Musings, Quotes, and Observations on a conservative argument


Musings, quotes and observations: how to debate your liberal friends.  A collection of quick and descriptive concepts.  Some quoted, some from unremembered authors, and some just floating around out there

We’re robbing selective Peter to pay for collective Paul

Individual rights are what we need to mobilize all the knowledge it takes to run a successful society- William Easterly

Democracy is the institutional building of freedom and the institutional building of the rule of law- Condi Rice

If the US stops attempting to influence the direction of liberty and dictatorial cultures and governments, then one of two things will happen: chaos, or someone else (China, Russia, an Islamic Caliphate) will take our place.  This has been relegated to us from Britain- Condi Rice

The costs of federal spending are diffused throughout the population so no one has an incentive to push back.  So therefore the greater federal spending becomes- Larry Arnn interviewed on the Hoover Institution’s “Uncommon Knowledge” podcast

Protecting the equal and inalienable rights of people is the government’s primary responsibility- Larry Arnn

The modern bureaucracy is NOT a disinterested/unbiased/neutral organization.  As in self-interested, self-perpetuating, and self-justifying

Originalist interpretation of the Constitution.  Two ways of looking at it:

–      What the founders intentions were

–      What the original public meaning was

 Your representative [congressman] owes you not his industry but his judgment- Edmond Burke

John Taylor from his book First Principles:

  • Predictable policy framework

  • Rule of Law

  • Strong incentives

  • Reliance on Markets

  • Clearly limited role for government

     

“Is there no word in English [coming from a German elite] for gelehrt [cultivated]?” “Oh yes [from a Brit], we call it a prig.”

“There is no power but the State and the State can’t sin when following it’s own higher interests.”- Descriptive statement of how Central Planners think

Mediocre souls trapped in material enjoyments will readily trade their political liberty for peace and security in those enjoyments

In reaction, they withdraw from the public, forgetting they are citizens, and concentrate their lives on family, friends, and themselves. Losing sight of the public, they become oblivious to any distant goal and welcome the benevolent aid of big government, “the immense being”, that acts on their behalf with their passive consent because it knows better and offers to take over responsibility for the trouble of thinking and the pain of living”- D’Tocqueville

 Religion combats the shortsightedness and fecklessness of democracy, and gives it something to be proud of, above the mediocrity of material enjoyments. D’Tocqueville

 The scientific materialism that deprives citizens of their belief in the possibility of self-government is used to justify instead, the rational control of citizens by experts with knowledge of such science”. D’Tocqueville

Legal positivism definition: Judicial opinions based on the utilitarian authority of the govt. vs. constitutional originalism

These proceedings may at first appear strange and difficult; but, like all other steps which we have already passed over, will in a little time become familiar and agreeable; and, until an independence is declared, the continent will feel itself like a man who continues putting off some unpleasant business from day to day, yet knows it must be done, hates to set about it, wishes it over, and is continually haunted with the thoughts of its necessity-  Thomas Paine, last sentence of “Common Sense”

Our country’s stumbles are the result of human frailty, not a crack in our foundation of inalienable rights and our bedrock of constitutional republican government

State planners always plan for the result they would most like to see, not the one that is most likely to happen.– Friedrich Hayek

We are objects of liberals enlightened interest; then their pity; then their wisdom, then their coercion

Something destructive at its core can’t be fixed at its margins

Property, prices and prof/loss = incentives, information, and innovation. – Ludwig Von Misis.

Liberalism = something between defective temperament and malign intent

WA State income tax failed: People understand wealth destruction = job destruction. Also, they don’t believe they won’t be subject to the tax in the near future

Welfare programs are the oxygen that fuels social pathologies.

Needs morph into rights

Egalitarianism sounds warm and fuzzy but it ain’t necessarily so

NAZI = National Socialist Worker’s Party.  The left throws out this word all the time, but there is not a modicum of difference between the NAZI party and the Soviet Union re: genocide, central planning and authoritarianism

Freedom means the freedom to be unhappy as well

A civilization that feels guilty for defending everything it sees and does lacks the conviction to defend itself.  Blame America first

The Yellow Pages test.  Anything in the Yellow Pages has no business being administered by government

The control of production means the creation of privilege

Liberals’ four states of conservative theory acceptance (when a liberal is forced to admit a conservative theory is proven correct)

1. This is worthless nonsense

2. This is interesting but perverse

3. This is true but quite unimportant

4. I always said so

(As in Bill Clinton‘s statement that “The era of big government is over”.)

Promote vs. provide the general welfare. Not as in provide for the common defense

The Supreme Court thinks that California’s attempt to limit welfare payments to new residents is a violation of the 14th Amendment Privileges and Immunities clause, as in limiting welfare payments limits someone’s right to travel.  How bizarre

A study of math skills showed Koreans first and Americans last. But when asked if you consider yourself “good at math”, only 23% of Koreans said they did, but 66% of Americans said they did. Thank you Democrats for instilling self-esteem in our students

Nothing is more guaranteed to attract govt. money than repeated failure

In the “decade of greed/1980s”, charitable giving grew at an annual rate 55% faster than the rate at which it had grown over the previous twenty-five years

Today, wanting someone else’s money is called need, wanting to keep your own money is called greed, and compassion is when politicians arrange the transfer-  Joe Sobran

The MSM newsrooms are filled with those insulated from what is considered common knowledge by those reading the WSJ and other conservative media sources. Therefore the ethos self perpetuates

Where there is a crowd there is untruth- Kierkegaard

Dystopian. No dictionary definition. Means the opposite of utopian.  See Mark Levin’s new book

One of the penalties of refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors- Plato

A lie will go around the world while the truth is still putting its boots on

The constitution stands for fixed principles, a gift from the founding fathers. Legislators, as stated by Lincoln, must look backwards, not forwards for guidance. Lincoln was wary of what he called “progress in govt.” I would call this an anti-progressive explanation of conservative (and by inference) constitutional principles.  The Democrat party/liberal alliance views constitutional principals as quaint and out of touch with progressive legislators’ superior abilities to socially engineer society for an entitlement addicted class dependent on the largess of  “forward looking” progressives

Secular Humanism is blind to the concept that there just might be something greater than us out there

Conservatives must wander somewhere between the ideal and the prudential- William F. Buckley

Free markets, property rights and enforceable contracts will always be at the tip of the spear of prosperity

The “Prohibitive precautionary principle”: An excuse to regulate based on the “just in case concept”, without regard to unintended consequences. A philosophy institutionalizing problems that might otherwise be transcended by time if just left alone

“The gifts of heaven are legitimate. The gifts of the state are suspect”- Andrew Jackson

Classical liberalism (as opposed to the current meaning of liberalism) stands as a corrective to utopian arrogance

Conservative ideology bears antipathy towards state sanctioned privilege

Intelligent Design


Atheism, Deism, Naturalism, Panthesim, Theism, or what?………..

Although Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species” was published in the century after the Constitution, with its emphasis on John Locke’s Natural Rights, its publication continues to ignite inspired debates on the nature of creation, not to mention the origin of the universe. Although this article differs from my polemics on the current administration and a few historical economists, I believe the Founding Fathers would have had much to say on this issue should they have been magically transported into modern times.

 

Creationism, evolution, or an alternative?

Running a searches on local and national newspapers and other media on captured countless hits for “religion”, “faith”, and “secular”, obviously a continuing theme. The Seattle Discovery issue addresses the Intelligent Design (ID) issue extensively.

Archived letters and articles I dug up in my search ranged from widespread condemnation of religious belief, to advocacy of biblically defined creationism.

Most ply one side of the ideological chasm between creationism and the secular majority view of evolution. Creationists believe in a strict biblical interpretation of Time’s opening act, while secularists insist on strict procedural study of biology and physics.

Pure biblical creationism doesn’t pretend to meet the modern definition of methodical inquiry- it’s deliberately based on faith. However, the secular scientific conventional wisdom on the creation of the universe and biological evolution also can fail to meet a logical test. ID is a third alternative.

Briefly, ID is defined as an intelligence-directed evolution acknowledging the march of life in its ever-increasing complexity and endless variegation. But ID also is a foundation for explaining how our universe came to support life in the first place, which in the final analysis cannot exist without intelligence outside of known space and time.

ID recognizes that the genetic code in our DNA is a repository of information; “information” being key, and the key concept being information always arises from intelligence. Given this understanding, Darwin himself employed the technique of figuring out what happened in the past by analyzing what’s happening now (DNA in its current evolutionary state), like reverse engineering: taking something apart to see how it’s built: similar to linear regression for you math minded types.

Evolution, increasing in complexity and information from the time the first molecule “built itself”, goes against the concept of natural decay, or entropy. The natural order of life is entropic, the opposite of a net gain in complexity, complexity being impossible without the addition of more energy. For example, a leaf on the sidewalk will not spring into ever more complex forms of life; on the contrary, during the process of entropy it gradually and naturally declines and its component chemicals dissipating into entropic energy. The evolution of coded information – the opposite of entropy – implies a beginning, or original source.

ID also advocates for an intelligently guided process prior to the universe’s creation- the big bang, also known as the singularity. (This being a tiny point of infinite density before known space and time, implying that a creative-intelligence existed prior.) There are several reasons why. The structure of our universe described by Einstein and others is infinitely curved and small; intelligent intervention is therefore necessarily required for matter to exist under these conditions. Additionally the anthropic principle, first introduced by physicist Fred Hoyle, means that fine-tuning of physics by an intelligent source is the only explanation for the perfect conditions that exist in our universe allowing life to develop.

These perfect conditions are byproduct of the perfect balance of several forces that govern the universe: gravity, the strong and weak nuclear forces, electromagnetism, and gravity. Gravity for example, is balanced exactly strong enough to allow matter to coalesce into stars, and exactly weak enough to keep stars from burning out before planets can coalesce. For the universe to be configured this way, against monumental odds, requires if not a belief in ID, then necessarily a belief in multiple parallel universes (part of what physicists call M-Theory). Only this explanation of multiple/infinite universes; other than our most unlikely fine-tuned cosmos, would allow for such an incredibly friendly habitable environment. Therefore denying both ID and parallel universes invites a difficult contradiction.

One physicist, Dr. Stephen Meyer, (associated with Seattle’s Discovery Institute and interviewed by David Bose), identifies several world/theological views, which address the possibility of an ultimate creator who kick-started the universe and guided evolution.

Materialism/Naturalism. This view states that matter and energy are the substances everything comes from. There is nothing beyond the physical world, the laws of nature are supreme, and there is no purpose for the universe. This worldview does not explain the increasing complexity of coded information like DNA, nor does it answer the question of the perfect balance of forces required for life.

Deism/Agnosticism. There is a God that created the universe and the conditions that allow for intelligent life, however this God is unknowable, and has long since “checked out”, and left us on our own. This worldview also doesn’t answer the above questions.

Theism. This is the religious worldview most in conformity with ID. There is a God- the ultimate intelligence that created our universe and the unique conditions allowing for life. God built in the capacity to pass down genetic information through millennia, and periodically intervenes as an agent of order and creation. Examples of the latter include the Cambrian and Marine Mesozoic explosions of life (information), which occurred in very narrow geological bands, negating the Darwinian view of gradual evolution through the natural trial and error of accidental chromosomal mutation. This worldview does although, fall short of a God that “personally” intervenes in our lives.

Even Dr. Michio Kaku, a world famous Theoretical Physicist, no fan of theological principle, postulates that the reason a subatomic particle exists simultaneously as a wave, and then as a particle when being observed, may be because its very existence depends on this observation, otherwise its component matter might just “blink out”. “You observe me, therefore I am.”

To paraphrase Dr. Meyer: “maybe the subconscious fear of the lay scientific community, is this: As they climb the steep mountain of scientific inquiry, while in search of the ultimate secular scientific answer to the birth of the universe and life, that they’ll finally reach the top and discover sitting and staring at them: a creator. Kind of makes you want to go hmmm.

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