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  #1  
Old 25th December 2005, 04:36 AM
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Describe Conservative philosophy.

Since I asked about liberal attitudes, I suppose it should be important to see from where people are starting their analysis. This is intended to be for Conservatives only. I would like self-described conservatives to define Conservativism. Define the value systems you are operating from, from an ideological point of view. Please produce seminal thinkers and the philosophical underpinnings. What is the philosophical ideology you are operating under?

This is intended for Conservatives only please, I cannot stress this enough. After a week or so it might be possible to open it up further, but I think it would be important to let Conservatives define themselves, and not have them defined by outside parties.
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  #2  
Old 25th December 2005, 06:38 PM
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No thanks. The Socratic Method was an annoying bore in college and I have no desire for more of it. Nor of playing "define it!".

Have something to say, say it.

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  #3  
Old 26th December 2005, 02:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Voegelin
No thanks. The Socratic Method was an annoying bore in college and I have no desire for more of it. Nor of playing "define it!".

Have something to say, say it.

Well first I would like to know what college uses the Socratic method. That would be unusual.

Secondly I would return to the college in question and demand that they teach you what the Socratic method is, since the above question is not the Socratic method. There is more to the Socratic method that simply asking questions.

How ironic. You have to ask what the definition of the Socratic method is because you think asking for definitions is part of the Socratic method.

After that you can define Conservative philosophy.
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  #4  
Old 26th December 2005, 06:47 PM
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OK, I'll take a stab at this. Of course defining anyone as "liberal" or "conservative" is subject to all kinds of conjecture. Someone can be a social conservative, but an ecological liberal (IE, someone who thinks abortion should be illegal, but spending money on alternative energy is a waste of time ... and energy). Another person might be socially liberal (what is more commonly thought of as a normal liberal), but espouse conservation of our natural resources.

So here's where I see conservatives: They are most often for social responsibility. Smaller governmental powers, more emphasis on people taking care of each other. They advocate social reforms, such as restricting access to abortion, teaching abstinence as the only 100% safe from of safe sex, etc. Most conservatives also believe in fiscal responsibility. Cut government programs, encourage financial responsibility, cut taxes and increase the amount of money people have to put back into the economy. Encourage capitalistic enterprise and innovation.

Some of the gray areas are in economic responsibility. The search for capitalistic enterprise has turned some conservatives from their traditionally economic roots. While there seems to be a resurgance in ecological responsibility amongst many conservatives, they are still not generally thought of as being "eco-friendly".

While most conservatives are pro-life, the majority do advocate capital punishment, seeing it as a major deterant to crime in major cities, as well as a cheaper method of dealing with "chronic" criminals (or, they say, it would be cheaper if it was done right). They're also for God in schools, although most still don't advocate a state-mandated religion.

Personally I'm conservative across the board: I believe people need to take responsibility for themselves and others, rather than the government trying to do it all for us. I believe lower taxes and smarter spending would make for a strong economy, and I believe that seeking solutions to envirnmental problems would help to CREATE new jobs, not the opposite. These new jobs would further help to strengthen the economy not just now, but in the future as they would be innovative and higher tech.

As for conservative thinkers who've influenced the current generation... Abraham Lincoln certainly comes to mind, Winston Churchill of course, and more recently people like William F. Buckley Jr.
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  #5  
Old 26th December 2005, 09:32 PM
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I suppose I would be considered a conservative by most.

My beliefs are that God created the whole universe with laws and an order which can be discerned by the rational intellect. This is no different with the laws that should guide human behaviour and the rights each man has. They are discoverable by reason and must be upheld.

No-one may abolish such natural rights; to do so, even if the one doing is sure that he acts in the best interest of the one whose rights he disrespects, is the essence of slavery. (St. Thomas Aquinas, for instance, argued that Catholics shouldn't baptize by force the children of non-Catholics, for that is against the natural right of parents to raise their own children).

Unsurprisingly, the disregard for other human beings' dignity rarely turns out to be in their best interest. Attempts to do the same thing on a social scale, for the good of the "people", or the "community", have even more disastrous results.
The result of such actions, which are injurious to the dignity of each individual, is even worse than the situation they tried to fix.

Authors who have been important for this line of thinking include Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, Bernardino of Siena, Antonio of Florence, the Spanish Scholastic thinkers of the 16th century (Tomaz de Mercado, Juan de Mariana, Franciscus Suarez, and others), Hugo Grotius, John Locke, Jean Baptiste Say, Adam Smith, Pope Leo XIII, Lord Acton, Frédéric Bastiat, Carl Menger, Eugene Von Bohm-Bawerk, Ludwig Von Mises, Friedrich August von Hayek, Murray Rothbard, Pope John Paul II, among others.
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It is true, that a little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism; but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion. For while the mind of man looketh upon second causes scattered, it may sometimes rest in them, and go no further; but when it beholdeth the chain of them, confederate and linked together, it must needs fly to Providence and Deity.
-Francis Bacon, essay "On Atheism"

Last edited by Lifesaver; 29th December 2005 at 05:40 PM.
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  #6  
Old 29th December 2005, 05:22 PM
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Err... shouldn't there be some kind of response from the author after the initial description is made?
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It is true, that a little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism; but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion. For while the mind of man looketh upon second causes scattered, it may sometimes rest in them, and go no further; but when it beholdeth the chain of them, confederate and linked together, it must needs fly to Providence and Deity.
-Francis Bacon, essay "On Atheism"
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  #7  
Old 29th December 2005, 05:23 PM
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I was waiting for more input. I decided a week was my metric.
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  #8  
Old 29th December 2005, 05:35 PM
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Oh, okay then. Sorry.
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It is true, that a little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism; but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion. For while the mind of man looketh upon second causes scattered, it may sometimes rest in them, and go no further; but when it beholdeth the chain of them, confederate and linked together, it must needs fly to Providence and Deity.
-Francis Bacon, essay "On Atheism"
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  #9  
Old 29th December 2005, 05:51 PM
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I'm pretty conservative in most areas of life. I believe the more local a governmental control is, the more power the individual has to change things. I believe in property rights. The ability to own and use your property to your own benefit is one of the reasons this country sprang to prominence so quickly. I don't think any of your "rights" should result in injury to others. Health care is not a right, neither is abortion - both do harm to another person.

I think the best conservative voice that comes to mind right now is Walter Williams.
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  #10  
Old 30th December 2005, 01:46 AM
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Originally Posted by DieHappy
I don't think any of your "rights" should result in injury to others. Health care is not a right, neither is abortion - both do harm to another person.
Wow, um, any chance of you expanding on this?
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