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what is conservative about fundamentalist religion?
Posted: 01 April 2013 05:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Dom1978-And no, I’ve never even visited the US in my life, but that’s not really the point here. I hate Christian fundamentalism as much as anyone, but the question here is whether it really has anything to do with conservatism, understood in the way I’ve defined it here.

Please read the first sentence of your first thread posting.  You briefly queried about US conservatism. 
Just as you could give me a quick run down about Labor and Torries etc in the UK, It would take you pages and pages to explain how that transcribes to the street or the living room of the average British household. 
It’s complicated.  Our politics, conservative or liberal, and religion in the US are complicated.

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Posted: 01 April 2013 07:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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OK, so in the US conservatism no longer has anything to do with being safe, cautious, pragmatic, realistic, or anti-utopian.

What makes you think conservatism ANYWHERE has anything to do other then maintaining the status quo?

These people are now a bunch of extremists who think that everyone must be allowed to have their guns regardless of the consequences

Strawman argument.

Anyway, in my view, old-fashioned grumpy conservatives in both the US and elsewhere will almost certainly see these people as extremists or radicals and not as conservatives.

no True Scotsman fallacy again.

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Posted: 01 April 2013 10:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Equal Opportunity Curmudgeon - 01 April 2013 07:02 PM

OK, so in the US conservatism no longer has anything to do with being safe, cautious, pragmatic, realistic, or anti-utopian.

What makes you think conservatism ANYWHERE has anything to do other then maintaining the status quo?

These people are now a bunch of extremists who think that everyone must be allowed to have their guns regardless of the consequences

Strawman argument.

Anyway, in my view, old-fashioned grumpy conservatives in both the US and elsewhere will almost certainly see these people as extremists or radicals and not as conservatives.

no True Scotsman fallacy again.

It seems wrong to say that conservatives just want to support the status quo. For example, if you had total chaos in a society, the conservatives wouldn’t just accept it and talk about how great it is. They would say this is what human nature is like when you lose the authority of the church, the family, and the state. Conservatives are also often quite nostalgic and look back to a time when things were a lot better than they are now. This is all quite different from just accepting the status quo no matter what it happens to be. 

Moreover, it’s just not clear what it means to accept the status quo. Does this mean the status quo in this small town, or this state, or this country, or the whole world? Also, how far back to we want to go? John Zerzan and the anarcho-primitivists often describe themselves as the real conservatives, since they want to go back to what’s normal for human beings. Humans have lived as hunter-gatherers with no state for 99% of the time, so this is the norm for humanity, and real conservatives should favor living this way again.   

So I think it’s better to think of conservatives as having particular views about human nature, human possibilities, social institutions and social engineering. Probably the central idea is that human beings are very dangerous creatures and we’ve got to have the right kinds of social institutions and myths to stop them from tearing each other apart. Unlike the fundamentalists, they see this as being much more important than having the right interpretation of Genesis or the correct understanding of the trinity.

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Posted: 01 April 2013 10:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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VYAZMA - 01 April 2013 05:22 PM

Dom1978-And no, I’ve never even visited the US in my life, but that’s not really the point here. I hate Christian fundamentalism as much as anyone, but the question here is whether it really has anything to do with conservatism, understood in the way I’ve defined it here.

Please read the first sentence of your first thread posting.  You briefly queried about US conservatism. 
Just as you could give me a quick run down about Labor and Torries etc in the UK, It would take you pages and pages to explain how that transcribes to the street or the living room of the average British household. 
It’s complicated.  Our politics, conservative or liberal, and religion in the US are complicated.

 

Yeah, I could have started a thread about whether the conservative party in the UK is really conservative, but that probably wouldn’t have been of much interest here. And yeah, of course it’s complicated. There’s no such thing as a pure conservative. We all take ideas from all over the place. 

The question is whether fundamentalist Christianity in the US today really has much in common with conservatism as it has been understood in social and political philosophy, through people like Thomas Hobbes and Edmund Burke. It seems to me that it’s something quite different, and I’m struggling to nail down exactly what it is. Maybe we would be better off just calling these people fundamentalists or true believers or extremists.

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Posted: 02 April 2013 06:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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It seems to me that it’s something quite different, and I’m struggling to nail down exactly what it is. Maybe we would be better off just calling these people fundamentalists or true believers or extremists.

That would be about right.

When you get down to it, it was Robert Heinlein who said it best in The Notebooks of Lazarus Long: “Political tags—such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth—are NEVER basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.”

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