Liberals equate progress, in all of its forms, with reason. Progress consists in using reason to make things better, to perfect humanity, to eliminate and prevent various evils. Liberals view human beings as malleable (or, to change the metaphor, as blank slates). If we reason aright, liberals believe, we shall remake people and thereby remake the (social) world. Everything, to a liberal, is up for grabs. Everything is revisable. Every belief, every value, every practice, every law, every institution. If a thing cannot pass the test of reason (or rather, the liberal's deployment of reason), it is to be rejected, however old it may be, however useful it has been for however many people, and however much it has insinuated itself into people's lives. The major impediments to moral progress, to the liberal, are tradition, bigotry, and superstition. From this it is but a short step to viewing those who oppose liberal ideas or policies as hidebound traditionalists, bigots, or ignoramuses.I believe that the ultimate source of what we call the left-right dichotomy is that one group are narcisists (that would be the liberals) and the others are in varying degrees objective and other centered (the ultimate other being God). As I said earlier today, I think that the Liberal position is nothing short of reckless and dangerous. That's a very big "if" I highlighted above. The objection I made then was that under the liberal scheme we are always at the mercy of those who - to use Thomas Sowell's terms - hold themselves to be "self anointed" bearers of reason and all that it true and good. Until they change their minds, that is, and then black becomes white and white becomes black. That situation is dangerous enough, but it becomes even worse when it is paired with the notion that mankind is capable of this extremely high level of reasoning even if there is no God. Under a radically liberal scheme history and tradition are no barriers to others, especially if the other is the state. If there is no God the state has no objective and unchanging reason to respect the rights of others. In Canada today we already see the rights of others (the very young, the very old, the very ill) gone or in jeopardy. The major restraint on government that is still standing is due process. The issue to watch now that the supreme court has made its reference is Same Sex Marriage. That issue is the vanguard of self righteous and intolerant humanism, of the we are whatever we declare ourselves to be school. For various reasons I think it is inevitable that that issue will metastasize into an assault on everyone who says that there is an objective reality that must be respected, that acts on all of us equally, that there is no one among us with access to divine ontology. When SSM comes (and it will now, whatever they decide to call it) we will, as a state, have accepted the argument that marriage is a man made construct and since that is so, we can define it at will. It should be obvious that if this is so, we will see claims for legitimacy from polygamists and worse. They will either win their case too, underlining that we have in effect little or no laws regarding marriage at all (that is what happened when the abortion law was struck down), or they will be turned back by the courts. What possible argument could the court make in denying polygamists equality under the law? Once the biology of marriage is not considered to be essential to it, either 1) everything is possible or 2) we will say "no" and draw the line where ever we will simply because we can. That will set a precedent for further state agression, though it will never be called that. No, it'll be another "victory for progress" or something equally pleasant and meaningless. I'll end with a snippet from St Paul's epistle to the Romans (18-29). It doesn't matter what you think about the status of the Bible for the purposes I have in mind here. I am simply using the text as a historical proof that mankind has been down this road in the past, and are about to test it again:
... they became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless minds were darkened. While claiming to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for the likeness of an image of mortal man... Therefore, God handed them over to impurity through the lusts of their hearts for the mutual degradation of their bodies. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and revered the creature rather than the creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. Therefore, God handed them over to degrading passions. Their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural [think birth control], and the males likewise gave up natural relations and burned with lust for one another... God handed them over to their undisciplined mind to do what is improper.******** That's a high level argument. The more common one is on the basis of equality. "SSM is a correction for inequality" is only valid if that inequality exists. In other words, it is valid if and only if there is no difference between a man and a woman in a marriage. All of the social science today is suggesting that there are in fact very large differences between men and women, in their thinking and in their behavior. Not all men are the same, but there is something common to men that we call maleness and the same can be said of women. It follows from this that a union of two men will have certain characteristics, that a union of two women will have certain other characteristics, and that a union of a man and a woman will have different characteristics from the other two. Since all three of these relations are different, it does not follow that making distinctions between them is always and only unjustified, and always and only done on the basis of irrational hatred.