The Liberal Mind Rejects Sad Facts

Discussion in 'The Cesspool' started by RenaissanceMan, Nov 17, 2010.

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  1. RenaissanceMan RenaissanceMan Registered Senior Member

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  3. synthesizer-patel Sweep the leg Johnny! Valued Senior Member

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  5. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

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    The idea that people are inherently good or bad or neutral isn't a fact, it's an opinion. Everyone knows that men and women are different, but liberals believe that they should all be treated equally under the law, especially since every individual has differing potential. We can all acknowledge that blacks are disproportionately imprisoned, but we differ on the reasons for it. The UN may be flawed and ineffective, but that's because it's a collection of people with widely differing opinions on what should be done. The world would be far worse without a forum for airing our grievances, and Republicans would have nothing to use as justification for their wars.
     
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  7. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    This whole subject is rather juvenile; intended to lump a large group of people together and assign views to them for which there is no fact in evidence. Where is the proof that "liberals" have a very simplistic view of the world - everyone is good? There is none.

    And just exactly who is a liberal? I voted supported McCain when he ran for president back when he first claimed to be a maverick in 2000. I supported Pat Buchanan when he ran against Clinton (I was against NAFTA). And yet there are many in this forum with a right wing bias who think I am liberal because I do not support their extremism.

    So just what is a liberal...anyone who disagrees with a right wing extremist, anyone who takes issue with fox and the likes of limbaugh and company? I think the bottom line is the so called "liberal" is a very large and diverse group...much more diverse than Republicans/Tea Partiers. So the notion that all "liberals" think alike is just silly and a right wing extremist fantasy.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2010
  8. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Any idea where this Prager guy got his ideas about what "liberals" accept as facts?

    He doesn't seem to have much experience with actual liberals, almost none of whom think (for example) that black males do not commit violent crimes at disproportionate rates. That one would be easy to check, if Prager knew any "liberals".
     
  9. nirakar ( i ^ i ) Registered Senior Member

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    Dennis Prager is a right wing radio talk show host therefore anything he makes up is true.
     
  10. brucep Valued Senior Member

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    He's been 'on air' in LA for 35 years I know of. His ability to reason is clouded by his religious ideology.
     
  11. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    Well that explains it.
     
  12. brucep Valued Senior Member

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  13. Pandaemoni Valued Senior Member

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    While assessments of good and evil are subjective valuations, more directly, *everyone* tends to uncritically accept facts that buttress their opinions and reject facts that undercut those opinions. It's not "liberals reject sad facts," but "people suffer from confirmation bias and biases against facts they prefer to believe are not true."

    All humans, left and right and other, are stupid in pretty much the same ways.
     
  14. brucep Valued Senior Member

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    And that is the sad fact.
     
  15. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    How and why should anyone take a half-witted bigot like Dennis Prager seriously?

    One might as well argue that "the conservative mind rejects real facts".

    The fundamental disposition of humanity is a subject of eternal debate. As long as humans exist and are capable of arguing, they will argue about this.

    Which, of course, means that fundamental lack of goodness among humans is a fact:

    Why would liberals in general, and Jewish liberals in particular — given the Jews' singularly horrific history at the hands of other human beings — react so strongly against someone who wrote that people are not basically good?

    In my original article, I offered one explanation: Since the Enlightenment, the secular world has had to believe in man (or "humanity"), because if you don't believe in God and you don't believe in humanity, you will despair.

    But one critic opened my eyes to an even deeper reason most liberals do not acknowledge that people are not basically good.

    This is what he wrote:

    "What a sad world it would be if we all believed as Dennis Prager that mankind is inherently evil."

    And this is what I responded: "I did not write that man is inherently evil. I wrote that he is not basically good. And, yes, that does make the world sad. So do disease, earthquakes, death and all the unjust suffering in the world. But sad facts remain facts."

    "A distinguishing characteristic of liberals and leftists," I concluded, "is their aversion to acknowledging sad facts."


    (Prager)

    It is a curiously simplistic premise: Bad things happen; therefore, people are inherently not good.

    And yet, in order to reach that curiously simplistic premise, Prager must perform some fairly complicated rhetorical acrobatics. Such as: "I did not write that man is inherently evil. I wrote that he is not basically good."

    Which might make sense except for the general perception of the two conditions being diametrically opposed. And that perception of an antonymous relationship is fundamental to the argument. After all, he is talking about Jews here, arguing: "In a lifetime of teaching and writing on Judaism, I have never encountered a single normative statement in 3,000 years of Jewish writing that asserted that man is basically good."

    In a way, what he's doing is claiming the long-sought "third state" of a binary unit: On/Off. Yes/No. And what comes in between?

    Is humanity amoral? Certainly, there is a fair case to be made about this, but that isn't Prager's interest. Rather, it's about politics—e.g., what's wrong with liberals—which is why he is more interested in criticizing people than actually exploring the deeper issue of the fundamental human condition.

    But Prager overlooks a particular Jewish tradition that might be relevant to his consideration: Shekinah.

    In Qabalism, a mystical aspect of Judaism, we find an expression of a concept known as "The Tree of Life". This is generally represented by ten circles (sephirot) connected by twenty-two lines; some representations include an eleventh circle with necessary connections. The tenth (eleventh) or bottom sephirah is Malkuth (מלכות), taken to mean "kingdom".

    There are stories in Qabalistic and, as I recall, Hasidic tradition that tell of the fate of the Shekinah. Some say that the Shekinah was driven into exile with Adam; others say that Shekinah was the bottom sephirah of the Tree of Life, and that some cataclysm shattered it into pieces. By this latter, each of God's people carry within them a small piece of the Shekinah, and it is their divine duty to deliver that shard to reconstruction and restoration, whereupon the Shekinah will replace Malkuth, and balance return to God's creation.

    That spark of divinity represents the fundamental goodness—Godliness—in humanity. It is a mythical description of what drives us to be good.

    What Prager overlooks, then, is that without that fundamental goodness, humanity can never reconcile with God; it will always be condemned to the evil that is intrinsic to our separation from the divine.

    While this is hardly Jewish doctrine, it is a notion that persists through its influences on later philosophical developments.

    But it is probably a bit subtle for Prager, who has written a book (Why the Jews? The Reason for Antisemitism) arguing that anti-Semitism is the fault of Jews:

    Why The Jews? discards conventional explanations of antisemitism to argue that its root causes are, paradoxically, the very convictions that have ensured Jewish survival: the Jewish conceptions of God, Law, and Peoplehood. Drawing on extensive historical research, the authors reveal how these distinctive Jewish values have precipitated universal antisemitism by making the Jews, and now the Jewish state into outsiders—challengers—to other people's Gods, laws, or national allegiances.

    (The Dennis Prager Store)

    In the end, what we come down to is simply nodding and saying, "Yes, it's Dennis Prager." And those who are asked to take him seriously? Well, they might wonder about how to take those who ask.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Prager, Dennis. "The Liberal Mind Rejects Sad Facts". National Review Online. November 16, 2010. NationalReview.com. November 17, 2010. http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/253353/liberal-mind-rejects-sad-facts-dennis-prager

    The Dennis Prager Store. "Why the Jews? The Reason for Antisemitism". (n.d.) Stores.DennisPrager.com. November 17, 2010. http://stores.dennisprager.com/Merc...reen=PROD&Product_Code=DPBK5&Category_Code=05
     
  16. nirakar ( i ^ i ) Registered Senior Member

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  17. synthesizer-patel Sweep the leg Johnny! Valued Senior Member

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    I thought he WAS Bristol Palin
     
  18. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Mod Hat - Closure and Redirect

    Mod Hat — Closure and redirect

    Indeed; I've already struck a spam thread that tracks back to that name at that site. I didn't search deeply enough when double-checking his other threads.

    Thank you for finding this one.

    Thread closed, redirected as appropriate.
     
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