituals, and your child pledging allegiance to one nation under (depending on demographics) Goddess, Krishna, Allah, "nothing-since-there-is-no-God," then?

"That question isn't valid if you believe that what is good and evil changes over time."
That's complicated. Let's try an easy one. Where does good and evil come from? (ie, what makes good good and evil evil?)

-Dan S.

highboy said...

"Are you talking about social security?"

Among other things, yes.

"Would I then be justified in complaining about paying taxes that go to the torture of someone else, or, say, to what I see as an unjustified war, without being given a CHOICE in the matter"

If you could prove it was an unjustified (illegal) war, sure. What you can't do is try comparing war to FORCED charity, then flippantly condemn theocracy.

"So, you've made it to your current station in life without you or your parents ever relying on - or even being helped by - the social programs that are a legacy of the New Deal and later years?"

You seem to use this argument often, just like abortion. "If the tables were turned,..." No, sorry. Doesn't work here. I'm going to recieve a fat return from Earned Income Credit just for having a child next year. Does that make it right? Parents getting 2-3,000$ dollars back a year, when they haven't even payed in half of that, simply because they have kids is ridiculous. Ask all the questions you want, that doesn't justify the liberal idea that it is the government's job to pay for healthcare, its the government's job to save my money, etc.

"a) Can the govenment only, under any and all circumstances, deal with those responsibilities explicitly ennumerated in the Constitution?"

Now what are you getting at?

"b) What can you tell me about the origin and purpose of public ed. - extra points for explaining Jefferson's position (limited as it was)?"

I'll get some links, but what is your point?

"c) Is public ed a valid responsibility of state governments"

No.

"d) Why do you think liberals want to increase funding for public education?"

Because that is what they told me in every campaign.

"You're good with statues of Hindu deities, public Wiccan rituals, and your child pledging allegiance to one nation under (depending on demographics) Goddess, Krishna, Allah, "nothing-since-there-is-no-God," then?"

Sure, why not? If those religions are so popular we'd have them already. The problem for liberals is that the U.S. has always endorsed and recognized Christianity, both in government and the social realm. Our nation's history is replete with examples of this, even from/especially those Framers who are considered deists. Thomas Jefferson, who rejected Christ's deity, (for a while) did more to endorse Christianity than any other President. As for the Pledge, if liberals are pro-choice as they say, they wouldn't have allowed the ACLU to push for its ban in many public schools. If they didn't want kids to be forced to say it, fine. But what they did was remove the freedom of choice from the students effected, only in the opposite direction. Now we have some schools where kids who want to say the Pledge under the Judeo-Christian God cannot.


"That's complicated. Let's try an easy one. Where does good and evil come from? (ie, what makes good good and evil evil?)"

Once again to raise a question better discussed on another thread. Like my own site if Blogger wasn't screwing me.