Alizia wrote: ↑
Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:50 pm
...conservatism depends on the metaphysical definitions,...
Only such "metaphysical definitions" as a religious person and an atheist can equally hold. If it were not so, then no atheist could be a conservative.
Their children will fall away from those values over time.
I think by "those values" you can't mean conservatism per se
, but Judeo-Christian values conservatively held.
As far as I have been able to tell (and it is all speculation and 'glimpses') once a culture loses its metaphysical grounding it presages the grasping after mutable things because the 'transcendental' things cannot be conceived.
Yes, that's true. If one decides that all there is is the present world, one cannot grasp after anything else. It's all one believes there is.
Therefore, conservatism (as I define it, perhaps there is some other manifestation I am unaware of?) depends on a certain idea-structure, and ultimately on a set of definitions about deity.
Western conservatism does, yes. But, say African tribal conservatism holds to polytheistic suppositions. For that reason, I would argue that we're better to drop the vague word "religion," and speak bluntly about Judeo-Christian values, or else to drop even that, and speak of Christianity.
Oddly enough, the term "Judeo-Christian" was popularized by people like John Dewey, the early Progressives. If anything, they were "Left." The idea was to drop the terms Jewish, Christian, Catholic and Orthodox, in terms of rationalizing public policy. They wanted to just settle on what all these groups could agree to in common. For example, Sabbatarianism remained distinctively Jewish. Transubstantiation and the Mass remained primarily Catholic. New Testament literalism remained primarily Protestant. These things were backgrounded. What was brought to the fore, and promoted as "The Judea-Christian consensus" was things like "love your neighbour," "don't steal," "respect property rights," and so on; and these were retained as the overt basis of lawmaking, justice, public education and public policy.
But you're right: without a basis in Jewish or Christian belief, these things have no basis. So it's not surprising that subsequent generations gradually abandon them. For a secularist, they're just not necessary, because they're not based on any basic truth, in his view.
It is possible though that you might be using 'conservative' in a broader sense. Say 'fiscally conservative' or 'conservative in dress'.
No. Those are metaphorical sort of uses. I was speaking of ideology.
If one has no "metaphysical grounding" as you call it, one has no incentive to "conserve" anything. But if one feels one does know something about ontology, or ethics, or metaphysics already, one has a belief one can take to be necessary to "conserve" against the encroachments of Progressivist experimentation.
I would suggest that those who 'know something about ontology' -- and certainly of ethics -- are connected if indirectly with 'metaphysical ground', since those categories stem from more or less theistic established definitions.
I'm an ethicist. I am certain you're right about that. I have checked.
I speculate that in the absence of transcendental connections, one's ontological definitions will necessarily become mono-dimensional. This seems to be the case in our present.
You mean "mundane" or "strictly of the material world"? Is that the "dimension" you mean? Yes, that would follow.
It does seem to me possible that nonetheless a person whose ontology is mono-dimensional could be still very interested in conservation, say of health, or in the realm of nature and ecology.
Yes, but always without ontological reason. I might happen, as a hobby or personal preference, to want to practice yoga or vegetarianism. That doesn't entail that I have any ontological beliefs that make that sensible for me. I might, in fact, have entirely different ontological beliefs -- I might believe that humans are natural omnivores, but I don't happen to like the thought of killing cows, say -- in which case, my conservative ideas are ad hoc
, not rationally grounded.
Only somebody whose ontology actually rationally accords with his or her practical commitments can be said to be acting in an ethically-grounded way.
I am quite sure of what interests me when I refer to Heidegger (I admit that I do not have much experience but some of his notions are compelling) is what I understand to be his focus on our immediate manifestation, our being. My question is to what degree Heidegger has influenced the Christian conception?
Heidegger is far, far too late for that to be possible. Christian conservatism predates him by a long chalk. Not only that, but you find very conservative Christian groups, like, say, the Confessing Church, who were extremely opposed to Heidegger's conclusions. You'd be better to look back to Kierkegaard, who most certainly has had a significant influence on modern Christianity...and much less directly, on Nietzsche, Sartre, Camus and Heidegger as well.
Oh, quite so. Marx famously said, "The critique of religion is the first of all critiques." What he meant was that until he could clear the field of any other hope, he could not expect to get his "triumph of the proletariat" eschatology off the ground. Nobody would be drawn to it. So the first thing he had to do was eliminate all rival possibilities.
Right. But if one group of people, or in the case of Marxism an active, militant movement, comes on the scene and begins to carry out their activism, it does put pressure on those -- in this case of a religious orientation -- to look squarely at their own 'praxes'.
Yes, sure. That's true of all critical perspectives. Each one is specially attentive to some aspect of reality, and this special attention can be helpful to other ideologies, if one listens to it. Unfortunately, some critical perspectives are also flawed or evil, if taken whole; so one has to be very discerning and selective in listening to them. One must pay attention to those critiques they raise that are just, and be wise enough to dismiss those that are ideologically bent or self-serving. That's not easy to do, but it's worthwhile if you can safely do it.
I've read a bunch of theory toward which I have serious ideological objections, and pretty much knew I would before I even started reading. For example, I'm a Theist who has read lots of atheist stuff. But by paying careful attention to whatever critiques they had that were reasonable, I've come to refine my own beliefs. And this has been a good process for me.
Isn't that the effect of the Reformation on Catholicism? Inevitably, it seems to me, the focus is brought 'down' as it were into the specifics of the world, 'this world' (ici bas).
You might say the opposite: that the Catholic Church had become very this-worldly (selling "indulgences," for example, or dismissing Scriptural precepts in favour of Catholic tradition), and the Reformers were trying to make it raise its gaze once more. It was, after all, a "reformation," which is not a "rebellion" or a "rejection," but an aspiration to improve or revise a declining institution from which one has no intention of departing.
Luther was a Catholic priest. When he had to leave Catholicism entirely, the most surprised person in the world was probably Luther himself. He thought he was "reforming" his church, not abandoning it.
One can be very pro-urban and pro-modern, and yet be conservative in one's political views.
Yes, but you are speaking of a man in a given moment.
No. I'm speaking more generally.
A man as a 'survivor' might remain 'conservative', but the trends of all going on around him are absolutely not going in that direction. He will be subsumed. I cannot conceive of a hyper-modern that is hyper-conservative. Here, I would again mention Heidegger and his ideas of 'machinations' and the 'gargantuan'.
You'll have to specify here: "conservative" of what? A person can be "conservative" of, say, human rights, and be perfectly at home in a pro-urban and pro-modern context.
Conservatives, I have noticed, really believe they are conservative when in truth they are handmaidens of liberal processes. Conservatives and conservatism is being soundly critiqued for being in substantial ways 'sold-out' to an essentially liberal system.
Again, I'd have to know what you mean by "conserving" when assessing a statement like that. It might be right, but I just can't quite tell from the way you state it.
In my view -- but I have no idea how to ground it -- there is a trend developing in our own time that represents a reversal of the ultra-liberalism or decadent liberalism we notice around us. It proposes, I gather, re-grounding. That is what interests me philosophically, culturally, spiritually. And the people that are being researched have ideas similar to Heidegger.
Interesting. I'd be interested to know how that line of thought goes.
As for Socialism, why that? Socialism is a failed proposal. It hasn't worked once, or anywhere.
You mean, I gather, in its pure or raw form? An absolute socialism.
No. I mean ANY socialism in any locale in which it has become the main ideology determining actual policy. It's always been an unqualified disaster.
You can have minor "socialist elements" in a generally liberal-democratic polity like Canada, without too much harm. But once you make socialism the dominant or regnant ideology, say goodbye to economics, then goodbye to freedom, then goodbye to human rights. That's the pattern. And then the corpses pile up.
My understanding is that the countries that are considered the 'best' and the 'happiest' are those that have strong socialized infrastructure. I have read some articles about Denmark that support this understanding. But, it does occur to me -- as the right-wing nutcases say -- that such a system depends on a 'high-trust society'.
I'm one of those "nutcases." I'd say that.
Denmark's an interesting case: it's starting to have serious problems with its socialist elements. How long it remains "happy" is yet to be seen. But no Nordic country is actually full-on socialist. Even Norway, which is pretty far on that scale, only sustains its elaborate social support system by dint of the dirty, capitalist business of selling oil. Without that economic engine, that whole system would collapse instantly.
...there is a kind of New Conservatism among younger people who declare that they are opposed to processes of corrupt liberalism.
I'm aware of it. I hope it goes well.
I suppose you might admit that people tend to value what they are taught to value? If everything surrounding them 'teaches' against awareness, it follows that they are bound to go along with the drift.
No, I wouldn't say that. But I'd say that swimming upstream against the ideological flow takes courage. Not everybody's willing to pay the price.
Well, extreme nationalism of the kind Heidegger wanted led to Hitler, and Marxist aspirational supra-nationalism led to Stalin. Take you pick of the poisons, I guess.
Well then according to view the developing nationalistic trends will only lead to either Hitler or Stalin.
That's more than I can say. But I can say this: in the past, as a matter of fact, it HAS led to either a Hitler or a Stalin, always. Or a Pol Pot. Or a Castro. Or a Kim Jung. Or a Mao. Or...
There is, in statistical fact, a better than even (52%) chance that the leader of any atheist-socialist government will kill a substantial number (at least 200,000) of his own people. It's the most homicidal creed known to man, and second place isn't statistically even remotely close. That's how it's worked out in the past.
I see the turning inward of nationalism -- the establishing of fences and barriers as it seems to be -- as necessary.
Well, I'd say don't trust nationalism or globalism, if either entails big government. But to set aside a given territory as one's own responsibility, whether by a border or a wall, is a very sensible and ethically-necessary thing to do. Those that have no "borders" at all have no defined zone of personal moral and fiscal responsibility either.