Is Western Conservatism Founded on Religion Rather Than Reason?

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  1. My Esoteric profile image89
    My Esotericposted 2 months ago

    In researching my new book "Conservatism in America: Theory and Reality" I ran across this comment by Russell Kirk about the father of conservatism - Edmund Burke.  It says:

    "Revelation, reason, and assurance beyond the senses tell that the Author of our being exists, and that He is omniscient; and man and the state are creations of God beneficence. This Christian orthodoxy is the kernel of Burke's philosophy.  God's purpose among men is revealed through the unrolling of history.  How are we to know God's mind and will? Through the prejudices and traditions which millennia of human experience with divine means and judgments have implanted in the mind of the species.  And what is our purpose in this world? Not to indulge our appetites, but to render obedience to divine ordinance."

    Do you agree that is what Western conservatism is based on?

    Do conservative Jews and conservative Muslims believe similarly?

    1. James A Watkins profile image88
      James A Watkinsposted 2 months agoin reply to this

      You present a false choice. It is not either or. It is both. Western Civilization is founded on Christianity AND Reason. The Bible teaches that true faith is built on reason and evidence. The Bible, in both Testaments, shows us that it is essential to test any truth claim. The scientific method, in fact, has its origins in Scripture.

      Belief in God and Jesus is rational, not blind faith. It is based entirely on evidence. The opposite of reason is not faith but ignorance. The opposite of faith is not reason but unbelief. Spiritual growth involves increasing our understanding of God and Jesus, and of the Cosmos in which we find ourselves.

      Science and faith are not opposed. Science cannot exist without faith, without trust in the comprehensibility of the Universe; trust in the laws of reason, logic, and mathematics. Faith simply means 'confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea or thing.'

      1. JAKE Earthshine profile image77
        JAKE Earthshineposted 2 months agoin reply to this

        Actually, this country the USA was founded by Christians who practically wiped out the Native Americans who lived here, then they sailed to Africa to capture, shackle and bring back slaves to the USA to be used by the CHRISTIANS to do their work and render intimate favors:

        Then, those very same CHRISTIANS, viciously attacked Irish Immigrants as they tried to come ashore to America, then they viciously attacked German Immigrants, Then they viciously attacked Italian Immigrants, then they viciously attacked Japanese Immigrants, then they viciously attacked Polish Immigrants, then they viciously attacked Chinese Immigrants, all of whom survived those vicious attacks to remain in this country to make significant contributions to our society and now, those very same CHRISTIANS led by weirdos like phony Jerry Falwell Junior and Bozo trump are viciously attacking Mexican Immigrants but if history is any indication, the Mexicans too will survive these attacks and prevail just like all the immigrants of the past did:

        1. Onusonus profile image77
          Onusonusposted 2 months agoin reply to this

          You just described the history of the Democrat party. lol

          Conservatives are and always have been dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

          1. My Esoteric profile image89
            My Esotericposted 2 months agoin reply to this

            No, O, Jake just described conservative Christianity to a 'T'.

            1. Onusonus profile image77
              Onusonusposted 2 months agoin reply to this

              Indian removal act: Andrew Jackson, Democrat
              Slavery; Democrats
              Segregation: Democrats
              Eugenics (the Negro project): Mragaret Sanger, Democrat
              Japanese internment: Franklin Roosevelt, Democrat

              https://scontent-sea1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/56702222_2476362389088771_7217422327355539456_n.jpg?_nc_cat=1&_nc_ht=scontent-sea1-1.xx&oh=ed3ed12a8a094c3165da9ff27385e3c2&oe=5D3B922B

              1. My Esoteric profile image89
                My Esotericposted 2 months agoin reply to this

                Andrew Jackson - Conservative
                Slavery - Conservative
                Segregation - Conservative
                Eugenics - Conservative
                Japanese Internment - Conservative inspired.

                All those just happened to be Democrats during their CONSERVATIVE phase.

                1. Onusonus profile image77
                  Onusonusposted 2 months agoin reply to this

                  lol No, It was and is a conservative principle that all men are created equal and are endowed by their creator with the inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

                  Liberals are dedicated to the pursuit of abortion on demand, equality through socialism, segregation on college campuses, and the expansion of government.

                  Also Liberals worship Roosevelt for his "new deal" programs that expanded the power of government, and drew out the depression into a decade long disaster which got us the wonderful ponzi scheme we know as social security.

                  So, wrong again.

                  1. My Esoteric profile image89
                    My Esotericposted 2 months agoin reply to this

                    Actually, no it isn't.  John Locke (and Thomas Jefferson) were liberals.  Conservatives believe those things derive from the Christian God, which isn't true and the state above the individual.  In reality, those rights (of which Happiness is melding of other natural rights), derive from simply being a human being regardless of how we were created

                    The rest of your statement is just plain stupid, as well as being wrong.

      2. My Esoteric profile image89
        My Esotericposted 2 months agoin reply to this

        James, I would argue that Faith does not equal Reason.  Christianity, as written, is unreasonable because it requires one to believe, without questioning it, things that can't be reasoned through.  You are Required to believe men who say they speak for God.

        Further, there is zero, zilch so-called "evidence" that God, in any form, exists.  What Christians point to are words from man, not God.

        Now, I happen to believe in a form of God but it is certainly not that fabricated by the monotheistic religions.  Mine is just the name for whatever it was that got this universe (and maybe the ones before this one) started.  Reason tells me it must be something because everything must have a beginning some where at some time.

        I firmly believe in a "higher power", but in this sense - the "higher power" is the some total of every material thing and every immaterial thought that flows throughout the universe.  Simply put, God and the Universe are one in the same.

        And that is not what conservatives are told to believe is true.

    2. GA Anderson profile image92
      GA Andersonposted 2 months agoin reply to this

      I don't think that is the right question to ask My esoteric. With polite intentions, I must say I think your question is derived from your own perceptions, not Kirk's or Burkes.

      I wonder... at the time of Burke, were there religious, (Christian, or any monotheistic faith),  Liberals? Were there even defined liberal or conservative belief schools at that time?

      We have discussed Kirk before, and I think you are still giving him more authority than he deserves, relative to the definition of Conservatism. Just as you frequently note that Democrat/Republican stands have changed over time, I also think Liberalism and Conservatism have changed. Kirk's is only one perspective - even though it is cited by many.

      I think it would be fair to say your quote describes the life beliefs of most folks during the formative years of Western conservatism, and those beliefs would certainly affect the thoughts and actions of conservative leaders, but I think it is too much of a step to assign that to the foundation of conservatism. I think such beliefs would have been the foundation of Liberalism of the period also.

      However, that is just a thought. I have not done any reading that would make me offer it as a rebuttal to your perception.

      Has your book research provided any similar nuggets regarding Liberal -thinking of the same period?

      GA

      1. My Esoteric profile image89
        My Esotericposted 2 months agoin reply to this

        I am going to have to disagree with you GA.  In the main, what liberalism and conservatives stand for have withstood the test of time, as it were.  Kirk died in 1994 and Conservative Mind was first published in 1953.  He last updated not too long before he died.

        There is no disagreement between scholars that Edmund Burke was the "father" of modern conservatism, even though he lived in the 1700s.  Kirk codified what he and others after him agreed upon were first principles of conservatism.  Other, more modern conservatives, look at Kirk as the guy who best argued the conservative cause; William F. Buckley Jr. being one.

        What I find, at least so far, is that Kirk's view of "liberalism" is based on his upbringing in the Red Scare era, just as Burke's was colored by the bloody French Revolution (who Jefferson supported and Adams opposed, btw).  This leads to a very jaundiced view of liberals.  Kirk goes go far as to say something like "Burke's liberalism was based on his conservatism" (I marked that with a question mark to get back to)

        But that said, the fundamental first principles of prejudice (not meant in the modern term), prescription, custom, convention, continuity, and prudence, just to name a few, are as true today as they were in 1800.

        This won't be about Trump, really, because he is not a conservative by any stretch of the imagination.  He blows up about every conservative principle there is - just read "Everything Trump Touches Dies" by Republican operative, strategist, and anti-Trumper Rick Wilson (https://hubpages.com/politics/Everythin … ick-Wilson)

        It is, however, about his supporters who claim to be conservatives.  Do they hold by first principles, and if so, how can they stomach Trump?

        What has changed about liberalism (think Locke) is whether the government should be part of the solution in protecting people's life, health, liberty, and property (again Locke).  Locke thought so, maybe not to the degree we have it today, but he realized that the government must step in when necessary when others try to do deny people their rights and liberties.

        1. Kathryn L Hill profile image81
          Kathryn L Hillposted 2 months agoin reply to this

          ... what rights are you thinking of,  e x a c t l y ??

          1. My Esoteric profile image89
            My Esotericposted 2 months agoin reply to this

            Life, health, liberty, property for starters.  How about tranquility, justice, general Welfare, etc.  Maybe freedom from discrimination or how about protecting people from greedy corporations.  You know, things we expect from our Constitution.

            1. Kathryn L Hill profile image81
              Kathryn L Hillposted 2 months agoin reply to this

              Are The People or the Constitution at fault?

              PS Locke embraces principles of both Liberalism and Republicanism.

              1. My Esoteric profile image89
                My Esotericposted 2 months agoin reply to this

                What fault??

                Yes he does; so does Burke and Kirk.  I embrace Republican (the form of government) principles as well.  But Republicanism isn't conservatism.  Republicanism is simply representative democracy and nothing more.

                1. Kathryn L Hill profile image81
                  Kathryn L Hillposted 2 months agoin reply to this

                  What is conservatism, according to your research?

                2. Kathryn L Hill profile image81
                  Kathryn L Hillposted 2 months agoin reply to this

                  ... oppressing the downtrodden.

                  1. My Esoteric profile image89
                    My Esotericposted 2 months agoin reply to this

                    That is an outcome of putting conservative principles into practice.  Marxism isn't all that terrible either - until you try to apply it to the real world; then it goes all to hell.

        2. GA Anderson profile image92
          GA Andersonposted 2 months agoin reply to this

          I think you were right to disagree with my response, Scott. After more than several hours of looking around last evening, and a couple more this morning, I find my offered first thought was nothing more than a skeleton that needs some meat of muscle to form it and hold it together.

          It was Burke's declaration that Conservatism must be based on a religious belief foundation that caused my contrarian perception. Also, after looking at more of Kirk's work, and, looking at the context of his comment after that Burke quote, I found that I am in more agreement with Kirk than I thought.

          If your question was phrased as  "was" instead of "is" I would say yes. Kirk even said so in his comment following the quote:

          "This view of the nature of things may appear delusory to the utilitarian and the positivist; it will appear transcendently true to the religious man; but whether sound or erroneous, there is nothing incomprehensible about this confession of faith..."

          "... For a thousand years hardly an educated man in Europe dissented from this belief."


          I think that supports your question when phrased as "was."

          However, with his seeming agreement here, he did not carry the specific religious mentions into his more contemporary descriptions of Conservatism.

          If your question remains as "is," and you cite Kirk as the source, then I think you have to consider how he incorporated Burke's thought into his own First Principles. It appears he replaces the religiosity of the idea with less conditioned terms. Instead of "God" he says, (from his essay Ten Conservative Principles:

          "First, the conservative believes that there exists an enduring moral order. That order is made for man, and man is made for it: human nature is a constant, and moral truths are permanent.

          "Second, the conservative adheres to custom, convention, and continuity. It is old custom that enables people to live together peaceably..."


          My point in those quotes is that I think a religious person would read those as agreeing with Burke, but a non-religious person could derive the same stated meaning without needing a religious context. In short, I think Kirk recognized the modernization of religious beliefs--the admission that religious structure isn't the only structure--that can support his conservative principles.

          So I am back to disagreeing with your question as asked, and rather than supporting it, I think the context of Kirk's reference to the Burke quote also shows disagreement.

          Change "is" to "was" and I think Kirk and I both would agree with you.

          As a note; I am not finished some of my marked essays, so consider this response still needing the finish of skin to be complete. I have only added some connective tissue at this point.

          Also, I am not writing a book, yet you are making me read and research as if I were. Work, work, work. Work, work, work. (Mel Brooks, Blazing Saddles)

          GA

      2. My Esoteric profile image89
        My Esotericposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

        GA - Here is some new things to consider (the words in brackets are mine):

        "So you say you are conservative" he declared to the slaveholders - Abraham Lincoln. He continues -

        "Eminently conservative - while we [Lincoln] are revolutionary, destructive, or something of the sort [as described by Conservatives].  What is conservatism? Is it not adherence to the old and tried, against the new and the untried? We [Lincoln] stick to, contend for, the identical old policy on the point in controversy [slavery] which was adopted by "our fathers who framed the Government under which we live"; while you [Conservatives] with one accord reject, and scout, and spit upon that old policy, and insist upon substituting something new. ... Not one of all your various plans can show a precedent or an advocate in the century within which our Government originated. Consider, then, whether your claim of conservatism for yourself , and your charge of destructiveness against us, are based on the most clear and stable foundation. (1860)

        Lincoln was, of course, speaking about the Confederacy as they were about to lead America into the Civil War.

        There is a couple of points here:

        1.  It is clear Lincoln thought slave-owners and their supporters were Conservatives.
        2.  That conservatism is just as much about revolution as they claim liberals are.

        1. Wesman Todd Shaw profile image96
          Wesman Todd Shawposted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

          Ah historical illiteracy! Three cheers for the job the ethnic coterie of America haters who own the press have done to persons too dim to think for themselves.

          Intelligent and mature persons all know the American Civil War had nothing to do with slavery at all.

          1. My Esoteric profile image89
            My Esotericposted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

            Exactly how dumb are you, Todd?

            Here, maybe this will help - https://www.history.com/topics/american … ar-history

    3. peterstreep profile image79
      peterstreepposted 2 months agoin reply to this

      Religion and American politics are closely connected. Even today it is unthinkable to have an atheist president. Probably a lot of presidents were atheists but for the public eye they have to act as if they believe in God.
      Although this is changing and it could well be that in the next election this hypocrisy is broken and a president will have the guts to say that he/she is an atheist.
      Religion and politics should be separated as a government should be there for the whole population and not just for one religious group.

      1. My Esoteric profile image89
        My Esotericposted 2 months agoin reply to this

        Simply put, if Conservatives win, America becomes a theocracy since the supremacy of Christianity is core to their belief system while if Liberals win, America remains a secular nation which is what our founders wanted.

        I just saw a poll where "no religion" (which doesn't mean atheist, BTW) is on equal footing with Catholics and those who claim to be Evangelical (but given their support of Trump, I would say they ought to fall into the "no religion" group since they do not hold Christian values).  All around 23%.

        It seems what has happened is that those you use to check the Protestant box are now checking the "no religion" box.

        1. wilderness profile image97
          wildernessposted 2 months agoin reply to this

          "America remains a secular nation which is what our founders wanted."

          Come, come.  Our founding fathers never wanted a secular nation; they wanted a nation where each state was free to worship God (the common Christian god, as there was no other except the Indian gods and they were ignorant heathens) as they chose.  "Separation of church and state" was not about freedom from religion; it was about freedom to worship as one chose.

          This is apparent as it was only the federal government that was forbidden to establish a religion; states were free to do so.

          1. My Esoteric profile image89
            My Esotericposted 2 months agoin reply to this

            Wilderness, I am sorry, but your knowledge of American history is sorely lacking.  Have you not read the Constitution and what it says about religion?  Have you not read Madison's notes on the Constitutional Convention when they discussed this topic?  Have you not read Jefferson's discourse on religion and the Virginia Constitution?

            There are so many sources that says your view is wrong about the Federal gov't.

            Yes, until the 14th Amendment, they left religion to the states (although they effectively prohibited a theocracy which a few states were close to).  They were, however, bothered by how much religion colored several of the state governments.

    4. Wesman Todd Shaw profile image96
      Wesman Todd Shawposted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

      I was an atheist, just like you, but I was a teenager. Sad that you are an old man who never grew up, intellectually,  at all. Later on I was somewhat a secular humanist, I believed in some sort of God. So glad I've got a high enough IQ to have sorted it all past that level. So sad there are persons like you who're children in ancient adult bodies.

      I'm saying I used to be a complete moron. And just like you also, I used to hate the USA for it not being the place my childish mind thought it should be. I'm so glad I grew up, and though you are rather ancient, and also not very observant or much with the capacity for deep thought, there is still hope for you, as you are still alive. Isn't that something to be hopeful for? I think so. It's possible something could happen to you, and cause you to think for the very first time. *fingers crossed*

      1. My Esoteric profile image89
        My Esotericposted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

        Problem is Todd, I am not an atheist.  I believe in God - not just your God.

        Given your last sentence, I must seriously doubt your claim of having a high IQ.  You sound like DumbTrump.

  2. wilderness profile image97
    wildernessposted 2 months ago

    Like everything in the world, conservatism evolves and changes.  For instance, it is almost the direct opposite of what it was in the past.

    We currently have, IMO, a segment of conservatives (and conservatism) that comes directly from religion, specifically Christianity.  And we have another segment that does NOT use religion as a building block for their brand of conservatism.  As time passes I expect the concept to move further and further away from religion, with the religious zealots fading to "far right" designation along with supremacists and others radical groups.

    Conservatism is thus, IMO in a state of flux just as much as liberalism is.  It is moving away from it's Christian roots just as liberalism is moving towards socialism and massive wealth re-distribution.

    1. My Esoteric profile image89
      My Esotericposted 2 months agoin reply to this

      What do you consider the "past", Wilderness?  Are you saying Russell Kirk no longer represents what conservatism is all about?

      1. wilderness profile image97
        wildernessposted 2 months agoin reply to this

        If Kirk represented conservatism of the 50's to a large degree then he certainly does not represent what is "conservative" today. 

        Take just the inclusion of their god into our money supply and pledge in the 50's; while there are certainly people today that support that and would do it again, the large majority of conservatives (IMO as a conservative) would not.

    2. My Esoteric profile image89
      My Esotericposted 2 months agoin reply to this

      "Like everything in the world, conservatism evolves and changes. " - THAT is true, even Kirk says as much.  But it is the speed of that change and what that change derives from that is in question.  If Kirk was alive in the late 1700s and early 1800s I could see him arguing forcefully against the 13th Amendment.  That sort of change to the social order was simply too radical for his taste.

  3. Wesman Todd Shaw profile image96
    Wesman Todd Shawposted 2 months ago

    An anti-intellectual post, just like every single one the poster has done which I've ever seen.

    1. My Esoteric profile image89
      My Esotericposted 2 months agoin reply to this

      One of these days, Wesman, I hope you can make some sense.  That certainly didn't.  The best I can tell is you are calling the man behind modern conservatism an "anti-intellectual".

  4. Kathryn L Hill profile image81
    Kathryn L Hillposted 2 months ago

    What are the first principles of conservatives?

    THESE?????

    "Revelation, reason, and assurance beyond the senses tell that God exists.

    God is omniscient

    Man and the state are creations of God's beneficence.

    God's purpose among men is revealed through the unrolling of history. 

    How are we to know God's mind and will? Through the prejudices and traditions which millennia of human experience with divine means and judgments have implanted in the mind of the species. 

    And what is our purpose in this world? Not to indulge our appetites, but to render obedience to divine ordinance."

  5. Kathryn L Hill profile image81
    Kathryn L Hillposted 2 months ago

    So, you say that conservatives no longer follow these first principles.

    That they do not believe in, trust or listen to omniscient God and are not obedient to Him and do not follow his will.

    ... and liberals do?

    1. My Esoteric profile image89
      My Esotericposted 2 months agoin reply to this

      No, I said die-hard supporters of Trump have abandoned conservative first principles by supporting the kind of man Trump is.  Evangelicals gave up their Christianity in order to get in bed with Trump. 

      Conservatives like Jeff Flake, John McCain, Rick Wilson have not given up their conservative principles - Trump supporters have.

      1. Kathryn L Hill profile image81
        Kathryn L Hillposted 2 months agoin reply to this

        I see. You truly believe that, "Evangelicals gave up their Christianity in order to get in bed with Trump."

        Good to know.

        1. My Esoteric profile image89
          My Esotericposted 2 months agoin reply to this

          You don't agree?  They accept Trump's thousand lies as OK.  They accept Trump's philandering as OK.  They accept that he was pro-abortion before he claimed he wasn't.  They accept Trump denigrating every person under the sun.

          That doesn't sound like the Christianity that I use to know.

          1. Kathryn L Hill profile image81
            Kathryn L Hillposted 2 months agoin reply to this

            Jesus said to check your own soul and see how perfect you are before you start condemning others.

            Trump was elected. All complaints about his " bad character" should be silenced so he can do his job. Yes, he has his faults. However, he is SAVING THE NATION.

            You want the nation saved? Yes?

            But you don't think Trump is doing so?

            How would YOU save the nation?

            1. My Esoteric profile image89
              My Esotericposted 2 months agoin reply to this

              Adolph Hitler was similarly elected in a free election.  So would you say "Trump was elected. All complaints about his " bad character" should be silenced so he can do his job." about him??

  6. Kathryn L Hill profile image81
    Kathryn L Hillposted 2 months ago

    We are all guilty, yet you want to find fault with one political party.
    Why do you wish to pinpoint, criticize and find fault with the party you are NOT affiliated with? Yet you want to research: "Conservatism in America: Theory and Reality"

    In order to accomplish your purpose, you need to get rid of your prejudice.


    The Way I See It

    1. My Esoteric profile image89
      My Esotericposted 2 months agoin reply to this

      I just look at the facts.  I will analyze conservative position since America was created and compare them whether they caused social good or social harm.  People I will consider are the likes of Vice President John Calhoun, arguably one of the principle agitators for the Civil War.

      I'll look at who opposed the 13th, 14th, 15th, and 19th Amendments and why.  I'll look at who opposed the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act.  I'll consider the success by the Supreme Court in rolling back the reconstruction and the attempts of a more modern Supreme Court to roll back the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts.

      1. wilderness profile image97
        wildernessposted 2 months agoin reply to this

        Kathryn is right - you are most definitely cherry picking for events you think have a high probability of showing conservatives in a bad light. 

        She is also right that to accomplish anything useful you must first dump your prejudice.  Of course, if your goal is to convince yourself of the evils of conservatism, you are on the right track (although it sounds like you're already convinced).

        1. My Esoteric profile image89
          My Esotericposted 2 months agoin reply to this

          If I am "cherry-picking", I sure didn't leave much of the tree did I?

          Also, as I have said before, I don't find "conservatism" evil, it is just a set of principles (a few of which I find off-putting, but not evil); just like liberalism is a set of principles.  What I find evil is the application of those conservative principles to the real world.

          BTW, "prejudice" means I have "pre-judged" something.  I have not.  I simply look at history and come to a conclusion.

  7. Kathryn L Hill profile image81
    Kathryn L Hillposted 2 months ago

    It is the challenge of every person to align themselves with what they perceive is reality.

    To the extent that they accomplish this connection equals the extent they will achieve Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. These rights are given by God to EVERY man and woman. The Constitution protects these rights with laws. To the extent that we follow and enforce the laws equals the extent that the Constitution is at all useful.

    1. My Esoteric profile image89
      My Esotericposted 2 months agoin reply to this

      Whether those rights are given by the Christian God is debatable, but they are a function of being human.

      1. Kathryn L Hill profile image81
        Kathryn L Hillposted 2 months agoin reply to this

        The God of nature and nature's God.  Creator of everything, including man.

        1. My Esoteric profile image89
          My Esotericposted 2 months agoin reply to this

          God IS nature, not OF nature.  They are not separate things.

  8. Kathryn L Hill profile image81
    Kathryn L Hillposted 2 months ago

    The terms liberalism and conservatism have morphed over time.

    Today:

    Liberals want to help the down trodden through government policies and intervention.

    Conservatives want to enable people to become successful to prevent them from becoming down trodden and dependent on the government.

    1. My Esoteric profile image89
      My Esotericposted 2 months agoin reply to this

      Actually they haven't, they mean the same thing 200 years ago as they do today.

      And your understanding of what liberals and conservatives are all about is quite flawed.

      1. Kathryn L Hill profile image81
        Kathryn L Hillposted 2 months agoin reply to this

        ... and what did conservatism mean 200 years ago?
        ... what did liberalism mean 200 years ago,
        E X A C T L Y ?

        1. My Esoteric profile image89
          My Esotericposted 2 months agoin reply to this

          ---- Read Kirk

          ---- Read the Constitution

      2. Kathryn L Hill profile image81
        Kathryn L Hillposted 2 months agoin reply to this

        How so?

        1. My Esoteric profile image89
          My Esotericposted 2 months agoin reply to this

          Let me offer this as to what conservatism stands for. Do you agree with it?

          https://kirkcenter.org/conservatism/ten … rinciples/

          You have claimed elsewhere that these no longer apply to conservative, how so

  9. hard sun profile image88
    hard sunposted 2 months ago

    Religion and reason are inherently incompatible as faith is not reasonable.

    1. Kathryn L Hill profile image81
      Kathryn L Hillposted 2 months agoin reply to this

      Faith is knowing what is real.

      1. My Esoteric profile image89
        My Esotericposted 2 months agoin reply to this

        Faith is believing in something that you cannot perceive directly or logically.  If you could perceive it or reason it through, there is no need for faith.

        1. Kathryn L Hill profile image81
          Kathryn L Hillposted 2 months agoin reply to this

          flawed.

          1. My Esoteric profile image89
            My Esotericposted 2 months agoin reply to this

            Reality

        2. Doneta Wrate profile image91
          Doneta Wrateposted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

          In the Bible, the Psalms I believe, God says, Come let us reason together.  In the New Testament, Paul says the wisdom of God is foolishness to man.  Religion can be quite reasonable if you study the Bible and understand what it is trying to say.

          1. My Esoteric profile image89
            My Esotericposted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

            You will have to explain "the wisdom of God is foolishness to man." to me.  That doesn't sound right, Doneta.

  10. Kathryn L Hill profile image81
    Kathryn L Hillposted 2 months ago

    It really comes down to human nature.

    Humans require a good upbringing if they are to become strong and independent.
    A bad upbringing will produce people who can't live in freedom.

    Its a pity.
    We need good moms and dads. We need good teachers. We need to understand human psychology and human nature.
    it's all based on love and science

    and we're just not there yet.

    1. My Esoteric profile image89
      My Esotericposted 2 months agoin reply to this

      And THAT I absolutely agree with.

  11. Kathryn L Hill profile image81
    Kathryn L Hillposted 2 months ago

    down·trod·den

    oppressed or treated badly by people in power.

    "... a downtrodden proletarian struggling for social justice."

    Synonyms:
    oppressed, subjugated, persecuted, subdued, repressed, tyrannized, ground down, crushed, enslaved, burdened, weighed down, exploited, disadvantaged, underprivileged, victimized, bullied, browbeaten, under the heel, powerless, helpless, prostrate; abused, misused, maltreated, ill-treated.

    Oh, so many victims created by TRUMP and the Godless CONSERVATIVES.

    Right roll

    1. My Esoteric profile image89
      My Esotericposted 2 months agoin reply to this

      So do you consider LGBTQ, one of Trump's favorite punching bags, downtrodden?

      1. Kathryn L Hill profile image81
        Kathryn L Hillposted 2 months agoin reply to this

        PLEASE prove they are his favorite punching bags!

        1. My Esoteric profile image89
          My Esotericposted 2 months agoin reply to this

          Read the news or ask the patriotic Americans who Trump won't let serve in the military.

  12. Kathryn L Hill profile image81
    Kathryn L Hillposted 2 months ago

    Conservatives are Evangelicals? Thats news to me.

    Or maybe you mean that conservatives are giving up their reason.

    1. My Esoteric profile image89
      My Esotericposted 2 months agoin reply to this

      You said it, not me, but I do agree.  There are no liberal Evangelicals - name one.

  13. Kathryn L Hill profile image81
    Kathryn L Hillposted 2 months ago

    Are liberals not evangelicals?
    Are liberals more reason-based than Conservatives?

    1. My Esoteric profile image89
      My Esotericposted 2 months agoin reply to this

      No and yes, even Kirk agrees with that last statement.  He says so outright by bashing reason. 

      "Abstract reason or (alternatively) idyllic imagination may be employed not merely to study, but to direct, the course of social destiny" (by liberals)

      1. GA Anderson profile image92
        GA Andersonposted 2 months agoin reply to this

        I don't think he is bashing reason here. He is bashing a type of reasoning - abstract reasoning. He even describes what he is bashing; "idyllic imagination." that isn't reasoning as is typically discussed.

        GA

        1. My Esoteric profile image89
          My Esotericposted 2 months agoin reply to this

          But isn't all reasoning abstract?  What is non-abstract reasoning?  Is he also against "imagining a better future" which is what I take "ldyllic imagination" to be.  Of course I assume he has some other idea in mind.

          Also, you will find Kirk is quite flowery with his wording so you must tone it down a bit.

          1. GA Anderson profile image92
            GA Andersonposted 2 months agoin reply to this

            Because I see the answer as so obvious, your question puzzles me. My first thought is; "Of course all reasoning isn't abstract." So I must be misunderstanding something.

            As an example, I would say that if a program is reasoned to be beneficial for the citizens, then the reasoning is that the government should implement it. However, I think that would be "abstract reason or (alternatively) idyllic imagination " because it only addresses the concept, not the reality of whether the government can pay for it, or even the question of whether the government should implement it.

            Non-abstract reasoning would consider that and the cost, (not just monetary), benefit ratio.

            Kirk has been described as eloquent, but I don't think that detracts from his messages. You may see "idyllic imagination" as "flowery" but I see it as unmistakenly carrying his point. I think I understood exactly what he meant.

            GA

            1. My Esoteric profile image89
              My Esotericposted 2 months agoin reply to this

              GA - let's start with the definition of "abstract"

              existing in thought or as an idea but not having a physical or concrete existence.
              "abstract concepts such as love or beauty"
              synonyms:    theoretical, conceptual, notional, intellectual, metaphysical, philosophical, academic;

              And then "abstract reasoning" - Abstract reasoning refers to the ability to analyze information, detect patterns and relationships, and solve problems on a complex, intangible level. Abstract reasoning skills include: Being able to formulate theories about the nature of objects and ideas.

              Do you agree that Kirk objects to that?

              Now, when I perform economic analysis for the Air Force (or use to anyway), I would formulate the question at hand, say "Is it economically feasible to replace this labor intensive process at an Air Force repair depot (as I did) and replace it with a more automated process (one I was given the specifications about).

              The first thing I would do is formulate "restraints" such as the measured labor productivity for the activities involved or the life of the equipment or what year dollars were going to be used.  Then I would come up with a set of applicable assumptions like inflation rates, any trade-offs that might apply, what to do with the displaced workers, etc.

              From there we determine as many of the tangible and intangible cost and income flows as we can think of.  After which we run an inflation weighted cost-benefit analysis considering actual dollar changes and programmed dollar impacts.

              If we have uncertainty around any of the assumptions, then we might assume certain distributions around each variable and run Monte Carlo simulations around that.

              To me, that is abstract reasoning.  I used all of the above once to determine the operating and maintenance cost for various choices of helicopters and airplanes the Slovakian government was considering as they made and application to join NATO.

              When Kirk says such thinking is a drawback to Leftist (he would say radical) thought process, I must scratch my head.

              As to the "alternative", this is what Kirk says about that - "With Irving Babbitt, we may call the mode of imagination represented by Rousseau “the idyllic imagination”—that is, the imagination which rejects old dogmas and old manners and rejoices in the notion of emancipation from duty and convention. "

              Now, what does "emancipation from duty and convention" have to do with imagination, idyllic or otherwise.  Sounds like good old fashioned bias like we see today.

              1. GA Anderson profile image92
                GA Andersonposted 2 months agoin reply to this

                Well damn, not only is this conversation making me work, now it is also causing me to lose sleep. I saw this response just as I was heading off to bed, and was stuck thinking about it as I lay there. Damn.

                Have I once again made the error of relying on a common understanding of a word, vs a context-specific meaning? Abstract means abstract right? Apparently not as I thought.

                Things didn't look good when I took a quick look at the definition of reasoning before heading to bed. Relative to philosophy, the first listing was abstract reasoning. Double damn.

                Now here I am up at 6am just to answer.

                That abstract reasoning was followed by references to Aristotle and Plato, and such. It is not looking good for me.

                Then I read further and see explanations like reasoning being the process of understanding. A process that can use logic and rationality. A process of evaluating ideas and facts to reach a reasoned conclusion.

                Then I found this blurb:

                "The fundamental attribute of reason is clarity, and the use of identifiable ideas, memories, emotions, and sensory input. Since reason is a means of achieving understanding, its method is significant. Reason is organized, systematic, and a purposeful way of thinking. Reason also makes use of vehicles such as logic, deduction, and induction to make sense of perceptions and knowledge."

                That doesn't sound abstract to me. That sounds like what my original thought of what reason was.

                So I am stuck in an irreconcilable position. It seems it can be said that you are correct, in the field of philosophy all reasoning is abstract, but all that I read--beyond that related to philosophy--still implies to me that there is also rational reasoning that is not abstract, (as I understand the word), in any way.

                And it gets worse. I have to admit that Kirk's use of idyllic imagination does show a bias. However, relative to the context of his statement, I still say his word choice carried the point intended, and an understanding that there are shades of reasoning; from rational to irrational, from logical to illogical, and from known to abstract.

                As to your final rhetorical question I would point to another phrase Kirk used relative to that point. It has to do with idyllic imagination in the sense of a reasoning that would "discard the devil you know, (the old manners and dogma), for acceptance of the devil you don't, (a new speculative and unknown course).

                I find many current and historical societal change examples that I would see fitting that thought.

                So I am stuck with a phrase from a country western song; That's my story, and I am sticking to it." I still think that there is reasoning and also abstract reasoning. And I think that was the context of Kirk's quote.

                GA

                1. My Esoteric profile image89
                  My Esotericposted 2 months agoin reply to this

                  :-)  As well you should, GA.  Sorry for keeping you up.

                  1. GA Anderson profile image92
                    GA Andersonposted 2 months agoin reply to this

                    No worries bud. A nap fixed everything.

                    Except for the Hayek rabbit that I am still chasing. Burke essays led me through a half dozen open tabs, and now a Hayek connection has opened even more.

                    Hayek was agnostic, so I am finding his agreement with most of Burke's thoughts much more agreeable. ;-)

                    GA

                2. My Esoteric profile image89
                  My Esotericposted 2 months agoin reply to this

                  I found my lead in to my book in another book I started reading, "The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism From Edmund Burke to Donald Trump" by Corey Robin, a political scientist at the CUNY Graduate Center.  He states,

                  "Since the modern era began, men and women in subordinate positions have marched against their superiors in the state, church, workplace, and other hierarchical institutions.  They have gathered under different banners - the labor movement, feminism, abolition, socialism - and shouted different slogans: freedom, equality, rights, democracy, revolution.  In virtually every instance, their superiors have resisted them, violently and nonviolently, legally and illegally, overtly and covertly. That march and demarche of democracy is the story of modern politics ..." - a sentiment I agree with. 

                  I also learned a new word "demarche".  I've seen it several times but didn't know that it meant "a political step or initiative."

                  1. GA Anderson profile image92
                    GA Andersonposted 2 months agoin reply to this

                    I can see why you would agree with it. It is an accurate description of the inborn bane of the combination of humans and hierarchy. 

                    Civilization's history has shown that we can't live without hierarchies, and our modern era development has given us the illusion that we have the power to alter or abolish them.

                    That sentiment that you agree with, (and multiple historical societal experiment examples - think Communism), proves that the thought that a human hierarchy can be subverted or abolished is just an illusion.

                    It is sort of like that old, (now determined to be sexist), male sentiment concerning women; "Can't live with them, can't live without them."

                    ps. Have you given any thought to rephrasing your OP question from "is" to "was?"

                    GA

  14. GA Anderson profile image92
    GA Andersonposted 2 months ago

    Damn! It was a trap. A coil of rope just long enough for its purpose.

    However, all is not lost. Relearning something that had been forgotten, (or neglected to be remembered), is as beneficial as learning something new.

    Those were a good choice of links. I particularly linked the Forbes one because I have never previously considered the potential impact of the Confederacy receiving international recognition. I was aware of their diplomatic efforts to get it but hadn't considered how seriously that might have affected the war.

    Thanks

    GA

  15. RJ Schwartz profile image90
    RJ Schwartzposted 2 months ago

    Is this your first book Scott?

    I always find it fascinating when someone writes about a topic they are firmly against.

    When is it due to hit bookshelves or Amazon - I'll definitely be picking up a copy.

    1. My Esoteric profile image89
      My Esotericposted 2 months agoin reply to this

      No, just starting it, it will probably take a year or better.  I do have another book on A Short History of Significant American Recessions, Depressions, and Panics: Why Conservative Economic Theory Doesn't Work. that was released a few months ago.

      The thing about writing about something you are against, to be credible, you have to provide lots of research to sustain your point.

      1. RJ Schwartz profile image90
        RJ Schwartzposted 2 months agoin reply to this

        Thanks, how are sales on the first book?
        I stick to publishing poetry myself - unlike any book on politics, poetry seems to make all people happy rather than just half of the people.

        Best of luck in your research !

        1. My Esoteric profile image89
          My Esotericposted 2 months agoin reply to this

          That would be true about poetry.

          There is a reason they call these publications - vanity books, lol.  I have sold 7, I think, and one was to me.  I haven't promoted it, however, and it only has one review.

 
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