Relax: Donald Trump isn’t a conservative. He just plays one on TV.
The Six Principles
I’m getting tired of folks not knowing what it means to be a conservative (the non-straw man version). Especially Christians who believe that conservatism is against social justice (whatever that is), and that it is ‘merely’ another “ideology” next to all the others. Continue reading
Culture follows politics. Or, maybe politics follows culture. I’m not sure which is more accurate, but one thing seems rather clear: sports follows both.
One of the most alluring interpretations of the Trump and Sanders phenomenon is that there is a significant group of middle Americans dissatisfied with the “establishment” and ruling elite. For the progressives, the top 1% of income earners and major corporations are draining the will-to-live of the rest of the nation. For conservatives, the liberal taste and policy makers are pushing the country further into polarization by the neglecting and demonizing of those holding firm to traditional values etc. But, clearly, people are frustrated and are in a munificent mood for rebellion!
One of my best friends has insightfully written about the real and ubiquitous need for solitude, a time of retreat into the depths of one’s own mind. He astutely observes that exploring the far reaches of one’s mental territory often neglected due to matters of the moment is therapeutic. For him, it is the daily commute to work wherein he find the opportunity for solace. He protests that despite the baby-boomerness of it all, it appears that even the millennial needs this time for contemplation.
The question arises in my mind, why?
In mathematics, or some quantitative science, the answers we achieve feel ironically “concrete” because they are numerical. We can rest assured that they are correct or not, because we are playing with conceptual objects that we easily grasp. There is only one right answer.
What about in philosophy, or in any question that might be entertained by the humanities? One of my cousins admitted that she did not like those subjects in which there is not one right answer, but just multiple points of view. This is very understandable, and rather typical of our mindset today wherein numbers are grounded in fact and all opinions that are not quantified are uncertain speculation. This is the early modern view at work; clear and distinct ideas of Descartes are the only ones we can be certain of, and what is more clear and distinct than 1+3=4?!
“Here is where Descartes proves that our senses are untrustworthy and that we are at least certain we are thinking while doubting everything else…”
Teaching philosophy to school kids? Yes, I support this idea, with certain qualifications and cares taken.
Philosophy undoubtedly helps one expand his own point of view, and to learn to think logically and formally. This is why some have even fused logic with philosophy. But a tool cannot be also that which is using the tool, so they must be distinct: philosophy is the pursuit of wisdom by means of logic. To ask the right questions is something that should be encouraged in all education, as this is the only means to getting at an answer.
Best of Enemies is a tale of radically opposed intellectuals enmeshed together in a very public and infamous spat (and by a penchant for verbal haughtiness most of us can only dream of). Gore Vidal, iconoclast and libertine, captured the spirit of the 60’s in his writings and films and endeavored to live out the unique contradiction of the super-rich lamenting the state of the poor from his mountain-side Italian manor. One gets the sense that human nature itself is the culprit for him.
In considering D Macmanus’ dour post regarding Kim Davis, and having been thinking about the present conflict unfolding in our society for a while, I offer a few observations. In fairness, the dynamic between us tends to be one of optimist (me) and pessimist (him); however, as is my fashion, I would hastily correct that optimism is not my state of mind, yet something more like mildly-romantic-pessimistic-hope. The romance does come from a certain aloofness, yet this is countered by a realism stemming from both the natural and supernatural truths I accept. Thus any despair brought forth by nature is suffused by the hope which man does not deserve.