Paul's Passing Thoughts

The Difference Between “Conservatives” and “Liberals”

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on January 31, 2017

I use quotes in the title around the labels for these two political ideologies because traditionally they don’t have the same connotation that they do today.  Still, when it comes to understanding one’s politics it is necessary to understand the philosophical progression of thought that produces either an individualist or a statist/collectivist.

In summary, one’s assumptions about man and the individual determine one’s inter-personal relation with other individuals. In other words, conservatives in general believe in the individual ability of man to self-govern. Liberals in general believe that individual choice must be sacrificed for the benefit of the state/collective.

It should also be noted that while many “Christians” would claim to be “conservative” (or even libertarian) politically, such a belief is rationally inconsistent with the “religious” idea of “total depravity”, because total depravity is a liberal assumption that produces a completely different outcome. Therefore, the idea of total depravity is incompatible with the idea of man having value.

It should also be obvious that there is no philosophical difference between religion and politics. Both are the result of a philosophical progression of thought.

Is it any wonder why “Christians” are so confused?

~ Andy

 

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12 Responses

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  1. Christian said, on January 31, 2017 at 9:52 AM

    Yes, conservatives in general do believe in the ability of man to self govern. How should this be applied in the church where we believe members are born again and indwelt with the Holy Spirit, should we have ruling elders who make all the decisions because you can not be trusted? I think not, this create an atmosphere where members become complacent and don’t really feel a part of the church.

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    • Andy Young, PPT contributing editor said, on January 31, 2017 at 9:57 AM

      Because “church” (at least the protestant manifestation of church) is predicated on the idea of “total depravity”, complacency is simply one of the logical outcomes. Ruling elders are the dictated good that is needed to compel others into a desired behavior that benefits the collective only. Is it any wonder why free thinking and doctrinal challenges pose such a threat to this kind of construct?

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  2. John said, on January 31, 2017 at 10:43 AM

    Andy, your post goes some way, but nowhere, really (like that circle within a circle and that ever-spinning wheel), in explaining why Calvinist/Reformed/Protestant/Confused Christian “pastors” in general were so divided over Clinton/Trump. Some commanded their disciples to vote THIS (you are a Christian? You will vote Republican coz that’z conzervative); THAT(you are a Christian? You’ll vote democrat cause that’s liberal and Christian and we’re here for the collective good of e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e; yes, even illegal criminals; no, don’t worry about the abortion non-issue now. Simply vote democrat); and some, understandably so because they were clueless but stuck to their handbook on the “True Christian and Calvinist Way of Doing Things Right the First Time,” instructed women folk to vote whatever their husbands or fathers told ’em to vote. Somewhere there is a verse for that one, somewhere. (Hint: ESV).

    However, closer to reality, the term “conservative” ain’t what it used to be. There is a definitive shift towards a liberal connotation in what passes as being “conservative,” and that, of course, puts the term “liberal” way out there among things that never smell good. I try not to define myself in these terms at all, and for the simple reason that someone from either ideology is capable of drawing a gun right there and then. One word may trigger that trigger finger.

    One thing remains constant though…the confusing and evil world of Calvinism. Here is their song (I have no idea who the singer is, but I remember the actor):

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    • Andy Young, PPT contributing editor said, on January 31, 2017 at 10:59 AM

      The answer to your question is fresh in my mind because I was editing John Immel’s transcript yesterday. It might not be a complete answer, but I think it goes a long way in helping us understand.
      The example is that with most people, their mind is like a big basket that is full of disparate ideas. Most of the time they deal with one idea at a time. And because most people don’t take the time to think, they run into problems when they pull out two incompatible ideas and try to force them together in some reasonable way.
      I have a liberal friends who is like this. We often find ourselves on the same side of issues that would be considered “conservative”. When we run into arguments is when he introduces liberal ideas into the mix. People like this have never taken the time to develop a full-orbed philosophical statement of their own. Instead it consists of bits and pieces of the things they like the most from competing philosophies. This is where you get into rational inconsistencies, because they have never taken the time to evalute those ideas within the scope of a whole philosophical framework. They have never bothered to challenge the premises out of which those philosophies flow.
      This is exactly why you have so many “christians” and theological “authorities” torn between Trump and Clinton. They are being forced to chose between differing ideas from conflicting philosophies.
      It’s akin to the sovereignty of God vs. free-will of man debate all over again!

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      • John said, on January 31, 2017 at 11:36 AM

        The explanation in your post is excellent; what I mean is that people confuse themselves and then go into circles again. Things have become so confusing to so many people, and yet there is One that never changes. But, no, people follow people whom follow people and never sit down for just a minute and THINK for themselves. In many areas, what is considered “conservative” today was way liberal 15 years ago. People seem to cling to words even though words change meaning. Also, people, in general, like to go to sleep at night feeling and believing that their equilibrium is in place (a soothed conscience) and they’d do anything to have that false assurance.

        I think we need a new definition, something other than “conservative.”

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      • Andy Young, PPT contributing editor said, on January 31, 2017 at 11:52 AM

        It is indeed true. Here in America, for many years conservatism had a home in the Republican party. But for the last few decades, many people who would label themselves as “conservative” do not hold to conservative ideas or a conservative philosophy. We call them RINO’s: Republican In Name Only.

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  3. Susan said, on January 31, 2017 at 11:22 PM

    The article and the comments explain so much. I have been stunned and perplexed by the incoherent and conflicting statements and responses by Christian friends and clergy. There seems to be little critical thinking. This most recent merging of religion and politics is not a good thing.

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    • John said, on February 1, 2017 at 8:50 AM

      It is a disaster, Susan. A spiritual windmill; chaotic, a perfect platform for those who are opportunists.

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  4. lydia00 said, on February 1, 2017 at 10:07 PM

    “Ability to self govern” is key. I like to present that concept with any debate. It is amusing to watch people when that big idea is out there. They immediately assume it means selfish as in governing myself means I do only good for myself. Not the spouse, kids, neighbors, family, etc. our entire concept of American independence and government was based on that concept and people tend to view it as sinful. It is chilling.

    There is very little critical thinking left. Keep floating it out there, guys!!!

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  5. lydia00 said, on February 1, 2017 at 10:16 PM

    “This is exactly why you have so many “christians” and theological “authorities” torn between Trump and Clinton. They are being forced to chose between differing ideas from conflicting philosophies.”

    Add another reason to the mix. Wanting to appear “nice”. We have allowed political correctness to define and label. This is why issues cannot be discussed. You are racist, homophobe if you don’t believe in “special” rights for special groups. But it’s Orwellian and defeats the concept of equal rights. People lose their jobs over this stuff. I do believe it was one reason they did not see the election outcome coming. People have learned to censor themselves from politically incorrect opinions. The irony of it all for me is my long time flaming liberal friends are appalled at the vulgarity and violence going on right now. They had no idea.

    Frankly, it takes not caring what people think to even get ideas out there. think about what it took for political correctness to become so normalized. We have to work toward big ideas and critical thinking normalized.

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  6. Susan said, on February 2, 2017 at 3:15 PM

    The left has worked very hard at political correctness and shutting the conversation down. People learned to keep quiet or be punished. I believe the Democrats worked to promote Trump as the Republican candidate no one would choose — Hillary would win handily against him. How could she not? A few million illegal immigrant votes and fractional voting manipulation would seal the deal. They under-estimated the pent up fury and they underestimated that people hated her so much that they would cast a vote for Trump as being a vote against Clinton. The “deplorables” quietly entered the voting booths and they voted their rage/ their fury.

    I watched with great interest the National Prayer Breakfast today. The hypocrisy and irony are crystal clear. I don’t think any one of these Christian leaders and clergy is to be trusted. They would “call out” Donald Trump but ignore Barrack Obama and George Bush (different things to be called out on). Which side, whose side, which issue are they for/ against? They cannot decide: abortion, gay marriage, refugees/ immigration, EPA, environmental issues, climate change. Conflicting moral grounds! It has been a disaster for these religious leaders to play politics as they have done. They have lost all integrity, credibility and moral high ground.

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    • Andy Young, PPT contributing editor said, on February 2, 2017 at 3:27 PM

      “Conflicting moral grounds!”

      And what is the source or cause of these conflicting moral grounds? It is due to rational inconsistencies between philosophies. These religious leaders want to have it both ways. They see the power and position that is theirs in the authory of “dictated good” that a liberal philosophy produces, but at the same time they must use double-speak and ambiguity with their laity lest they become suspicious. These mediators truly are the re-interpreters of reality, for they must continuously reassure the masses that what they see is not what really is.

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