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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

I'm a Burkean Conservative, but Burke was pretty radical.

"And therein lies the significance of "Crunchy Cons." It is a reminder of the enduring tension on the right between those for whom the highest social good is freedom--the emancipation of the self from statist restraint and oppressive custom--and those for whom the highest social good is virtue: the formation of character, the cultivation of the soul." - GEORGE H. NASH

Well that's great, but I can guess which side of the boat Nash is on. Freedom is not a "social good."

It is a moral obligation. I have the right to deny myself alcohol; I cannot do the same to you.

Freedom is a virtue, by definition. The morally 'good' virtue is not freedom, which state is dictated by others, but one's own ability to restrain onesself from theft, murder, enforced socialism, pedophiliac rape, et cetera. Incidentally, forcible socialism is the worst on that list. What is property? What is my physical shell? What is pain? The enslavement of the human soul is more invidious than physical harm.

Character means restraint. The cultivation of the soul can only take place when it is liberated from the control of others. That is the free market of human development. Character, Nash says. Does he mean a strong, conservative character, that allows one to enforce God's Law with an iron fist? What would be the purpose of that?

Do you really think that homosexuality is immoral because of the physical action? If so, by all means, stop the physical action from taking place. That will surely result in the earthly Kingdom of God ten minutes later.

Do you think that Idolatry is immoral because God doesn't like statues, and he would prefer us to worship demons without icons?

Is there any purpose in forcing people to worship God? Will their souls be saved by our force of arms?

That said, I agree with the points in the article about religious asceticism and the triviality of material comforts. However, efficiency and technological process can also be used to protect the environment, feed hungry children, build Moon cities, and accomplish other useful tasks.

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