Oncertainty

Responding to my post “Liberalism 101,” commenter “onecertain” is critical of my appraisal of liberalism. Here are his comments, which mostly consist of citing my main points and then responding to them. My responses to him are in bold.

Quoth onecertain:

If you’re interested in some feedback from an actual (more or less) liberal:

– just because beliefs cluster together in the current American political mind doesn’t mean they are necessarily coherent. For instance, conservatives have certain beliefs that occur together that are completely incoherent with each other (most glaring, a support for both Christianity and unbridled capitalism). [AR: Conservatives, being human beings, are not fully consistent. This does not mean that there is no such thing as conservatism] I’m sure that the current coalition identified as liberal has some similar contradictions. I can’t think of any off the top of my head right now, but certainly 20 years ago there was a weird mixture of both supporters of sexual freedom and feminist anti-porn crusaders.

1) Liberalism holds that the God of the Bible does not exist.

Well, duh. [AR: Here, onecertain identifies himself as our enemy, or at least our opponent. Also note that he concedes that I have accurately identified what is the main premise of contemporary liberalism.] Neither does philosophically sophisticated but conservative Christianity, from what I understand of it. [AR: “Philosophically sophisticated but conservative Christianity” rejects the God of the Bible? Not unless you define “Philosophically sophisticated but conservative Christianity” to mean “non-Christian,” an obvious absurdity.]

2) More generally, liberalism rejects Christian, Western and American tradition, and all traditional forms of authority such as fathers, clergymen and aristocrats.

Wait, what? Since when are aristocrats an American tradition? The American revolution was a revolution against aristocracy. (Well — they were something of a tradition in the South, which is one reason we had to fight a second war to finally get rid of them). [AR: Which is irrelevant to my point: liberalism rejects traditional authority.]

More generally, the point above is ridiculously broad. Anarchists reject all authority, but liberals are not anarchists.[AR: As I said, liberals reject traditional forms of authority] Who is probabably the most morally authoritative figure for contemporary liberalism? Martin Luther King Jr, a clergyman.[AR: King’s authority for liberals does not rest on his being a clergyman. It rests on his being black, and his calling for the implementation of liberal policies, chiefly the raising up of blacks. King is not a traditional authority.]

3) Therefore liberalism holds that contemporary man is the Supreme Being.

Liberals do not believe in the concept of a Supreme Being. [AR: They may not think of it in those terms, but in every system there must be a highest authority. That highest authority, for liberals, is man. What else could it be, since they do not acknowledge God’s authority?]

4) Liberalism must believe that man is naturally good, for otherwise, without a God to set things right, we have no hope.

Sorry, that’s total nonsense. [AR: That’s partly my fault for not clarifying my meaning. Naturally good does not mean automatically good. Man, according to the liberal, is most certainly naturally good in the sense that if he is placed in the proper environment, he will turn out good.] Nobody believes that, not even Rousseau (who is often wrongly attributed such silly views). Liberals believe that man is capable of both good and evil, because that is obviously the case. More significantly, they believe it is possible to change society in such a way as to encourage the expression of the good and discourage the opposite. That is perhaps the defining characteristic. [AR: That’s the liberal belief that since man is naturally good, when his true nature is allowed to develop, it will be good. But for the liberals, man’s true nature can only develop if liberal policies prevent conservatives, “fundamentalists,” racists, greedy corporations and so on from spoiling society.]

“Liberalism thus holds that all human societies up to those that currently exist have been deeply flawed, at the level of their basic premises, and accordingly liberalism pushes for a fundamental rethinking of every aspect of society and its ordering: laws, rules, customs, traditions, schools of thought, etc. All must be changed in order to remove from society every trace of the false ways of thought that have allegedly produced so much misery.”

You seem to be confusing liberalism with radicalism. They are far from identical and in fact are usually held to be opposites. [AR: Radicalism is liberalism in its pure form, and liberalism is radicalism tempered by common sense and common decency. As proof, observe that views currently held by garden-variety liberals, such as same-sex pseudo marriage and unlimited divorce and abortion, would have been viewed, correctly, as radicalism by previous generations of liberals.]

5) Liberalism leads to nominalism.

I suppose. [AR: So he concedes my point?]

6) Since there is no transcendent realm, we must all be radically free and radically nonjudgmental.

You don’t know many liberals, do you? One thing they are not is “radically nonjudgmental”.  [AR: No, because only dead men can be radically judgmental, and because liberal nonjudgmentalism only extends to liberal causes. But liberals most certainly use nonjudgmentalism as a weapon to tear down the traditional order, as when they demand that we not judge homosexuals, fornicators, illegal aliens, those who sponge off welfare, cross dressers, and so on. And liberalism most certainly holds nonjudgmentalism as an ideal; the typical liberal identifies himself as nonjudgmental, as opposed to those Nazi-like conservatives.]

7) The imperative to change society leads to totalitarianism.

(you seem to have changed your voice here from what liberals believe to what you think their beliefs lead to. And you contradict the point you just made. And you don’t seem to understand what “totalitarianism” means any more than you understand what “liberal” means) [AR: Onecertain conveniently neglects to mention that I defined the totalitarianism that liberalism obviously leads to. Apparently he would rather not mention the persecutions for thoughtcrime, the judicial nullification of popular votes in such cases as Proposition 8, the strangling of small businesses who can’t afford to bribe the bureaucrats, the deliberate targeting of Christians and whites, and so on.]

Oh well that’s enough. I guess I should applaud your effort to understand those who differ from you, but you’ve created a laughable paper-mache caricature. [AR: It’s only a caricature if you ignore the massive evidence that it is correct, as onecertain does.]

59 thoughts on “Oncertainty

  1. For instance, conservatives have certain beliefs that occur together that are completely incoherent with each other (most glaring, a support for both Christianity and unbridled capitalism).

    Leave it to a “liberal” to confuse his covetuous envy of another’s wealth as being Christian sentiment.

      • I strongly advocated usury laws …

        A mistake. The Roman denomination’s long-standing objection to (one might even call it hatred of) interest charged on loaned capital, which is to say, profit, is:
        1) misplaced;
        2) both hypocritical and self-serving.

        Non-exhaustively, it is misplaced because:
        1) looking at the meanings of the words and their roots, the OT commands against ‘usury’ are not so much against interest, per se, but against oppressive or excessive interest and the against the dunning of one’s debtor for repayment;
        2) looking at the context of most of the specific verses prohibiting ‘usury’, it is clear that the point is to make impossible the use of the loan one has made to one’s fellow Israelite who is needy as a means to reduce him to slavery;
        For example, Ex. 22:25-26 is translated (in the NIV) as: “If you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do not be like a moneylender; charge him no interest. If you take your neighbor’s cloak as a pledge, return it to him by sunsef, because his cloak is the only covering he has for his body. What else will he sleep in? …” Other verses are explicit that if you take as pledge/security for a loan to a poor man his means of earning his livelihood, you have to return it, so that he *can* earn his living (and, presumably, repay the loan);
        3) the verses which do say simply not to charge a felow Israelite interest, without explicitly linking the command to the duty to not thereby make one’s brother Israelite a slave, explicitly say that the Israelites my lend-at-interest to the nations, but that they may not borrow-at-interest from the nations;
        4) we are not Israelites; we do not observe the Year of Jubilee, cancelling debts;
        4a) we have bankruptcy laws — which serve the spirit of the OT prohibition against “usury”, in that a needy man is not oppressed forever by a loan that he cannot repay;

        Non-exhaustively, it is both hypocritical and self-serving because:
        1) the bureaucracy of the Roman denomination has a long-standing hatred of wealth that is not controlled by the bureaucracy of the Roman denomination; this fetish about “usury” is n expression of that irrational and self-serving hatred;
        2) the bureaucracy of the Roman denomination has historically had no objection to lending practices far worse thani “usury” and which contravene the very spirit of the OT commands against interest on loans (namely, to not use loans to oppress and empoverish one’s brothers), especially when it is societies or orders within the RCC engaging in such practices.
        For example, the very term ‘mortgage‘ originally denoted one of those (vile) practices, by which a religious order (which, being generally immune to taxation, became wealthy over time) would lend money to someone owning lands, using the lands as security for the loan, and until the loan was repaid, would keep all the increase — profit — of the lands. So, yeah, they technically were not charging interest on the loan … while generally getting far more in profit on the money lent than had they openly charges interest.

  2. AR: King’s authority for liberals does not rest on his being a clergyman. It rests on his being black, and his calling for the implementation of liberal policies, chiefly the raising up of blacks. …

    … and that he was moving leftward into an embrace of communism. Had he been, say, Alan Keyes (or Walter Williams or Thomas Sowell or Clarence Thomas) or Allen West, the “liberals” would despise as much as they do these men.

    • Yes, if Martin Luther King had been Thomas Sowell he would have been treated like Thomas Sowell. That is very insightful. Are you saying that liberals have some obligation to treat all blacks the same, regardless of their loathsome opinions?

      The Civil Rights movement was deeply rooted in the black Church, goes quite a bit beyond King.

      • To be sure, championing individual freedom and the infamous color-blind treatment before the law of all citizens, as Sowell does, is certainly “loathsome” — and so, of course “liberals” have the duty to hurl racist-style (*) epithets at Sowell, and Thomas, and Williams, and Keyes, and Elder, and Bob Parks, and Condi Rice, and West, and …. and, well, *any* black American who dares to think thoughts that white “liberals” haven’t given him permission to think.

        (*) the epithets only *look* like racist epithets; since, by definition, “liberals” cannot be racists, the epithets cannot be racist.

  3. King rejected communism. Read his essay “What should a Christian think about Communism” in the volume Strength to Love.
    I agree that most liberals do not look very closely at what King actually thought. Both liberals and conservatives should read the volume I just referred to.
    He himself was very clear that the authority he appealed to what that of Christian revelation. Many liberals don’t want to see this. But some liberal Christians do see it and affirm it. Many conservatives of course don’t like the idea that a Christian would base certain “liberal” ideas on Christian revelation. Again, Martin Luther King and John Paul II are examples of Christians with some “liberal” ideas who in fact at least assert they are basing those ideas upon revelation.

    • Yes, King claimed not to be a communist. So what? You’re not claiming he was an honest man, are you? So that we should take his word for it? Even if he was not lying, “What should a Christian think about Communism” was delivered in 1962. King’s overt swerve onto the far left did not come until 1965 or so.

      King’s SCLC was so lousy with communists that the best you could claim about him is that he was an unwitting tool of the communists. But there is really very little evidence that he was unwitting. The last few years of his life saw him, more and more, openly embracing the full panoply of New Left ideology. King openly advocated Democratic Socialism and described himself as a Marxist in private. He was an advocate of unilateral disarmament, revolution, and class struggle.

      We still don’t know what’s in the vast store of FBI records his wife had suppressed. Is she just hiding his rumored predilection for beating and raping white prostitutes? Or is there concrete evidence that he was a Soviet agent? Who knows? We know that the FBI knew more than is public, and we know that the FBI described him as a communist.

  4. [AR: “Philosophically sophisticated but conservative Christianity” rejects the God of the Bible? Not unless you define “Philosophically sophisticated but conservative Christianity” to mean “non-Christian,” an obvious absurdity.]

    I’m going by what I read on Edward Feser’s blog, which this site links to. In his view, God is “pure actuality”, “the Absolute”, “the ground of possibilitiy”, or something like that. He’s a philosopher and all those ideas are traceable back to the Greeks. The God of the Bible is a very different sort of being — personal, prone to fits of anger and jealousy, and actively intervening in the affairs of his creations.

    I know Chrisitianity has been trying to jam these two together for a couple thousand years, but I remain unconvinced, just as I remain unconvinced that you can square the clear words of Jesus with the universal acquisitiveness demanded by capitalism.

    • If you can’t see how YHWH is the God of the philosophers, you don’t know enough about either set of notions. Don’t mean to be snippy – it’s a common predicament, even among serious Christian theologians. This stuff isn’t easy.

      • So what do you make of Kierkegaard? Or Dostoevsky? Or Tertullian, for that matter? Were all of them simply ‘ignorant’?

      • I’d have to add Pascal to the ranks of the ‘ignorant’ according to Kristor, as well. Not the god of the philosophers, but the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob — apparently this isn’t ‘traditionalist’ enough.

    • Wait…what did you just say?! You have been reading Feser’s blog but you don’t understand how the God of the Bible and the God of the philosophers (especially The Philosopher as modified by Aquinas) is compatible?

      So you’ve read this post:

      http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2010/10/god-man-and-classical-theism.html

      And this one:

      http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2010/09/classical-theism.html

      And this one:

      http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2010/05/davies-on-divine-simplicity-and-freedom.html

      And so on and so forth.

      • Reading Feser’s blog does not imply I find his position plausible. Like I said, people have been trying to combine these two incompatible pictures of God for a long time, and many have convinced themselves themselves they have succeeded. That doesn’t necessarily convince me.

        Sorry, this is a bit of a sidetrack from the main topic. The point was, the conservative relationship to “the God of the Bible” is complex, to say the least, and so is that of liberals. Aside from the hardcore atheists, who I believe are a relatively small minority, liberals cobble together a picture of God from the same contradictory cultural resources that conservatives do.

      • When I wrote, in “Liberalism 101,” that liberalism is based on the rejection of the God of the bible, I was pointing to the fact that whereas traditional Western societies, including the United States, officially honored Christianity and had policies and customs based on the premise that the God described in the Bible really exists, liberalism has thrown all that away.

        And oncertain’s response to this commonsense observation? Obfuscation. His latest absurdity is to say that “liberals cobble together a picture of God from the same contradictory cultural resources that conservatives do.”

        No, liberals create a god to their liking, and conservatives accept the view of God, and the cultural practices based thereon, that is handed down from tradition. There are always individual exceptions, but a discussion like this is concerned with generalities and averages.

        I would also add that liberals feel perfectly free to discuss issues of great importance and profundity, such as God, in a flippant and even insolent manner, thereby continuing to contribute to civilizational decay.

      • Incidentally, what’s being displayed here is a phenomenon I posted about on another of Alan’s posts recently, here.

        The idea that the “God of the philosophers” cannot in principle be reconciled with the “God of the Bible” would be shocking news to the likes of Augustine, Aquinas, and others, men of extraordinary holiness and intelligence who had no problem whatsoever achieving this synthesis. We should perhaps exercise a little humility and charity before declaring that these guys were idiots who got everything wrong on the basis of our casual reading of a handful of blog posts by one guy fairly recently.

  5. What good does it do us to give false “spiritual” and “intellectual” origins to Liberalism?

    A real liberal ACTS out his Liberalism AND THEN gives it “spiritual” and “intellectual” justification.

    The Liberal came before Liberalism BY THEIR OWN ACCOUNT.

    In fact, the paradigm that the genuine liberal has voluntarily confined himself to CAN ONLY exercise his Liberalism physically/materially.

    Everything after is Auster’s “unprincipled exception.”

  6. Onecertain is right. There is a gap between the God of the Philosophers and the God of the Bible. This appears to be one of the reasons Occam (over)reacted agains the Thomists.

    • The only gap between the God of the Philosophers and YHWH is that the Greeks were not the first beneficiaries of the Revelation by which the doctrine of God after which they – and, for that matter, the Hebrews – had been groping was completed. They recognized that Revelation, when they received the Gospel, as the fulfillment of their hopes, and of Greece herself.

      I guess I’ll have to do a post about this.

    • What these ‘traditionalists’ are defending is nothing more than medieval rationalism — that is, the scholastic project of the late middle ages, with some influence from Philo and other Alexandrian types. Real Christians are fideists.

      • “Real Christians are fideists.”

        If fideism means having faith in God and believing what He has said in the Bible, yes. If fideism means spurning any rational account of one’s faith, no.

        Luther contrasted the magisterial use of reason, in which reason is thought to be a higher authority than the Bible, and the ministerial use of reason, in which reason is properly subordinated to revelation as a tool for understanding reality. Only the second kind of reason is proper for the Christian.

    • Someone has to point out the obvious to The Man Who Was: And it is also true that you can say that they are not the same, but that does not make them not the same.

      Especially if many of the philosophers do not have an accurate grasp of God because they reject all or part of His revelation of himself in the Bible.

      Yes, I am aware that you reject much (or all) that the Bible says about God. That is why you don not have an accurate understanding of Him.

  7. I am not very proficient in elaborating upon the premises of Liberalism, so I shall leave that to the experts here. This post is to let you guys know that your work here is fantastic and has likely influenced a lot of potentially new reactionaries. But in keeping with the theme of this post, I thought you would like to read this information I stumbled upon today.

    Karl Marx’s poems to Satan
    http://occidentaltraditionalist.wordpress.com/2012/09/12/karl-marxs-poems-to-satan/

  8. Kristor:What would you say are the most important respects in which they differ irreconcilably?

    The “God of the Philosophers” is impersonal and impassive (*); the God of Abraham is personal and utterly the opposite of impassive — he loves men and hates sin; he suffers for love of men and hatred of sin.

    (*) this, especially the impassiveness, is an unacknowledged/unseen cultural assumpion of classical pagan culture: to love, for instance, is thought to be vulnerable, is thought to be weak. The classical pagan man was frequently ashamed to demonstrate love, for that was to be seen as being weak; this shame of weakness influenced their conception of God.

    • Kristor (or anyone else),

      If you do a post on this could you include something about reconciling the trinity with divine simplicity. This is a point of confusion for me. If God and Jesus are one being and Jesus is pretty clearly composed of parts…

      • Sure! No problem. While I’m at it, I might as well also clear up the paradoxes of Quantum Mechanics and explain exactly what women want … ;- )

        Seriously, though, the reconciliation of simplicity with Incarnation, and with Trinity, is effected via the same means as the reconciliation of time with eternity, Love with Providence, Justice with Mercy, etc. If I can show how one of these reconciliations can be understood, then the application of the method should help with the others. But that’s a big “if.” Rhetorically, the challenge is intimidating. And I am a weak reed.

  9. Proph:The idea that the “God of the philosophers” cannot in principle be reconciled with the “God of the Bible” would be shocking news to the likes of …

    “God is impersonal” cannot in principle be reconciled with “God is personal”; “God is impassive” cannot in principle be reconciled with “God is involved” or “God loves you and me” or “God hates our sin/unrighteousness”, and so on.

    Being a holy man does not make one immune to faulty reasoning.

    • If the issues were involved were that reductively simply, it might have registered to insanely intelligent men like Augustine and Aquinas compared to whom we’re intellectual midgets. Have you read the collected works of Augustine and Aquinas? This is what I meant when I said humility is in order.

      • Well…I wouldn’t want to compare myself to Aquinas and Augustine, but I have one advantage over them, which is a couple thousand years more work to draw on than they did. I understand physics better than Aristotle, and I know more math than Pythagoras, not because of any great intellectual virtue of mine but because human learning in these areas has progressed. Whether any of that applies to thinking about God is questionable of course.

      • Questionable, indeed; if specious understandings of physics or mathematics were relevant to Thomist descriptions of God, someone smarter than Dawkins would’ve noticed long before Dawkins claimed to.

      • Are you people really unfamiliar with the concept of an analogy?

        I guess I have to be explicit: either there is progress in metaphysics, like there is in physics, or there isn’t. In the first case, then current-day thinkers have the advantage of accumulated knowledge. If there isn’t — and that is certainly a possibility — then it isn’t really a field of learning, is it?

      • onecertain,

        If there can be a “progress” in metaphysics then there is also a “regress.” In fact, there can be a “progress” for some and a “regress” for others in their respective metaphysics. We are, after all, radically liberated and thus any “progress” has less than universal application.

        You’ll also note that “progress” in physics gives us two main assertions that come to the same conclusion, namely, at universe-wide observation, “we see nothing” and at quantum observation, “we know not what we see.”

        “Progress,” indeed!

      • None of you have read the ‘collected works of Augustine and Aquinas’. You’re just LARPers with liturgical fetishes. I’d be more interested in how many of the ‘Christians’ here have actually read the entire Bible, Old and New Testaments. I’d bet the number is lower than the number of people who have read every de Maistre quote on the internet.

      • Yes, I’ve read the entire Bible before, with the possible exception of some of Psalms and Proverbs (only because I haven’t read them start-to-finish).

        Of course I haven’t read the entire corpus of Aquinas and Augustine. Go back and reread my objection to onecertainty — namely, one shouldn’t lightly disparage as faithless idiots men who dedicated their lives to contemplation and prayer. We are ignorant savages in comparison to them.

        Finally, mind your manners and observe our posting guidelines. You’re a guest on this blog.

    • I haven’t read much of Aquinas, but I did read Edward Feser’s book and the God there described was not something worth caring about.

      I tend to regard theology as a necessary evil and tend to prefer the Eastern apophatic version.

      • I don’t know if you are correctly interpreting Feser, but the basic problem here is a philosophy or theology that is not in proper submission to the Word of God, that is, the Bible. If philosophy or theology does not acknowledge the Bible as the supreme description of God, then it can easily veer off into wrong descriptions of God, or at the very least, into descriptions that are formally correct but are out of balance with the entire picture Scripture paints of God.

        For example, if we simply say God is “impassible,” that is, not affected by anything outside Himself, then we can easily draw the conclusion that He is a solipsistic being not worthy of worship. But the Bible brings us back to reality by telling us, for example, that God loves us and sent His Son to save us from our sins.

      • I was Orthodox for 4 years — trust me, Orthodoxy is no stranger to theological disputes. The point of apophatic theology is that God is comprehensible, but for whatever reason most Orthodox think it just means that you can comprehend God so long as your statements about him are phrased negatively. ‘Apophatic theology’ also apparently means that Aquinas and absolute divine simplicity are literally the worst things, ever, or at least if you ask the typical convert.

    • not great.

      I will assume you actually get the point that, while you may be able to calculate instantaneous rates of change and use the word “quark” in a sentence, you probably know less metaphysics than these philosophers, which matters when the topic is metaphysics.

  10. I’m afraid I’m unclear as the terms of this debate. My impression is that the debate is being framed as if the only two possibilities are

    A) A Bible-believing Christian will see no flaws and/or limitations whatsoever in the descriptions of God made by Plato, Aristotle, et al.

    or

    B) A Bible-believing Christian will find no positive or profound insights regarding God in the descriptions made by Plato, Aristotle, et al.

    If I’m wrong, sorry. But if I’m correct, then this doesn’t seem to be a very good way of approaching the question; I’m pretty sure Aquinas would not have subscribed to A) any more than he would have to B).

    Perhaps the argument hinges upon how each side takes the word “reconciled”?

    • My impression is that the debate is being framed as if the only two possibilities are ..

      Your impression is incorrect; a third option, and the correct one is:
      C) A Bible-believing Christian will certainly find positive and profound insights regarding God in the descriptions made by Plato, Aristotle, et al. … while still recognizing that their insights were not merely incomplete (as are ours, in any event), but were in some specifics seriously wrong, including being reflections of cultural assumptions that do not apply to God.

  11. Liberals do not believe in the concept of a Supreme Being. — onecertain

    And yet they relentlessly attempt to perfect man… Um, they relentlessly attempt to make “Perfect Man” in their image.

    But Perfect Man ALREADY exists and the real liberal rejects the only truly empirically validated Perfect Man because the liberal denies objective Supremacy (it is why he passively persuades and aggressively demands “equality”).

    Of course, this means that the liberal CANNOT EVEN CONCEIVE of the “perfect man” in which he so relentlessly attempts to manufacture on the mass scale.

    He can only create more Liberals, i.e., those who CANNOT CONCEIVE of a Supreme Being because they deny and reject empirical evidence.

    So a Liberal is the denier and destroyer of Perfect Man in the pursuit of “perfect man.”

    A self-refutation. A self-annihilator.

  12. Pingback: The God of the Philosophers « The Orthosphere

  13. Sorry, that’s total nonsense. [AR: That’s partly my fault for not clarifying my meaning. Naturally good does not mean automatically good. Man, according to the liberal, is most certainly naturally good in the sense that if he is placed in the proper environment, he will turn out good.] Nobody believes that, not even Rousseau (who is often wrongly attributed such silly views). Liberals believe that man is capable of both good and evil, because that is obviously the case. More significantly, they believe it is possible to change society in such a way as to encourage the expression of the good and discourage the opposite. That is perhaps the defining characteristic. [AR: That’s the liberal belief that since man is naturally good, when his true nature is allowed to develop, it will be good. But for the liberals, man’s true nature can only develop if liberal policies prevent conservatives, “fundamentalists,” racists, greedy corporations and so on from spoiling society.]

    I’m with onecertain on this. The proposition that “if [man] is placed in the proper environment, he will turn out good” is a travesty of what liberalism claims. It’s closer to some form of half-baked 18th century Jacobinism than modern mainstream liberal thought. Of course human beings aren’t naturally good – but that’s a banality, not a political creed.

    The second comment from Mr Roebuck misses onecertain’s point. I understand onecertain to be saying that liberals believe that it is possible to make society better (not perfect, not utopian, not like the former Soviet Union, just a bit better than it is now). That’s a wholly separate point from whether human beings are naturally good.

    • > The second comment from Mr Roebuck misses onecertain’s point.
      > I understand onecertain to be saying that liberals believe that it is possible
      > to make society better (not perfect, not utopian, not like the former Soviet
      > Union, just a bit better than it is now). That’s a wholly separate point from
      > whether human beings are naturally good.

      So what is their deeper reason for pushing equality of results, even when it requires disgusting things like racial quotas?

      Also what is the deeper reason for liberals pushing lighter penalties, even for inhumane crimes?

      • So what is their deeper reason for pushing equality of results, even when it requires disgusting things like racial quotas?

        A strong commitment to equality of outcome is a socialist cause, not a liberal one. It’s true that liberals don’t like large inequalities of wealth and would prefer to reduce them, but we’re not talking about Marxist egalitarianism here. Liberals are frequently more concerned with equality of opportunity.

        As for affirmative action, the argument is that quotas are necessary as a matter of justice in order to reflect that certain minorities have a harder time in line. I don’t necessarily agree with this myself, but I wouldn’t call it “disgusting”.

        Also what is the deeper reason for liberals pushing lighter penalties, even for inhumane crimes?

        What would the alternative be? Inhumane punishments for inhumane crimes? We’re not barbarians, and punishments should be just and appropriate but not excessive.

      • Reggie Perrin,

        We are already past the “equality of opportunity.” So much so that it would be truthful to describe our society as radically liberated. Meaning, the opportunity to be radically “free” is at everyone’s fingertips. There are absolutely no obstacles against the belief and practice of nondiscrimination and tolerance, i.e., the belief and practice of the HIGHEST LIBERAL VALUES.

        Of course, when your highest liberal value IS ACTUALLY the belief in and “practice of” indiscriminate thought and action followed by a “tolerance” for the pain and suffering that will proceed, “equality of outcomes” becomes an impossibility that the radical liberationist must then overcome.

        So in effect, the radical liberal “preaches” self-annihilation via indiscriminate thought and action and then some radical liberal takes the lesson to heart and self-annihilates and voila`, “unequal outcomes.”

        But does the radical liberal permit discriminating thought and action as highest value and the ONLY WAY to “equal outcomes?”

        No… The fool doubles-down, demands “equal outcomes” without denouncing a belief system that GUARANTEES “unequal outcomes,” and we get more self-annihilators, self-annihilating.

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