Conservatives and Religion

Posted by Herb7734 4 months, 3 weeks ago to Philosophy
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What usually is left out when talking about the difference between conservatives and liberals is religion and it's collateral effects.Conservatives say that they are for the Constitution's "original intent", in other words, strict construction. Actually the Constitution was was constructed to protect individual liberty. But then, they favor anti abortion laws, prayer in schools, and seek to impose religious morality by force of law. They do favor, however, reduced government intervention in the economy.The liberals favor a "loose construction when interpreting the Constitution.It means they can "update it and change it from its original intent to ruling by whim. The question is, is there a moral justification for capitalism? Miss Rand in her various writings makes this very clear, and is way too long to go into here.As to religion? I needn't say more. than she attributes all heavenly folks as ghosts. In all discussions relative to liberal v conservative the deep underpinnings of of both sides are never realized. Instead, we get extreme liberal lack of laws and restraints with conservatives touting adherence to laws and a basic interpretation of the Constitution.


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  • Posted by  $  Radio_Randy 4 months, 3 weeks ago
    Religion tends to give people hope and brings them together. It has its dark side, as well, but there are a great number of "good" Christians out there and I respect their beliefs, even if I don't follow it, myself.

    On the other hand, I have seen a number of Atheist groups sue municipalities over their preferential treatment of Christian organizations. I've seen governments sue Christians over the practice of their beliefs, even when nobody is physically or financially harmed by those beliefs. Why is it, then, that so many continue to blast Christians, yet let non-Christians off with a free pass?

    If I had treated my Christian wife that way...our nearly 40 years of happy married life would've ended decades ago. I don't need any more proof than that to allow a person to practice his or her own belief, so long as I'm not personally harmed by it.
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    • Posted by Eyecu2 4 months, 3 weeks ago
      Well said. As a Christian I don't push my beliefs on others even though most Churches have a "Missionary" leaning. I firmly believe that I should live my life according to my Christian faith and allow others to believe as they choose. If asked I will happily explain my beliefs but I never initiate the conversation, not even with my own children.
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  • Posted by scojohnson 4 months, 3 weeks ago
    You only need to look at California to see liberal politics and absence of morality run amok. The state constitution, under the watchful eyes of liberals, has been "updated" 480 times and is thousands of pages long.
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    • Posted by 4 months, 3 weeks ago
      As a former resident of San Diego, I can attest that they have managed to pretty much wipe out the middle class. Way too expensive to live there without working 2 or 3 jobs. As a result, you have the wealthy and the poor. The strange situation of the wealthy working their asses off and the "poor" not working at all
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  • Posted by term2 4 months, 3 weeks ago
    The real issue is that “religion” is designed around a series of principles set forth by the founders and generally unchangeable by the use of reason. Some or none of those principles may align with the facts of reality or not.

    Most religions contain some reasonable elements, but for the wrong reasons, and aren’t susceptible to change based on reason

    This makes religion a bad thing in principle

    Not that objectivism could ever be a religion per se, but what if there was a religion which had no “god” but incorporated a lot of objectivist ideas derived from and in accordance with reality

    Might be better than what we have now?
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    • Posted by 4 months, 3 weeks ago
      Religion had its time and did its job. People of two thousand or three thousand years ago couldn't be taught rationality because They attributed their successes or failures to a greater power because they were taught to not have faith in themselves. Moses was a real smart cookie. He wasn't lost in the desert. He was fighting different villages and taking over the people and building a great army. When he won a battle, the first thing he'd do is destroy their idols showing his God to be superior, but if he lost a battle when the winners tried to destroy his God, HA! No soap, his god was invisible.
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      • Posted by term2 4 months, 3 weeks ago
        To design a religion is the task of a master, to be sure. It has to promise things which can’t be delivered while you are alive and also severe punishments if you violate its tenets. Things which are enjoyable need to be sinful. Periodic absolution must be possible. There needs to something all powerful that lives in the ether and can’t seen or heard. On and in. The established religions have done a reasonable job of getting followers. I thought once of designing an internet. “Design your own religion” website. Let people create a religion, choose dogma, rewards, punishments, and charge membership fees (to be shared with the designers), hire bishops, conduct webinar services etc.

        Let people basically have a portal to pick a religion they think is perfect for them. Let the best religion win !!!! Free market
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        • Posted by 4 months, 3 weeks ago
          There is a new religion called "Leon." (Noel backwards) which attempts to meld conservative and liberal ideas together. It should be a new party. Actually the Libertarian Party is somewhat like that,
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  • Posted by jimjamesjames 4 months, 3 weeks ago
    The Constitution was created on the values stated in the Declaration of Independence. Times change, things change but core values are timeless. My issue is that liberal values are so flimsy that they have no foundation other than "We care, you don't." The irrational reason, IMHO, that they have become so virulent, is one, they cannot define their values and, two, like petulant children, they lash out.
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    • Posted by term2 4 months, 3 weeks ago
      I used to refer to Obama as an arrogant, petulant brat. Look at his reaction to Snowden, demanding that Putin turn him over. I likes Putin's response to the efffect that he will have to think about it for the next month....
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  • Posted by IndianaGary 4 months, 3 weeks ago
    Herb, it's all of a piece: conservatives believe the fundamental base of the Constitution requires the existence of a god. While an incredible piece of work, the Constitution is flawed by its implied religious underpinnings. We do know that the founders were largely Deists, who believed that their god left Man to rule himself without divine intervention, but there are gaping holes in the wording that allows religious zealots to interpret it as a religious document. You should hear Mark Levin talk about the Constitution, which he calls the law of the land in one breath and says it is god-given in the next.
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  • Posted by  $  blarman 4 months, 3 weeks ago
    I would offer that the difference between conservatives and liberals is which religion and its collateral effects.

    Most conservatives believe in the Judeo-Christian ethic denoted by respect for ones neighbors, strict laws based on moral principles, and much emphasis placed on the hereafter. Most liberals believe in the accumulation of power and wealth, of tiers of people based on perceived class status, and emphasis placed on the here-and-now.

    To conservatives, the Constitution protects the individual and upholds the notion of respect and respect alike while providing for the maximum tolerance of religious practice both in public and private while still allowing for differences between sectarian belief sets. A conservative favors reduced government intervention both because he (or she) believes in maximum allowances for individuals to live - and do business - according to their beliefs and because people given too much power over their fellow men tend towards tyranny. Conservatives hold very closely to the original statement in the Declaration of Independence (which the Constitution was created to protect) that "all men are created equal" - not in class structures or castes.

    To liberals (ie progressives), the Constitution is anathema because it obstructs the power-hungry through barriers in the form of voting, limited powers, accountability, checks and balances, and so forth. Progressives at every turn seek to create social classes based on some status or identity so as to fragment society and reduce effective opposition to their policies. What is more, progressives want to promote the notion of social classes as an excuse to apply the laws differently based on social status. This furthers their aims of acquiring power and money by allowing them to prosecute their opponents for the very same acts they themselves are absolved of. Hypocrisy is the progressive's daily staple.

    Conservatives are universalists, believing in a single set of laws that apply equally and unequivocably to all - laws which are immutable and eternal. Liberals/progressives believe quite simply in "might makes right" - that laws and their application are determined and adjudicated by those in power.
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  • Posted by DrZarkov99 4 months, 3 weeks ago
    People with a dislike of abortion includes some moral atheists as well. The cavalier destruction of human life carries over into society, making it more cruel and vicious. Most people in our society have expressed favoring abortion when the quality of the baby's life may be agonizing, or when the mother's life may be truly endangered, or in the case of rape or incest. There's moral balance to that view, making rational but disheartening decisions, and people with less religious fervor can be found who share it.

    Painting people with the most extreme views as representative of all is unjust. Conservatives have a variety of concepts. There are those who fit the picture of rabid moralists, to whom the idea of compromise is obscene. Then there are the fiscal conservatives, who favor a free market and light government hand, sharing Rand's view that capitalism can be the most moral agent in society. Then there are the constitutionalists, some of whom treat the Constitution as holy scripture, while others recognize there is a small degree of interpretation to be allowed.

    New-fashioned liberals likewise have a spectrum of views. Conservative Democrats (an admittedly hard animal to find these days) are essentially Federalists who believe a strong central government is the best keeper of liberty. They are usually strong supporters of the use of military force, in keeping with the Federal government's prime duty of protecting the republic. Moderate Democrats (also hard to find) view a strong Federal hand in social concerns as at least as important as its security duties, but are concerned and recognize the harm in too much regulation or welfare state activities. Democratic Socialist see nothing wrong in a smothering nanny state, and are repelled by any military action except when the life of the republic is truly endangered. Socialists are the liberal fringe element, eager to scrap the Constitution in favor of a supposedly benign totalitarian government controlled by a morally worthy elite.

    On one end of the spectrum of political thought is a recognition that humans are imperfect beings that benefit from a moral code and just rule of law, and are capable of great achievements given the freedom to act. At the other end is the belief that only a gifted few are truly capable of great achievements, and the rest of humanity benefits when those few make the rules and enforce righteous behavior.
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    • Posted by term2 4 months, 3 weeks ago
      I think as long as the fetus is in the mothers womb, its hers to do with as she wants and none of our business. Once it is born, that is another matter completely.
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      • Posted by DrZarkov99 4 months, 3 weeks ago
        You're certainly entitled to your opinion, as are others. I cited the beliefs of others, which don't favor your position. In fact most Americans polled would rather see some attention paid to the fact that the developing being should not be indifferently discarded. I'm a little more liberal, as I think the "morning after" pill is an acceptable solution, since at that point there is no developed fetus, just a few cells with no heartbeat.
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        • Posted by term2 4 months, 3 weeks ago
          If I was a woman, I dont think I would be into terminating my pregnancy unless there was a really good reason to do it. But , as I said, I dont think its someone else's business to make that decision for me. There are enough ways to prevent pregnancy in the first place, along with the morning after pill to deal with really accidental impregnations, that it should come up quite seldom anyway.

          I wonder just how many women actually get to the point of wanting to terminate pregnancy anyway. Is this a real problem in the first place?
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          • Posted by DrZarkov99 4 months, 3 weeks ago
            Part of the argument for the Roe vs Wade decision was a made up declaration that over 10,000 women were dying each year from failed self abortions. The actual numbers were more like a dozen such deaths annually, but the justices failed to ask for evidence to back the number, which even Justice Ginsberg points out as part of what she considers a bad SCOTUS decision.

            To answer your last question, abortions in the U.S. peaked at nearly 1.5 million annually in 1990, but have steadily decreased since then. By 2014 the number had dropped to just over 600,000. Most of this is more effective preventive measures, and a smaller part is a younger population that places less stigma on unmarried births. U.S. birth rate has fallen dramatically during that period, which is reported to lifestyle changes that induce women to wait to have children, which of course results in smaller families.
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            • Posted by term2 4 months, 3 weeks ago
              I remember when the FDA took over regulating medical devices in 1976. Their excuse was literally about 6 deaths that were attributed to failed medical devices. That excuse resulted in a huge bureaucracy, with associated costs and delays in the marketing of new medical devices. Also, resulted in me leaving the industry after a few years of real stupidity on the part of the regulators.

              Thank you for the info on abortions. I am not really in the market for an abortion, and frankly I dont care really what the government does on it as it doesnt affect me at all.

              But, as I said, I think its a woman's right to do what she wants with whats in her body until its born.
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            • Posted by 4 months, 3 weeks ago
              I think that eschewing of greater responsibility may enter into it. Without any statistic to back me up, I suspect that the responsibility of raising a child is too daunting even with one's partner in tow. I think that this was much less considered 30 years ago and further back.
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        • Posted by 4 months, 3 weeks ago
          OK
          Are we speaking as Objectivists or as defenders of religion? The very name "objectivist" presupposes a non religious component.7 billion can believe in religion which still makes it irrational. From the concept of a guy in the sky with a flowing white beard to the bible stories, there is no rationality there.
          It may have done the job of keeping people in line 3,000 years ago, but it is no longer a valid idea. If one chooses to rely on religion, that is OK with me so long as I'm not forced to comply with any of whichever's religion's tenets you or anyone else wants to compel me to espouse.
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          • Posted by DrZarkov99 4 months, 3 weeks ago
            How about some of the ten commandments, which are reflected in secular law? Like "Thou shalt not murder." Of course that directive is also in Hammurabi's laws, which were also considered religious directives, since the king was considered a demigod.

            Moral atheists have done a pretty good job of pointing out religious practices with secular benefit, as well as those that are outdated or irrational. There was a practical element to some directives, like the avoidance of eating pork, since trichinosis occurred frequently in that era. The directives against homosexuality and masturbation had their roots in the need to grow the tribe and a higher infant mortality rate. Those all could be declared outdated.

            An amoral society can't exist for long, which is why the rule of law and recognition of natural rights are absolutely vital. Whether you base the idea of natural rights to speech, self defense, etc. on being endowed by a creator, or follow Cicero's non-religious logic is immaterial, as they are the basis for recognized individual liberty.
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            • Posted by 4 months, 3 weeks ago
              As a way of civilizing humans, religion was a good tool., no doubt. Dire consequences for evil as part of the morality was needed so that a primitive people could be kept in line through fear.Apparently, most people are still weak minded enough to still be ruled by religion(s) over the past few thousand years. They manage to learn science and the nature of the universe and still cling to the tenets of religion.Sort of a mental security blanket. As an aside, I just witnessed on Netflix a fellow whose name I can't remember, but bills his show as "Miracle." He announces that he is an atheist and after doing a number of very clever magician illusions, he brings people on stage and cures their ills using the same techniques as preachers of the evangelical type.They faint, and awaken "cured." Most amazing. There is still much to learn of the universe and the human mind.
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  • Posted by mia767ca 4 months, 3 weeks ago
    "conservatives and socialists are on a different moral spectrum than objectivists...they are altruists...anti-freedom and anti-liberty....we are pro-individual...freedom,...and liberty...
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    • Posted by 4 months, 3 weeks ago
      Individual thought versus group think..One of my favorite tales:
      When wandering through the student center one day, I encountered a group arguing over the type of nonsense, I love to be part of. One fellow with an outrageous southern accent was arguing with a increasingly angry city boy that opossums fornicate through their noses.In order to keep things from escalating into something physical, I suggested that we come back tomorrow with proof to our particular claims. I went to a professor who was a zoologist who was, after hearing my story, was kind enough to be amused and took the time to explain that it was not possible, for opossums to have sex with their noses.he signed his name, including all his degrees which were numerous. The next day we met back at the student center. Confidently, I showed him my letter from the prof.and it even showed that because they copulated face to face it didn't mean that the nose was in any way involved. With a Hah! He said, "I got you beat" and he produced a letter stating his belief and signed by 25 or 30 of his friends, and the argument started all over again.
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      • Posted by freedomforall 4 months, 3 weeks ago
        Ah, the Facebook "proof" vs the biased professional liar who never held a real job "proof".
        Anyone for a nocturnal outing to the zoo with an infra-red camera? Naw, too time consuming. Maybe fund a poll of area possums?
        ;^)
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        • Posted by 4 months, 3 weeks ago
          Nothing would convince them. its a matter of, "We saw them doing it with our own eyes." versus what a learned professor who has spent his entire life studying animals.
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          • Posted by freedomforall 4 months, 3 weeks ago
            You and mia have it right. Trying to convince the irrational is a frustrating waste of time.
            (Hopefully that professor isn't now teaching how global warming is destroying animal habitats and it's all the fault of white men.)
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            • Posted by 4 months, 3 weeks ago
              It was a $5 bet. (A lot of money in the 50's). I wanted that $5 badly. It meant a whole night at The Flame Showbar where all the black performers of the day performed. Great music and almost every black performer who later became famous, performed there. Ah well, I guess I just needed to earn the $ legit.
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  • Posted by bsudell 4 months, 3 weeks ago
    "they favor anti abortion laws, prayer in schools, and seek to impose religious morality by force..." is the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. People have the right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." You disguise murder by using abortion, so why don't you say they are anti-murder, which is what they are. How do you support that sentence? People were educated using the torah and the bible. I think it would be good to learn about all religions in school. It's learning about what people believe. That's extremely interesting. And, how do you teach morality? Talking and teaching morality is now "force of law." I don't think so. America is great because Americans are good. We don't want to lose that.
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    • Posted by 4 months, 3 weeks ago
      I like your last sentence.
      Religion(s) have some good things, moral principles that satisfied people 2 or 3 hundred years ago, and certainly a couple of thousand years ago. But most of it is pure nonsense and one doesn't have to be a scientist to recognize it.For people living in the 21st century to fashion their lives around religious stories and rituals is irrational. There is no other way to say it. Running your life by witch-doctor rituals and the repeating
      of pleadings to the "king of the universe" throws all knowledge and scientific achievement away. and shows that the worshiper has no concept of what the universe really is.
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  • Posted by 4 weeks, 1 day ago
    Currently the problem that most religious conservatives is atheistic evil intent. Most outspoken atheists couple their atheism with a degree of nihilismand people have a hard time believing in life without redemption. Crime and punishment is so ingrained in the human psyche that religious persons find life at the end without punishment of evil or reward for virtue to be pointless. Objectivisim posits a philosophy that, if followed, would create heaven during life.If, because we don't truly understand the nature of consciousness, there is the possibility of an "afterlife" then it's a new ballgame.
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 4 months, 3 weeks ago
    "liberal lack of laws and restraints with conservatives touting adherence to laws"
    Liberals and conservatives both tout adherence to laws but say legal institutions conspire against them.
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    • Posted by 4 months, 3 weeks ago
      Liberals are approaching the most dangerous of all philosophies which is Anarchy. The only way anarchy works is with a population of totally rational persons. Please let me know when that happens.
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 4 months, 3 weeks ago
    Can you re-state the last two or three sentences? I think I'm missing something b/c of the way it's worded.
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    • Posted by 4 months, 3 weeks ago
      Trying to dilineate the commonly accepted version of the difference between left and right. The usually unspoken aspect of conservative ithought the insertion of religion as part of their input. To an Objectivist this voids much of the conservative viewpoint, stepping away, as it does, from strict rationality.
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      • Posted by bsmith51 4 months, 3 weeks ago
        Strict rationality serves the few truly thinking people but church, with its inherent flaws, generally sets the standards for the masses. Those standards should not automatically be rejected due to their origins.
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      • Posted by CircuitGuy 4 months, 3 weeks ago
        To the extent the words still have meaning, I see "conservative" as supporting time-tested practices simply because of they're history. "Liberal" is the opposite, supporting new practices just because they're new. These definitions are consistent with what you said about liberals loosely interpreting the Constitution.

        It's irrational to do something simply because it's old or new. The word doesn't mean conservatives and liberals are totally irrational but rather they have an irrational bias: all things being equal they lean toward the old and new respectively.

        All my life the words seem to be losing their meaning. They were confusing when I first learned them because conservative can also mean cautious (e.g. a conservative investment approach) and liberal can mean classical liberalism.

        I see them becoming even more meaningless, just epithets for people who like to be mean but don't have any real things to be mean about. It's not like one word represents gov't being less expensive and intrusive while the other represents the idea that well-managed gov't can solve many problems. It's just an excuse for people to act like idiots.

        BTW, I think I understand you're saying: Using the old definitions, conservatives support free capitalism except they support trade barriers and immigration restrictions because that's the way it was historically. Liberals are distrustful of capitalism for the same reason. Ayn Rand says who cares what people did in the past. There's a rational basis for capitalism unrelated to appeal to antiquity.

        I completely agree if this is what you're saying. It's sad that by the new definitions conservatives act like angry children who need food and sleep and liberals act the exact same way. I'm with Melania Trump: "I don't care [about the angry tantrums]. Do you?"
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