Monday, 25 December 2017

The Difference

For some it is an article of faith derived from simple observation that human nature contains the seeds of kindness and of culture, seeds which will spontaneously germinate wherever humans thrive and almost before they begin to frame ideas about their existence. For others these things are absent unless imposed paternalistically from above by those with big ideas who know what is best for us. For the state has to institute years of culture, cities of culture or University-based creative writing courses. Otherwise culture will never arise of itself. The state has to guarantee and organise infallible charity for the kindness of human hearts will never provide it. Should a chink or a lacuna appear in that perfect state charity heads will need to roll. In the same way human nature will spontaneously generate religion of itself as a way of channeling the unique human need for meaning which derives from our unique status as creatures that not only feel and exist as dogs do but know that we feel and exist. In spite of this a de facto system of visible and public virtue will be imposed from above often displacing the natural religion and morality that arises of itself. We will all be expected to take our place in this system striving to satisfy its dictates; dictates that often have little to do with the real morality that operates deep in people's hearts and is private between them and their God.

All of these things are a testimony to a fussy, micro-managerial and faithless attitude towards the goodness of human nature and the belief that it will usually provide.

The two attitudes described here, in some ways, describe the difference between a conservative attitude to existence and the hyper-rational and often scientific one that Liberals subscribe to.

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