Monday, January 15, 2007

A conservative (third party) opinion

“Conservatives don’t speak much of ‘ideals.’ They think, more modestly, in terms of norms, which are never perfectly realized, but only approximated by sinful man. Consider homosexuality. Whereas the liberal wants to impose ‘gay rights,’ by law and coercion, the conservative sees homosexuality as a defect, which to some extent can and must be tolerated, because it can’t be ‘eradicated,’ but it can’t rationally be exalted to the plane of normality; and he knows that all talk of ‘same-sex marriage’ is nonsense, like trying to breed calves from a pair of bulls. But to the liberal, the only issue is equal rights; human nature and normality have nothing to say to him. What the conservative sees as life’s mysteries, the liberal sees as mere irrationality.” —Joseph Sobran

1 comment:

Kobayashi Maru said...

Thomas Sowell is informative on this point:

Liberals believe that human nature is malleable and that the knowledge and wisdom one individual can acquire in a lifetime is significant enough to legitimately challenge societal norms built-up over milennia. Conservatives know that human nature is fixed, and recognize that their own ability to know better than the accumulated wisdom of their forbears is miniscule indeed--a stance that naturally breeds humility. From that flows a healthy skepticism for social experiments that rely on a sea-change in human nature (the sudden eradication sinful impulses, e.g., of self-interest assumed under communism) or on one brilliant individual knowing better than the lessons of history.