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Source: (consider it) Thread: The social-progressive mindset
Russ
Old salt
# 120

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The "hostility to Traditional Christians" thread has gone DH-ward. The premise of that thread was that the dominant ethos of the Ship these days is a mindset that is hostile to Traditional Christianity.

I'm interested in exploring and understanding that mindset - the point of view that forms that ethos - in a little more detail.

Homosexuality, racism etc as such are out of scope, but they may feature as examples of the way that this mindset operates.

Three questions:

- can we describe this mindset - its characteristics and doctrines - in language that is acceptable to both those who hold this point of view and those who oppose it ?

- is "social-progressive" an adequate name for it or is there a better one ?

- what is the connection to Christianity ? Is this a religious point of view ?

As a starting point, my first attempt at describing it was in terms of
quote:
doctrines of

- internationalism (migrants good, Brexit bad)

- gender-bending (anything goes so long as you don't speak in favour of traditional gender roles)

- political correctness (can't believe anyone voted for Trump; free speech as long as you don't say what we don't like)

- anti-capitalism (profit is bad, small business has no rights and unlimited liability)

- anti-racism (racism is a huge sin that the whole white race should atone for)

and the general attitude that alternatives to this worldview are long-disproven crap that can be dismissed, part of the Bad Old Days that we're trying to get away from.

To which Eutychus replied
quote:
I'm increasingly convinced that traditional views, especially on moral issues, are bound up with particular concepts of power, and I'd say that covers just about everything on Russ' list above.
I think he's right that there is a common thread, which is a sympathy with those classes of people deemed to be "under-privileged".

And that combines with both a rejection of tradition as a valid reason for anything, and a feminism-derived concern for the importance of "soft" language and culture as well as "hard" legal rights.

Any thoughts ?

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

Posts: 2988 | From: rural Ireland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
ThunderBunk

Stone cold idiot
# 15579

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I can have a go, from my own perspective at least.

It starts from the micro, from the idea that each person is created, as they are, in God's image, that each person receives God's love as they are, without modification or exception. This is not to say that everything everyone does is perfect or acceptable or anything like that, but it is to say that while guilt may be of God and a mechanism for good, shame is not and cannot be. Guilt starts from the premise "I don't like what I did here...."; shame starts from the premise "What I am is not acceptable". There are, of course, cases which make this a hard doctrine to apply, but if an individual applies it to themselves, i.e. "what I am saying cannot be of God if it makes someone feel unacceptable simply because of who they are", then it becomes a lot easier for the doctrine to be applied to them.

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Currently mostly furious, and occasionally foolish. Normal service may resume eventually. Or it may not. And remember children, "feiern ist wichtig".

Foolish, potentially deranged witterings

Posts: 2117 | From: Norwich | Registered: Apr 2010  |  IP: Logged
SvitlanaV2
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# 16967

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I'm interested in the idea that traditional views are bound up with concepts of power. The implication is that these views are imposed from the top down, but I'm not entirely convinced that this is true.

The most tolerant Protestant mainstream denominations are themselves invested with age, status and social acceptability. The most 'traditional', by contrast, usually have far less power, if by that we mean money, status in society, or a highly educated priesthood.

The power that the latter may have (whether in an evangelical CofE congregation or an independent church) is invested not so much in institutions but in individual church leaders by congregations - i.e. by ordinary laymen and women - who themselves may not be very powerful people at all. These leaders don't assume power by virtue of who their employers are; it's bestowed upon them by the people who choose to attend their churches.

I'm not saying that powerful institutions have nothing to offer to the underprivileged, but that there's clearly a cultural and psychological gap there. I'm reminded of the infamous comment about South American Christianity: the RCC [in its liberationist guise] opted for the poor, but the poor opted for Pentecostalism [which is traditional and hence oppressive...].

Posts: 6354 | From: UK | Registered: Feb 2012  |  IP: Logged
anteater

Ship's pest-controller
# 11435

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Russ: I think your definition is a caricature and gives the impression that you are fed up with it, as if you've been reading to much Rod Liddle.

To critique your points:

1) Internationalism is not migration and brexit, and even those terms are not as simple as you make out. Many believe that migration is frequently a bad thing because it is not really voluntary but forced on people by awful situations. So you can view migration as frequently a bad thing but which you should accept out of compassion. But, yes, I am generally an internationalist in that I do not like tribalism of nationalism. I'm also a Remainer, though not a very strong one.

2) Well the clue to your attitude is in the title, which is not how those who believe that issues of sexuality are far from simple would like to characterise it. The caricature that says this must lead to "anything goes" is ridiculous. But yes, I would say that supporting gender roles because they are traditional is not something I am keen on. I want a better reason.

3) Political correctness. Aka politeness. Yes it can go to ridiculous extremes as can anything but most of the time it is just a recognition that if people don't like having terms they find insulting being applied to them, then it is polite not to do so. Also there is the more important point that language shapes attitudes so people will fight to get their definitions accepted so as to skew discussion. But these things are often legitimate arguments, and I don't see why you want to apply the PC term to them. For example broadening the range of rape to cover what may soon be term Assangist sex (like Clintonian sex). It's a perfectly fair question.

4) Total bollocks. Who takes that view who is in your sights?

5) Anti-racism. Your problem with that being? Only a few idiots believe your parenthetical comment.

I would also add a critical and skeptical-suspicious attitude to all who claim authority to tell me what to believe or do based on supposed super-natural powers or mission.

Which age to you want to go back to?

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Schnuffle schnuffle.

Posts: 2519 | From: UK | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged
Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by anteater:
Russ: I think your definition is a caricature..

4) Total bollocks. Who takes that view who is in your sights?

Caricature - yes, certainly. A broad sketch that exaggerates the features to which one wishes to draw attention...

4) was "anti-capitalism". Do you not hear people talk as if profit were a dirty word ? Does this mindset as such ever speak up for the rights of small business-owners ?

No individual is in my sights. It's no secret that this is a mindset that I don't share. We can talk about why a bit later. For the moment I'm seeking to establish that there is a real coherent point-of-view here, understand it better, find a better set of words for talking about it, and encourage those who hold these positions to think about them as a coherent philosophy rather than as something obvious which all people of goodwill can be expected to share.

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

Posts: 2988 | From: rural Ireland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
quetzalcoatl
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# 16740

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So many straw man in that OP, I could build a Wicker Man, and have a good blaze.

For example, gender - 'anything goes' - who says this?

'Profit is bad, small business has no rights - eh? Citation needed for this one, please.

I don't understand how such exaggeration helps in discussion, since I don't recognize the targets, especially with no examples given or citations. Is it a criticism of people on this forum, or people in the Labour party, or what?

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no path

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Doc Tor
Deepest Red
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I'm with Q the Winged Serpent on this.

The OP is so full of bile I'm going to wait until Russ comes back with a more temperate (and accurate) version.

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Forward the New Republic

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Ricardus
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# 8757

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I'll bite ...

1.) Pretty much what anteater said. But also, I'm conscious that the advantages that come with being a British citizen are ultimately an accident of birth, rather than an inherent natural right.

2.) I think if traditional gender roles are natural, then people will naturally fall into those roles without the need for traditional roles to be promoted.

3.) Both left and right seem to be increasingly shouting into echo chambers at the moment. I don't think that's a good thing. That said, I don't agree that social opprobrium for expressing a particular opinion equates to a violation of free speech.

4.) a.) Profit is bad - Not in my opinion (although a proper Marxist might answer differently). However, if a company is making huge profits, but paying minimal taxes and screwing its workers, then one has to ask why some of that profit can't be diverted to fulfilling the company's social obligations by paying tax and paying its workers. For the Right, I think, there is no question to be asked because the profit belongs to the business owners to do what they like with it.

b.) Small businesses have no rights - I've seen it argued that increasing regulations and obligations on businesses tends to harm small businesses disproportionately, because whereas large companies employ people to deal with these things, small businesses often end up being administered by people whose main skill is in whatever the business does, and who therefore get tripped up by regulatory changes. So this probably is something the left should think about.

5.) I think if we are the heirs to all the good things our ancestors did for the West, we probably inherit the guilt as well.

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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mark_in_manchester

not waving, but...
# 15978

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I might see myself as belonging to the set whose views the OP sets out to...clarify? I get less cross reading the Guarniad than the Torygraph, for instance. But why the ire in the responses? Someone right-leaning might suggest we were so invested in the obvious rightness (OK, leftness) of our positions, that we regarded an attempt to clarify / categorise them as almost impudent.

I don't doubt that if (as seems unlikely so far) we could agree on some of these metrics, then someone hostile on the right could then say 'ah, you're signed up to point 38), let me tell you about all the inconsistencies of your position'. But so what?

FWIW I see something truthful in all of Russ's initial points, amongst people who think like me. I can also think of friends who view themselves as very much not 'social-progressives', who would want to disagree with all the ideas Russ lists - which seems to give the list (as a list) some sort of validity, too.

There are strengths and weaknesses about holding these positions, just as there are strengths and weaknesses about adhering to a similar set of shibboleths on the right. Seems no harm (and maybe some good) in talking about what they are - though if it turns into some kind of 'gotcha', it will be pretty futile.

ETA - x-post with Ricardus, whose views I largely share.

[ 06. August 2017, 13:40: Message edited by: mark_in_manchester ]

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"We are punished by our sins, not for them" - Elbert Hubbard
(so good, I wanted to see it after my posts and not only after those of shipmate JBohn from whom I stole it)

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by anteater:

Which age to you want to go back to?

The one where Noah rode a dinosaur to the Ark.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Dafyd
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# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
I think he's right that there is a common thread, which is a sympathy with those classes of people deemed to be "under-privileged".

There's a quote from Chesterton that I think never gets old:

quote:
This is where Dickens's social revolt is of more value than mere politics and avoids the vulgarity of the novel with a purpose. His revolt is not a revolt of the commercialist against the feudalist, of the Nonconformist against the Churchman, of the Free-trader against the Protectionist, of the Liberal against the Tory. If he were among us now his revolt would not be the revolt of the Socialist against the Individualist, or of the Anarchist against the Socialist. His revolt was simply and solely the eternal revolt; it was the revolt of the weak against the strong. He did not dislike this or that argument for oppression; he disliked oppression. He disliked a certain look on the face of a man when he looks down on another man. And that look on the face is, indeed, the only thing in the world that we have really to fight between here and the fires of Hell.
... When he found that footmen and rustics were too much afraid of Sir Leicester Dedlock, he attacked Sir Leicester Dedlock; he did not care whether Sir Leicester Dedlock said he was attacking England or whether Mr. Rouncewell, the Ironmaster, said he was attacking an effete oligarchy. In that case he pleased Mr. Rouncewell, the Ironmaster, and displeased Sir Leicester Dedlock, the Aristocrat. But when he found that Mr. Rouncewell's workmen were much too frightened of Mr. Rouncewell, then he displeased Mr. Rouncewell in turn; he displeased Mr. Rouncewell very much by calling him Mr. Bounderby.

From his introduction to Oliver Twist.
An authoritarian likes that look upon the face. A conservative, Sir Dedlock, may disapprove of the look but say what do those people expect when they try to overthrow tradition or go against God's word; a libertarian, Mr Rouncewell, may disapprove but say that if a man is in a position to have that look upon his face it is unfair to stop him showing it.
Progressives as Chesterton says may get too attached to one or other program for getting rid of that look. But fundamentally all progressives are on the side of the revolt of the weak against the strong.

quote:
anti-capitalism (profit is bad, small business has no rights and unlimited liability)
I'll note that the classical economic justification for the competitive free market is that it gets rid of excessive profit. Any profit is a sign that there is room to cut prices for consumers. If prices are not being cut then there is market failure.
The profit motive was once upon a time known as avarice and is punished in the fourth circle of Dante's Hell and the fifth circle of Dante's Purgatory. These days it has changed its coat and is verra weell respectit. But disapproval of avarice is hardly a matter of trendy relativism.

Progressives are not usually against small business. Progressives are usually against big business. Anti-progressive capitalists are pro-big business; they like to pose as friends to small big business - all the better to eat them. No doubt small businesses get caught in the crossfire sometimes, but capitalists behind their honeyed words are far more hostile to small business than progressives.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Is it a criticism of people on this forum, or people in the Labour party, or what?

Not a criticism of anyone. It's trying to identify a cluster of attitudes that make up this "dominant ethos".

And part of what I'm asking is what to add to or subtract from the list in order to give a better pen picture of this belief-system.

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

Posts: 2988 | From: rural Ireland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Pomona
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# 17175

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I don't think your examples particularly belong to one single mindset. Progressive liberal views on capitalism will look entirely different to progressive leftist views, for example. Likewise one can be leftwing and not progressive, and liberal and not progressive. So your comments about capitalism being bad wouldn't necessarily fit onto all progressives.

I come from a broadly Marxist feminist perspective, where it's about working for the liberation of marginalised people. However, often this will mean supporting the same things in terms of the law of people with a different view of capitalism etc (eg access to Legal Aid, to pick a non-DH example). It's just that often they may see the law as all that's needed, whereas I would often see progressive laws as a stepping stone to build upon. Eg, a liberal (I am not a liberal!) may see fairer Legal Aid law as a necessary solution to current flaws in the system, but not want to get rid of the system. I would see it as necessary to help people in the here and now, but that the system is inherently flawed in the first place, so fixing things now is simply survival pending revolution.

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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Palimpsest
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# 16772

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You might want to think about how posting a bunch of caricatures is going to lead to a discussion that lead to an understanding of the group being ridiculed. It seems to instead be a way to ridicule the group being discussed without needing to understand them.

as for your points, it seems unlikely to be worth the effort, but some of us want to allow fluid gender roles that include accepting those who chose traditional gender roles. I'm not sure where you see this, but I think the arguments against lipstick lesbians died out a long time ago. If someone wants to be straight, fine for them. If that means they need the crutch of denying other people the freedom to be non straight, too bad for them. Are you saying that those who pick traditional roles are disparaged or that you feel they should be privileged above others because of your religious beliefs? I don't want to caricature you as a conservative, but that's usually what I've seen here.

As for capitalism, around here, the threat to small businesses is more from very large capitalism. A few bookstores may get grief from leftists, a lot more are closing because they can't compete with Amazon which has negotiated lower prices from publishers. There are many more examples where unchecked capitalism is a big danger. Big Pharma which in the last five years has tripled the price of the drugs I need to live and has had the laws made that I can't import said drugs from other countries. For my safety of course.
You might consider what unconstrained development is doing to big cities to price out many of the residents. There aren't easy answers to this, but assuming the free market will make it all right is not going to work for the non-rich.

As for racism, it's worth noticing the current real discrimination against blacks and Hispanics.
The slogan "Black Lives Matter" is countered with "all lives matter" which ignores the very different treatment Blacks and Whites get from police. Whites still have to deal with the fact that they are treated better in law and practice than non-whites. Once you make that go away, it won't be a problem.


So that's my take on liberal progressive issues. I'm not a Christian, and I don't think that my society should be run for special benefit of Christians who feel their beliefs should dictate what others do.

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Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Dafyd quoted Chesterton:
His revolt was simply and solely the eternal revolt; it was the revolt of the weak against the strong. He did not dislike this or that argument for oppression; he disliked oppression. He disliked a certain look on the face of a man when he looks down on another man. And that look on the face is, indeed, the only thing in the world that we have really to fight between here and the fires of Hell.

I admire Chesterton for his command of language, his chivalry, and his principled even-handedness. But not for the rigour of his analysis.

Seems to me that there are at least three kinds of "looking down on".

There's the kind where the British look down on the French and the French look down on the British and both sides find this a satisfactory situation.

There's the kind where Miss A looks down on Mr B for being a liar and a bully, which is to say that Miss A holds honesty and kindness to be important.

And there's the "we don't mind and they don't matter" kind, which is treating other people as being something less than human, which is what I take Chesterton to be opposed to.

And whilst the strong will always be tempted to oppress the weak, we can't infer oppression from mere difference in strength. It is the misuse of strength that should be opposed, not its existence.

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

Posts: 2988 | From: rural Ireland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:

And whilst the strong will always be tempted to oppress the weak, we can't infer oppression from mere difference in strength. It is the misuse of strength that should be opposed, not its existence.

Help me understand how one can have a massive imbalance of power without there being misuse. I'm not seeing it.

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arse

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Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Help me understand how one can have a massive imbalance of power without there being misuse.

You don't have a younger brother who's less capable than you are, whom you look out for ?

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

Posts: 2988 | From: rural Ireland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Anselmina
Ship's barmaid
# 3032

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But then you mean 'imbalance of power', as in something to be adjusted or allowed for? A bit like a wonky balance on a see-saw where kid A is twice the size of kid B and invites Kid B to find a friend to sit on his side to even things up? Or somehow hives off his own power and strength and shares it with Kid B, to make the see-saw more balanced?

Usually, 'imbalance of power' means institutionalized and systemic authorities and set-ups which ensure greater power for those already powerful and less power for the already weak. As in, Kid A just keeps his advantage to himself, bumps about on 'his' see-saw as much as he likes, and leaves Kid B high and dry!

I'm interested in the idea, mentioned above, of the traditional conservative view as being the one that maintains power structures for the sake of the powerful; and at the expense of the less-powerful.

In Northern Ireland there was a majority vote in favour of same-sex marriage (to take an example). But the peculiar weight of executive power in the direction of the DUP under Arlene Foster's leadership, ensured a veto on democratic action. A clear case of minority religious-inspired views impacting a whole province's political and social freedoms. But one may argue that the fault lay in the system, or the institution, which permitted the possibilities of such vetoes to exist.

Of course, the veto option, arguably, was incorporated because of the already peculiar dynamic of Ulster politics, presumably as a kind of inducement to enable natural enemies to work together for the good of the whole province. But in itself this is admitting the defects of the politicians involved and their own motivations and prejudices.

I rather liked Dafyd's Chesterton quote, too. (Great fan of Bleak House!)

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Irish dogs needing homes! http://www.dogactionwelfaregroup.ie/ Greyhounds and Lurchers are shipped over to England for rehoming too!

Posts: 9930 | From: Scotland the Brave | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
You don't have a younger brother who's less capable than you are, whom you look out for ?

Nope.

And a younger brother is not a massive imbalance of power. Ridiculous nonsense.

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arse

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Dafyd
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# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
And whilst the strong will always be tempted to oppress the weak, we can't infer oppression from mere difference in strength. It is the misuse of strength that should be opposed, not its existence.

If you believe in original sin you can infer oppression from difference in strength unless there's reason not to.
I thought you were trying to draw a portrait of the progressive mindset, rather than trying to argue against it.
The history of humanity give one little hope that strength left to its own devices won't be abused. Indeed, it gives one little ground to think that strength would continue to exist if it were not abused.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

Posts: 10323 | From: Edinburgh | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
hatless

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# 3365

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G K Chesterton wrote
quote:
His revolt was simply and solely the eternal revolt; it was the revolt of the weak against the strong. He did not dislike this or that argument for oppression; he disliked oppression. He disliked a certain look on the face of a man when he looks down on another man. And that look on the face is, indeed, the only thing in the world that we have really to fight between here and the fires of Hell.

I confess, Gil, I've never read anything of yours I've liked very much, and this is no exception.

Talk of Dickens or us being against oppression doesn't shine much light. Oppression is what we call those abusively one-sided relations that it's obvious we must be against.

The first interesting question is why those unequal relations develop and persist. Surely it is more than bad people doing bad things, or something disturbing you can see in some people's faces? In most cases that come to mind it seems to be the desperate and violent maintenance of inequality because of fear of change. The strong hang on to the status quo, denying the just claims of the weak, out of terror at the consequences if power were rebalanced. It is not wickedness that makes them oppress, but a fearful hopelessness. Any of us might behave in the same way.

Which raises the second interesting question. What can be done? If it is not a fault in the oppressor, but the influence of history and fear, then it's possible to free both the weak and the strong. Indeed, neither can be freed without the other. If the weak will refuse to see the strong as their enemies, then the strong can perhaps learn to embrace the weak as their liberators, and oppression can be dismantled.

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My crazy theology in novel form

Posts: 4484 | From: Stinkers | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Russ
Old salt
# 120

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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Palimpsest:
Are you saying that those who pick traditional roles are disparaged or that you feel they should be privileged above others because of your religious beliefs?[quote]

Seems like you're not getting the point. I'm not putting forward a position, not looking to argue the merits of traditional gender roles.

I'm suggesting that one of the characteristics - of what for want of a better name I'm calling the social progressive mindset, please do suggest a better name - is a tendency to be in favour of anything that inverts or subverts or tends to undermine traditional gender roles.

Seems like you're saying to me is that you broadly agree with the positions that I'm listing - that you see capitalism and traditional gender roles as at least somewhat problematic, and racism as a big issue that white people collectively have to deal with.

Are you happy to be considered a member of this group that I'm identifying ?

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

Posts: 2988 | From: rural Ireland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
If you believe in original sin you can infer oppression from difference in strength unless there's reason not to.

Original sin could conceivably imply that any sin you can think of will be committed by someone. Don't think it requires that every sin will be committed by everyone who has the opportunity. That seems to me too pessimistic a view.

quote:
I thought you were trying to draw a portrait of the progressive mindset, rather than trying to argue against it.
Indeed. Are you saying that this belief in total depravity is what underpins that mindset ? If so, guess it's for me to thank you for the suggestion and wait and see if others agree with you.

quote:

The history of humanity give one little hope that strength left to its own devices won't be abused. Indeed, it gives one little ground to think that strength would continue to exist if it were not abused.

Not sure I follow you. How does some people being stronger, cleverer, more charismatic than others depend on people misusing those advantages to oppress others ?

Or are you only talking about wealth, and asserting that the only way for anyone to obtain or retain wealth is to oppress ?

--------------------
Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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Dafyd
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# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
The first interesting question is why those unequal relations develop and persist. Surely it is more than bad people doing bad things, or something disturbing you can see in some people's faces? In most cases that come to mind it seems to be the desperate and violent maintenance of inequality because of fear of change. The strong hang on to the status quo, denying the just claims of the weak, out of terror at the consequences if power were rebalanced. It is not wickedness that makes them oppress, but a fearful hopelessness. Any of us might behave in the same way.

Any of us might and most of us do from time to time.
The naive might think that the 1% hang on to 20% of the country's wealth because it's nice to have money and status. The naive might think that men (not all men) hang on to male privilege because it's nice to have power and status and have someone do the housework after you. But no: it's all because they're afraid of what would happen if they let go. Glad to have that sorted out. One does wonder how oppression got started if it's all down to fear of the consequences of stopping.

You presume that the fear is so to speak sincere. It isn't. The fears arise in order to justify the oppression. Fears of what the gays or the poor or women or immigrants will do if given rights are created to justify the ongoing advantages to the privileged. The fearful hopelessness is itself culpable.

quote:
Which raises the second interesting question. What can be done? If it is not a fault in the oppressor, but the influence of history and fear, then it's possible to free both the weak and the strong. Indeed, neither can be freed without the other. If the weak will refuse to see the strong as their enemies, then the strong can perhaps learn to embrace the weak as their liberators, and oppression can be dismantled.
This looks like a textbook example of victim blaming. It is not the responsibility of the weak to refuse to see the strong as their enemies. For the oppressed to do that unconditionally prior to repentance by the oppressor would be cheap grace. This kind of thinking did nothing to stop child abuse in the church or in secular institutions. It is a misreading of King to think it advanced the Civil Rights Movement. And so on.

In so far as there is anything in what you say, it is a half-truth, and not the primary half of the truth at that.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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mousethief

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# 953

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Small businesses very rarely are capitalized. One can be pro-small-business but anti-capitalism.

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God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. --Acts 10:28

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hatless

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# 3365

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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
The first interesting question is why those unequal relations develop and persist. Surely it is more than bad people doing bad things, or something disturbing you can see in some people's faces? In most cases that come to mind it seems to be the desperate and violent maintenance of inequality because of fear of change. The strong hang on to the status quo, denying the just claims of the weak, out of terror at the consequences if power were rebalanced. It is not wickedness that makes them oppress, but a fearful hopelessness. Any of us might behave in the same way.

Any of us might and most of us do from time to time.
The naive might think that the 1% hang on to 20% of the country's wealth because it's nice to have money and status. The naive might think that men (not all men) hang on to male privilege because it's nice to have power and status and have someone do the housework after you. But no: it's all because they're afraid of what would happen if they let go. Glad to have that sorted out. One does wonder how oppression got started if it's all down to fear of the consequences of stopping.

You presume that the fear is so to speak sincere. It isn't. The fears arise in order to justify the oppression. Fears of what the gays or the poor or women or immigrants will do if given rights are created to justify the ongoing advantages to the privileged. The fearful hopelessness is itself culpable.

quote:
Which raises the second interesting question. What can be done? If it is not a fault in the oppressor, but the influence of history and fear, then it's possible to free both the weak and the strong. Indeed, neither can be freed without the other. If the weak will refuse to see the strong as their enemies, then the strong can perhaps learn to embrace the weak as their liberators, and oppression can be dismantled.
This looks like a textbook example of victim blaming. It is not the responsibility of the weak to refuse to see the strong as their enemies. For the oppressed to do that unconditionally prior to repentance by the oppressor would be cheap grace. This kind of thinking did nothing to stop child abuse in the church or in secular institutions. It is a misreading of King to think it advanced the Civil Rights Movement. And so on.

In so far as there is anything in what you say, it is a half-truth, and not the primary half of the truth at that.

We talk of oppression when there are entrenched systemic features and when groups of people are involved. An individual might bully or be abusive or rob people, but racism, sexism, colonialism and so on operate at another level. Apartheid South Africa didn't come about through the chance concentration there of a lot of unscrupulous racists, it was the product of a long and complex history. By the time of fully fledged apartheid both black and white were inheritors of the situation and their place within it. We have inherited sexism, racism and prejudices of many sorts. It's really not just about bad people who treat each other unjustly and look at each other in a funny way. We grow up in a world that distorts our relationships and who we are.

The fear of immigrants that right wingers feel, the white South Africans' fear of democracy and possible revenge, the fear the chauvinist feels if he were to let go of privilege and so much of his identity with it, I think these fears are real. They do not excuse injustice, of course, and perhaps there are mechanisms that exaggerate such fear, but I think it is 'sincere.' I think the violence of the British in India, for example, was largely the result of the terror of being a very small number of people trying to control an immense population.

And I do think that both sides of such injustices are often trapped. Not always. Child abuse is clearly different. While ethnic cleansing or persecution or lynching is going on violence is unchained and nothing good can be done, but there have been situations where it is the weak who seem to have a little more freedom and not the responsibility, but the opportunity to be the creative element.

We celebrate Gandhi, King, Mandela and Tutu rightly. They are not role models for every situation, but when it can be found, theirs is a better way.

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My crazy theology in novel form

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Palimpsest
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# 16772

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Palimpsest:
Are you saying that those who pick traditional roles are disparaged or that you feel they should be privileged above others because of your religious beliefs?[quote]

Seems like you're not getting the point. I'm not putting forward a position, not looking to argue the merits of traditional gender roles.

I'm suggesting that one of the characteristics - of what for want of a better name I'm calling the social progressive mindset, please do suggest a better name - is a tendency to be in favour of anything that inverts or subverts or tends to undermine traditional gender roles.

Seems like you're saying to me is that you broadly agree with the positions that I'm listing - that you see capitalism and traditional gender roles as at least somewhat problematic, and racism as a big issue that white people collectively have to deal with.

Are you happy to be considered a member of this group that I'm identifying ?

When you say "undermine traditional gender roles" if what you are saying is people don't have the right to non-traditional roles, then yes, as a gay man I'm happy to subvert that oppression. If you're saying that those who prefer traditional gender roles for themselves but are happy to allow others non traditional roles aren't being allowed traditional gender roles, then I oppose that kind of undermining. I guess I can just create a group which believes in the lies and half truth propaganda of Fox News and their kind.
I'm surprised you didn't mention the war on Christmas.

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Erroneous Monk
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# 10858

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I can't see how the outlook hypothesised in the OP represents "traditional Christianity" at all.

We might test it by asking, for each of those bullet points, what the Holy Father, Pope Francis, thinks about them. I think he'd be very surprised to hear that as the leader of traditional Christianity, he's meant to be anti-immigration and pro-Brexit.

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And I shot a man in Tesco, just to watch him die.

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Dafyd
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# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
If you believe in original sin you can infer oppression from difference in strength unless there's reason not to.

Original sin could conceivably imply that any sin you can think of will be committed by someone. Don't think it requires that every sin will be committed by everyone who has the opportunity. That seems to me too pessimistic a view.
I'll settle for often enough that it becomes a problem you can't just blame on a few bad apples. As has been observed, original sin is one of the few aspects of Christianity that can easily be empirically confirmed.
In any case, the whole point about power is that you can't only target the misuses of power. If you act to prevent power from being misused you do so by constraining and limiting power. Just as if you stop someone misusing a freedom they're no longer free in that respect so if you stop someone from misusing a power they no longer have that power.

quote:
quote:
I thought you were trying to draw a portrait of the progressive mindset, rather than trying to argue against it.
Indeed. Are you saying that this belief in total depravity is what underpins that mindset ? If so, guess it's for me to thank you for the suggestion and wait and see if others agree with you.
A belief in original sin is one possible motivation. C.S.Lewis believed in democracy because he thought humans were made in the image of God and therefore capable of ruling themselves, and he thought they were subject to original sin and therefore no one human being could be trusted to rule others. That doesn't mean all democrats would support democracy for that reason, but C.S.Lewis was still a democrat.

quote:
quote:

The history of humanity give one little hope that strength left to its own devices won't be abused. Indeed, it gives one little ground to think that strength would continue to exist if it were not abused.

Not sure I follow you. How does some people being stronger, cleverer, more charismatic than others depend on people misusing those advantages to oppress others ?

Or are you only talking about wealth, and asserting that the only way for anyone to obtain or retain wealth is to oppress ?

I'm talking about power, to which wealth is one possible route.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Dafyd
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# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
We have inherited sexism, racism and prejudices of many sorts. It's really not just about bad people who treat each other unjustly and look at each other in a funny way. We grow up in a world that distorts our relationships and who we are.

'Distorts our relationships and who we are' is a euphemism for 'makes us into bad people who treat each other unjustly'.

quote:
The fear of immigrants that right wingers feel, the white South Africans' fear of democracy and possible revenge, the fear the chauvinist feels if he were to let go of privilege and so much of his identity with it, I think these fears are real. They do not excuse injustice, of course, and perhaps there are mechanisms that exaggerate such fear, but I think it is 'sincere.'
I think you need to reread Walter Wink on redemptive violence.

quote:
I think the violence of the British in India, for example, was largely the result of the terror of being a very small number of people trying to control an immense population.
Which implies that it wasn't the direct result of trying to control a population.

quote:
We celebrate Gandhi, King, Mandela and Tutu rightly. They are not role models for every situation, but when it can be found, theirs is a better way.
Mandela notoriously never renounced the armed struggle.
King never refused to see his enemies as enemies. He may have tried to love his enemies, he may have hoped to be ready to forgive his enemies, but he never forgot that they were his enemies. And he certainly fought against his enemies, if a satirical novel like Oliver Twist or Hard Times is to count as fighting.
The lesson usually taken from his Letter from a Birmingham Jail is that the oppressed never get justice unless they fight for it. Maybe fight with soul force rather than physical force, but fight they must.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Stejjie
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# 13941

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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
We have inherited sexism, racism and prejudices of many sorts. It's really not just about bad people who treat each other unjustly and look at each other in a funny way. We grow up in a world that distorts our relationships and who we are.

'Distorts our relationships and who we are' is a euphemism for 'makes us into bad people who treat each other unjustly'.
But the words "makes us" that you use still implies something going on beyond simply people choosing to be 'bad people who treat each other unjustly'. It suggests systems, powers etc. that cause people to act in these ways (otherwise they wouldn't be "made into bad people", they would just be bad people). Which, I think, was part of hatless' point. To suggest it's just about bad behaviour of people is to overlook these systems and powers that end up enslaving the oppressed and the oppressors (by bringing them to behave in ways that oppress and destroy).

I'm thinking of Paul's idea of us being slaves to sin: that sin isn't just about us doing bad/disobedient-to-God things (though that's part of it), but sin as a power that traps us in those patterns of behaviour and from which it's not wholly in our power to break free. Paul doesn't suggest this absolves us from culpability; these things are still our fault. Structural sin also makes a similar point: that sin isn't just individual bad things, but systems and processes of injustice that hold sway over people. That doesn't exempt people from culpability for their actions, but it does suggest that the answer can't simply be labelling people as bad: those systems have to be dismantled somehow.

I do think all this suggests that simply labelling them as bad people isn't always helpful as a way of bringing to an end this behaviour and freeing those who are oppressed/destroyed by it. Yes, some may simply be acting out of malice. But I don't think it's so out there to suggest, as hatless does, that fear may equally be a motivator: fear of losing or not gaining power or wealth, fear of scarcity, fear of change and the threats that might bring to you - fear in these senses can be a potent and deadly force, especially when combined with power, wealth etc. And, yes, this can lead to people acting to hold up a system that is destroying others - and themselves - but they simply can't see a way out. Not everyone's like this, I'm sure: but I'd wager that a lot of people are. And while they need to face up to the truth of what's happened and what they've done, they also need release, a way out, a reassurance that the world isn't going to end if what they fear most happens, more than they need reminding that they're bad people doing unjust things.

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A not particularly-alt-worshippy, fairly mainstream, mildly evangelical, vaguely post-modern-ish Baptist

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Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
Original sin could conceivably imply that any sin you can think of will be committed by someone. Don't think it requires that every sin will be committed by everyone who has the opportunity. That seems to me too pessimistic a view.

I'll settle for often enough that it becomes a problem you can't just blame on a few bad apples.

That's a human perception not a reality. There's a whole spectrum between 99% resisting temptation and 1% succumbing all the way through to 1% resisting and 99% succumbing. Any arbitrary line you draw between a "few bad apples" perspective and a "systemic problem" perspective is just an arbitrary line. And those who resist temptation deserve better than to be lumped in with the abusers.

quote:

If you act to prevent power from being misused you do so by constraining and limiting power. Just as if you stop someone misusing a freedom they're no longer free in that respect so if you stop someone from misusing a power they no longer have that power.

quote:
[QUOTE][qb] How does some people being stronger, cleverer, more charismatic than others depend on people misusing those advantages to oppress others ?

Or are you only talking about wealth, and asserting that the only way for anyone to obtain or retain wealth is to oppress ?

I'm talking about power, to which wealth is one possible route.
I'm struggling to see how your assertions about power in general make sense in terms of specifics.

You quoted me Chesterton using physical strength (which is one form of power) as a metaphor for power in general.

We prevent playground bullying by establishing a school culture where this is recognised as a wrong and then punishing those we catch breaking that rule. Not by giving those who are physically strong some sort of drug to weaken them.

Having social prestige - another form of power - from charisma doesn't depend on misusing that power to scapegoat others. There's a temptation to boost one's own ego by so doing, Which good people resist.

--------------------
Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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mousethief

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# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
Original sin could conceivably imply that any sin you can think of will be committed by someone. Don't think it requires that every sin will be committed by everyone who has the opportunity. That seems to me too pessimistic a view.

I'll settle for often enough that it becomes a problem you can't just blame on a few bad apples.

That's a human perception not a reality. There's a whole spectrum between 99% resisting temptation and 1% succumbing all the way through to 1% resisting and 99% succumbing. Any arbitrary line you draw between a "few bad apples" perspective and a "systemic problem" perspective is just an arbitrary line. And those who resist temptation deserve better than to be lumped in with the abusers.
You seem to want to divide humanity into "us good people" and "those bad people." As do most people, actually.

I'm more inclined to go with Solzhenitsyn's observation that the line between good and evil cuts through every human heart.

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God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. --Acts 10:28

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Anglican_Brat
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The "anything goes" argument is interesting, a core liberal value that even many conservatives would not dismiss outright is the belief that the individual has a right to shape and live her life as she sees fit. I don't need necessarily to adopt a radical "gender does not exist" posture to support the right of individuals to express their gender identity as they see fit, which pretty much answers most of the dead horse issues.

Social liberalism is really about "live and let live." It's not necessarily about "liking" what your neighbour may choose or choose not to do, I may not like my neighbour who chooses to go to McDonald's rather than a healthy salad place, but it's none of my business what he or she does as long as no one else gets hurt.

On another issue, no one "hates" profit. The point of a critical left perspective on profit, isn't that profit is bad, but that the people who worked for that profit, i.e. the workers, and by extension, society which provides the public goods for that profit to be created, deserve a just share. We may praise Bill Gates, but if he was the only Microsoft employee, he wouldn't, by him alone, create the massive success of Microsoft.

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It's Reformation Day! Do your part to promote Christian unity and brotherly love and hug a schismatic.

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Aijalon
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As someone who is on the traditional side I would offer this explanation.

The hostility of what you call a progressive mindset is based on the two worldviews that look down on each other. The mindset is "you are a fool" for both parties. Hence, Russ, your question to even raise the issue of a mindset challenges the progressive viewpoint to crystallize its message, explain itself. But it is clear that progressives feel their mindset does not need justification, and you're OP is called "strawman" from the start, merely because you were generalizing to start a discussion. You're OP is called "rediculous nonsense" and so forth.

And as pimpleset indicated, it boils down to human rights. The progressive feels that human rights are very broad, and probably adopts the view that God desires the same broad application of human rights. So just as Anglican_Brat indicated, as long as no one is harmed by their actions, a rule against it is regarded as nonsensical, arbitrary, and power-grabbing.

The very thing the progressive hates and looks at as a social evil -arbitrary rules against increasing human happiness- is often the thing that a traditional Christian believes to be a virtue. There is no reconciling it. Both camps dislike that the other mindset even exists. Progressivism to the Traditional Christian is basically "conformance with the world" in perfect conflict with Romans 12:2, to which progressives would counter with something hostile that amounts to "that's rubbish".

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God gave you free will so you could give it back.

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mousethief

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# 953

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Aijalon, may I suggest you read what Anglican_Brat wrote immediately above your last? It's pretty clear he far better understands the "progressive mindset" than the understanding represented by your post.

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God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. --Acts 10:28

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Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Small businesses very rarely are capitalized. One can be pro-small-business but anti-capitalism.

My first shot on that one seems a bit wide of the mark.

The argument seems to be that "social progressivism" (or should it be just "progressivism" ?) is a bias to the powerless. So that the progressive mindset is quite happy to uphold the interests of small business against big business, perceived as having greater power. But will tend to side with the employee in any conflict with a small-business employer.

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:

The argument seems to be that "social progressivism" (or should it be just "progressivism" ?) is a bias to the powerless. So that the progressive mindset is quite happy to uphold the interests of small business against big business, perceived as having greater power. But will tend to side with the employee in any conflict with a small-business employer.

I think the point you are missing is that progressives are interested in worker rights not in an abstract fight between weaker and stronger parties. So "siding with the employee" happens whenever the worker is being exploited - be it by a large or small employer - because the progressive is more interested in the person and his rights rather than the capitalist who is earning money by investing his capital.

In practice people who describe themselves as "progressives" are often sucked into the idea that one of the only important action they should be doing is "creating jobs", even when - as so often is the case in Wales - it costs an awful lot of government cash (often direct grants) to create a small number of badly paid jobs. And so it then becomes increasingly difficult to support the rights of workers without looking like one is attacking the "job creators".

[ 09. August 2017, 19:23: Message edited by: mr cheesy ]

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arse

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Dafyd
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# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
Original sin could conceivably imply that any sin you can think of will be committed by someone. Don't think it requires that every sin will be committed by everyone who has the opportunity. That seems to me too pessimistic a view.

I'll settle for often enough that it becomes a problem you can't just blame on a few bad apples.

That's a human perception not a reality. There's a whole spectrum between 99% resisting temptation and 1% succumbing all the way through to 1% resisting and 99% succumbing. Any arbitrary line you draw between a "few bad apples" perspective and a "systemic problem" perspective is just an arbitrary line.
Actually I believe empirical research shows that in various areas there are tipping points at which a perception that everyone is doing it, or that many people are doing it, makes an activity acceptable.

quote:
And those who resist temptation deserve better than to be lumped in with the abusers.
Shall we apply this to the playground example. In the playground all the strong children have the power to bully other children. Some of them don't bully other children even having the power. Now you come and introduce punishment for those who get caught. So some bullies stop being bullies for fear of punishment. You're removing some of the power to bully.
Now someone comes along, let's call them L, and says by introducing the threat of punishment you're lumping the children who don't bully even without punishment in with the children who do. The children who don't bully deserve better says L. You shouldn't introduce punishment.

Obviously punishing bullies doesn't do much good if you don't ever catch any bullies. So you introduce surveillance and playground monitors to watch for bullies. So you're removing more power. But once again L objects that the surveillance doesn't work unless the playground monitors watch both the children who would bully and the children who wouldn't bully. L says the children who wouldn't bully deserve better than to be lumped in with the children who would. L thinks you shouldn't introduce surveillance.

A further point: bullying isn't an on-off thing. Perhaps lots of bullies think punching people in the stomach is ok but draw the line at punching people in the face. Now there's a proposal to punish all punching. L thinks that the bullies who only punch people in the stomach don't deserve to be lumped in with the bullies who punch people in the face.

There is of course an aspect we're overlooking so far.
We're talking about what is wrong with bullying is the abstract act of bullying. But what is wrong with bullying is that the people being bullied suffer. If the people who don't bully anyway are refraining from bullying because they care about the moral wrongness of bullying then they won't mind being deprived of the opportunity to deserve credit for not bullying. If they care about getting credit then they don't deserve credit anyway.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

Posts: 10323 | From: Edinburgh | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Dafyd
Shipmate
# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by Stejjie:
To suggest it's just about bad behaviour of people is to overlook these systems and powers that end up enslaving the oppressed and the oppressors (by bringing them to behave in ways that oppress and destroy).

Yes, but nobody is suggesting that.
We're having this discussion because hatless doesn't like G.K.Chesterton and so cast about for pretexts he could use to justify his dislike regardless of whether or not the pretext is relevant or appropriate.

quote:
And while they need to face up to the truth of what's happened and what they've done, they also need release, a way out, a reassurance that the world isn't going to end if what they fear most happens, more than they need reminding that they're bad people doing unjust things.
What Chesterton was describing was Dickens making people face up to the truth of what has happened. That is what hatless was objecting to. Until you've described what has happened as morally wrong then you haven't given anyone any reason to seek a way out.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

Posts: 10323 | From: Edinburgh | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
hatless

Shipmate
# 3365

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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
quote:
Originally posted by Stejjie:
To suggest it's just about bad behaviour of people is to overlook these systems and powers that end up enslaving the oppressed and the oppressors (by bringing them to behave in ways that oppress and destroy).

Yes, but nobody is suggesting that.
We're having this discussion because hatless doesn't like G.K.Chesterton and so cast about for pretexts he could use to justify his dislike regardless of whether or not the pretext is relevant or appropriate.

quote:
And while they need to face up to the truth of what's happened and what they've done, they also need release, a way out, a reassurance that the world isn't going to end if what they fear most happens, more than they need reminding that they're bad people doing unjust things.
What Chesterton was describing was Dickens making people face up to the truth of what has happened. That is what hatless was objecting to. Until you've described what has happened as morally wrong then you haven't given anyone any reason to seek a way out.

I was not for a moment objecting to Dickens making people face up to the truth of, for instance, child labour. I was objecting to Chesterton's, as I see it, superficial understanding of the injustices that Dickens clearly felt very passionately about. This was not a pretext to falsely justify a prior dislike of Chesterton, it was my reaction to the paragraph you quoted.

I think, in part because of the work of Walter Wink, Girard, Alison and others who have examined violence and scapegoating and their justifications, that we can have a better understanding of systemic injustices and more creative ideas about how to respond to them.

Chesterton is, like C S Lewis and Hauerwas, one of those I feel I ought to like, because thoughtful people commend them, but when I read them they leave me cold. I shouldn't expect too much from someone with Chesterton's dates and background. I like his comment about the one repeated rebellion, but nothing else registered much with me. Given that deeply felt injustice is what Dickens is about, a protest on behalf of the voiceless, an affirmation of the humanity of the poor and despised, and in some books an affirmation of the possibility of redemption for the oppressor - A Christmas Carol comes to mind - I find Chesterton's comments disappointing.

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My crazy theology in novel form

Posts: 4484 | From: Stinkers | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
The argument seems to be that "social progressivism" (or should it be just "progressivism" ?) is a bias to the powerless.

Yes. Just like the post-exilic prophets and Jesus.

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God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. --Acts 10:28

Posts: 62986 | From: Ecotopia | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Nick Tamen

Ship's Wayfaring Fool
# 15164

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
The argument seems to be that "social progressivism" (or should it be just "progressivism" ?) is a bias to the powerless.

Yes. Just like the post-exilic prophets and Jesus.
And Mary.

"He has cast down the mighty from their thrones
And lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
And has sent the rich away empty."

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

Posts: 2454 | From: On heaven-crammed earth | Registered: Sep 2009  |  IP: Logged
mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
The argument seems to be that "social progressivism" (or should it be just "progressivism" ?) is a bias to the powerless.

Yes. Just like the post-exilic prophets and Jesus.
And Mary.

"He has cast down the mighty from their thrones
And lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
And has sent the rich away empty."

Jesus learned from the best.

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God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. --Acts 10:28

Posts: 62986 | From: Ecotopia | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
mr cheesy
Shipmate
# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
I was not for a moment objecting to Dickens making people face up to the truth of, for instance, child labour. I was objecting to Chesterton's, as I see it, superficial understanding of the injustices that Dickens clearly felt very passionately about. This was not a pretext to falsely justify a prior dislike of Chesterton, it was my reaction to the paragraph you quoted.

Dickens was a horrible person and Chesterton exaggerated to make a point. Not sure this is really news is it? One can enjoy the vigorous mental exercise of reading Chesterton's bombastic prose without thinking it is 100% accurate or the last word on a subject.

I was reading one of GK's newspapers from the 1920s the other day. I'd not seen it before and hadn't appreciated that it was basically a four page editorial without any significant content. But then I didn't appreciate that it only had a readership of 4,000. More of an ignored blog than a newspaper really.

quote:
I think, in part because of the work of Walter Wink, Girard, Alison and others who have examined violence and scapegoating and their justifications, that we can have a better understanding of systemic injustices and more creative ideas about how to respond to them.
For sure GKC was of his time. I don't think that means his basic ideas were wrong (Distributism has a lot of contemporary resonances in a way that Marxism doesn't, IMO) or that they're not basically good hearted.

It is possible to be right and a bastard or one can be a mixed-up bundle of ideas, shooting off mixed metaphors and ideas whilst being tremendous fun.

I like to read Yoder and Wink, but I'd rather have a laugh with GKC.

quote:
Chesterton is, like C S Lewis and Hauerwas, one of those I feel I ought to like, because thoughtful people commend them, but when I read them they leave me cold. I shouldn't expect too much from someone with Chesterton's dates and background. I like his comment about the one repeated rebellion, but nothing else registered much with me. Given that deeply felt injustice is what Dickens is about, a protest on behalf of the voiceless, an affirmation of the humanity of the poor and despised, and in some books an affirmation of the possibility of redemption for the oppressor - A Christmas Carol comes to mind - I find Chesterton's comments disappointing.
This seems a long-winded way of saying you don't personally like something he wrote.

I don't see how that undermines the point he was making.

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arse

Posts: 9904 | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Marvin the Martian

Interplanetary
# 4360

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
The premise of that thread was that the dominant ethos of the Ship these days is a mindset that is hostile to Traditional Christianity.

I'm interested in exploring and understanding that mindset - the point of view that forms that ethos - in a little more detail.

It doesn't need more detail. In fact I can describe it in three words - don't hurt people.

The link to Christianity should be obvious.

As for your "doctrines":

quote:
- internationalism (migrants good, Brexit bad)
The argument is that preventing someone from moving to a country hurts them by forcing them to stay in a dangerous situation. Brexit is seen as bad because the economic impact will lead to increased poverty. I make no comment as to the accuracy of either observation.

quote:
- gender-bending (anything goes so long as you don't speak in favour of traditional gender roles)
If "traditional gender roles" means subjugation of women and persecution of anyone who is LGBT, then yes they are considered bad. Because they hurt people.

quote:
- political correctness (can't believe anyone voted for Trump; free speech as long as you don't say what we don't like)
Political Correctness basically means "don't hurt people with words".

quote:
- anti-capitalism (profit is bad, small business has no rights and unlimited liability)
Capitalism is seen as bad to the extent that it involves the exploitation of workers, suppliers and/or consumers.

quote:
- anti-racism (racism is a huge sin that the whole white race should atone for)

This one should really go without saying.

ISTM that opposition to this position comes from two main sources - those who think everybody else should believe, think and act exactly the same way as they do and those who want to be able to do whatever they want regardless of the impact on others. Most (but not all) of the religiously-inspired objections come under the first category. What both categories have in common is that they have zero respect for anybody else.

[ 10. August 2017, 14:32: Message edited by: Marvin the Martian ]

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Hail Gallaxhar

Posts: 29859 | From: Adrift on a sea of surreality | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
The argument seems to be that "social progressivism" (or should it be just "progressivism" ?) is a bias to the powerless.

Well of course. Because keeping things as they are inevitably means keeping power where it currently is.

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

Posts: 18031 | From: Under | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged
Caissa
Shipmate
# 16710

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Capitalism, by definition, is exploitative.
Posts: 916 | From: Saint John, N.B. | Registered: Oct 2011  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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Being a living creature is by definition exploitive. I killed a carrot today, probably it was alive when I ate it.
Posts: 10892 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Being a living creature is by definition exploitive. I killed a carrot today, probably it was alive when I ate it.

Cute but stupid. Carrots are not human beings and do not have human rights. Robbing people of a decent life and eating a carrot can only be on a par to someone who just doesn't care much for people. Like capitalists, I guess.

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God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. --Acts 10:28

Posts: 62986 | From: Ecotopia | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged



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