Skip to main content

I’m continuing my reporting on the next installment from Conservative Estimate, the recently founded website that is devoted to demolishing Conservatism.

Yesterday, Alfred George showed that Religion could not back up its claim to deliver absolute morality, and that Religion is not, and ought not to be, involved in every societal question.

Today he shows why society should not take its marching orders from Religion.

Come down below the bifold orange penstrokes for the explanation.

Mr. George begins by asking whether Religion is a superior power to which society should defer? His answer is negative:

As we have seen, Religion is far from being the universal source of principles that religious people seem to think it is. It does nothing to prevent destructive self-interest. It cannot make people good, and therefore cooperative, in society. It has no access to truth that can be shared widely, because different sects and faiths believe different things; and even if some sort of ecumenical agreement is achieved on fundamental ethical principles, the details become the object of bitter acrimony among different believers.
In order to paper over the obvious failure of Religion to achieve anything like world-wide consensus, the Conservative mind creates the idea of a golden age
when, it is pretended, all Americans had the same religion and the same values. . . . In the golden age, disagreement on first principles would never occur. In such a Garden of Eden, there would be no need for self-interest, because everyone’s interest would be the same.
Of course, there never was such a time.
On the contrary, self-interest was just as dominant at the start of the republic as it is now, and the Framers chose to deal with it not through Religion, but through Reason. Their solution, outlined in The Federalist, was to pit self-interested factions against one another. They did not rely on Religion, or character, or personal virtue to overcome the vice of self-interest. They used the only power that is equal to self-interest to counter it—self-interest.
They chose to pit faction against faction, in the expectation that even a moron could see that endless confrontation would not get him anywhere.
Since positive benevolence was not to be expected on a large scale, they invented negative benevolence: a state of cooperation arising from self-interests recognizing the value of compromise.
The Framers, however, could not imagine a creature as destitute of rationality as the modern Conservative:
Nowadays, too many people believe that it is better to get everything you want instead of only some of what you want—even though its impossible to get everything you want! This is a failure of Reason. So the solution is not a return to some imaginary religious utopia, but a renewal of Reason. That’s all it takes to see that agreeing to compromise on some of your demands in order to attain some others beats refusing to compromise and stopping everyone, including yourself, from getting anything.
You can read the whole post here.

Tomorrow Mr. George wiil finish considering the Myth of Religion by discussing the proper role of Religion in society.

I’ll be reporting back each day as a new installment appears.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  If actions speak louder than words... (0+ / 0-)

    ...there are very few actual Republicans in elected office at this point in time, and the way they are behaving is a far cry from what is termed Conservative.

    Denying reality, math, and science is not Conservative.
    Shutting down the Government if you don't control it...

    Etc, etc, etc.

    Democratic Liberals, by and large, have more in common
    with Dwight David Eisenhower, in words, and by actions.

    Caesar gets the magical coin from the mouth of a fish,
    if you want to go there ~ but I want my vote to count!

    So funny, but so true. But not like redundant in any way. Don't eat that!

    by Fulgour on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 10:24:36 PM PST

  •  John Adams explained very clearly (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skrekk

    in his "In Defense of the Constitutions of the United States of America" that the founders got their ideas from the application of reason, and none of them from input from gods or ideas based on superstition.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site