|Dec 12, 2009 6:12 pm
||re: Political Labels: Are they meaningful - Or are they just political swear words?
What is "fundamental" about "the left" and / or "the right" ?
It was said above:
"... almost all leftists tend to believe in the same set of issues (unions, welfare,
environmentalism, big government, etc, etc.) and all "rightists" tend to believe in
THEIR set of issues (property rights, gun rights, self-reliance, personal responsi-
bility, etc., etc.)."
Is that true, or is that what we s'pose ta believe ?
Attempt was made to support that "difference" by reducing it to *Sophists* vs. *Socratic*
sophist : 1 : philosopher
2 capitalized : any of a class of ancient Greek teachers of rhetoric, philosophy,
and the art of successful living prominent about the middle of the fifth century b.c.
for their adroit subtle and allegedly often specious reasoning
3 : a captious or fallacious reasoner
socratic : of or relating to Socrates, his followers, or his philosophical method of
systematic doubt and questioning of another to elicit a clear expression of a truth
supposed to be knowable by all rational beings
In other words, a belief that some ultimate "truth" was "knowable" as opposed to there being "no ultimate truth"
At least that is how I understand the argument posed above.
Yet I continue to ask whether any one of us can truly be "pinned" to one "position" or the other.
How is it possible for anyone to think that human belief, understanding, action, or / or thinking can be so PURE ?
Granted, there may be, and probably IS, such a *pure* position to be had, but who among us has achieved such perfection as to be able to live in that place consistently and so perfectly ?
Or are we all some combination of the two "positions" - existing somewhere between them, changing as we grow, as we learn and experience differences with which we, as unique beings, naturally confront each other; our beliefs solidifying and dissolving according to our alliances and experience ?
What "absolute authority and control over all other beings" does it require to say to another being, "You are wrong" ?
If "people have free will and can independently make decisions on economic transactions that improve their satisfaction and well being" then why is what another man believes exists "beyond the grave" of importance while transacting in real time, in the here and now, to meet one's needs ?
That Rene Descartes said "I think, therefore I am," to me does not mean that he thinks himself dead if he is not thinking, but that thinking allows him awareness of his own BEING
... but then, I am only guessing.
May be I did not know Descartes as well as another man did.
If "nihilism" is "narcissism" (obsessive love and admiration of the self, based on the belief that the self is the only intelligent being that exists), why, I wonder, would someone who apparently can see human beings as only "either / or" not see himself as a *nihilist* or as *narcissist* according to his own definition ?
Who among us is so godlike as to know precisely what lies in the heart or mind of another man ?
Experiencing reality as we do, we are quite aware how often we mistake the smiling face for a "good man" and vice versa.
Just look how often we elect the "smiling face" to public office !
So, the Socratic philosophy supposedly "boils down to: The Golden Rule."
"Do Unto Others as You Would Have them do unto you"
At least that seems to be what I am to take away from that argument.
Apparently it is assumed that we all want to be "put in our place" - labelled - to have our differences pointed out to us (so that we will not forget them?) - to be at war with each other for the differences other individuals assign to us, people who do not take time to get to know us as individuals.
In other words, an assumption that "I am right and you are wrong" no matter where you or I "stand"
Do I understand all this correctly ?
Private Reply to James Booth (new win)