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Robert Price & Chris Mooney - Must Atheists Also Be Liberals?
Posted: 07 November 2010 12:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 181 ]
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If no one is breaking the law then it is none of your business or mine. Most people I know who are injured are that way because of accidents. I have never met anyone who was killed and if you commit a crime and you are out it means you have served your time. As far as proselytizing they can have at it as long as they stay out of schools and government. (Or call for my death!)

I really don’t give a damn what cops want. They are there as tools of the state to protect me and keep the peace – nothing more, nothing less.

My house is my castle and if it aint on fire and no one is hurt then keep the f*** out!

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Posted: 07 November 2010 12:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 182 ]
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IF one is abusing their spouse, in or out of the house, then it is a crime.  IF one is making meth in their home, then it is a crime.  IF one is abusing their child in any way shape or form, in or out of their home, then it is a crime.

BTW, how did we get on this topic?

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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 07 November 2010 03:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 183 ]
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who was talking about sex?  we were talking about psychotic religion… If your neighbour is telling their kids that the catholics across the road are scum, you should worry.

Pumping your kids with ideologies is a crime.


Getting back to atheist liberals?  I wouldn’t know, I am a philosophical nihilist.  Atheists and agnostics believe in far too many fairy stories as it is.  Adding a deity and calling yourself religious makes you only one step worse.

I must admit, Price seems to forget this when he goes rant side mid show.

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Posted: 13 March 2011 12:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 184 ]
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Being both right-wing and being an atheist isn’t a popular combination.  To many, it may seem unnatural or contradictory for someone to embrace both positions.  But this is because of the prejudices of our age and not due to any inherent conflicts.

Atheism does not necessarily lead to left-wing or right-wing politics.  In the modern West this seems like a strange claim to make, and for it to make sense we must understand what the actual origins of political belief are.

The most convincing attempt to explain the framework underlying people’s political views comes from Thomas Sowell.  He so elegantly argues that the origin of left and right comes from the way the two groups see the world.  It is basic, and sometimes unconscious, underlying beliefs about how the world works that has created “a conflict of visions.”  I will try to summarize the two visions that make up the left and right from Sowell’s book A Conflict of Visions.  If my summary seems odd or incomplete the fault is my own and not Sowell’s.

The Utopian Vision

The Utopian Vision of the world is the underlying world-view of the political left.  In this vision human nature is optimistically changeable through reason.  Our limitations are the product of our social environment, so tradition has no inherent value.  There is a natural distrust of decentralized processes and a favor for planning.  This view also holds that mankind can be, and should be, perfected and that government is the instrument of that perfection.  Typically this vision also sees a small, elite, group of people as being those who have been given the ‘vision of the anointed’ to lead humanity to the better future.  If only the right people can be in power then a better word can be created.  This elite can take many forms, such as an intellectual or racial elite or philosopher kings.

The Tragic Vision

The Tragic Vision is the underlying world-view of the political right.  This vision sees mankind as having a human nature that is both unchanging and flawed.  The religious sometimes express this as “man’s fallen nature”.  In this vision humans are basically self-interested if not outright selfish.  While leaders may emerge among men, because of our deeply flawed nature there can be no natural elite.  Human reason is valuable but limited, which makes central planning naturally repugnant.  Limitations of human reason are why time-tested structures and processes are valued.  These time-tested structures are the product accumulated evolved wisdom (traditions), and changing these structures is dangerous because of the limitations of human reason.  The decentralized processes of accumulated evolved wisdom (tradition) and the free-market are trusted because of the limitations of human reason.  Social decisions typically do not lead to solutions but rather to trade offs.

These two visions are not hard categories and any particular person can hold elements of each

The Atheist

As you should have figured out by now, neither of these visions requires a belief in a god or the supernatural.  An atheist could easily believe in either of these visions of the world.  Because it is these visions, not the belief in the supernatural, the give rise to the political Left and Right, then it should come as no surprise an atheist can be on the Right.

Both the Utopian Vision and the Tragic Vision each have some inherent appeal to them.  Most of us can look at each vision an nod in agreement to at least some parts of each.

Are these simply to be two philosophies forever in debate with one another?  Or can we find evidence in Nature that one view is closer to the truth than the other?

In a bit of historic irony, the emerging evidence in the study of both evolutionary biology and evolutionary psychology has been tilting the scales in favor of the Tragic Vision.  The historic irony is that those who hold the Tragic Vision, and thus are typically religious and hostile towards Darwinian evolution, are those who’s claims about how the world works are being supported by the evidence of evolution.

Not only that but those most religious, such as Duggar family with their 19 children, are showing the most Darwinian success because they are leaving the most children. Oh bitter irony that those who most disbelieve in Darwin are those with the most Darwinian fitness.

As Steven Pinker put it in his book The Blank Slate:

... the new sciences of human nature really do vindicate some version of the Tragic Vision and undermine the Utopian outlook that until recently dominated large segments of intellectual life.

It is because the Tragic Vision is basically correct, and thus man basically deeply flawed imperturbable being is why some form of a social conservative ethic is required.

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Posted: 13 March 2011 05:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 185 ]
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Should we change the topic to “Can a conservative be Gay”  tongue wink

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Posted: 03 June 2011 11:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 186 ]
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JustinVK - 06 July 2010 08:07 AM
Mriana - 06 July 2010 07:38 AM

Justin, I’ve had lunch with Bob and I’m a vegetarian.  He saw what I brought with me for my lunch and didn’t say a word.  I saw what he was eating too- I think it was pepperoni pizza or something like that (Gross) Neither one of us brought it up.  He’s not going to attack a person out of the blue because they are vegan or vegetarian.  I don’t like his attitude either, but as long as he doesn’t attack me about it when we meet, I’ll leave him alone about his carnivorous ways.  If it makes you feel any better, Bob is a pretty big man.  As you know, most vegans and vegetarians are not big people.  I’ll let you take it from there and think about it, then if you want, you can come back and let me know if that helped any.  Don’t get me wrong, I like Bob, even though we disagree on several things, but it seems to me he’s heading for a health hazard- maybe its because I like him that I am concerned.  If he’d get off the meat, he might lose some weight and be healthier.


Thank you for the response, Mriana, and thank you also to the others who responded. I do not take issue with Bob Price in his personal lifestyle (though of course I would love to see him go vegan…ha ha), but only in the rancorous way he criticized anyone who makes a case for animal rights. Most of us know more about the scientific facts of animals’ capabilities than he (or other critics) admit, and it is not really a matter of a “bleeding heart” for most of us. This is indeed a serious moral issue in its own right, regardless of (or I should say in addition to) the very real harm that is done to living creatures. I would be more than happy to debate the point with Bob Price or anyone, but not if they are going to start screaming about how stupid I am and the topic is. That is where I start to get turned off…and when I start to think that the show is not being open to other perspectives.

Price seems to have a perfectly reasonable position on the animal rights thing.  Rights are a human concept and apply to humans.  Animals shouldn’t be tortured, but not because they have rights, just because allowing cruelty in any form can (and does) lead to cruelty to humans.  While I disagree with the biblical idea of man’s dominion over animals (and women), I think trying to make everyone a vegan is kinda stupid.  It is very difficult and in some cases expensive to get all the nutrients we need without consuming some animals.  Also, plants have “feelings” too.  Did you never wire up a head of lettuce and “hear” its dying scream as you bit into it?  smile  Until we have the technology to generate all our nutritional requirements through non-living chemistry, the whole animal rights thing is just kinda silly.  We have to kill animals to survive.  Do we let rats (nice cuddly fellow mammals) and crows (did you know crows mourn their dead?) run rampant and eat up more than the 15% of the world’s food supply that they currently consume?  No…. so to quibble about eating animals is just being willfully ignorant of what it takes to keep 7+ billion of us minimally alive on this tiny planet.  I’ve got no problem with advocating a primarily vegetarian diet for environmental and health reasons, but animal right? Gimme a break!

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