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Sunday, March 18, 2012


Bill Fleming

Good to hear. It takes the pressure off. We liberals can now put away the "forgive them for they know not what they do" excuse when dealing with the arbitrary and irrational extreme right and instead adopt the position of "they know better than this, that in the hell's wrong with them?" LOL.

Bill Fleming

...make that WHAT in the hell's wrong with them? Sorry.


Well, if it "seems plausible"...

larry kurtz

Assuming you meant palette rather than "pallet" in your metaphor of moral choices, Ken: how do you relate your post to your biopolitics thesis?


I'd accept "pallet." I paint from gallon cans and five-gallon buckets. Pallets can be handy.

Ken Blanchard

Larry: thanks for correcting inglish. If opinions are heritable, and they are to some degree, then biopolitics has a lot to say about this. Thanks for the support, Cory.


I find Haidt's analysis in this NYT piece correct but disconcerting. When political issues become who or what is sacred, voting against party, even if good governance, becomes apostasy. That attitude seems to sum up much of the gridlock currently facing the country.


Bill Fleming

LK, such a great point. Thanks for making it.

Mike Cooper

If conservatives are "less concerned than liberals about harm to innocent victims," why are the vast majority of pro life people conservative? No one is more innocent than the unborn baby.

Ken Blanchard

LK: I follow Bill in appreciating your post. The relevant cluster is sanctity/degradation. The left has its own version of this. That is what such terms as "free range", "organic", and "fair trade" are all about. The problem is that conservatives know they take the dichotomy seriously. The left is offended by the very idea of sanctity/degradation, even if they make the distinction in practice.

I disagree that the element of sacredness (or sanctity) leads to gridlock. All religions have found it necessary to make concessions in some circumstances. Jewish armies will fight on the Sabbath, if necessary. Thanks for the provocative note.

Ken Blanchard

Mike: "less concerned" does not mean "unconcerned." Abortion is one issue on which the sides seem to flip. The Left likes to think it always defends the powerless, but no one is more powerless than an unborn human being.

The point here is that conservatives generally rank other concerns higher than care/harm, not that they don't care about that cluster of values.

Mike Cooper

Ken, I do agree in part. However, I think the reason the left appears to champion some of the "powerless" such as blacks and the poor, and not the truly powerless such as the unborn, is that blacks and the poor vote. The unborn do not. Support for the unborn is the closest thing to altruism in politics.

Mike Cooper

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