Friday, June 21, 2013

Why Liberals Kill

Selwyn Duke writes at the American Thinker about the moral ambivalence that allows liberals from the French Revolution, the Nazis, the Soviets, Maoists, and so on, to so willingly engage in killing their fellow humans. Duke writes:

This brings us to a truth about the modern left. Generally speaking, like all relativistic people, liberals don't have principles.
They have feelings.
And feelings change with the wind.
Of course, some have learned the hard way - mostly through debating liberals, only to find they're virtually immune to reason - that the left isn't intellect-oriented but emotion-oriented. But the question is, why do liberals deify their own feelings?
The short answer is that they have little else to deify.
* * *

I've long pointed out that the most basic difference between the people we today call liberals and traditionalists isn't the apparent ideological divide. It is that the latter tend to believe in Moral Truth whereas liberals are almost universally moral relativists.

This is nothing less than an issue of operating in two completely different universes of reality. When you believe in Truth, morality is something objectively real to you, like matter itself. And most significantly, you view it as what it is: unchanging. This means that your yardstick for morality is the same whether convenient or inconvenient, whether you're out of power - or in power. It is unbending and non-negotiable. Oh, this doesn't mean absolutists can't betray their principles; man is weak and we all falter. But in the aggregate, it serves as a "controlling power upon will and appetite," to quote Edmund Burke, and thus mitigates man's do-what-thou-wilt default.

But what happens when a person doesn't believe in Truth? What then will be his yardstick for behavior? Well, if what we call right and wrong isn't determined by anything above man, then man himself is its author. But will it ultimately be a function of his intellect? Consider that the intellect's job is to use reason, a quality that the relativistic left ostensibly values. What is reason, however? It's not an answer, but a method by which answers may be found. But there can be no answers to moral questions if there's no Truth; hence, there then is no reason for reason.

This is why following relativism out leads us to a striking conclusion: Since we can't say that anything is objectively right or wrong, better or worse, the only yardstick we have left for behavior is feelings. Truth is a tale, faith is fancy, but emotion is certainly real. We can feel it - deeply. And, oh, how seductive is that siren of anger, envy or any passion? Just think how readily emotion inspires action.
 Read the whole thing.

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