Conservatism has become a religion

Off Topic Babble. The really important stuff...

Moderator: Andrew

Conservatism has become a religion

Postby Monker » Fri Mar 26, 2010 2:06 am

Conservatism has become a religion.

First of all, before I go down this path, let me just say that I firmly believe that people have complete religious freedom to believe whatever they want to. They can believe in any god(s) they want to, or no god at all. As long as they are not breaking any laws, they can choose to worship their god(s) in any way they choose. I really have no argument against that at all. In fact, I have always found it a bit fascinating to learn what people believe and how similar, or not so similar, those beliefs are...and how one religion can misrepresent and demonize another. It's all very interesting to me.

Second, I'm sure someone can write some article on how Liberalism is a religion. I am choosing to write this because I think conservatives have gone over the edge, off the deep end, way too far, in their beliefs and how they present them to others. If someone feels that way about 'the other side', then go ahead, take your time and write up your thoughts.

So, why have I come to the conclusion that conservatism has become a religion? Well, what is 'religion' in a traditional Judeo-Christian sense? There is an Eden, where everything is in favor of God and perfect. There is falling away from this Godly perfection and into sin. There is a coming doomsday and only one path to salvation. In the religion of Conservative fundamentalism, there is "the America I grew up in", where everything was seemingly perfect. There was the coming of the great socialist policies which destroyed that Eden. Finaly, you either turn your back on liberal/progressive ideas or the country will turn into a communist society. Sadly, that is now how many conservatives view the politics of today.

When I listen to the conservative prophets speak on FOX they like to talk about 'the America I grew up in'. That is their Eden. It is a state of perfection where everything was right with the world. When that perfection is tarnished by some new social program, they then go on a rant and then insist, "I don't know about you, but that isn't the America I grew up in."

I say that is wrong. In preamble to the Constitution itself it says that government of this country is charged with the duty to provide for the 'general welfare'. Now, you can debate what that means. THAT is my point, how much 'general welfare' the government should provide its citizens has been a debate this country has had to have since it was founded. This is NOT a new argument. More then 200 years ago Federalists (liberals) were arguing with anti-Federalists (conservatives) over how much power the federal government should have. This argument has been there from the start.

These prophets are also from various generations, from Sean Hannity to O'Reilly...they did not all grow up in the same America, with the same social programs and attitudes. This fact alone proves there was NEVER some sort of state of grace and Eden where all was right with the country. The America they grew up in has always had some social policies.

Now we move into the fall from grace...the eating of the fruit from the "Tree of Knowledge" which caused this country to fall out of the favor of God and into sin. Of course this could never have happened because there never was this Eden to begin with...but how do the conservative prophets offer this one up? Well, it was the introduction of socialist programs. Most will point to FDR and the "New Deal", but they don't want to point out Social Security because saying that should not exist would destroy any type of political future for Republicans. To avoid that death wish, others will point to LBJ and the Great Society programs of the 60's.

Let's get real here, what was the first 'socialist' program in this nation? I would say it was the US Postal service. The railroads and the interstate highway system are also government sponsored and paid for. AMTRAK is another. So, again, government has dabbled in 'socialist' programs almost since this country was founded. Finally, the truth is that there has NEVER been a totaly capitialistic society in the history of the world. In civilized society, there are always going to be some who want to help the helpless. There are always going to be some who believe in coming together and pooling resources for the good of the people. That is not Socialism, that people caring about each other.

So, there was no fall from grace. It is a lie to say that there was.

For 'salvation' the conservative prophets want us to believe that we must follow their lead and become tea-baggers, or join up on their side of the culture war they insist on fighting. To not do so means we are eventually going to be living in a socialist or even communist society. Government will remove our freedoms one by one. They will take away our rights, and even our property. Somehow, following these prophets will lead to victory over the socialists and save our country.

The scarey part of this is that they are being led by empty rhetoric, or even lies...and people do not question it and believe it is true based on their faith. I sat down a few days ago and watched Glen Beck go on one of his "this isn't the America I grew up in..." rants. He walks up to his chalk board and on it is a tree with a bunch of 'bad' doom and gloom words written all around it. To shorten his long-winded story, this is the tree that represents America that the progressive movement grew. So, we either need to chop that tree down, or do some major surgery on it to fix it. Then he goes to another chalk board that has another tree on it. This time it is surrounded by 'good' words. This is the tree that needs to be grown, without the progressive's influence. And, we HAVE to do this because that bad tree produces bad fruit because of all the bad things that are built into it. We need a good tree that produces good fruit so that we do not have to force our fruit onto other countries, in fact they will come to us asking for it.

This is typical...first of all, conservative Christians will recognize that metaphor and may not even question it any further...because it is biblical. Liberal = bad tree, Conservative = good tree. Case closed, good job Glen! But, he offered no facts that either liberal policies caused that bad tree, or that conservative policies could grow the good tree. In fact, I can imagine arguments that either side could make for who caused the bad tree, and who can best grow the good tree. But, since a conservative made the argument, and he used biblical references, it goes by without any facts to back it up and it is accepted as is...on faith. They take it on faith that we should believe liberals are the cause of all the problems, and take it on faith that conservaitves are they right people to fix the problems and bring us back to that Eden.

The fact is also that Socialism has never taken root in this country. There has never been a worker's revolt to take ownership of the business's in ths country. With the exception of the "too big to fail" take-overs recently, the government has never run major corporations either. There is no significant Socialist movement in this country. There are social programs to help those struggling - but that does NOT equate to a Socialist take-over of our nation. It's an exageration and a lie to say that it is. It is a political scare tactic to win votes because you fear their opponent.

So, conservative politics is now being worshipped as a religion. The tea baggers are the main disciples. The likes of Beck and Limbaugh are their prophets. Liberalism and a progressive view of politics are evil and agreeing with those philosophies is sinful. To not join them in their cultural war is to allow America to decay from the "America you grew up in" and into a Marxist Germany or Communist Russia/China. They deal with politics through biblical metaphors devoid of any facts and instead substitue faith. Faith in their prophets. Faith in their belief that conservatism = good and liberalism = evil. They fail to see that, in the end, it is all an illusion and they are not dealing with reality.

I believe all those involved in this religion at some point must face this reality. The political reality is not so black and white, good vs. evil, sin vs. salvation. Nobody government agent is going to show up at your door wanting to take your land. Nobody is going to repeal the "Bill of Rights" and take away your liberties. The country is not going to crumble with the passage of universal healthcare. At some point these prophets must be shown as false, and for the greedy, money hungry, people that they truly are. At some point this religion must be exposed for what it truly is - propaganda. At some point these followers need to wake up to these truths and realize they need to change their beliefs and rebuild conservative ideas into something other then a false religion.

I have my doubts that it will happen any time soon, though.
User avatar
Monker
Digital Audio Tape
 
Posts: 9427
Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2002 12:40 pm
Location: Des Moines, Iowa

Postby Ehwmatt » Fri Mar 26, 2010 2:31 am

Get a job
User avatar
Ehwmatt
MP3
 
Posts: 10845
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2007 4:15 am
Location: Cleveland, OH

Postby Memorex » Fri Mar 26, 2010 2:32 am

This post is exactly what is wrong with this country.

Both sides feel this way about each other. I don't think we will ever get back to the sanity of what this country was built on. Where both sides had good ideas, where common ground was actually sought after and exciting.

That you think the other side is so far out there in their thinking when they have a lot of great ideas is pure bullshit. That they think the same of you is equally bullshit.

Tea Partiers are not racist scum, even if a few members are. Libs are not commies and Nazi's, even if a few of them are. Both parties are built by people that truly want a better America and running down one side or the other only gets us farther from a better America.

How come someone can't believe in something just because they believe it? It's pretty common sense that this heath care deal has two sides to it. It will help more people and it will cost far more than any Dem wants to admit. Simple math. So there is some right on both sides and some wrong. Lies on both ends, good hearts on both ends. Anyone who does not see that is blinded in their "religion" in my opinion. And it's killing this country right now. Great minds that seek a better future have been sidelined in favor of deeply partisan beliefs. What's the logical conclusion of that?

Obama is not stupid. Limbaugh is not stupid. Maddow is not stupid. Palin is not stupid. And all of them are too biased to be valuable anymore.
To put blame on one side is a fucking joke. Your post is a fucking joke. And anyone that would say the same about the left is a fucking joke.
Last edited by Memorex on Fri Mar 26, 2010 3:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Memorex
Stereo LP
 
Posts: 3040
Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2006 1:30 pm

Postby Don » Fri Mar 26, 2010 2:35 am

It's all the black man's fault.
Don
Super Audio CD
 
Posts: 24898
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2007 3:01 pm

Re: Conservatism has become a religion

Postby conversationpc » Fri Mar 26, 2010 2:44 am

Monker wrote:Conservatism has become a religion.


For some, sure. These are the people who think if we just vote conservative then everything will be hunky dory. I don't feel that way and I personally don't know many who do.

Second, I'm sure someone can write some article on how Liberalism is a religion. I am choosing to write this because I think conservatives have gone over the edge, off the deep end, way too far, in their beliefs and how they present them to others. If someone feels that way about 'the other side', then go ahead, take your time and write up your thoughts.


Absolutely. This whole "healthcare as a human right" issue is the best example of that. Much, if not most, of it is born out of the social justice movement, which has its foundations in a more liberal interpretation of Christianity. Other issues that have been addressed previously (and will be again...) such as immigration reform, wealth redistribution, etc., have a similar source.

In the religion of Conservative fundamentalism, there is "the America I grew up in", where everything was seemingly perfect. When I listen to the conservative prophets speak on FOX they like to talk about 'the America I grew up in'. That is their Eden. It is a state of perfection where everything was right with the world. When that perfection is tarnished by some new social program, they then go on a rant and then insist, "I don't know about you, but that isn't the America I grew up in."


America has never been perfect and I don't know anyone who thinks it was. Was it much better at one time? Certainly, but never perfect.

...but how do the conservative prophets offer this one up? Well, it was the introduction of socialist programs. Most will point to FDR and the "New Deal", but they don't want to point out Social Security because saying that should not exist would destroy any type of political future for Republicans.


I'm not a politician but Social Security is definitely a socialist program. Does that mean it's inherently evil? No, but I do think a different system could and probably would work much better.

Let's get real here, what was the first 'socialist' program in this nation? I would say it was the US Postal service. The railroads and the interstate highway system are also government sponsored and paid for. AMTRAK is another. So, again, government has dabbled in 'socialist' programs almost since this country was founded.


I don't think anyone would deny this. The government HAS to maintain and control certain things, i.e. the military, national infrastructure, etc. I don't disagree that those are things the government should be doing.

In civilized society, there are always going to be some who want to help the helpless. There are always going to be some who believe in coming together and pooling resources for the good of the people. That is not Socialism, that people caring about each other.


For me, the debate is not about whether or not it is a good thing to help the helpless. It's a given that it is indeed a good thing. It's something I practice and my church practices. We partner with an organization here in central Indiana called "The Good Samaritan Network" that assists in helping the homeless, hungry, poor, etc. It's an awesome organization headed by caring people.

What the debate is really about for me is how much (or little) the government should be involved. I don't like the idea of social programs, funded by force by the government, not only because the government is forcibly taking my own money that I could make wiser decisions with but because it's also an emptier form of "charity" to those who receive it that ends up enslaving them more, in my opinion, than it does in assisting them.

So, there was no fall from grace. It is a lie to say that there was.


EVERYONE has fallen from grace. That's not a lie. It's merely a disagreement that people of differing opinions have.

To not do so means we are eventually going to be living in a socialist or even communist society. Government will remove our freedoms one by one. They will take away our rights, and even our property. Somehow, following these prophets will lead to victory over the socialists and save our country.


That's not so far-fetched. The Republicans were leading us down the same path when they controlled Congress. Government got bigger and more onerous. Spending was out of control and power-mad politicians ruled the day just like they are now. The only major difference is the name of the majority party.

This is typical...first of all, conservative Christians will recognize that metaphor and may not even question it any further...because it is biblical. Liberal = bad tree, Conservative = good tree. Case closed, good job Glen!


If I remember correctly, it wasn't really conservative vs. liberal, was it? Correct me if I'm wrong because I don't remember the particulars but I think the progressive tree (which included both Democrats AND Republicans) is what was portrayed as "evil". Regardless, I didn't really care for the general analogy he was making there.

The fact is also that Socialism has never taken root in this country.


It has to some degree in that we have too many people relying on government. To what extent that means that it's "socialism" doesn't really matter to me anyway.

With the exception of the "too big to fail" take-overs recently, the government has never run major corporations either. There is no significant Socialist movement in this country. There are social programs to help those struggling - but that does NOT equate to a Socialist take-over of our nation. It's an exageration and a lie to say that it is. It is a political scare tactic to win votes because you fear their opponent.


Well, the term "scare tactic" indicates it's unfounded fear. I don't agree that is the case with Beck. I think he is a true believer, whether you actually agree with him or not, think he's an idiot or whatever. Some people would say that makes him even more "dangerous" but I suppose that depends on your perspective. If we're talking Limbaugh, Hannity, etc., I don't really have much room in my tank for them anyway, so I'll give you them as a peace offering. :wink:

Nobody government agent is going to show up at your door wanting to take your land.


This is already happening. Eminent domain abuse is a common thing. This is something that I strongly agree with Libertarians on. It's a major problem.

The country is not going to crumble with the passage of universal healthcare.


Perhaps not but I do think it'll contribute, especially if the costs end up being more than the Democrats say (and they typically are).
My blog = Dave's Dominion

Image
User avatar
conversationpc
Super Audio CD
 
Posts: 17812
Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2006 5:53 am
Location: Slightly south of sanity...

Postby conversationpc » Fri Mar 26, 2010 2:46 am

Memorex wrote:This post is exactly what is wrong with this country.

Both sides feel this way about each other. I don't think we will ever get back to the sanity of what this country was built on. Where both sides had good ideas, where common ground was actually sought after and exciting.

That you think the other side is so far out there in there thinking when they have a lot of great ideas is pure bullshit. That they think the same of you is equally bullshit.

Tea Partiers are not racist scum, even if a few members are. Libs are not commies and Nazi's, even if a few of them are. Both parties are built by people that truly want a better America and running down one side or the other only gets us farther from a better America.

How come someone can't believe in something just because they believe it. It's pretty common sense that this heath care deal has two sides to it. It will help more people and it will cost far more than any Dem wants to admit. Simple math. So there is some right on both sides and some wrong. Lies on both ends, good hearts on both ends. Anyone who does not see that is blinded in their "religion" in my opinion. And it's killing this country right now. Great minds that seek a better future have been sidelined in favor of deeply partisan beliefs. What's the logical conclusion of that?

Obama is not stupid. Limbaugh is not stupid. Maddow is not stupid. Palin is not stupid. And all of them are too biased to be valuable anymore.
To put blame on one side is a fucking joke. Your post is a fucking joke. And anyone that would say the same about the left is a fucking joke.


This says it far more bluntly than I would but there's a lot of truth there.
My blog = Dave's Dominion

Image
User avatar
conversationpc
Super Audio CD
 
Posts: 17812
Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2006 5:53 am
Location: Slightly south of sanity...

Postby CatEyes » Fri Mar 26, 2010 2:49 am

Gunbot wrote:It's all the black man's fault.

no no no

Haven't you been paying attention?

it ia ALL Steve Perry's fault!

:wink:
The daughters of lions are lions, too.
CatEyes
Cassette Tape
 
Posts: 1529
Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2004 6:05 am

Postby Don » Fri Mar 26, 2010 2:55 am

Fucking Perry. :evil:
Don
Super Audio CD
 
Posts: 24898
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2007 3:01 pm

Re: Conservatism has become a religion

Postby RedWingFan » Fri Mar 26, 2010 3:03 am

Monker wrote:Conservatism has become a religion.


Hey Monker, do you have a novel in the works about a theme park featuring live dinosaurs also? :lol:

http://www.crichton-official.com/speech ... igion.html

Commonwealth Club
San Francisco, CA
September 15, 2003

This was not the first discussion of environmentalism as a religion, but it caught on and was widely quoted. Michael explains why religious approaches to the environment are inappropriate and cause damage to the natural world they intend to protect.



I have been asked to talk about what I consider the most important challenge facing mankind, and I have a fundamental answer. The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. Perceiving the truth has always been a challenge to mankind, but in the information age (or as I think of it, the disinformation age) it takes on a special urgency and importance.

We must daily decide whether the threats we face are real, whether the solutions we are offered will do any good, whether the problems we're told exist are in fact real problems, or non-problems. Every one of us has a sense of the world, and we all know that this sense is in part given to us by what other people and society tell us; in part generated by our emotional state, which we project outward; and in part by our genuine perceptions of reality. In short, our struggle to determine what is true is the struggle to decide which of our perceptions are genuine, and which are false because they are handed down, or sold to us, or generated by our own hopes and fears.

As an example of this challenge, I want to talk today about environmentalism. And in order not to be misunderstood, I want it perfectly clear that I believe it is incumbent on us to conduct our lives in a way that takes into account all the consequences of our actions, including the consequences to other people, and the consequences to the environment. I believe it is important to act in ways that are sympathetic to the environment, and I believe this will always be a need, carrying into the future. I believe the world has genuine problems and I believe it can and should be improved. But I also think that deciding what constitutes responsible action is immensely difficult, and the consequences of our actions are often difficult to know in advance. I think our past record of environmental action is discouraging, to put it mildly, because even our best intended efforts often go awry. But I think we do not recognize our past failures, and face them squarely. And I think I know why.

I studied anthropology in college, and one of the things I learned was that certain human social structures always reappear. They can't be eliminated from society. One of those structures is religion. Today it is said we live in a secular society in which many people---the best people, the most enlightened people---do not believe in any religion. But I think that you cannot eliminate religion from the psyche of mankind. If you suppress it in one form, it merely re-emerges in another form. You can not believe in God, but you still have to believe in something that gives meaning to your life, and shapes your sense of the world. Such a belief is religious.

Today, one of the most powerful religions in the Western World is environmentalism. Environmentalism seems to be the religion of choice for urban atheists. Why do I say it's a religion? Well, just look at the beliefs. If you look carefully, you see that environmentalism is in fact a perfect 21st century remapping of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs and myths.

There's an initial Eden, a paradise, a state of grace and unity with nature, there's a fall from grace into a state of pollution as a result of eating from the tree of knowledge, and as a result of our actions there is a judgment day coming for us all. We are all energy sinners, doomed to die, unless we seek salvation, which is now called sustainability. Sustainability is salvation in the church of the environment. Just as organic food is its communion, that pesticide-free wafer that the right people with the right beliefs, imbibe.

Eden, the fall of man, the loss of grace, the coming doomsday---these are deeply held mythic structures. They are profoundly conservative beliefs. They may even be hard-wired in the brain, for all I know. I certainly don't want to talk anybody out of them, as I don't want to talk anybody out of a belief that Jesus Christ is the son of God who rose from the dead. But the reason I don't want to talk anybody out of these beliefs is that I know that I can't talk anybody out of them. These are not facts that can be argued. These are issues of faith.

And so it is, sadly, with environmentalism. Increasingly it seems facts aren't necessary, because the tenets of environmentalism are all about belief. It's about whether you are going to be a sinner, or saved. Whether you are going to be one of the people on the side of salvation, or on the side of doom. Whether you are going to be one of us, or one of them.

Am I exaggerating to make a point? I am afraid not. Because we know a lot more about the world than we did forty or fifty years ago. And what we know now is not so supportive of certain core environmental myths, yet the myths do not die. Let's examine some of those beliefs.

There is no Eden. There never was. What was that Eden of the wonderful mythic past? Is it the time when infant mortality was 80%, when four children in five died of disease before the age of five? When one woman in six died in childbirth? When the average lifespan was 40, as it was in America a century ago. When plagues swept across the planet, killing millions in a stroke. Was it when millions starved to death? Is that when it was Eden?

And what about indigenous peoples, living in a state of harmony with the Eden-like environment? Well, they never did. On this continent, the newly arrived people who crossed the land bridge almost immediately set about wiping out hundreds of species of large animals, and they did this several thousand years before the white man showed up, to accelerate the process. And what was the condition of life? Loving, peaceful, harmonious? Hardly: the early peoples of the New World lived in a state of constant warfare. Generations of hatred, tribal hatreds, constant battles. The warlike tribes of this continent are famous: the Comanche, Sioux, Apache, Mohawk, Aztecs, Toltec, Incas. Some of them practiced infanticide, and human sacrifice. And those tribes that were not fiercely warlike were exterminated, or learned to build their villages high in the cliffs to attain some measure of safety.

How about the human condition in the rest of the world? The Maori of New Zealand committed massacres regularly. The dyaks of Borneo were headhunters. The Polynesians, living in an environment as close to paradise as one can imagine, fought constantly, and created a society so hideously restrictive that you could lose your life if you stepped in the footprint of a chief. It was the Polynesians who gave us the very concept of taboo, as well as the word itself. The noble savage is a fantasy, and it was never true. That anyone still believes it, 200 years after Rousseau, shows the tenacity of religious myths, their ability to hang on in the face of centuries of factual contradiction.

There was even an academic movement, during the latter 20th century, that claimed that cannibalism was a white man's invention to demonize the indigenous peoples. (Only academics could fight such a battle.) It was some thirty years before professors finally agreed that yes, cannibalism does indeed occur among human beings. Meanwhile, all during this time New Guinea highlanders in the 20th century continued to eat the brains of their enemies until they were finally made to understand that they risked kuru, a fatal neurological disease, when they did so.

More recently still the gentle Tasaday of the Philippines turned out to be a publicity stunt, a nonexistent tribe. And African pygmies have one of the highest murder rates on the planet.

In short, the romantic view of the natural world as a blissful Eden is only held by people who have no actual experience of nature. People who live in nature are not romantic about it at all. They may hold spiritual beliefs about the world around them, they may have a sense of the unity of nature or the aliveness of all things, but they still kill the animals and uproot the plants in order to eat, to live. If they don't, they will die.

And if you, even now, put yourself in nature even for a matter of days, you will quickly be disabused of all your romantic fantasies. Take a trek through the jungles of Borneo, and in short order you will have festering sores on your skin, you'll have bugs all over your body, biting in your hair, crawling up your nose and into your ears, you'll have infections and sickness and if you're not with somebody who knows what they're doing, you'll quickly starve to death. But chances are that even in the jungles of Borneo you won't experience nature so directly, because you will have covered your entire body with DEET and you will be doing everything you can to keep those bugs off you.

The truth is, almost nobody wants to experience real nature. What people want is to spend a week or two in a cabin in the woods, with screens on the windows. They want a simplified life for a while, without all their stuff. Or a nice river rafting trip for a few days, with somebody else doing the cooking. Nobody wants to go back to nature in any real way, and nobody does. It's all talk-and as the years go on, and the world population grows increasingly urban, it's uninformed talk. Farmers know what they're talking about. City people don't. It's all fantasy.

One way to measure the prevalence of fantasy is to note the number of people who die because they haven't the least knowledge of how nature really is. They stand beside wild animals, like buffalo, for a picture and get trampled to death; they climb a mountain in dicey weather without proper gear, and freeze to death. They drown in the surf on holiday because they can't conceive the real power of what we blithely call "the force of nature." They have seen the ocean. But they haven't been in it.

The television generation expects nature to act the way they want it to be. They think all life experiences can be tivo-ed. The notion that the natural world obeys its own rules and doesn't give a damn about your expectations comes as a massive shock. Well-to-do, educated people in an urban environment experience the ability to fashion their daily lives as they wish. They buy clothes that suit their taste, and decorate their apartments as they wish. Within limits, they can contrive a daily urban world that pleases them.

But the natural world is not so malleable. On the contrary, it will demand that you adapt to it-and if you don't, you die. It is a harsh, powerful, and unforgiving world, that most urban westerners have never experienced.

Many years ago I was trekking in the Karakorum mountains of northern Pakistan, when my group came to a river that we had to cross. It was a glacial river, freezing cold, and it was running very fast, but it wasn't deep---maybe three feet at most. My guide set out ropes for people to hold as they crossed the river, and everybody proceeded, one at a time, with extreme care. I asked the guide what was the big deal about crossing a three-foot river. He said, well, supposing you fell and suffered a compound fracture. We were now four days trek from the last big town, where there was a radio. Even if the guide went back double time to get help, it'd still be at least three days before he could return with a helicopter. If a helicopter were available at all. And in three days, I'd probably be dead from my injuries. So that was why everybody was crossing carefully. Because out in nature a little slip could be deadly.

But let's return to religion. If Eden is a fantasy that never existed, and mankind wasn't ever noble and kind and loving, if we didn't fall from grace, then what about the rest of the religious tenets? What about salvation, sustainability, and judgment day? What about the coming environmental doom from fossil fuels and global warming, if we all don't get down on our knees and conserve every day?

Well, it's interesting. You may have noticed that something has been left off the doomsday list, lately. Although the preachers of environmentalism have been yelling about population for fifty years, over the last decade world population seems to be taking an unexpected turn. Fertility rates are falling almost everywhere. As a result, over the course of my lifetime the thoughtful predictions for total world population have gone from a high of 20 billion, to 15 billion, to 11 billion (which was the UN estimate around 1990) to now 9 billion, and soon, perhaps less. There are some who think that world population will peak in 2050 and then start to decline. There are some who predict we will have fewer people in 2100 than we do today. Is this a reason to rejoice, to say halleluiah? Certainly not. Without a pause, we now hear about the coming crisis of world economy from a shrinking population. We hear about the impending crisis of an aging population. Nobody anywhere will say that the core fears expressed for most of my life have turned out not to be true. As we have moved into the future, these doomsday visions vanished, like a mirage in the desert. They were never there---though they still appear, in the future. As mirages do.

Okay, so, the preachers made a mistake. They got one prediction wrong; they're human. So what. Unfortunately, it's not just one prediction. It's a whole slew of them. We are running out of oil. We are running out of all natural resources. Paul Ehrlich: 60 million Americans will die of starvation in the 1980s. Forty thousand species become extinct every year. Half of all species on the planet will be extinct by 2000. And on and on and on.

With so many past failures, you might think that environmental predictions would become more cautious. But not if it's a religion. Remember, the nut on the sidewalk carrying the placard that predicts the end of the world doesn't quit when the world doesn't end on the day he expects. He just changes his placard, sets a new doomsday date, and goes back to walking the streets. One of the defining features of religion is that your beliefs are not troubled by facts, because they have nothing to do with facts.

So I can tell you some facts. I know you haven't read any of what I am about to tell you in the newspaper, because newspapers literally don't report them. I can tell you that DDT is not a carcinogen and did not cause birds to die and should never have been banned. I can tell you that the people who banned it knew that it wasn't carcinogenic and banned it anyway. I can tell you that the DDT ban has caused the deaths of tens of millions of poor people, mostly children, whose deaths are directly attributable to a callous, technologically advanced western society that promoted the new cause of environmentalism by pushing a fantasy about a pesticide, and thus irrevocably harmed the third world. Banning DDT is one of the most disgraceful episodes in the twentieth century history of America. We knew better, and we did it anyway, and we let people around the world die and didn't give a damn.

I can tell you that second hand smoke is not a health hazard to anyone and never was, and the EPA has always known it. I can tell you that the evidence for global warming is far weaker than its proponents would ever admit. I can tell you the percentage the US land area that is taken by urbanization, including cities and roads, is 5%. I can tell you that the Sahara desert is shrinking, and the total ice of Antarctica is increasing. I can tell you that a blue-ribbon panel in Science magazine concluded that there is no known technology that will enable us to halt the rise of carbon dioxide in the 21st century. Not wind, not solar, not even nuclear. The panel concluded a totally new technology-like nuclear fusion-was necessary, otherwise nothing could be done and in the meantime all efforts would be a waste of time. They said that when the UN IPCC reports stated alternative technologies existed that could control greenhouse gases, the UN was wrong.

I can, with a lot of time, give you the factual basis for these views, and I can cite the appropriate journal articles not in whacko magazines, but in the most prestigious science journals, such as Science and Nature. But such references probably won't impact more than a handful of you, because the beliefs of a religion are not dependent on facts, but rather are matters of faith. Unshakeable belief.

Most of us have had some experience interacting with religious fundamentalists, and we understand that one of the problems with fundamentalists is that they have no perspective on themselves. They never recognize that their way of thinking is just one of many other possible ways of thinking, which may be equally useful or good. On the contrary, they believe their way is the right way, everyone else is wrong; they are in the business of salvation, and they want to help you to see things the right way. They want to help you be saved. They are totally rigid and totally uninterested in opposing points of view. In our modern complex world, fundamentalism is dangerous because of its rigidity and its imperviousness to other ideas.

I want to argue that it is now time for us to make a major shift in our thinking about the environment, similar to the shift that occurred around the first Earth Day in 1970, when this awareness was first heightened. But this time around, we need to get environmentalism out of the sphere of religion. We need to stop the mythic fantasies, and we need to stop the doomsday predictions. We need to start doing hard science instead.

There are two reasons why I think we all need to get rid of the religion of environmentalism.

First, we need an environmental movement, and such a movement is not very effective if it is conducted as a religion. We know from history that religions tend to kill people, and environmentalism has already killed somewhere between 10-30 million people since the 1970s. It's not a good record. Environmentalism needs to be absolutely based in objective and verifiable science, it needs to be rational, and it needs to be flexible. And it needs to be apolitical. To mix environmental concerns with the frantic fantasies that people have about one political party or another is to miss the cold truth---that there is very little difference between the parties, except a difference in pandering rhetoric. The effort to promote effective legislation for the environment is not helped by thinking that the Democrats will save us and the Republicans won't. Political history is more complicated than that. Never forget which president started the EPA: Richard Nixon. And never forget which president sold federal oil leases, allowing oil drilling in Santa Barbara: Lyndon Johnson. So get politics out of your thinking about the environment.

The second reason to abandon environmental religion is more pressing. Religions think they know it all, but the unhappy truth of the environment is that we are dealing with incredibly complex, evolving systems, and we usually are not certain how best to proceed. Those who are certain are demonstrating their personality type, or their belief system, not the state of their knowledge. Our record in the past, for example managing national parks, is humiliating. Our fifty-year effort at forest-fire suppression is a well-intentioned disaster from which our forests will never recover. We need to be humble, deeply humble, in the face of what we are trying to accomplish. We need to be trying various methods of accomplishing things. We need to be open-minded about assessing results of our efforts, and we need to be flexible about balancing needs. Religions are good at none of these things.

How will we manage to get environmentalism out of the clutches of religion, and back to a scientific discipline? There's a simple answer: we must institute far more stringent requirements for what constitutes knowledge in the environmental realm. I am thoroughly sick of politicized so-called facts that simply aren't true. It isn't that these "facts" are exaggerations of an underlying truth. Nor is it that certain organizations are spinning their case to present it in the strongest way. Not at all---what more and more groups are doing is putting out is lies, pure and simple. Falsehoods that they know to be false.

This trend began with the DDT campaign, and it persists to this day. At this moment, the EPA is hopelessly politicized. In the wake of Carol Browner, it is probably better to shut it down and start over. What we need is a new organization much closer to the FDA. We need an organization that will be ruthless about acquiring verifiable results, that will fund identical research projects to more than one group, and that will make everybody in this field get honest fast.

Because in the end, science offers us the only way out of politics. And if we allow science to become politicized, then we are lost. We will enter the Internet version of the dark ages, an era of shifting fears and wild prejudices, transmitted to people who don't know any better. That's not a good future for the human race. That's our past. So it's time to abandon the religion of environmentalism, and return to the science of environmentalism, and base our public policy decisions firmly on that.

Thank you very much.
Seven Wishes wrote:"Abysmal? He's the most proactive President since Clinton, and he's bringing much-needed change for the better to a nation that has been tyrannized by the worst President since Hoover."- 7 Wishes on Pres. Obama
User avatar
RedWingFan
Digital Audio Tape
 
Posts: 7679
Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2006 5:37 pm
Location: The Peoples Republic of Michigan

Postby lights1961 » Fri Mar 26, 2010 3:08 am

Monker dude...

every social program has been to get the people of this country to depend on GOVT for survival... liberals love dependency and programs designed to help redistribute wealth... take from those who produce... to those who wont... welfare in the 60s and now health care and in the future who knows what... and you know what each of these programs did... create a generation of LAZY ASS people... who actually want to be taken care of by someone else..and bitch at those of us who produce that its not fair... BLAH BLAH BLAH...

MY BIG THING IS WHEN WILL THE ENTITLEMENT GENERATION STOP??? WILL IT? Welfare, now health care... whats next???
cell phone and texting care???

Liberalism has been a religion...for as long as conservatives... look at global warming... GREEN PEACE, PETA... MOVE ON.ORG...and all the other social groups out there... go to an anti war rally...go to the Olumpics... you will find all those groups therre hiding behind masks... tearing up a city... well just because...GREEN PEACE burnt homes in the mountains... peta uses violence for there cause... look at ACORN... oh... they went bankrupt... ;-)




and
Rick
lights1961
Compact Disc
 
Posts: 5362
Joined: Tue Jul 04, 2006 7:33 am

Postby Memorex » Fri Mar 26, 2010 3:11 am

So seems the left is as crazy as the right.

If you'd all meet me here in the middle, we could have paradise. :)


http://www.alan.com/2010/03/25/congressman-eric-cantors-office-shot-at/
User avatar
Memorex
Stereo LP
 
Posts: 3040
Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2006 1:30 pm

Postby artist4perry » Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:04 am

Memorex wrote:So seems the left is as crazy as the right.

If you'd all meet me here in the middle, we could have paradise. :)


http://www.alan.com/2010/03/25/congressman-eric-cantors-office-shot-at/


Memorex you have said some pretty smart things here. Extremists are on both sides. If you think your "side" is above reproach, you may be walking down the road to extremism. We need for people to stop taking a side, and start using common sense. :wink:

I don't think all tea party people are radicals. I was one of them, do you see me hating someone because they are different than me? I don't agree with the present spending and health care reform as it is written and how it was brought about. I do think we need tort reform, and affordable health insurance. But not by force, and not by taxing people to oblivion to pay for it in a recession. I am an independent voter. I don't think either the Republicans or Democrats have all the answers.
User avatar
artist4perry
MP3
 
Posts: 10462
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2008 12:42 am
Location: Running around in the vast universe that is my imagination. Send help!

Postby Rockindeano » Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:16 am

lights1961 wrote:Monker dude...

every social program has been to get the people of this country to depend on GOVT for survival


Real quick response here for ya Rick.

You are a travel agent, yes? If it wasn't for Government, you would be out of business Sir. Government builds and funds airports. No airports, no airplanes fly, no seats get sold. US Government funds Amtrak. No Amtrak, no trains, no seats sold by Rick.

Moral of the story? No Government, no job for Rick.
User avatar
Rockindeano
Forever Deano
 
Posts: 25864
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2004 2:52 am
Location: At Peace

Postby lights1961 » Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:25 am

Rockindeano wrote:
lights1961 wrote:Monker dude...

every social program has been to get the people of this country to depend on GOVT for survival


Real quick response here for ya Rick.

You are a travel agent, yes? If it wasn't for Government, you would be out of business Sir. Government builds and funds airports. No airports, no airplanes fly, no seats get sold. US Government funds Amtrak. No Amtrak, no trains, no seats sold by Rick.

Moral of the story? No Government, no job for Rick.


WE started our business with out govt help...if there were none of those services that you talk about... we would all be living on our grand parents farm land which they started with out govt help...during their day... which then inturn... govt regulated for them to pay taxes on... then take it away their land to build the roads and the airports... :-)
Rick
lights1961
Compact Disc
 
Posts: 5362
Joined: Tue Jul 04, 2006 7:33 am

Postby Everett » Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:41 am

CatEyes wrote:
Gunbot wrote:It's all the black man's fault.

no no no

Haven't you been paying attention?

it ia ALL Steve Perry's fault!

:wink:


Nope it's neal's fault :twisted: :evil: :P 8)
All in a day's work
Everett
Compact Disc
 
Posts: 5784
Joined: Thu Oct 19, 2006 8:17 pm
Location: Milwaukee, WI

Postby Rockindeano » Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:02 am

Ehwmatt wrote:Get a job


Dude, what's this supposed to mean? That was a well written piece. Not because Monker seemingly comes from the left, or questions the right(conservatism) here, but it is a well thought out, cerebral piece. Made me think, for some time, and then I get to reading the first response, and I cannot believe it was what it was and whom it came from. Now I know you are a smart guy, because I have gotten to know you here from reading and listening, so I know you can do better than this: "Get a Job." I am presuming you are on a break in between classes at Grad school, and don't have the time to type out a first rate response.
User avatar
Rockindeano
Forever Deano
 
Posts: 25864
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2004 2:52 am
Location: At Peace

Postby lights1961 » Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:16 am

Rockindeano wrote:
Ehwmatt wrote:Get a job


Dude, what's this supposed to mean? That was a well written piece. Not because Monker seemingly comes from the left, or questions the right(conservatism) here, but it is a well thought out, cerebral piece. Made me think, for some time, and then I get to reading the first response, and I cannot believe it was what it was and whom it came from. Now I know you are a smart guy, because I have gotten to know you here from reading and listening, so I know you can do better than this: "Get a Job." I am presuming you are on a break in between classes at Grad school, and don't have the time to type out a first rate response.


hey deano.. that s a blast from the past to have the juice behind you in your avatar.
and I do have to admit besides the rambling that Monker did it was a good writing piece...
Rick
lights1961
Compact Disc
 
Posts: 5362
Joined: Tue Jul 04, 2006 7:33 am

Postby Rockindeano » Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:19 am

lights1961 wrote:
hey deano.. that s a blast from the past to have the juice behind you in your avatar.


Rick, he prefers to be called Mr. Simpson. You really don't want to argue with Mr. Simpson do you?
User avatar
Rockindeano
Forever Deano
 
Posts: 25864
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2004 2:52 am
Location: At Peace

Postby Don » Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:23 am

Rockindeano wrote:
lights1961 wrote:
hey deano.. that s a blast from the past to have the juice behind you in your avatar.


Rick, he prefers to be called Mr. Simpson. You really don't want to argue with Mr. Simpson do you?


Keep him away from the flatware. He's probably teaching the other inmates how to make shanks out of Legos.
Don
Super Audio CD
 
Posts: 24898
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2007 3:01 pm

Postby Rockindeano » Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:37 am

Gunbot wrote:
Rockindeano wrote:
lights1961 wrote:
hey deano.. that s a blast from the past to have the juice behind you in your avatar.


Rick, he prefers to be called Mr. Simpson. You really don't want to argue with Mr. Simpson do you?


Keep him away from the flatware. He's probably teaching the other inmates how to make shanks out of Legos.


Gunbot, while I don't enjoy your attempt at comedy at the expense of Mr.Simpson, I do respect your right to parody and humour. However, if you choose to continue this behaviour, please do make sure to include the addition of the word "allegedly" to the end of any comedic sentence. Mr. Simpson does not want the public to misread any comedy as fact. Thank you for your cooperation in this very important matter.

Mr. Orenthal J Simpson
Rockindeano
User avatar
Rockindeano
Forever Deano
 
Posts: 25864
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2004 2:52 am
Location: At Peace

Postby S2M » Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:41 am

I have two things to contribute.

One: welcome to feudal America

Two: read my Sig

I bid you adieu..... :lol:
Tom Brady IS the G.O.A.T.
User avatar
S2M
MP3
 
Posts: 11823
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2008 4:43 am
Location: In a bevy of whimsy

Postby conversationpc » Fri Mar 26, 2010 6:06 am

StocktontoMalone wrote:I have two things to contribute.

One: welcome to feudal America

Two: read my Sig

I bid you adieu..... :lol:


One thing...Your sig is crap. :lol:
My blog = Dave's Dominion

Image
User avatar
conversationpc
Super Audio CD
 
Posts: 17812
Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2006 5:53 am
Location: Slightly south of sanity...

Postby lights1961 » Fri Mar 26, 2010 6:33 am

Rockindeano wrote:
lights1961 wrote:
hey deano.. that s a blast from the past to have the juice behind you in your avatar.


Rick, he prefers to be called Mr. Simpson. You really don't want to argue with Mr. Simpson do you?


no comment... good thing he is still looking for those killers...
Rick
lights1961
Compact Disc
 
Posts: 5362
Joined: Tue Jul 04, 2006 7:33 am

Postby Monker » Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:06 am

Memorex wrote:This post is exactly what is wrong with this country.


I agree...You took a few things out of context and applied your own meaning. That is definitely a big part of the problem.

That you think the other side is so far out there in their thinking when they have a lot of great ideas is pure bullshit. That they think the same of you is equally bullshit.


I said with their ideas and how they express them. For example, taking automatic weapons to a Presidential gathering to show your defiance in what they view is a government on the edge of taking away rights is completely over the edge. Blindly following the conservative prophets and repeating their sound bytes as if they were quoting from the Bible is also completely dim. Pushing somebody like Limbaugh to the forefront of the party and allowing him influence is completely out of touch.

How come someone can't believe in something just because they believe it?


I didn't say they couldn't. I just called it what it is...faith. If you want to believe in something for no particular reason other then "just because", that is faith. If you believe God created the universe, even though there is no proof that he did...that is faith. If you believe Jesus rose from the dead, even though there is no proof...that is faith. If you believe Democrats are socialists and want to turn this country into a Marxist and Communist society just because Glen Beck says so and he offers no proof....that is faith.

Obama is not stupid. Limbaugh is not stupid. Maddow is not stupid. Palin is not stupid. And all of them are too biased to be valuable anymore.
To put blame on one side is a fucking joke. Your post is a fucking joke. And anyone that would say the same about the left is a fucking joke.


I didn't "blame" anybody. I am saying Conservatism is now worshiped as a religion. You really didn't even argue against that point. ..which I guess in some ways means your post is pretty much a fucking joke too!
User avatar
Monker
Digital Audio Tape
 
Posts: 9427
Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2002 12:40 pm
Location: Des Moines, Iowa

Postby S2M » Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:11 am

conversationpc wrote:
StocktontoMalone wrote:I have two things to contribute.

One: welcome to feudal America

Two: read my Sig

I bid you adieu..... :lol:


One thing...Your sig is crap. :lol:


I STILL won't listen to In the Spirit of Things.... :lol:
Tom Brady IS the G.O.A.T.
User avatar
S2M
MP3
 
Posts: 11823
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2008 4:43 am
Location: In a bevy of whimsy

Postby Memorex » Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:28 am

In a way, your post is dead on. But for a very small portion of society. The point that it applys only to conservatism is so completely insane. The majority of people in this country believe in things because they have thought them out, not because they are blindly following. Your premise that the only way people in the conservative movement believe what they believe is blind faith is what causes these issues Because that is Rush's EXACT arguement about liberals. It seems mighty presumtuous of you to assume your way is right and everyone who disagrees must be blind. The problem is that both sides have increased this type of thinking to a point of hatred.

Read the news today and you will see the violent outburts from the left are currently outweighing the right. For today. Tomorrow it will be flipped.

I know extremely intelligent people on the left and right and I can tell you that all of them have very well thought out positions. No one is blindly feeling anything. There are just different ways of looking at things. It's understandable that many people feel that a woman has a right to choose to get an abortion and it's equally understandable that many people feel it's murder. People feel differently. You can't really always say what is absolutely right or wrong. And you can never push or expect a person to feel something they don't.

For every comlaint people have about one side, there is an equal complaint coming the other way. So no - your post is interesting, but wrong. People believe what they believe because they have thought about it. Give them some credit so we can all respect each other again.
User avatar
Memorex
Stereo LP
 
Posts: 3040
Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2006 1:30 pm

Postby Memorex » Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:35 am

By the way - I know very little of Beck. I don't listen to or watch him. But as far as proof - it's my understanding that right or wrong, he lays out his positions very carefully and completely. At the very least I respect anyone that lays out their claims with the info that led them to it. Olberman does the same and it's my understanding from people that he is just as much of a crackpot. Also, when I hear people on the radio blindly following Obama thinking he can do no wrong, it makes me cringe. We need people to hold all our leaders in check. Be fair. Everyone needs to ability to step back and see the negative on both sides. And the positive.

We need to get conservatives and liberals in the same room and make them say nice things about each other. :)
User avatar
Memorex
Stereo LP
 
Posts: 3040
Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2006 1:30 pm

Postby conversationpc » Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:36 am

StocktontoMalone wrote:
conversationpc wrote:
StocktontoMalone wrote:I have two things to contribute.

One: welcome to feudal America

Two: read my Sig

I bid you adieu..... :lol:


One thing...Your sig is crap. :lol:


I STILL won't listen to In the Spirit of Things.... :lol:


Yet more proof of just how wrong you are. :lol:
My blog = Dave's Dominion

Image
User avatar
conversationpc
Super Audio CD
 
Posts: 17812
Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2006 5:53 am
Location: Slightly south of sanity...

Postby artist4perry » Fri Mar 26, 2010 2:51 pm

StocktontoMalone wrote:I have two things to contribute.

One: welcome to feudal America

Two: read my Sig

I bid you adieu..... :lol:


That is why I love you SM, always looking to the sunny side of life. :P :wink: :lol: I don't need you to reason with me. I am happy to be "unreasonable" and keep my faith, than have your reason, and have no real reason for life. Love ya just as you are.... :D
User avatar
artist4perry
MP3
 
Posts: 10462
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2008 12:42 am
Location: Running around in the vast universe that is my imagination. Send help!

Re: Conservatism has become a religion

Postby Monker » Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:12 am

Bump :D
User avatar
Monker
Digital Audio Tape
 
Posts: 9427
Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2002 12:40 pm
Location: Des Moines, Iowa

Next

Return to Death By Stereo

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 1 guest