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The Liberal-Conservative Dichotomy is an illusion

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Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
48,103
8,537
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I agree with the OP re: the topic title. The whole Left/Right Liberal/Conservative dichotomies are nonsense to give intellectually-vacant idiots something to feel important about. Typical us vs. them mentality.

The topic of god, religion, and faith is a bit more complicated though. I agree that religion has been abused as a means of power and manipulation over people for thousands of years, and I do not have faith nor do I adhere to any religion, however to say that modern science has made it obsolete is simply to air out one's own ignorance on the subject. For one thing, religion itself is merely ancient science in institutionalized dogmatism. For another, modern science only disproves the lower (so-called "literal" or "fundamentalist") beliefs of religion, while the higher more abstract views remain unknowable, untouched, or in some cases even reinforced.
So while I will argue for days the importance of maintaining a secular liberal government, separate from any religion, I will also argue the necessity for individual freedom of belief. And if you want, I'd be happy to discuss the age-old science and religion debate as well, particularly in areas of theoretical physics and the cosmological standard model, contrasted against ancient religious beliefs, and so forth. What I often find surprising is not how wrong the ancients were (which they of course were more often than not), but how right they were in so many areas. It is fascinating. Especially if you take into account that much of the really wrong religious dogma, that much of the modern religious world clings to (like young earth creationism for example), is actually a product of relatively recent times (middle ages into the 1800s), and not what the ancients actually believed.
 

superstition

Platinum Member
Feb 2, 2008
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You like to attempt to belittle people of faith and then attempt to claim they should be irrelevant.
This is more ad hominem. Your inventions concerning my character are not useful.

To me, the simple fact is that religion in a pre-science tool for understanding/explaining reality. I frankly don't care how people categorize themselves with respect to that. All I care about is the logic. The logic says that science has replaced religion as the tool for understanding reality because it's predicated on accuracy, not mumbo jumbo.

I am not happy about this, by the way. It would be much better for there to be a deity who would grant me wishes. I think about it all the time - how nice it would be to have my wishes granted. But, no matter how pleasant such reverie is, it's not real. We have no purpose greater than our biology and no guiding greater consciousness. We will not live forever. Entropy (the second law of thermodynamics) means everything is falling apart slowly which makes all human endeavor part of the cosmic joke.

Even though this fact can be seen as the ultimate downer, there is comfort in knowing how things are. That way, we are free to do with our lives what we will - without the interference of corrupt notions.
 

shira

Diamond Member
Jan 12, 2005
9,574
5
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Originally posted by: superstition
You like to attempt to belittle people of faith and then attempt to claim they should be irrelevant.
This is more ad hominem. Your inventions concerning my character are not useful.

To me, the simple fact is that religion in a pre-science tool for understanding/explaining reality. I frankly don't care how people categorize themselves with respect to that. All I care about is the logic. The logic says that science has replaced religion as the tool for understanding reality because it's predicated on accuracy, not mumbo jumbo.

I am not happy about this, by the way. It would be much better for there to be a deity who would grant me wishes. I think about it all the time - how nice it would be to have my wishes granted. But, no matter how pleasant such reverie is, it's not real. We have no purpose greater than our biology and no guiding greater consciousness. We will not live forever. Entropy (the second law of thermodynamics) means everything is falling apart slowly which makes all human endeavor part of the cosmic joke.

Even though this fact can be seen as the ultimate downer, there is comfort in knowing how things are. That way, we are free to do with our lives what we will - without the interference of corrupt notions.
Why are you having such difficulty understanding that science addresses only physical reality? And since much of what guides human action has nothing to do with physical reality, what you're saying is completely irrelevant to the real interactions of real people in the real world.

Religion is only "pre-science" to the extent that it attempts to explain the physical aspects of the universe. But a much more important role of religion is to explain the meaning of human existence, to reassure people that there's justice in a universe that seems heartless. Even in those areas that science should hold sway, many people will prefer the explanations of religion.

That's how REAL people behave. You can label it "illusion," but that isn't going to change anything.

Frankly, you're the one who seems to have a problem dealing with reality, the reality of how real people determine what's true.

 

shira

Diamond Member
Jan 12, 2005
9,574
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Originally posted by: superstitionEntropy (the second law of thermodynamics) means everything is falling apart slowly which makes all human endeavor part of the cosmic joke.
This is incorrect in at least two ways. First, "Entropy" is not the same thing as the 2nd law. The 2nd law says that in a closed system, entropy (the degree of disorder) increases or stays the same.

Also, humanity doesn't live in a closed system. We can use energy and decrease disorder in human systems (at the expense of the order of the rest of the universe). And we can get away with this strategy for billions of years. Humanity will perish for other reasons long before the 2nd law forces our demise.


 

seemingly random

Diamond Member
Oct 10, 2007
5,281
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I wonder what the boys (now men) think of the meaning of human existence after the pedophilia priests tutored them. Reality? Justice?
 

superstition

Platinum Member
Feb 2, 2008
2,219
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Why are you having such difficulty understanding that science addresses only physical reality? And since much of what guides human action has nothing to do with physical reality, what you're saying is completely irrelevant to the real interactions of real people in the real world.
Physical reality, as opposed to fantasy land... I don't have a problem recognizing the human desire for fantasy land. That doesn't make it real, though.
 

superstition

Platinum Member
Feb 2, 2008
2,219
216
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This is incorrect in at least two ways. First, "Entropy" is not the same thing as the 2nd law. The 2nd law says that in a closed system, entropy (the degree of disorder) increases or stays the same.
In any case, entropy is the issue.

Also, humanity doesn't live in a closed system. We can use energy and decrease disorder in human systems (at the expense of the order of the rest of the universe). And we can get away with this strategy for billions of years.
Wishful thinking. Our rape of the planet's resources/ecosystem isn't going to continue for billions of years. The Earth is a closed system, aside from solar energy.

Humanity will perish for other reasons long before the 2nd law forces our demise.
Probably, but entropy is still the final issue.
 

superstition

Platinum Member
Feb 2, 2008
2,219
216
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Originally posted by: seemingly random
I wonder what the boys (now men) think of the meaning of human existence after the pedophilia priests tutored them. Reality? Justice?
How is this relevant at all?
 

seemingly random

Diamond Member
Oct 10, 2007
5,281
0
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Originally posted by: superstition
Originally posted by: seemingly random
I wonder what the boys (now men) think of the meaning of human existence after the pedophilia priests tutored them. Reality? Justice?
How is this relevant at all?
It actually has zero relevance to the op. However, one poster was making the case that religion describes real things for real people. I couldn't let it go since I'm sick of these people who pretend they have the correct answers and that they're superior to and pity others.

Sorry to dirty up a clean thread.
 

shira

Diamond Member
Jan 12, 2005
9,574
5
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Originally posted by: seemingly random
Originally posted by: superstition
Originally posted by: seemingly random
I wonder what the boys (now men) think of the meaning of human existence after the pedophilia priests tutored them. Reality? Justice?
How is this relevant at all?
It actually has zero relevance to the op. However, one poster was making the case that religion describes real things for real people. I couldn't let it go since I'm sick of these people who pretend they have the correct answers and that they're superior to and pity others.

Sorry to dirty up a clean thread.
You've mischaracterized what I wrote.

First of all, I'm an agnostic who doesn't believe in God, so I'm hardly someone who would lord religious truth over others.

Second, my point was that reality isn't JUST the physical universe, as Superstition keeps overlooking. A major part of reality is how human's perceive the non-physical aspects of existence - emotions, justice, order, purpose.

Most people - and I mean a BIG majority - get much of their perception of reality from their religious views. That's a fact. And denying that fact is just as much a failure to recognize "reality" as is rejecting well-supported, settled, scientific knowledge. Let's face it: There are an awful lot of things that science will NEVER be able to address - plus buge gaps in knowledge even in those areas that science rightly does address. But people want answers NOW, and they'll find them any way they can. Who can blame them?

Superstition can "pretend to have the correct answers" and look down his nose at those who make sense of the universe in more complex ways than he does, but he's an arrogant fool if he does.

 

BMW540I6speed

Golden Member
Aug 26, 2005
1,055
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Todays so called "conservitives" have shown that the only things they are interested in "conserving" and extending are the wealth and power of the already wealthy and powerful. They have advanced their cause at the expense of everybody else in the world, including traditional conservatives. This cancerous perversion of conservatism must be excised and destroyed.

Certain things need to be "conserved", just as the possibilities of innovation need to be allowed and encouraged. The concepts of personal and political liberty first envisioned in the Enlightenment and advanced in the American Revolution need to be "conserved." The rule of law under the Constitution has been useful in promoting these into practice and should be respected.

Natural resources need to be "conserved". Our lives depend on a complex, planet-wide system of natural relationships that need to be understood, respected, and maintained. Our economic system still is geared to exploitation and extraction without recognition of needs in the far future. The economics of corporate capitalism is brash, arrogant, and very destructive. A new economics of sustainability and stewardship needs to be forged to replace it. This would be a very conservative move.

Money needs to be "conserved". Its value should be real, not fiat, or based on debt. Accounts should be balanced. The runaway borrowing and spending of the last few decades needs to be stopped, as it burdens future generations with hopeless debt.

Human health needs to be "conserved". A system of medical and dental insurance needs to be created that is fair to everyone and will help maintain the health of all citizens so they can realize their full potential for pursuing happiness.

Our political and economic independence need to be "conserved". Since we have no direct political control over other nations other than by the unethical and ultimately self-defeating means of intimidation and attack, we need to protect the industries and skills of our domestic workers. This means defending our borders against those who would undercut our labor and promoting fair trade policies with other nations that do not restrict our freedom to make adjustments in our own economies.

I'm proud to call myself a "conservative" because I support and vote for candidates who value "conserving" that which is good, reasonable, and useful for the long haul ahead.

So it might be better to ask, can the word "conservative" win back its original meaning, after decades of being bastardized by the Republican Party starting with Goldwater and ending with Rove?
 

BMW540I6speed

Golden Member
Aug 26, 2005
1,055
0
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To expand further...

Conservatism has become a loaded word, just as has "liberal." Each "side" uses the opposite's title in a pejorative way, and this is what language does to us, this is why Wm. S. Burroughs called it a "virus." Then again, it was Burroughs who conceived the "Factualist" party, and perhaps the Factualists - who would be the sane, noble, conservatives of the tradition of Burke and Jefferson .

Conservatism will not "wither away." Progressivism will not, by itself, carry the day. But language, being a virus, destroys its words after they have consumed the host; Perhaps "conservative" and even "Republican" need to be supplanted or replaced by something like "Factualist."

The Factualists of Burroughs' vision were, unsurprisingly, people who dealt in facts. Most sane people would do that were it not so unfashionable. Most of us still do in certain situations. Not every situation requires a liberal, shotgun approach; not every situation will allow a considered response. And no situation will ever end with everyone completely satisfied. But with only one sort of thinking at work, at least half of everything will be mismanaged and foolish waste or idiotic inaction will derail life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

All we need to do first is to destroy the labelmakers and purge the damned neocons and faux liberals who have come to dominate the right and left while paralyzing the perfectly good system; after that perhaps we won't have so much trouble with the concept of keeping the baby while throwing out the bathwater.





 

imported_Lothar

Diamond Member
Aug 10, 2006
4,564
1
0
Originally posted by: Rio Rebel
Originally posted by: superstition
Religion is just the pre-science tool for explaining reality. As such, it's obsolete. Your reasoning is flawed.
Religion and science explain two different areas. If you don't understand that, then you understand neither religion nor science.
:thumbsup:
 

teclis1023

Golden Member
Jan 19, 2007
1,452
0
71
Originally posted by: superstition
Every truth is singular in a rational reality. We have science to help us get as close to an understanding of reality as possible. There is no "liberal" scientific law and "conservative" scientific law. There are an endless number of opinions, scientific and otherwise, but all opinions are fundamentally quantifiable by their closeness to reality.
Who defines truth? Though probably written with great intention, your post demonstrates just how vague our 'truths' truly can be.
 

judasmachine

Diamond Member
Sep 15, 2002
8,515
3
81
It doesn't matter where the truth lies, it only matters what the mob believes. This is a dog and pony show remember? Lots of smoke, mirrors, money, and lies.
 

blackangst1

Lifer
Feb 23, 2005
20,661
755
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Originally posted by: shira
Originally posted by: seemingly random
Originally posted by: superstition
Originally posted by: seemingly random
I wonder what the boys (now men) think of the meaning of human existence after the pedophilia priests tutored them. Reality? Justice?
How is this relevant at all?
It actually has zero relevance to the op. However, one poster was making the case that religion describes real things for real people. I couldn't let it go since I'm sick of these people who pretend they have the correct answers and that they're superior to and pity others.

Sorry to dirty up a clean thread.
You've mischaracterized what I wrote.

First of all, I'm an agnostic who doesn't believe in God, so I'm hardly someone who would lord religious truth over others.

Second, my point was that reality isn't JUST the physical universe, as Superstition keeps overlooking. A major part of reality is how human's perceive the non-physical aspects of existence - emotions, justice, order, purpose.

Most people - and I mean a BIG majority - get much of their perception of reality from their religious views. That's a fact. And denying that fact is just as much a failure to recognize "reality" as is rejecting well-supported, settled, scientific knowledge. Let's face it: There are an awful lot of things that science will NEVER be able to address - plus buge gaps in knowledge even in those areas that science rightly does address. But people want answers NOW, and they'll find them any way they can. Who can blame them?

Superstition can "pretend to have the correct answers" and look down his nose at those who make sense of the universe in more complex ways than he does, but he's an arrogant fool if he does.
Im curious why you would think those who are religeous dont look at the universe in complex ways? Also, I would throw in for you to say Superstition can "pretend to have the correct answers" makes you just as arrogant as those whom you are targetting with this comment.

I respect your freedom to hold the views you do, although very different than mine. But, it doesnt mean I have to accept them, nor does it give me a free pass to poo-poo your beliefs, as you are doing here.
 

superstition

Platinum Member
Feb 2, 2008
2,219
216
101
Who defines truth? Though probably written with great intention, your post demonstrates just how vague our 'truths' truly can be.
Science, not "who". Science is humanity's approximate understanding of reality/truth. It's predicated on accuracy, not mumbo jumbo or biased agendas. Of course, being a human endeavor, it has problems, but it's also the best tool we have.
 

superstition

Platinum Member
Feb 2, 2008
2,219
216
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Republicans Dusting Off `Liberal' Attacks
http://news.yahoo.com/s/bloomberg/aebwr37re9hi

...said Chris LaCivita, a Republican media adviser to the Swift Boat group...

Gay Marriage

Karl Frisch, spokesman for Media Matters for America, a Washington-based media watchdog organization, criticized the rating, saying it is ``remarkably misleading'' to count Obama votes such as those he cast in favor of the 9/11 Commission's recommendations and ethics overhaul as ``liberal.''

For his part, the presumptive Republican nominee, Arizona Senator John McCain, 71, has abandoned stances that are at odds with his party's conservative base -- including his effort to legalize undocumented immigrants and his opposition to Bush's tax cuts. Similarly, Obama has moderated or qualified positions over the years.

The Republicans' attack is ``the same playbook they use every four years,'' said Stephanie Cutter, Kerry's communications chief in 2004. ``Whoever the nominee is, they will allege that person is too liberal.''

``If they think that's bad,'' LaCivita said of the ad, ``it's only a matter of time before they see the really bad stuff.''
I love how the AP quotes the Swift Boat propagandist without mentioning that Kerry is a decorated veteran while Bush's service record is a joke.
 

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