Log in

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Liberal and Conservative Defined

Generally I avoid political topics, figuring I don't have enough information to weigh in in a public manner, but I liked jaylake's definition of conservative and liberal in his collection of links for today:

Conservatives' Deep-Set Fear of Women's Rights — Very interesting piece. To me this gets at the heart of the difference between liberals and conservatives. Conservatives by definition want to foster a narrow, smaller worldview. Liberals by definition want to foster a wider, more diverse worldview. The liberal worldview almost always leaves plenty of room for conservative ideals. Don't want an abortion? Don't have one. Hate and fear homosexuality? Be straight, with my blessing. Want to deny evolution? Party on with the flat Earthers. The conservative worldview very rarely leaves room for liberal ideals, seeking to deny all of society anything conservatives themselves don't agree with. On the basis of sheer, simple fairness, I could never be a conservative.

In the meantime, today is an odd one at school.  We are on a schedule that shortens all the classes to 35 minutes so that we have the afternoon free for our "Spring Fling," an hour-and-a-half long barbeque and activities session.  Then we are off tomorrow and Friday to compensate for the four evening-long parent/teacher conferences we've had in the year.  A four-day weekend will give me time to catch up on both grading and gardening.

And, on an unrelated note, according to The Guardian, here are the 10 best first lines in fiction.



( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 2nd, 2012 01:53 pm (UTC)
Why do they shorten all classes to 35 minutes--making all of them useless--instead of just sacrificing the last two classes of the day?
May. 2nd, 2012 02:09 pm (UTC)
No reason for it. It's just company policy.

That's always been my favorite explanation for inexplicable decisions.
May. 2nd, 2012 02:13 pm (UTC)
Ah, I remember the Spring Fling well, though I think we called it Spirit Week at one point (as in "school spirit" of course, we weren't a religious school). Some of my teachers used to use them as open Q&A/review days for upcoming tests, and it actually worked out well for some of us.
May. 2nd, 2012 03:34 pm (UTC)
My personal definition of liberal and conservative: Liberal = apply government liberally - more will fix the problem. Conservative = apply government conservatively - too much is the problem :)
May. 2nd, 2012 03:40 pm (UTC)
I think Jay was talking about social conservatism and social liberalism. I like your definition of political conservatism/liberalism.
May. 2nd, 2012 05:16 pm (UTC)
Yay! There's a difference! So I can take both sides ;)
May. 3rd, 2012 12:12 am (UTC)
I've always looked at it as liberals think the government is who should fix things, conservatives think it should be business/corporations/the individual who should fix things.

But businesses don't represent me, and sometimes I can't do it all myself.
May. 3rd, 2012 12:01 am (UTC)
yeah, yeah, yeah
Meanwhile Jonathan Haidt, having studied moral differences between liberal and conservatives, went to the next step and asked liberals to fill out his moral questionnaire as if they were conservatives, and conservatives as if they were liberal.

Lo and behold, conservatives understand liberals more than liberals understand conservatives. And the liberals don't realize they don't know they don't understand.

This is why liberals write screeds like that.
May. 3rd, 2012 07:35 am (UTC)
... The liberal worldview almost always leaves plenty of room for conservative ideals. Don't want an abortion? Don't have one. ...

Attitudes like this is why compromise between the left and the right has become impossible.

Try applying this argument to a different issue:

You: I oppose honor-killings of women.

Me: If you're against it, don't participate in it. But don't interfere with those who approve of the practice.

Would you accept that as an acceptable compromise on honor-killing?

May. 3rd, 2012 02:49 pm (UTC)
Yes, that would be a problem, except that a person who supports a woman's choice of an abortion wouldn't consider your analogy an equivalent comparison since an honor killing of a women is the murder of a human being while an abortion is the interruption of a pregnancy that does not murder a human being. The only way to be pro-choice is to assume that the collection of cells that will become a human being further along in the pregnancy are not a human being yet. One act is murder and the other isn't.
May. 3rd, 2012 03:07 pm (UTC)
Well, of course you wouldn't.

That's because your "wider, more diverse worldview" stops short at the idea of people's disagreeing with you. You would not accept anyone's calling someone you call human not human -- why should anyone else? What makes you so special?

(Also, it's very anti-science of you. What species do you think it belongs to, if not H. sapiens?)
May. 4th, 2012 04:39 am (UTC)
I'm not particularly pro-abortion myself, but I understand the argument. The best argument I've heard from the pro-choice crowd, and I think it's an interesting one, addresses whether humanity begins at conception with this puzzler: If two buildings side by side catch fire, and one is a fertility clinic with a thousand fertilized eggs awaiting implantation, and the other has a six-month old baby in a crib, and you can only go into one of the buildings to make the save, which one do you enter? Who do you save?

A pro-lifer would have to be a very steely-eyed person when asked about those fertilized eggs, which is many pro-lifer's definition of a human, to say they'd let the six-month old burn to save a thousand test tubes.

Edited at 2012-05-04 05:26 am (UTC)
May. 4th, 2012 09:49 pm (UTC)
In that hypothetical situation, I'd save the infant.

But it's not a moral question; it's a matter of priorities.

To see what I mean, let's extend that hypothetical to add a third building -- a nursing home with a dozen invalid geriatrics. So now you have the choice of saving a thousand unimplanted embryos, one infant child, or a dozen invalid geriatrics.

I'd still choose to save the baby. But that doesn't mean I seek to deny that geriatrics have human rights. It's simply a matter of which life I'd give priority to saving.

Uh . . . how is this hypothetical supposed to an argument for or against anything?
May. 5th, 2012 12:49 am (UTC)
The theory is that pro-lifers who stretch the definition of humanity to include a fertilized egg would have to, by their own logic, save the test tubes. They have more potential life in them than even the six-month old baby. But almost everyone, except the most rigid of ideologue, saves the baby, thereby recognizing that the baby is somehow more "human" than the fertilized eggs.

I think that folks who present the burning fertility clinic problem would say that the geriatrics in your third building raise a different question. That hypothetical is no different than a life boat scenario. It's neither a pro-life or pro-choice relevant situation. It's merely a (terrible!) ethical decision that would make anyone who chose either feel horrible for the rest of his life.
May. 5th, 2012 12:55 am (UTC)
But they can't save the babies, who will die without being implanted. (Which is part of the evil of manufacturing babies like Buicks, but that's another topic.)

That you think it raises a different question does not entitle you, in your broad-mindness, foster a narrow, smaller worldview by refusing to admit that other people do not accept your opinion? Or any rate, have no business not accepting your opinion?
May. 5th, 2012 12:52 am (UTC)
That's a nice switch of topic. Do you think that pro-lifer, or any pro-lifer, is left plenty of room in your world view by the declaration that as long as they have

Stupid hypothetical anyway. I can't save the newly conceived children in the lab. sam's counter-analogy is missing one point: the elderly folks are hooked up to machine that they need to survive and that you can't move. By the same token, the children will not survive without being implanted, which I can't do on the lawn.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )