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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.



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?