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Show ALL Forums  > Off Topic  > Is Liberalism or Conservatism Morally Superior? And Why?      Home login  
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 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 151
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Is Liberalism or Conservatism Morally Superior? And Why?Page 7 of 11    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11)
He's kind of an expert on what constitutes torture as he is rather well informed of all the rules.


Skoochie, if CIA interrogators understood the U.S. law on torture very well, the Defense Dept. wouldn't have had to ask the Justice Dept.'s legal experts what they could and couldn't do. The Office of Legal Counsel has the best legal analysts in the Justice Dept. Their job is to research legal issues and answer questions various federal officials have about the law.

There are a lot of official documents about this, and I don't claim to have analyzed every paragraph in every one of them. But I have studied the memos that relate most directly to the interrogations. The legal analysis in them is as good as it gets. Not only do I think the enhanced interrogation techniques used, including waterboarding, didn't violate U.S. law on torture, I don't think they even came close to doing that.

Anyone who thinks the waterboarding technique used on those three Al Qaeda murderers was torture should:

1. Read the document which describes the technique in detail. Everything about it was so strictly limited--only so many ounces of water, only applied for so many seconds, only with a doctor standing right there, etc., etc.--that it's surprising any of the three jihadists said a word.

Look at the claims that some harmless technique would have worked just as well with a skeptical eye. No one knew there was the time that would have required. And as it turned out there wasn't. Some of the attacks that were foiled were almost under way. What kind of morality demands that the lives of who knows how many innocent people should have been lost, in further terrorist plots these persons revealed, just to spare them some discomfort, I do not know.

2. Compare this "waterboarding" with the "waterboarding" done in Japanese prison camps during WWII. A lot of the men who survived saw it firsthand, and at least one documentary on the Bataan "death march" describes what they saw. You won't want to read about it on a full stomach. You will be convinced that the people the Allies hanged for these crimes deserved that and more. Most of their victims, hundreds or even thousands of them, died in unimaginable agony.

3. Keep in mind that the U.S. has subjected thousands of its own servicemen to the very same "torture" to help immunize them to the stress they could expect to face if captured.

Here is a link to the documents:

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB127/

I don't have much confidence in the sources you cite. The New York Times and CBS News have been caught in bald-faced lies more than once. And when they're not lying, they're busy running this country down. The Times' 46 straight days of making Abu Ghraib front page "news" is just one example. I think both organizations are riddled with people who don't wish the U.S. well.


That doesn't mean that Goering et al. shouldn't have been tried, convicted and executed.


I'm glad you acknowledge that. In fact, someone got Goering a cyanide capsule, and he was able to cheat the hangman.


The people living in an occupied territory have the right to resist a foreign invasion, even if they aren't part of an organized military force.


That's true. It's also irrelevant. Many if not most of the Muslim jihadists at Guantanamo had come to Afghanistan or Iraq from other countries or regions--Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Chechnya, Uzbekistan, and so on. Some were British or Australian citizens. They weren't defending anything--they were conspiring to make holy war on the United States.

You are trying to paint out a bunch of savages as if they were brave partisans, like the people who risked their lives to resist the Nazis in countries they occupied. You're not fooling anyone with that except those who want to be fooled. The Geneva Conventions carve out a very narrow exception to the requirement that lawful combatants must wear uniforms. This was meant to cover civilians forced to respond quickly to defend their country against an invasion, where there would have been no time for uniforms. Your suggestion is a clumsy attempt to defend Islamist Nazis.
 chameleonf
Joined: 12/22/2008
Msg: 152
Is Liberalism or Conservatism Morally Superior? And Why?
Posted: 12/6/2011 10:43:38 AM
As far as I'm concerned, neither is any more moral or superior than the other. Your country's going to hell in a hand basket because both sides are more interested in slamming the other side instead of seeing to the operations of being an effective government. The parties here in Canada aren't any better - they just aren't quite as vociferous with the stupidity. In the quest to prove who is more right, everything has gone all wrong.
 Double Cabin
Joined: 11/29/2004
Msg: 153
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Is Liberalism or Conservatism Morally Superior? And Why?
Posted: 12/6/2011 12:00:43 PM
Could a moderator please make it so some of us with less than state of the art monitor/computer can read these WIDE posts without having to take considerable time with each line of text?

There is nothing "Conservative" about "neocons."
Its not "Conservative" to give tax breaks but not honestly try and reduce spending at the same time.

Its not "conservative" to invade a sovreign nation that never attacked us and never used WMDs against ANYONE without the tacit approval of a Republican US President. Its not "conservative" to issue nealry 1,000 known, DOCUMENTED, false statements to garner support for said invasion.

Its not "conservative" to try and champion one ammendment of the Consitution like the 2nd while at the same time do everything you can to not to allow the implimentation of another like the 14th. Its not "conservative" to say you "respect" the consitution if that respect is only selective and politcally expedient.

Its not "conservative" to promote and subsequently allow something like the completely UNFUNDED $700 billion expansion of medicare/medicaid in 2003 and then not ten years later scream deceitful bloody murder not ten years later about essentially fully FUUNDED "Obamacare."

Its not "conservative" to ignore the basic principles of mathematics and see to the compounding of debt for generations of future Americans. Its not "conservative" to not a offer a peep about one President raising the debt ceiling 14 times in a "good" economy and then cry deceitfull murder when another President does it in response to inheriting the worst financial crisis of any American's lifetime that wasn't alive under Hoover.

Its not "conservative" to instead of seeking practical compromise to promtoe combative legislation anyone with a gram of sanity knows has no chance of passage.

Its not "conservative" or "liberal" to hold the country hostage for [insert derrogatory adjective of your choice here] like Grover Norquist or any number of Unions demanding unsustainable benefits.

Its not "conservative" or liberal to deceitfully wave a flag while you are in fact being a hypocritical unAmerican [insert derrogatory adjective of your choice here].

"Think! its very patriotic!"
 trinity818
Joined: 9/1/2006
Msg: 154
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Is Liberalism or Conservatism Morally Superior? And Why?
Posted: 12/6/2011 12:27:48 PM
The "spread" of the page is due to the extra long link posted in msg. 157.
 Imported_labor
Joined: 3/7/2008
Msg: 155
Is Liberalism or Conservatism Morally Superior? And Why?
Posted: 12/6/2011 1:57:38 PM
Many if not most of the Muslim jihadists at Guantanamo had come to Afghanistan or Iraq from other countries or regions --Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Chechnya, Uzbekistan, and so on. Some were British or Australian citizens.


That is only partially true. About 40% (+/-) of the Guantanamo detainees were from Afghanistan. If you take a look at the list of names of those detainees you will see that they almost all of them have Arab names. There is a clear and distinct possibility that they have ancestral roots in Iraq or Afghanistan. There is nothing that could stop someone from returning to fight the invaders in the land of his/her ancestors. How would you justify the actions of the Americans who rushed to Israel to fight in its war against the Arab states?


They weren't defending anything--they were conspiring to make holy war on the United States.

You are trying to paint out a bunch of savages as if they were brave partisans, like the people who risked their lives to resist the Nazis in countries they occupied.


Sure they were! Afghanistan, and later Iraq have been invaded by the United States. Or are you suggesting that the United States didn't invade those countries? Did anyone invite the US to come into those countries? I know that you don't like to recognize those facts because you would like to believe that our superior military power grants us the right to feel morally superior to those "savages" as you call them. However, I would like to reserve for us the right to use all means available to defend our country from an invading force. If that would make us act like terrorists in the eyes of the occupiers, then that is what we would be, but I would prefer to be remembered as a member of the Resistence militia.

Besides, there are many things that I value in the history of humanity, one of them being the example of the brave Americans who formed the Abraham Lincoln Brigade and risked everything to go to Spain and fight against the rising monster of fascim. So, do people from other countries have the right to go to another land and fight "the good fight'?


Your suggestion is a clumsy attempt to defend Islamist Nazis.


Not really defending Islamist Nazis, but even if it were, it would be no more clumsy that your attempt to claim the high moral ground for your hatred of all things muslim and fascist ideology.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 156
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Is Liberalism or Conservatism Morally Superior? And Why?
Posted: 12/6/2011 5:42:05 PM

There is nothing that could stop someone from returning to fight the invaders in the land of his/her ancestors.


Probably not--if that were what happened. But it isn't. And there is nothing to stop the U.S. from defending itself against a nation that Al Qaeda had made its headquarters, and where it planned its attacks on this country. Even the UN Charter recognizes the right of a nation to use force in self-defense. And the main reason for creating the United States was to ensure the safety of the American people.

Or maybe a foreign enemy's vicious murder of 3,000 innocent civilians on U.S. soil doesn't mean much to you, and you think Mr. Bush should just have asked them nicely to be more considerate. God forbid a President should make sure a foreign enemy which had tried to decapitate the U.S. government could never try it again.


your attempt to claim the high moral ground for your hatred of all things muslim and fascist ideology.


I haven't even implied that I hate "all things Muslim"--you evidently have quite an active imagination. But it's clear you're quite willing to excuse mass-murdering Islamist savages who believe Allah commands them to impose shariah and its stonings, mutilations, and decapitations on unbelievers throughout the world. All those "untermenschen," to use a Nazi term, must bow to their overlords. Any who dare disagree with them have three choices: Submit to their will, be allowed to live as "dhimmis," or slaves--or be slaughtered.

Conservatives subscribe to the political philosophy expressed in the U.S. Constitution, which was influenced by the writings of Locke, Smith, Montesquieu, Burke, and others, and has been expanded upon by later writers like Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, and William Buckley. We believe in a strictly limited central government.

So you have it just backwards. It is people who fancy themselves progressives and liberals who have been much taken, for a long time now, with statist, totalitarian philosophies of government. These include state communism and fascism, which began to flourish in Russia, Italy and other places just after WWI. Both Stalin's USSR and Mussolini's Italy were great inspirations to some of the most influential thinkers behind the New Deal. And what Mr. Obama and his followers want is mostly a warmed-over New Deal.


Besides, there are many things that I value in the history of humanity, one of them being the example of the brave Americans who formed the Abraham Lincoln Brigade and risked everything to go to Spain and fight against the rising monster of fascim.


When Spanish Communists spread through a weak Parliamentary regime and caused it to collapse in Summer, 1936, the Army countered and the country slipped into civil war. The Soviet Union, Italy, and Germany were all drawn in. So were Communists from other countries, including this one. These volunteers formed the Lincoln Brigade, which operated under Russian and other Communist commanders.

Some Lincoln Brigaders liked Russian Communism so well they kept supporting it during the Cold War. To those who are still smarting because the U.S. eventually won that war, and the USSR is no more, that's all the more reason to celebrate these Communist heroes. The hundreds of Soviet front groups Stalin set up in the U.S. during the '30's and '40's typically had fine-sounding names featuring terms like "patriotic," "American," "peace," "liberty," "democratic," "anti-Fascist," etc. Soviet Communism carefully disguised to sound as American as apple pie.
 wvwaterfall
Joined: 1/17/2007
Msg: 157
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Is Liberalism or Conservatism Morally Superior? And Why?
Posted: 12/6/2011 7:34:28 PM

In the quest to prove who is more right, everything has gone all wrong.


That's probably the most apt statement any of us have uttered here.

Much as I'd like to counter some of what seems to me to be indefensible claims by some here, I think I"ll make a sincere effort to bow out and no contribute any more to the effort to prove who is more right.

Do what we can to make right what's wrong is far more important.
 Imported_labor
Joined: 3/7/2008
Msg: 158
Is Liberalism or Conservatism Morally Superior? And Why?
Posted: 12/7/2011 10:09:50 AM

And there is nothing to stop the U.S. from defending itself against a nation that Al Qaeda had made its headquarters, and where it planned its attacks on this country. Even the UN Charter recognizes the right of a nation to use force in self-defense.


That is fine with me. I didn't have any problem with taking the fight to Al Qaeda and destroy their network.

The problem begins when some people decided on the sly that, by having a sufficient military presence in the country, they could occupy the country and restart their failed project of building a gas pipeline through Afghanistan. The building of that pipeline required massive taking of land and dislocation of many thousands of villagers in order to provide a secure area for that project. The Russians tried it and failed; then the Taliban took the offer from Unocal, but the Taliban wasn't able to provide the pacification of the region. When the Clinton administration didn't want to go along with the idea of providing the military presence for the construction of the pipeline, that project was left for dead, only to be revived shortly after the US invasion of Afghanistan.

If the local villagers were resisting the forced dislocation to make room for the building of a pipeline for the benefit of a few friends of Karzai, you are telling me that they were savages plotting against the security of American citizens?


I haven't even implied that I hate "all things Muslim"--you evidently have quite an active imagination. But it's clear you're quite willing to excuse mass-murdering Islamist savages who believe Allah commands them to impose shariah and its stonings, mutilations, and decapitations on unbelievers throughout the world. All those "untermenschen," to use a Nazi term, must bow to their overlords. Any who dare disagree with them have three choices: Submit to their will, be allowed to live as "dhimmis," or slaves--or be slaughtered.


Not really; I am not willing to excuse any of that for the simple reason that I am a descendant of the people who suffered the same atrocities at the hands of the Christian conquerors and colonizers when they arrived on this side of the Atlantic. They had the same way of dealing with those who didn't have the weapons to fight them.



So you have it just backwards. It is people who fancy themselves progressives and liberals who have been much taken, for a long time now, with statist, totalitarian philosophies of government. These include state communism and fascism, which began to flourish in Russia, Italy and other places just after WWI. Both Stalin's USSR and Mussolini's Italy were great inspirations to some of the most influential thinkers behind the New Deal. And what Mr. Obama and his followers want is mostly a warmed-over New Deal.


Sorry! It is an old and very dishonest trick from the right wingers to try and confuse others by making believe that totalitarians governments are all the same, specially nazi/fascism and communism. To tell you the truth, I don't have much use for Stalin and none for Mussolini. The only thing that I give credit to Stalin is for the courageous defense of his country against the nazi invasion. If, as you say, communism and fascim are the same thing, why did Hitler made the move to invade Russia instead of making a deal like the one that he struck with England?


When Spanish Communists spread through a weak Parliamentary regime and caused it to collapse in Summer, 1936, the Army countered and the country slipped into civil war. The Soviet Union, Italy, and Germany were all drawn in. So were Communists from other countries, including this one. These volunteers formed the Lincoln Brigade, which operated under Russian and other Communist commanders.


Are you saying that the Lincoln Brigade volunteers who went to fight against fascism when no other Americans were willing to confront that threat aren't legitimate heroes because some of them were communists, or leftists? Are you saying that only the military from capitalist countries deserve credit for fighting against the nazis and the fascists? That is a bit ridiculous if you remember that it took the combined efforts of Russia, England, and the United States to defeat them. Some people believe that if those countries had confronted, and defeated, the rising danger of fascism in Spain the world could have been spared the destruction caused by the fascists, emboldened by their victory in Spain.


Conservatives subscribe to the political philosophy expressed in the U.S. Constitution, .......... and has been expanded upon by later writers like Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, and William Buckley. We believe in a strictly limited central government


Say no more! I have had for a while now the feeling that I was arguing against a proponent of an authoritarian regime disguised with the veils of a conservative ideology. However, now you have taken out the mask and revealed yourself as a full fledged supporter of those who would stop at nothing to carry out their insane ideologies. You may say that you "subscribe to the political philosophy expressed in the U.S. Constitution," but I won't believe you for a second, especially now that you have made clear that you take guidance from people like Milton Friedman, one of the fascist ideological mentors of the criminal fascist regime of Pinochet. Milton Friedman must have felt very proud of seeing the implementation of his ideas, by the people that he trained, known as the Chicago boys, at the point of a gun, silencing those who opposed them by cutting their throats, or dis-appearing them.

Is that the type of fascist scum that you want me to believe is in line with the political philosophy expressed in the U.S. Constitution?

You know what, I'm done dealing with all that fascist scum that you want to counterfeit as legal and constitutionalist thinking. You can have it all for yourself!
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 159
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Is Liberalism or Conservatism Morally Superior? And Why?
Posted: 12/7/2011 10:41:12 AM

There is nothing "Conservative" about "neocons."


Neocon" seems to be quite the buzzword here. I have no idea what you mean by it, and I doubt you do.


ts not "Conservative" to give tax breaks but not honestly try and reduce spending at the same time.


You're right. But who has claimed that Mr. Obama and those who share his views were conservative?


Its not "conservative" to invade a sovreign nation that never attacked us and never used WMDs against ANYONE without the tacit approval of a Republican US President.


It's a good thing your colleagues are as unfamiliar with the facts as you are, because it saves you from embarrassment. Kind of like claiming George Washington wasn't the first U.S. President when, for all your audience knows, you're right.

It's common knowledge that even by the 1980's, Husseins' Iraq had manufactured large amounts of chemicals and used them as weapons. UNSCOM inspectors who entered Iraq after the First Gulf War documented the destruction of 600 tons of bulk chemicals and thousands of filled chemical munitions. These were mostly WWI-era agents like mustard and phosgene, although there were also WWII-era nerve gases like Tabun and Sarin.

Iraq used quite a lot of these chemicals during its war with Iran. It also used poison gas of some type against its own population, killing thousands in the mostly Kurdish town of Halabja in March, 1988.


Its not "conservative" to issue nealry 1,000 known, DOCUMENTED, false statements to garner support for said invasion.


No, it's not. We leave the false statements to Mr. Obama, because we know how practiced he is at making them. Any true believer in Saul Alinsky's methods is no friend of the truth.

Who, I wonder, has documented these "nearly 1,000 known" false statements by the Bush Administration? And since they must have been discovered while Mr. Bush was still President, why weren't leading Democrats pressing for his impeachment?


Its not "conservative" to try and champion one ammendment of the Consitution like the 2nd while at the same time do everything you can to not to allow the implimentation of another like the 14th.


I agree. But just who is fighting so hard against the 14th Amendment, and how? I doubt you know.


Its not "conservative" to ignore the basic principles of mathematics and see to the compounding of debt for generations of future Americans.


No, it is not. But it's standard practice for Mr. Obama and his fellow Marxists.


Its not "conservative" to instead of seeking practical compromise to promtoe combative legislation anyone with a gram of sanity knows has no chance of passage.


"Practical compromise" to statists like Mr. Obama seems to mean acquiescing in the destruction of this country. Conservatives not only have no interest in helping him do that, but are determined to stop him. People who hold our traditions and Constitution in contempt have no right to moan about their opponents being "combative." You have been asking for a fight, and you are going to have one.


Its not "conservative" or "liberal" to hold the country hostage for [insert derrogatory adjective of your choice here] like Grover Norquist or any number of Unions demanding unsustainable benefits.


What nonsense. That is exactly what self-styled liberals have made a habit of. Governor Moonbeam is the lackey of those very unions, and so is this sorry President. The economic mess we see in California and throughout the U.S. is the result of decades of infatuation with more and more government. It is certainly not conservatives who believe in that or have ever approved of it.
 unYOUsual
Joined: 8/11/2011
Msg: 160
Is Liberalism or Conservatism Morally Superior? And Why?
Posted: 12/7/2011 10:44:37 AM
nice to see people not afraid to show their real beliefs on here..many of you closet Socialist should follow the example set by comrade labor..
 HalftimeDad
Joined: 5/29/2005
Msg: 161
Is Liberalism or Conservatism Morally Superior? And Why?
Posted: 12/7/2011 1:38:26 PM
I have decried participation in this thread, but it seems to have survived anyway. So...

Fundamentally, both conservatism and liberalism appeal to fairness. Which is a moral issue. When you think about it the strongest arguments for both are issues of fairness. On the liberal side you have equality of justice - it's usually liberals who raise the alarm about those unjustly convicted or the differences between treatment of rich and poor/black and white, etc. There's also the disparity of income, and how the legislative process is often written by and for the rich.

The conservative fairness arguments are also familiar: that people should be allowed to keep what they've worked for; Reagan's mythical "Welfare Queen" was an indictment of people enjoying benefits they don't deserve or earn.

And both liberals and conservative politicians get in trouble when they move away from the fairness strengths of their side. Bush handing out taxpayer money to Cheney's old company; Clinton handing out bandwidth to corporations when other countries were auctioning it and raising billions. Personally, I think conservative opposition to gay marriage won't last - it just doesn't feel fair from a conservative perspective. Obama lost a lot of support when he dropped the public option from his health plan - it just doesn't seem fair to force people to buy something from companies without the public option to keep them honest.
 VGLGuySksFun
Joined: 10/12/2011
Msg: 162
Is Liberalism or Conservatism Morally Superior? And Why?
Posted: 12/9/2011 6:06:10 AM
"many of them should have been tried for war crimes, convicted, and executed."

War crimes... because they were fighting U.S. troops in Iraq?
 VGLGuySksFun
Joined: 10/12/2011
Msg: 163
Is Liberalism or Conservatism Morally Superior? And Why?
Posted: 12/9/2011 6:21:36 AM
"every self-proclaimed strict Constitutionalist (i.e. Republican) has inevitably insisted that the correct interpretation of that document is ENTIRELY up to THEM... they simply start from the notion that if THEIR side did it, it must be okay, and then leap over any chasm of missing reasoning"

precisely... and i contend it is their devout Christianity, leveraged by conservative media, that leads them to believe their cause... whatever that might be... is therefore righteous and provides them the right to force their beliefs on others. Additionally, like the church, they can never be wrong. it's fascism... plain and simple... and Christian fascism is just as dangerous as any other form of fascism.
 Aries_328
Joined: 10/16/2011
Msg: 164
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Is Liberalism or Conservatism Morally Superior? And Why?
Posted: 12/9/2011 11:06:42 AM

"every self-proclaimed strict Constitutionalist (i.e. Republican) has inevitably insisted that the correct interpretation of that document is ENTIRELY up to THEM... they simply start from the notion that if THEIR side did it, it must be okay, and then leap over any chasm of missing reasoning"


???

So you think that we should round up every 'self-proclaimed socialist liberal' for sedition for advancing, promoting, or plotting the overthrow of our republic?

Seriously deluded. I start to doubt that some of you have any idea what it is you really believe in. You are causing this 'far right' reaction. There is no alternative when actions of liberalism look and act like an attempted replacement of our political system with another... freaking stop it.
 lyingcheat
Joined: 9/13/2009
Msg: 165
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Is Liberalism or Conservatism Morally Superior? And Why?
Posted: 12/10/2011 11:23:56 PM
If 'society' was a car, then generally speaking, 'conservatism' is the brake and 'liberalism' is the accelerator.
In those terms, stripped of local ideologies, neither is 'morally' superior since cars, and societies, need both.

However, looking at how those political philosophies are expressed, the core beliefs of each, is a bit more revealing as to the thread question.

Conservatism has a component of belief in small government and non-interference which translates broadly as 'every man for himself' (or 'herself', as the case may be). They like to limit union power and favour the 'capital' side of the capital vs labour class struggle.

Liberals tend to favour government facilitated, or enforced if need be, equality. No one should be left behind or disadvantaged because of personal circumstances that may be beyond their ability to control. It's an inclusive philosophy that emphasises 'all togetherness' and group success rather than individual triumph.

Given that the progress of civilisation can be measured by the success of community and promotion of social cooperation it's perfectly obvious which political philosophy, in practice, has the moral high ground.

Take, for instance, this famous sentence dating from 1776 -

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Note the echoes in these precursors -


Richard Cumberland wrote in 1672 that promoting the well-being of our fellow humans is essential to the "pursuit of our own happiness.

John Locke, in his 1689 "A Letter Concerning Toleration," wrote that "Civil interest I call life, liberty, health, and indolency of body; and the possession of outward things..."
Locke wrote in his 1693 Essay Concerning Human Understanding that "the highest perfection of intellectual nature lies in a careful and constant pursuit of true and solid happiness."

Locke never associated natural right with happiness, but in 1693 Locke's philosophical opponent Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz made such an association in the introduction to his Codex Iuris Gentium.

William Wollaston's 1722 book The Religion of Nature Delineated describes the "truest definition" of "natural religion" as being "The pursuit of happiness by the practice of reason and truth."

The 1763 English translation of Jean Jacques Burlamaqui's Principles of Natural and Politic Law extolled the "noble pursuit" of "true and solid happiness" in the opening chapter discussing natural rights.

The first and second article of the Virginia Declaration of Rights adopted unanimously by the Virginia Convention of Delegates on June 12, 1776 and written by George Mason, is:

That all men are by nature equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

Benjamin Franklin was in agreement with Thomas Jefferson in downplaying protection of "property" as a goal of government. It is noted that Franklin found property to be a "creature of society" and thus, he believed that it should be taxed as a way to finance civil society.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life,_liberty_and_the_pursuit_of_happiness


And later analysis of the meaning of these phrases -


The United States Declaration of Independence, which was primarily drafted by Jefferson, was adopted by the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. The text of the second section of the Declaration of Independence reads:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

An analysis of Jefferson's use of this phrase was provided by Garry Wills, in his book Inventing America: Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence.
Wills... argues against the belief that Jefferson was merely offering some vapid nicety, to which the government could not be held to account:

When Jefferson spoke of pursuing happiness, he had nothing vague or private in mind. He meant a public happiness which is measurable; which is, indeed, the test and justification of any government.

Towards a positive picture of Jefferson's non-vague and public "the pursuit of happiness", Wills suggests this quote from Adam Ferguson:

If, in reality, courage and a heart devoted to the good of mankind are the constituents of human felicity, the kindness which is done infers a happiness in the person from whom it proceeds, not in him on whom it is bestowed; and the greatest good which men possessed of fortitude and generosity can procure to their fellow creatures is a participation of this happy character. If this be the good of the individual, it is likewise that of mankind; and virtue no longer imposes a task by which we are obliged to bestow upon others that good from which we ourselves refrain; but supposes, in the highest degree, as possessed by ourselves, that state of felicity which we are required to promote in the world (Essay on the History of Civil Society 1767, 99-100).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life,_liberty_and_the_pursuit_of_happiness


Now... this Adam Ferguson fellow is interesting...


In 1767, against David Hume's advice, he published his 'Essay on the History of Civil Society', which was well received and translated into several European languages. In the mid 1770s he travelled to the Continent and met Voltaire.

In 1776 appeared his (anonymous) pamphlet on the American Revolution in opposition to Dr Richard Price's Observations on the Nature of Civil Liberty, in which he sympathised with the views of the British legislature. In 1778 Ferguson was appointed secretary to the Carlisle commission which endeavoured, but without success, to negotiate an arrangement with the revolted colonies.

In 1783 appeared his History of the Progress and Termination of the Roman Republic; it became very popular, and went through several editions. Ferguson believed that the history of the Roman Republic during the period of their greatness formed a practical illustration of those ethical and political doctrines which he studied especially.

In his ethical system Ferguson treats man as a social being, illustrating his doctrines by political examples. As a believer in the progression of the human race, he placed the principle of moral approbation in the attainment of perfection.

By this principle Ferguson attempted to reconcile all moral systems. With Thomas Hobbes and Hume he admits the power of self-interest or utility, and makes it enter into morals as the law of self-preservation. Francis Hutcheson's theory of universal benevolence and Adam Smith's idea of sympathy he combines under the law of society. But, as these laws appear as the means rather than the end of human destiny, they remain subordinate to a supreme end, and the supreme end of perfection.

In the political part of his system Ferguson follows Montesquieu, and pleads the cause of well-regulated liberty and free government.

Ferguson's Essay on the History of Civil Society (1767) drew on classical authors and contemporary travel literature, to analyze modern commercial society with a critique of its abandonment of civic and communal virtues. Central themes in Ferguson's theory of citizenship are conflict, play, political participation and military valor. He emphasized the ability to put oneself in another's shoes, saying "fellow-feeling" was so much an "appurtenance of human nature" as to be a "characteristic of the species." Like his friends Adam Smith and David Hume as well as other Scottish intellectuals, he stressed the importance of the spontaneous order; that is, that coherent and even effective outcomes might result from the uncoordinated actions of many individuals.

Ferguson was a leading advocate of the Idea of Progress. He believed that the growth of a commercial society through the pursuit of individual self-interest could promote a self-sustaining progress. Yet paradoxically Ferguson also believed that such commercial growth could foster a decline in virtue and thus ultimately lead to a collapse similar to Rome's. Ferguson, a devout Presbyterian, resolved the apparent paradox by placing both developments in the context of a divinely ordained plan that mandated both progress and human free will. For Ferguson, the knowledge that humanity gains through its actions, even those actions resulting in temporary retrogression, form an intrinsic part of its progressive, asymptotic movement toward an ultimately unobtainable perfectibility.

Ferguson was influenced by classical humanism and such writers as Tacitus, Niccolò Machiavelli, and Thomas Hobbes. In turn he foreshadows many of the themes of Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations (1776). In contrast to Smith, who emphasizes capital accumulation as the driver of growth, Ferguson emphasizes innovation and technical advance, and is therefore in some ways more in line with modern thinking. Ferguson also influenced Hegel.

Ferguson believed that civilization is largely about laws that restrict our independence as individuals but provide liberty in the sense of security and justice. He warned that social chaos usually leads to despotism. The members of civil society give up their liberty-as-autonomy, which savages possess, in exchange for liberty-as-security, or civil liberty.

The Essay represented an innovative attempt to reclaim the tradition of republican citizenship in modern Britain, and it influenced the ideas of republicanism held by the American Founding Fathers

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_Ferguson



The pursuit of (individual) liberty (every man for himself) is all very well. But to emphasise that point while ignoring that the excercise of such may infringe on someones elses rights is narrow minded and self serving.
It also ignores that many of these quotes ^^^ imply that thought should be given to the concept of 'fraternity', and that none suggest the pursuit of these noble aims should be at the expense of anyone else. Just the opposite in fact.

So what, if anything, do political ideologies have to do with 'morality'?


Morality (from the Latin moralitas "manner, character, proper behavior") is the differentiation among intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are good (or right) and bad (or wrong). A moral code is a system of morality (for example, according to a particular philosophy, religion, culture, etc.).

In-group and out-group
Some observers hold that individuals apply distinct sets of moral rules to people depending on their membership of an "in-group" (the individual and those they believe to be of the same culture or race) or an "out-group" (people not entitled to be treated according to the same rules).
Some biologists, anthropologists and evolutionary psychologists believe this in-group/out-group discrimination has evolved because it enhances group survival.
Gary R. Johnson and V.S. Falger have argued that nationalism and patriotism are forms of this in-group/out-group boundary.
Jonathan Haidt has noted that experimental observation indicates an in-group criterion provides one moral foundation substantially used by conservatives, but far less so by liberals.



Descriptive and Normative
In its descriptive sense, "morality" refers to personal or cultural values, codes of conduct or social mores. It does not connote objective claims of right or wrong, but only refers to that which is considered right or wrong. Descriptive ethics is the branch of philosophy which studies morality in this sense.
In its normative sense, "morality" refers to whatever (if anything) is actually right or wrong, which may be independent of the values or mores held by any particular peoples or cultures. Normative ethics is the branch of philosophy which studies morality in this sense.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morality

Are ethics and morality relative, or are they absolutes?
 Earthpuppy
Joined: 2/9/2008
Msg: 166
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Is Liberalism or Conservatism Morally Superior? And Why?
Posted: 12/11/2011 1:19:01 AM
On the 14th Amendment..Kyl and Graham are leading the charge against the "birthright" part of it, Rand Paul feels it is an infringement on property rights not to discriminate in places of businesses, and even more radical wingnuts want a return to white, male property owners having the only votes.
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/11/30/denying-vote-propertyless-makes-lot-sense-tea-party-nation-pres/
Those who know Fred know he was really not joking...just having a good old boy moment.
http://timesfreepress.com/news/2011/dec/08/skillern-jokes-on-rolling-back-voting-rights/
He's not alone.
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/10/04/1022858/-Rep-Steve-King-misses-the-days-when-only-property-owners-could%C2%A0vote
http://www.ourfuture.org/blog-entry/2011093821/conservative-saying-it-out-loud-they-hate-democracy
Much, if not most, of the 14th Amendment repeal movement is based on scared, old white folks facing the inevitability of a white minority in the US soon, first time since the big genocide on these shores.

Bush Regime lies were documented.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22794451/ns/world_news-mideast_n_africa/t/study-bush-led-us-war-false-pretenses/
http://www.alternet.org/world/74715/

Neocons...aka new con artists, WERE aware of Saddam's old chemical warfare capabilities because neocons sold him the stuff under their long program of dictator du jour propping and disposal. Like many disposable dictators we loved, Saddam wore out his favored status when he threatened to trade oil in Euros rather than dollars, a much harder sell toward war than "mushroom clouds" and "terrorists".

Neocon defined via Conservapedia..
A neoconservative (also spelled "neo-conservative"; colloquially, neocon) in American politics is someone presented as a conservative but who actually favors big government, interventionalism, and a hostility to religion in politics and government. The word means "newly conservative," and thus formerly liberal. Many neocons had been liberals in their youth and admired President Franklin D. Roosevelt. In 2010 the highest priority of the neoconservatives is to increase military action by the United States in the Middle East and Afghanistan, and to expand it to an American confrontation against Iran; in 2011 their goals include supporting a military attack on Libya, continuing the Afghanistan War indefinitely, and even suggesting military action against Syria.

Neoconservatives tend to oppose the appointment of social conservatives to high governmental positions, such as nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. Neoconservatives support candidates who are liberal on social issues instead.

Neoconservatives favor expensive foreign interventionalism with massive federal spending, often to replace a dictator with a new system of government that may be worse. Sometimes this is expressed as a desire to install a democracy in a culture that may be incompatible with it. The neoconservative position was discredited in the failure of democracy in the Iranian elections of 2009.

The neoconservative movement emerged in the mid 1970s, played a limited role in the Ronald Reagan Administration, and then had a voice in the Defense Department under the George W. Bush Administration after 9/11. Candidates favored by neoconservatives for president in 2012 include Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, Mike Pence and, to a lesser extent because she pulls support away from those candidates, Sarah Palin.

Some prominent spokesmen include Bill Kristol, Paul Wolfowitz, Lewis Libby, Norman Podhoretz, Daniel Pipes, Charles Krauthammer, Richard Perle, Robert Kagan, Christopher Hitchens, Stephen Schwartz, Elliott Abrams, Ben Wattenberg and Carl Gershman.

In contrast to traditional conservatives, neoconservatives favor globalism, downplay religious issues and differences, are unlikely to actively oppose abortion and homosexuality. Neocons disagree with conservatives on issues such as classroom prayer, the separation of powers, cultural unity, and immigration. Neocons favor a strong active state in world affairs. Neocons oppose affirmative action with greater emphasis and priority than other conservatives do.

On foreign policy, neoconservatives believe that democracy can and should be installed by the United States around the world, even in Muslim countries such as Iraq, Iran, and Saudi Arabia.

Neoconservatives were prominent in the George W. Bush administration by supporting a strong foreign policy, and especially favored the Iraq War and its efforts to spread democracy worldwide.
 soicat
Joined: 3/3/2010
Msg: 167
Is Liberalism or Conservatism Morally Superior? And Why?
Posted: 12/11/2011 11:30:32 AM
Google the Bomb in the Brain for a five part Youtube series by Stefan Molyneux.

In it - sorry, forget which part - he discusses brain scan experiments in which Conservatives and Liberals were found to have different brain functioning, indicating that the difference between them has a biological basis.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 168
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Is Liberalism or Conservatism Morally Superior? And Why?
Posted: 12/11/2011 12:15:46 PM
Rand Paul feels it is an infringement on property rights not to discriminate in places of businesses


He doesn't know his constitutional law, but that doesn't stop him. Some of the things he's said are laughable. For example, his "Chicken Little" assertion about the threats to our liberties the current amendment to the defense spending bill supposedly poses is just a flat misstatement of the facts.

But somehow, he got it right on this point. I've written a lot about it before--and you have read it. So I'm not going to repeat the argument here just because you choose, once again, to assert something you can't back up.

I notice you don't try to explain what part of the Constitution supports a federal law prohibiting private employers from discriminating by race, etc., or why it does. I'm with Paul--there isn't any. Tell us just why Paul's claim deserves your mockery. I'll take a cut-and-paste or a cite to some website as your admission you're just talking through your hat about this issue.


Much, if not most, of the 14th Amendment repeal movement


I have no idea what you mean by that, and I doubt you do. But I hope you'll keep saying things like that.


Neocon defined via Conservapedia


Thank you. That all seems pretty accurate, from what I know about that movement. Most of the leading lights are Jews, which gives leftist anti-Semites (meaning pretty much any leftist who's not Jewish) another reason to dislike them. I was trying to make the posters who were using that term as derogatory shorthand to explain exactly why there were attributing this or that position to "neocons." Throwing jargon around is usually a lazy, shortcut way to make your case.
 whiskeypapa
Joined: 5/19/2008
Msg: 169
Is Liberalism or Conservatism Morally Superior? And Why?
Posted: 12/11/2011 4:17:36 PM
This is an old hasbara tactic: if you don't like what you see in the mirror, give it a good smear. If you shine the light on the neo-cons you are an anti-semite.
 lyingcheat
Joined: 9/13/2009
Msg: 170
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Is Liberalism or Conservatism Morally Superior? And Why?
Posted: 12/11/2011 4:40:16 PM

Most of the leading lights are Jews, which gives leftist anti-Semites (meaning pretty much any leftist who's not Jewish) another reason to dislike them.
(my emphasis)
You appear to be defining "pretty much any leftist who's not Jewish" as "leftist anti-Semites"?
Do you have statistics to back up that claim? An objective source? An independent survey?

Or is it just another spurious and baseless general slander produced from someones fevered imagination? A case of you 'choosing' "once again, to assert something you can't back up"?

I'll take a cut-and-paste or a cite to some website as your admission you're just talking through your hat about this issue.

Well... what's good for the goose as they say...


I was trying to make the posters who were using that term as derogatory shorthand to explain exactly why there were attributing this or that position.... /snip/
Throwing jargon around is usually a lazy, shortcut way to make your case.

Right. So "leftist anti-Semites" isn't just some jargon phrase with a private meaning, but is a precise descriptive term with an objective definition that demonstrably applies, according to you, to "pretty much any leftist who's not Jewish"?

Tell me, in terms of the thread question and to the extent it raises questions of 'morality', what extra duty would anyone, regardless of political affiliation, who pretends to have a keen interest in the law have in regard to the concept of 'factual objectivity', ie; 'truth'?

Is there any extra obligation, or does the same {lack of) obligation rest on everyone regardless? That is, is 'spin', or indeed outright lies, acceptable from anyone, just some people, or no one?
 HalftimeDad
Joined: 5/29/2005
Msg: 171
Is Liberalism or Conservatism Morally Superior? And Why?
Posted: 12/11/2011 7:39:15 PM
^^^I don't know who you're quoting there, but it's pretty interesting.

This is a thread about morality. Somebody actually posted that all non-Jewish leftists are anti-semites. I seriously doubt that anyone is crazy or stupid enough to believe that, so this was posted in order to paint everyone who disagrees with him or her with the brush of racism. In a thread about morality.

The irony here is just breath taking.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 172
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Is Liberalism or Conservatism Morally Superior? And Why?
Posted: 12/11/2011 10:05:58 PM
I see I hit a nerve with my opinion about who the Jew-haters are. I don't want to get too far off the topic, but I'm not sure I am. A lot of people might consider wishing Jews ill to be immoral. I don't believe most people who make bitter attacks on "neocons" are unaware that almost every prominent person associated with that movement is a Jew.

If these attackers disagreed with conservatives--i.e. people who believe in upholding the Constitution rather than disregarding it--they could use that term. "Neo-conservatives," as the poster's cut-and-paste points out, have views on several subjects that many conservatives don't share.

This President's circle in Chicago is just one example of the anti-Semitic tendencies of radical leftists.

Rashidi Khalidi, the professor who sometimes dined with the Obamas and had them babysit his kids, was a longtime spokesman for Yasser Arafat's terrorist organization, the PLO. He's also been involved with the efforts to challenge Israel's blockade of Gaza to aid HAMAS.

Father Michael Pfleger, a "spiritual adviser" to Mr. Obama, is a Marxist who has made many strongly anti-Semitic comments over the years. Pfleger is also viciously biased against whites, even though he himself is white.

Pfleger is a good friend of Jeremiah Wright, the Obamas' longtime preacher. Wright has claimed that whites and Jews are oppressing other people, and that Israeli Jews are racially biased against Ethiopian Jews. Both are friends with the notoriously anti-Semitic head of the Nation of Islam, Louis Farrakhan.

I don't believe it's coincidental that Obama himself is more hostile toward Israel than any U.S. President since Israel's creation in 1948. His call for Israel to retreat to its pre-1967 borders was the first by any U.S. President in the 44 years since then. It would also place Israel in a militarily intolerable situation.

Does Mr. Obama really not know that Egypt is fast moving toward Islamic extremism and is now on a fast track to abrogating its 1978 peace treaty with Israel? The threat of another war with Egypt will make it even more vital for Israel to have borders it can defend. I've heard how leftists try to distinguish their dislike of Zionism and of Israel from dislike of Jews. I'm not persuaded by what they say.


That is, is 'spin', or indeed outright lies, acceptable from anyone, just some people, or no one?


You tell me. I'm sure you're more familiar with that subject than I am. The fact you don't agree with someone else's opinion doesn't make it an "outright lie." But I'm glad to see you displaying your urge to shut people up when you don't like their ideas.
 lyingcheat
Joined: 9/13/2009
Msg: 173
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Is Liberalism or Conservatism Morally Superior? And Why?
Posted: 12/11/2011 10:38:17 PM

I see I hit a nerve with my opinion about who the Jew-haters are.

Yes. In a debate forum completely unsupported and irrational opinions tend to be selected for special attention because they often serve to reveal the half hidden agenda of the author.



Tell me, in terms of the thread question and to the extent it raises questions of 'morality', what extra duty would anyone, regardless of political affiliation, who pretends to have a keen interest in the law have in regard to the concept of 'factual objectivity', ie; 'truth'?

Is there any extra obligation, or does the same {lack of) obligation rest on everyone regardless? That is, is 'spin', or indeed outright lies, acceptable from anyone, just some people, or no one?


You tell me. I'm sure you're more familiar with that subject than I am. The fact you don't agree with someone else's opinion doesn't make it an "outright lie."

Of course, mere disagreement doesn't indicate an 'outright lie', that's why I made no such inference.
Actually I had invited you to support your statements with evidence. This is what I said -
You appear to be defining "pretty much any leftist who's not Jewish" as "leftist anti-Semites"?
Do you have statistics to back up that claim? An objective source? An independent survey?

I was hoping to cut off at the pass, as it were, any suspicion that what you were saying actually is a "spurious and baseless general slander produced from someones fevered imagination". Is it informative that you have been unable so far to produce any evidence in support of your jargon laden smear attempt?

Some may think it is.
 Earthpuppy
Joined: 2/9/2008
Msg: 174
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Is Liberalism or Conservatism Morally Superior? And Why?
Posted: 12/12/2011 12:50:19 AM
You cannot reason with people suffering from enlarged Amygdala. Fear drives their emotions and their enemies and threats overwhelm them. They will forever be haunted with socialists, Jew-haters, liberals, commies, etc. under their beds. Their brains are hard wired to fear, label and hate things they cannont comprehend.

Amygdala Strain does indeed describe these people.
http://beeryblog.wordpress.com/2011/06/28/the-amygdala-strain-right-wing-teabaggery-as-psychological-pandemic/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1342239/Brain-study-reveals-right-wing-conservatives-larger-primitive-amygdala.html

Again..I guess that the millions and millions of anti-Zionist Jews are also "Jew Haters".
http://www.counterpunch.org/2006/06/05/jewish-opposition-to-zionism/
 Aries_328
Joined: 10/16/2011
Msg: 175
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Is Liberalism or Conservatism Morally Superior? And Why?
Posted: 12/12/2011 8:39:24 AM
^^^^ Why don't you start rounding people up and re-educating them.


If you were not so blind by your absolute hatred of everything different from you it may be possible that being different is actually a good thing. However, you will never see that. You are limited.


http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/weird/Scientists-May-Have-IDd-Liberal-Gene-105917218.html


I would assert the difference is in individualism vs. collectivism.

And the problem is that in economics collectivism creates monsters that live under beds
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