Friday, March 16, 2012
This man has more cred (and, no doubt, more page views) than I, but he's saying exactly what I've been saying for a long time: that there are definable differences between conservative and liberal minds, that the Rovian model of exploiting religiosity is entirely unsurprising, that religious fundamentalism is a trait of rightwingism.
His homing in on the word "empathy" is important. In religious fora in which I've occasionally participated, it's regularly expressed that without god (specifically, the self-contradictory rule-book known as the Bible) there can be no morality. But, in fact, it all stems from empathy, the value of which as an evolutionary trait is self-evident.
The professor's analysis is clarifying. It explains (it's really just a statement of observable facts) the essential difference between liberals and conservatives, and how it breaks along recognizable biblical lines. Which, once more, is not to say that religion per se is useless. Not in all cases, anyway. After all, a majority of liberals consider themselves religious. The difference is in literalism, in the need to denigrate beliefs which differ from theirs, in openness to challenging ideas. These differing kinds of religious certainty equate very directly with the differing politics of liberalism and conservatism. Especially since, nowadays, conservatism has devolved into a sort of fundamentalism that wraps itself in the most doctrinaire sort of religionism.
It's pretty hard to see a way forward anymore. Particularly because there was a time when I agreed with much of what conservatives had to say. Before they went nuts.
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