Sunday, April 26, 2009

Freedom

Wide-ranging Gagdad Bob essay.

snippet:

Again, when I use the word "left," I mean it as a shorthand to designate any philosophy that conceives of our liberty in the opposite way -- as only freedom to -- say, to get an abortion, or to be paid a "living wage," or to receive free health care, or to "marry" someone of the same sex. These are not real freedoms, if only because they involve coercion of someone else. For example, a "living wage" simply means that the government must force someone to pay you more than you are worth, while "free" healthcare simply means that you want to force someone else to pay for it.

Likewise, the absolute "right" to abortion can only be grounded in a metaphysic that maintains that human beings are literally worthless. The absurd outcome for the leftist is that human rights are more precious than human beings (which we see replayed in the interrogation debate). For the leftist, the right to abortion is sacred, while the human being to whom the right is owed is of no more value than a decayed tooth. But stranger beliefs can be found on the left, the reason being that it is fundamentally rooted in the absolutization of the relative, which is the very essence of the absurd.

Furthermore, when I discuss leftist philosophies, I am not trying -- or only trying -- to be insultaining, but as accurate as I can be, so I don't know why anyone should take offense. It is simply a fact that if you believe you are entitled to "free" healthcare, then you have a very different conception of freedom than I do or than the American founders did.

Likewise if you believe it is appropriate for the federal government to make it a crime to be racially colorblind, then you have a very different conception of liberty than I do. Or if you believe unlawful combatants are entitled to Geneva Convention rights, we differ. All we can do is acknowledge our differences and go our separate ways.

I am hardly offended if someone simply describes my views accurately, so I don't really understand why leftists don't feel the same way. For example if you express the truism that Democrats wish for us to surrender in Iraq, they go ballistic [which they apparently no longer wish to do, now that George Bush is not president]. They seem to have a fundamental difficulty in simply saying what they believe in a straightforward manner.

But it's not really a mystery why they are so deceptive, for if they came out and said what they believed, they could never get elected. For example, if citizens are actually given the choice, they are overwhelmingly against the idea of a few elite judges redefining the fundamental unit of civilization, marriage. Likewise, sensible people have no objection to rough treatment of terrorists if it can save American lives.

In any event, assuming we have the "freedom from," what is freedom for? This question is at the heart of philocooniosophy ("The Mondello Sutras"), which has a very different answer than any illiberal leftist philosophy. For example, the so-called integralists commonly express anger at me because I am not "integral," meaning that I do not integrate left and right.

But here again, this is an incoherent philosophy, because it absolutizes the relative, placing "integralism" above Truth. In other words, I do not consider it a sophisticated philosophy that maintains that integrating truth and falsehood somehow leads to a higher synthesis. This is not integralism, it is merely incoherence.

Here's how one new-ageist describes me, and it is typical of the genre...

3 comments:

Brooksie said...

Dear Sir:
I read your brief outline of your RC conversion wtih great appreciation. Perhaps you have read A.N. Wilson's recent essay discussing his return to Christianity (Catholicism, I believe).
Odd how the MSM gleefully reports that the Church is polling as nearly irrelevant to our lives, while under the radar (as the MSM is the last to realize) all manner of miracles are occuring. Besides, "on this Rock I shall build my Church, and the Gates of Hell shall not prevail..."
God Bless you.

Matteo said...

Thanks for the kind words, and thanks for the heads up re: A.N. Wilson! I had been only vaguely aware of the Wilson story in the back of my mind, but your comment inspired me to read up on it. Praise God!

Sleeping Beastly said...

Gagdad Bob is a bit of a kook, and he's way off-base about a number of things. Why so many conservatives insist on sticking up for the neocons after the mess they've made of the last few years is beyond me. The redefined euphemisms of "enhanced interrogation" and "enemy combatants" ought to be a dead giveaway as to how wrong someone on the "right" can be.