View Single Post
Old 10-13-2013, 03:41 AM   #24
Ring of Famer

Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 5,769


Originally Posted by BBII View Post
Liberals tend to believe in the possibility that society (and mankind with it) is on a journey towards perfecting itself.
Objectively, it is. This is not to say that we will achieve perfection (fat chance with an inherently flawed starting position), but do you deny that modern Western society is better than those societies that came before and those societies that still cling to "traditional" ideas like monarchy and theocracy?

And that society released from the restraints of the past (ie tradition) will discover ever better ways to do things until eventually most of the problems today cease to exist, or at least dramatically improve. They tend to view tradition with skepticism, and often see them as plain mechanisms of social control.
You are correct here. What you describe is, again, exactly what has happened throughout history. The only way to improve ourselves is not to stick to things dogmatically, but to always be examining, testing and striving to improve based on evidence. Saying you won't break with tradition simply because it's tradition is foolhardy.

This does not mean we should reject tradition simply for being tradition either.

Conservatives tend to believe human nature itself is flawed and that values and traditions often serve as a necessary check or balance on our innate flaws. Mankind released from the restraints of the past may well fall into the terrible consequence of his own ignorance. The traditions we have today are often based on the lessons hard-learned by those who came before. Venturing away from those traditions should usually be done with very careful caution and deliberation.
Conservatives tend to stick to idea not because they can be objectively shown to be better, but simply because they are viewed as traditional. The proof is in the pudding on this. Take marriage for example. What's the argument against gay marriage? That traditional marriage is better. Why? Because God said so.

Nevermind for a moment that the modern form of marriage in the U.S. is anything BUT historically traditional, nor does it resemble what the Bible laid out, nor does God exist. Conservatives latch on to the one man+one woman definition of marriage simply because they believe it is traditional, which is what they really mean when they say "because God said so".
Fedaykin is offline   Reply With Quote