Friday, November 6, 2015

"The Party of God vs. the Party of Government."

But if these trends continue, more and more people will confuse "rights" with "acceptance." For older generations, ones that have the strongest religious ties according to Pew (people who still believe in things like girls and boys bathrooms) will be treated like a bunch of yokels for turning to scripture rather than The New York Times op-ed page. And Millennials, who have comparatively low levels of religious belief and affiliation according to Pew, will also be the most likely to embrace socialism and state coercion in the pursuit of social justice. If this is true, Democrats will surely continue to radicalize. Now, I don't believe your views about God should have anything to do with your views of individual liberty and coexistence, but they sure seem to.

1 comment:

Chiu ChunLing said...

I'd tend to say that it's the other way around. We naturally tend to believe that people form their ideas about God earlier than they form their ideas about the value and meaning of freedom and independence, but this is just because more effort is expended teaching children various theories about God than about freedom.

When people begin to explore a sense of independence in their own life, they develop their attitude towards freedom, and this affects their willingness to embrace various theories about God, including those they were taught as children.

Some people long to remain dependent so as to avoid personal responsibility for their own choices. Whether they want to eliminate a particular 'wrong' choice by removing the negative consequences for themselves or removing the option entirely, the fundamental outlook makes freedom (which necessarily includes responsibility) an inconvenient aspect of reality. Such people will choose to deny that freedom really exists or (inclusive) view the existence of freedom as proof against a benevolent God.

People who embrace the opportunity to dictate their own outcomes through their own choices are much more accepting of the existence of human freedom, and also more accepting of the idea that freedom (which is somewhat difficult to explain on any other account) is bestowed by God for the benefit of mankind.

The connection is not rigid or absolute, most people don't really examine their attitudes towards freedom and then seriously consider how to explain the existence (or desired nonexistence) of freedom in terms of their theory of God. But a high proportion of those who originate the systematized ideas which serve as the basis for cultural allegiance do, whether or not they promulgate their thinking on that subject along with their other systematized ideas.

Marxists don't want to admit that they hate freedom, but they obviously do. And this hatred of freedom is at the root of their refusal to believe that a benevolent God made men free. In their view, freedom is a defect or delusion which should be eliminated, not a divine gift which gives meaning and purpose to life. Similar ideological rejections of freedom (which, unlike mere liberty, intrinsically includes being subject to the natural consequences of one's chosen actions) may have different explanations for why freedom exists (or appears to exist). Islam is an interesting example, with its ideation of departure from the will of Allah being the foundation of all appearance of freedom (this freedom is only apparent because of some-verbal-hand-waving-nonsense-that-makes-about-as-much-sense-as-any-other-attempt-to-explain-away-the-fact-that-every-conscious-being-is-in-fact-free-in-the-most-essential-sense-there-is, praise Allah!).

Many minor religions (and some sects of major religions) don't really develop any theological/doctrinal position on whether freedom is good, bad, or non-existent, but the mainstream of every major religion cannot evade this fundamental question of human experience. Every conscious being experiences making choices, and experiences the results of those choices in comparison to their expectations and desires. Theories about the nature of life, the universe, and everything which do not attempt to address the fundamental question of conscious existence won't ever be very popular on their own merits with the class of people intelligent enough to intentionally shape the theoretical underpinning of culture.