Here we will consider another point of view, the view of the Democrat Liberal.
A Democrat Liberal’s Reply
What Is The point Of This Post? Well, the object is to consider how a Democrat Liberal defines virtue with respect to government. In Questions For Democrat Liberals — PART 2A (May 21, 2017) and Questions For Democrat Liberals — PART 2B (May 23, 2017), I answered four questions, addressing moral issues posed by the exercise of government power.
- Why is it moral for the government to tax us?
- When does it become immoral for the government to tax us? That is, where do you draw the line and say no more?
- How do we ensure that a government that runs our lives will exercise its power for our benefit and not someone else’s benefit?
- How big and powerful does the government have to be before the people have lost the ability to refuse it anything it wants?
The problem? The questions and the answers are mine. There is no one who formerly speaks for Conservatives, not even me 😦 . In fact, most people do not give these questions much thought. We are so far gone down the road to Socialism we take the government’s power to tax us too much for granted.
If it is dubious enterprise for a Conservative to speak for all Conservatives, is it appropriate for Conservative to speak for Democrat Liberals? Not particularly, but if we are to understand Democrat Liberals then we must try to somehow get into their heads. Unfortunately, we will not get straightforward answers. Here is an example. The commenter, Tony provided answers for all four questions. For the sake of brevity, I quoted only his answer to the first question (below).
1. I would not presume to speak for Democratic Liberals, nor do I think that Democratic liberals always speak for me. While I think current Democratic liberalism is correct on many issues, I agree with you that they often lack the moral religious philosophical foundation that should set the direction of their progressivism. On the other hand, many conservative Republicans believe they have so ideologically closed the loop on an infinite God that they have become bounded by dogmatic rules instead of selfless virtuousness and love. One side wants to go the right way but they are without a compass, and the other side endlessly circles with a stuck rudder. (continued here)
Is just trying to avoid giving a straight answer? I don’t think so. Few of us have given much thought to that question. Also, note the difference describes. Conservatives grasp for God-given rules. Democrat Liberals seek to be selflessly virtuous and loving, but admits they don’t have a clue as to how to go about it.
In another comment Tony defines the foundation of virtue.
7. Virtue finds its moral universal foundation in unselfish love. Vice is all about selfishness. Because the best of humanist and atheistic moral philosophies also put man at the center, they should not find pursuit if virtue rationally contradictory to their moral beliefs, but instead they should find it complimentary. Because most of the major religions, and especially Christianity at its best, also hold loving one’s neighbor as one of the premises of the highest moral goods, there should be little dispute on this between religions either. Christian philosophy, however, places God at the center. We are commanded to love God and we believe God loves us. God’s very nature is love, and therefore we believe we are following the fundamental nature of the universe to love also, and to try always to act virtuously out of love for God and for each other. This is an important difference between believers and non-believers that goes to philosophical foundation rather than actual moral practice. The morality of virtue remains rational, natural and universal whether one believes in God or just humanity. (from here)
What should we make of ‘s comment? Well, here is my take. Whereas Conservatives generally uphold traditional Christian virtues (as defined in the Bible) and recognize that man is flawed and too easily tempted, the Democrat Liberal’s political ideology proceeds from a secular world view, perhaps best expressed by Protagoras.
Protagoras of Abdera (c. 490 – c.420 BCE) is most famous for his claim that “Of all things the measure is Man, of the things that are, that they are, and of the things that are not, that they are not” (DK 80B1) usually rendered simply as “Man is the Measure of All Things”. In maintaining this stance he pre-figures the existential relativism of writers like Luigi Pirandello (“It is so if you think so”) by some two thousand plus years. It is curious to consider, then, how a man who claimed that what was true to each of his listeners was, in fact, true (including the idea that no one could know the gods’ will objectively) could come to be the most highly paid Sophist in ancient Greece. (continued here)
When each man is the measure of all things, then what is the basis for government? Consensus? Perhaps. Apparently, that is Democrat Liberal approach.
The Conservative, however, says God has defined certain truths and these truths are perceptible by all of us. Thus, the Conservative does not depend upon public consensus to know the difference between right and wrong.
On the face of it then, the Conservative would seem to be all about enforcing collectivist systems and Democrat Liberals would be for a system of government that stresses individualism. Yet the opposite is true. The Conservative supports limited government. The Democrat Liberal advocates Socialism. Why?
What Is To Come?
Since this post was long, there will be a INCOMPATIBLE VIEWS ON GOVERNMENT — PART 3B. In PART 3B, we will consider how well ‘s comments represent those of Democrat Liberals in general.
Please refer to INCOMPATIBLE VIEWS ON GOVERNMENT — PART 1 for links to the other posts.