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Robert Price & Chris Mooney - Must Atheists Also Be Liberals?
Posted: 03 July 2010 06:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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rg21 - 03 July 2010 04:05 PM

All these cultural relativist objections to opposing the legitimizing of homosexuality illustrate my point about liberals. OUR culture defined homosexuality as a perversion, did so for generations time out of mind….

So… Liberals are guilty of being cultural relativists, but your argument for why homosexuality is wrong is based on ‘in general, our culture says thinks it’s wrong’?  In what sense AREN’T you a cultural relativist?

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Posted: 03 July 2010 07:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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rg21 - 03 July 2010 06:21 PM

No, they are based on tradition, experience, established order, and consensus, as opposed to conceit, pathologically malcontented personality, partisan agenda, a desire for attention or for regaining the youthful delusion of importance and destiny, self serving perverted desires, or the unresolved impulse to “get back at” your father. And I don’t need either a liberal or an Englishman to tell me how to be a conservative. You have conservative and Conservative confused.

Tradition, established order, experience (which you are not gay from what I gather so you don’t have that experience), consensus was created by humans.  Who says homosexuality is pathologically malcontented personality or conceit?  Who says it is a desire for attention?  Who says it is perverted?  Humans do.  I hardly think being gay has anything to do with getting back at one’s father, esp when it has a genetic component.  So again, you are not providing facts or any rational.  It is strictly emotion and going by authoritarian rules and propaganda, not by any facts.

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Posted: 03 July 2010 08:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Liberals are motivated by conceit, etc. I prefer traditional emotion, authoritarian rules, etc. rather than those of liberals. Why is this even a question? Because the conceit of liberals is so enormous they think their idea outweigh all of human experience and accumulated wisdom. Or I could put it this way for you. I prefer the “consensus created by humans” to the imposition of coercive utopians. Stop shoving this down our throats.

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Posted: 03 July 2010 08:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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rg21 - 03 July 2010 08:01 PM

Liberals are motivated by conceit, etc. I prefer traditional emotion, authoritarian rules, etc. rather than those of liberals. Why is this even a question? Because the conceit of liberals is so enormous they think their idea outweigh all of human experience and accumulated wisdom. Or I could put it this way for you. I prefer the “consensus created by humans” to the imposition of coercive utopians. Stop shoving this down our throats.

And you don’t think the attitude you have is arrogant and conceited?

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Posted: 03 July 2010 08:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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I suppose there’s a sort of natural historical alignment of conservatism with religion because conservatism since Burke is concerned fundamentally with the value of tradition and community.  If liberalism is aligned historically with the detached sort of rationalism that is particularly indifferent to tradition and community, and focuses instead on efficiency and productivity then it makes sense that it would attract atheists who are hostile to religion. 

This is not a compulsion by any means, however.  The meaning of conservatism and liberalism shift over time and have shifted in particularly distinctive ways recently as some political parties have learned to build their power bases by encouraging ideological polarization.  Most people seem only too willing to go along with that, which is why it has been so effective.  If an atheist “must” be a liberal today, it is only because we’ve let party politics define the ways of thinking that we consider acceptable.  Bravo to those folks who think for themselves and resist the stigma of not adhering to party definitions of conservatism and liberalism.

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Posted: 04 July 2010 01:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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I cringe when I realise it is going to be Robert Price, I really do.
He left at the end with a challenge asking if anything he had said was religious in nature, i.e., faith-based.  To which I think I can say yes, his views on abortion are an extrapolation of the sixth commandment.  To call it infanticide, murder, is the invocation of the sanctity of life which is promoted by the religious mindset.  It is true that an early embryo is human and alive but it has no identity, no self. Unless Price perceives a soul there, there is no rational reason to preserve it over other considerations, the welfare of the mother for example.
But this issue was dug into with Peter Singer on POI, (15/11/2008) and the topic was discussed with real clarity.  In that episode there was none of Price’s insufferable crowing. None of his deliberately obscuring language, his ethereal cultural or theological references.  This man is remorselessly self-promoting, he argues to win. This in depressing contrast to other presenters who seek to explain and to illuminate.

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Posted: 04 July 2010 03:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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“And you don’t think the attitude you have is arrogant and conceited?” There’s a tu quoque argument for you. But no, I’m speaking for the status quo or status quo ante, the accumulated practice and agreement of ages, hardly an act of conceit. Liberals just can’t get past the idea their pet projects and causes are superior to all and every. There is a taboo against murder (yes, religiously based, so what), a taboo against incest, a taboo against homosexuality. There are or were cultures that lack all of these. This is a values issue, not a scientific experiment. This does not mean it isn’t important. This does not mean liberals have better ideas and have a right to impose them on us and the future. That is the point and liberals are apodictically incapable of grasping it. New Age hucksters (invariably liberals themselves) can and do claim “scientifically proven” not only for claims that can be tested but for some that can’t and they believe it themselves. Liberals are the same sort of con artists. Liberals expect us to embrace their values because of who they are. That is the same reason I won’t.

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Posted: 04 July 2010 04:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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rg21 is a kook. I have now read through some of his previous posts to this site, including an earlier exchange on homosexuality. He is clearly interested in using incendiary language and pissing people off. He is not interested in any kind of dialogue, of offering proof, of reasoning. His approach is indeed that of a fundamentalist (I think he’s probably a crypto-fundamentalist) but I have to say that I’ve discussed ideas with many fundies who aren’t nearly as offensive as rg21 is. This guy is a waste of time and effort.

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Posted: 04 July 2010 04:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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And when liberals can’t win arguments, they call names, make ad hominem insults, declare the arguments they can’t confront nonexistent, declare the dissenter a non person, beat their breasts, and declare victory. After all, might makes right.

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Posted: 04 July 2010 07:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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A fascinating topic, however I am less then comfortable with the premise.  If I had to choose a label for myself it would not be conservative/liberal but skeptic or atheist.  Wearing a conservative/liberal badge makes it easy to adopt a herd mind set rather then think for ones self.  From there we find the us vs. them thinking which is rarely productive and often disasterous.  Regards

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Posted: 04 July 2010 08:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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rg21 - 04 July 2010 03:02 AM

...There’s a tu quoque argument for you. But no, I’m speaking for the status quo or status quo ante, the accumulated practice and agreement of ages, hardly an act of conceit. Liberals just can’t get past the idea their pet projects and causes are superior to all and every. There is a taboo against murder (yes, religiously based, so what), a taboo against incest, a taboo against homosexuality. ...

Why should we accept the traditionalist, authoritarian view handed down through an “agreement of ages” as holding any validity?  You seem to think we arrived that way through some incrementally improving process (social darwinism?) and, therefore, that it has been optimized to reflect the behaviors of human nature.  By this logic, though, we should all be religious, but you are not.  By this logic, honor killing and FGM are appropriate and acceptable in the countries that practice them.  This argument stinks of the worst kind of traditionalism and results in nothing but community-based cultural relativism.  Moreover, why should we expect such a society to optimize for human happiness or social harmony as opposed to, say, exploitation and expansionism?

When we determine important societal policies, it should be through logic and good ethical practice.  We can use the thinking of our forebears for help, but we would be making a grievous mistake to accept their words as holy writ.  This applies especially to social conservatives, who often base their decisions on gut feelings rather than clear thinking (e.g. “gay is icky and therefore wrong”).  Here, too, the “New Age hucksters” on the left are also guilty, viewing cool logic as anathema to the human condition, they rebel against it and embrace their own special woo.  I suppose the overriding theme should be: just because you feel emotionally justified does not mean you are intellectually justified.  We need to base our social thinking on facts and reason, not tradition and feelings, if we’re to have any hope of improving the human condition.

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Posted: 04 July 2010 09:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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rg21 - 04 July 2010 04:53 AM

And when liberals can’t win arguments,...

I’m not sure this is an “argument” that can be won or lost.  I see greater acceptance of homosexuality as a consequence of changing sexual mores, which itself I think is a consequence of increased longevity and health.  It seems inevitable to me, not a result of liberals or anyone else pushing an agenda.  It made more sense to enshrine lifetime sexual fidelity as a moral imperative when most of us didn’t survive much beyond the years we spent raising children, many of whom did not survive into adulthood.  The fact that, as a species, we were never particularly good at living up to that imperative is at least partly beside the point, as is the fact that men were always allowed greater latitude with regard to it than women.  Moral imperatives and restrictions tend to track what is broadly perceived as beneficial for the species (there were usually pretty good health reasons for religious dietary restrictions, for example) at a given time, and gradually fall away when they no longer serve the same purposes.

We’re currently in that gradual falling away phase with regard to homosexuality, which didn’t even emerge as a distinct identity until about 150 years ago and took several decades to begin to codify.  That, itself, was an outgrowth of the idea of human sexuality being a subject for inquiry.  It isn’t something that can be rolled back without also rolling back ideas about love, free will, and human rights that have become enshrined in Western literature and philosophy for the past several hundred years.

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Posted: 04 July 2010 10:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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rg21 - 04 July 2010 04:53 AM

And when liberals can’t win arguments, they call names, make ad hominem insults

... says the man who said:
“Liberals are motivated by conceit”
“[Liberal opinion is based on] conceit, pathologically malcontented personality, partisan agenda, a desire for attention or for regaining the youthful delusion of importance and destiny, self serving perverted desires, or the unresolved impulse to “get back at” your father.”

rg21 - 04 July 2010 04:53 AM

declare the dissenter a non person

Who declared you a non-person?  Or are you just making up imaginary slights to “prove” that all your detractors are sleazy (and who wants to side with sleazebags)?

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Posted: 04 July 2010 10:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Nice posts by Kevin in reply to RG21.

I have to say, I’m very disappointed in the quality of comments from Robert Price. His stated points were reckless and hyperbolic. In particular Bob’s characterization of stem cell research as “Frankenstein science” and his equating the rational basis for opposition to Reagan’s “Star Wars” program to that of creationists who oppose evolution science. I’m afraid that Bob poorly represented the quality of thought that exists among the conservative point of view.

[ Edited: 04 July 2010 11:58 AM by Riley ]
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Posted: 04 July 2010 12:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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rg21 - 04 July 2010 03:02 AM

“And you don’t think the attitude you have is arrogant and conceited?” There’s a tu quoque argument for you. But no, I’m speaking for the status quo or status quo ante, the accumulated practice and agreement of ages, hardly an act of conceit. Liberals just can’t get past the idea their pet projects and causes are superior to all and every. There is a taboo against murder (yes, religiously based, so what), a taboo against incest, a taboo against homosexuality. There are or were cultures that lack all of these. This is a values issue, not a scientific experiment. This does not mean it isn’t important. This does not mean liberals have better ideas and have a right to impose them on us and the future. That is the point and liberals are apodictically incapable of grasping it. New Age hucksters (invariably liberals themselves) can and do claim “scientifically proven” not only for claims that can be tested but for some that can’t and they believe it themselves. Liberals are the same sort of con artists. Liberals expect us to embrace their values because of who they are. That is the same reason I won’t.

Seems to me people said things almost similar to those who fought against past social issues.  Why bother making change if every time the same or similar rhetorical is thrown out?  The fact is, once change is made, people stop talking in archaic ways and in a direction that betters humanity.

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