The Smallest Minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities. - Ayn Rand
Some people are so deluded that insanity can be the only explanation.
They'd be the first ones to call the kettle black.
Most of his stuff is just inane so I haven't gotten into too many of the conversations you've had with Mark...but this was just mind-boggling:
Each of us has that Christ power that inside of us. Every one of us has the capacity for love, hope, and peace. Everyone of us has the power to take these three fundamental traits and put them into action, not just in our communities but in our country at large. We can do this by picking an issue in our communities, getting involved and making it better. I think the reason why most conservatives don't grasp this concept is that they don't understand the difference between intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation...They can't understand people who are motivated to do the things purely for the joy of doing them. Most conservatives believe the only way to motivate people is through money...and fear. It really doesn't have to be that way.
Conservatives believe that it is not the government's role to force charitable activity upon free citizens.
Liberals are historically proven to be measurably less charitable than conservatives but consistently demand that the government coerce charitable activity at the point of the gun.
But it's CONSERVATIVES who don't understand Christ's teachings...don't understand the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and think that the only way to motivate people is through fear?
Christ advised the rich man to give his belongings to the poor. He didn't advise the rich man to entreat the government to take everyone else's belongings and give them to the poor; and when the rich man decided that was too much to ask and turned away, Jesus didn't call the government and demand that the rich man's belongings be given to the poor. He let him walk away.
I'd say Mark is a bit confused about what constitutes charity and love for one's neighbors.
Mark loves me so much he wants the government to take what I've earned at the point of a gun and give it to someone else. Except the way I was raised, that's not called love, that's called armed robbery.
Mark loves me so much that he wants the government to dictate to me how to live my life. Except the way I was raised, that's not called love, that's called slavery.
I don't remember the bible versus that condone robbing and enslaving your neighbors...perhaps Mark could point them out to me.
Ah, the coincidences. Goddamn, but did you ever hit a sensitive spot with this post!
Lies My Teacher Told Me sits in an honored place in the bookcase behind me as I write this. I read it for the first time years ago and have read it again several times since then. It had so strong an impact on me partly because The American Pageant was the textbook of my American History class at university. That was the most perfectly useless course I took while I was there.
This statement by Markadelphia:
"Everyone of us has the power to take these three fundamental traits and put them into action, not just in our communities but in our country at large. We can do this by picking an issue in our communities, getting involved and making it better. I think the reason why most conservatives don't grasp this concept is that they don't understand the difference between intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation."
is priceless. "... and making it better" HOW? By what mechanism? Well, two methods come to mind:
o By waiting for people to change their minds and their behavior. Just present the truth, by golly, and they'll come 'round. No, that this doesn't work is self-evident, and Markadelphia himself is a perfect example that it doesn't and why it doesn't.
o By forcing people to change their minds and their behavior. Ah, there we have it! And what was Michelle Obama's statement? Oh, yeah, he's gonna require us to change, right?
But I find this statement of his:
"They can't understand people who are motivated to do the things purely for the joy of doing them. Most conservatives believe the only way to motivate people is through money...and fear. It really doesn't have to be that way."
to be simply infuriating.
Explicitly it declares that conservatives are not motivated to do anything purely for the joy of doing it. The depth and breadth of that degree of arrogant ignorance simply numbs the mind.
Does he really not understand that the motivating factor of socialism is fear, manifested as the power of the state to force people, at the point of a gun, to do as they are told? Does he really have so little understanding of his own mind?
The first statement of his comment:
"I don't really have a belief system, Kevin, other than my belief in Christ."
is dead wrong, but it's perfectly correct that he believes it's right. He doesn't know what he doesn't know.
"Every one of us has the capacity for love, hope, and peace. Everyone of us has the power to take these three fundamental traits and put them into action, not just in our communities but in our country at large."
Yes, we do have the capacity for those things. Let's examine their roles in life, shall we?
Love: I have a lot of loves in my life. People, things, concepts. And yes, I am motivated by those loves. I think that's pretty nearly universal, and has nothing whatever to do with your political ideology, nor should it.
Note that love is not objective. Therefore to inject any one person's/group's loves into politics or government is to declare the loves of anyone who does not agree with the subjective assessment of that majority to be invalid, not of any consequence.
And yet everyone else will fight just as hard for that which they love as you will. Sounds like a way to make everyone "just one big family." Ask any cop who's been sent to a domestic dispute just how well that tends to work out.
Hope: Hope is always nice. Hopelessness is a recipe for failure in ANY endeavor. To quote one of my favorite authors, "Believing won't make it happen, but not believing will make it *not* happen." But as the old saying goes, faith without works is dead. Hope all by itself is nothing but wishful thinking. If backed by effort, then the question of course becomes, "Hoping for *what*, exactly?" I suspect Markadelphia and I would disagree widely on what we are hoping for from our government. And of course, if we are all expected to hope for the same result from government, then "hope" becomes synonymous with "tyranny." To quote another of my favorite authors, "Pulling together is the goal of despotism and tyranny. Free people pull in all sorts of directions."
Peace: I'm all for peace. Any sane person is. But "peace" must always be put in context. Someone holding up a liquor store naturally hopes the job will go peacefully. But while I consider myself to favor peace, I will admit that I hope that guy's desire for peace go unfulfilled. Does the fact that I consider that guy's death at the hands of a liquor store owner to be a *positive* result make me a violence monger? I don't believe so, but I would not be surprised if Markadelphia disagrees.
The problem with advocating "peace" is the differing definitions of where "advocating peace" ends and where "just lie back and enjoy it" begins.
"We can do this by picking an issue in our communities, getting involved and making it better."
Absolutely. The place where the conservative-leaning-strongly-toward-libertarian philosophy of most of those here parts ways with nearly all of the Socialist Left (and a fair amount of the Authoritarian Right as well) is that the libertarian defines "getting involved in your communities" as individuals doing individual things, where the above groups seem to define it as *having* to involve a government agency (preferably creating a new one)and at least one judge's ruling. I can't speak for others, but for my money, once government agencies and judges get involved, my chance to make a difference in my community vanishes like the morning mist. Why? Because once the government is part of the equation, the dominant concern becomes whether or not you followed the rules, not whether or not you got results.
So what happens? My loves, my compassions, that motivated me to get involved are unchanged, but my hope of making a difference has died, because authority is now vested in those who don't care whether or not any difference is made so long as it is according to procedure. Peace can still be had, but only the peace of the sleeping or the dead.
"You'll reject it out of hand, but still, I keep trying..."
Kevin, you just need to do it again, only harder!
Funny for someone with so many 'complaints' about the left, he sure marches in lockstep with the rest of them. Almost as if there was some sort of 'groupthink' involved...
Couldn't stand that bloody book. I don't mind being told that I'm wrong, especially if there's facts to back it up, but the white guilt that poured from the book turned my stomach.
Good idea, poor execution.
Personally, I'm against government trying to make people... better. Because the only tool governments have is force, and using that tool, they tend to break a lot of things.
This is a particular narrow conception of government which misses the very thing that makes totalitarianism so powerful, and so attractive.
Governments can also control the education process. They can exert tremendous influence on the very thoughts of their population.
Now you may argue that this is a special case of the use of force, and on a technical level you would be right. The difference is, however, that a good program of indoctrination does not feel like force, and will not be opposed so long as it is not blatantly flawedand even then, it will be opposed with great difficulty.
In a more positive light, education is a powerful tool to make society betterand the most durable sociopolitical systems (such as traditional Judaism) place a tremendous emphasis on rigorous education, according to a particular program of morality meant to deliberately affect the behavior of the student.
I worry about America most of all because our education program does not know what it wants to achieve.
Dammit, Mastiff! You just made me delay the next überpost AGAIN!
So much for me getting it done before I leave for Louisville.
I always aim to please :-)
"Now you may argue that this is a special case of the use of force, and on a technical level you would be right. The difference is, however, that a good program of indoctrination does not feel like force, and will not be opposed so long as it is not blatantly flawedand even then, it will be opposed with great difficulty."
I suspect a parakeet in a cage, well fed and kept safe from the housecat, doesn't feel like he's been forced to live behind bars, either.