Are we really to believe that we’re all commanded or obliged to above all else obey and honor and worship a Supreme Being? How stultifying! This Magnificence is so needy and weak that It needs us to do things to satisfy It? Hello!? How did It manage to survive all those billions of years without us?!
Conservatism proper is a legitimate, probably necessary, and certainly widespread attitude of opposition to drastic change – F.A. Hayek, from his essay “Why I Am Not A Conservative.”
In my last post, I shared a quote from Russell Kirk’s essay “The Essence of Conservatism.” I’ve since revisited some of his other observations in that piece, along with related commentary from others on similar themes such as the one expressed above, and found more than a few worth sharing.
If the only advantage in preserving a status quo is to delay doing anything, the primary achievement will be to ensure the difficulties have been compounded. It’s difficult to get anything done when nothing is being done! That means more will be impacted by delay and/or neglect, which only a few will find satisfactory.
But on matters of significance outside of our own four walls, where facts actually matter a great deal, what is the ultimate benefit to an individual or for the community at large if factual accuracy is not the objective in both the analysis and in the solutions?
For those who choose to believe there is a God or Allah or ‘It’ as one may define the Intelligent Designer/Creator/Higher Mind/Spirit … Whatever, what if that Entity was … more?
And for those who choose not to believe in a God or Allah, or ‘It’ as one may define the Intelligent Designer/Creator/Higher Mind/Spirit … Whatever, what if our experiences about and in Life could be … more?
Think about this for a moment: What if God and/or Life were indeed even more than what mankind has chosen to believe and create? What if all of Life could be better? [From my book Life Will Answer.]
Our Constitution granted each and every one of us the freedom to believe or not believe as we decide. That protection applies to all of us. When one group has decided by some form of spiritual osmosis that their version of the unverifiable and occasionally insane has been decreed to be the new Law, and thus their political mission is to ensure that is so, then it is up to the rest of us to put that crazy back where it belongs: away from public influence.
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And so the Republican primaries will be full of the usual evangelical type preaching, damning abortion and calling their Democratic contenders ‘elitist’ snobs, while brushing off those so-called ‘expert’ climate scientists and their warnings. But you can only blame the politicians so much. When it comes down to it, this is simply what a big part of the population expects from their leaders — religious buffoons who embrace a paranoid style of politics; where experts and academics are looked down upon as disconnected and deceitful, and where faith in Jesus and the Bible is the ultimate guiding light. Where one is expected to go with their gut rather than their head, and where ‘professorial’ is an insult. Anti-intellectualism is an American tradition.…
If our collective future—the one we intend to pass on to our children and for their benefit—still matters, then we have a duty to do what we can to make it a better and brighter one than the future which inequality, conflict, knee-jerk dismissal of inconvenient facts, and the many damaging components of intense polarization will create instead. Shouldn’t the outcomes matter more than they seem to?
Fear makes man unwise in the three great departments of human conduct: his dealings with nature, his dealings with other men, and his dealings with himself. Until you have admitted your own fears to yourself, and have guarded yourself by a difficult effort of will against their myth-making power, you cannot hope to think truly about many matters of great importance . . . . – Bertrand Russell