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Phil's Rambling Rants

August 24th, 2004

August 24th, 2004
02:33 pm

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Read this!
Gacked this link from mrpsyklops: What Is Conservatism and What Is Wrong with It?

This is a long essay. It throws out a lot of ideas. I agree with a fair number of them. I disagree with a few of them. I think many of them are worth thinking about. I'm not convinced that the essay as a whole is logically sound; it begins by postulating a general historical definition of conservatism -- "Conservatism is the domination of society by an aristocracy" -- and then divides the essay between attacking conservatism by this definition and attacking the conservative wing of modern politics without firmly establishing that they are one and the same. However, what is interesting is the individual supporting points.

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TimeEvent
04:06 pm

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A comment on morality
Earlier today the local public radio talk show had a guest who was discussing the subject of self-destructive behavior. The guest presented an argument from Kant. I haven't read Kant, so all I'm reacting to is what I caught of what the guest presented, which may not reflect on what Kant actually said. But the argument went something like this:

Because we as humans have the unique ability to reason, that makes us special. Because we're something special, we have an obligation to each other to be respectful of what we are; so when a person does something bad, even if they do it in private, they are shaming not only themselves but everyone.

I think the starting point is is a valid one. Our ability to reason makes us special, and we should hold onto that distinction. When one person does something shameful, it does diminish all of us. But what are the actions that bring shame on everyone? I think the shameful act is not the private sin that harms no one else, but rather denying another person the freedom to do the thing he wants to do only because it offends someone else's morals.

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