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(58,785 posts)
4. The two ways from different view: Renaissance and Enlightenment principles
Mon May 14, 2018, 07:48 AM
May 2018

of humanism and the liberal beliefs arising from that, which emphasize individual worth, goodness and rights. Our liberal democracy, constitution and legal codes are mostly based on these philosophies.

The second way would be the age-old belief in a natural order, which has been codified in most religions and is inherently conservative. Most of America's conservatives believe in some mixture of the humanism they were raised with in our liberal democracy and this much older belief.

Belief in a natural order holds that people who behave morally and work to help themselves tend to be rewarded for it (by society and deity) and that people who don't are naturally punished and thus deterred. They believe this natural system results in stable, moral societies mostly lead by good, prosperous people and that interference with it by government overthrows the natural order and leads to depraved and degraded societies.

Conservatives also tend to have a darker view of humanity than liberals and believe that people will misbehave (including refusing to work) if they are not dissuaded by punishment. Many will support very severe punishment (if God believes people earn hellfire, it must be justified).

Their concepts of morality are also focused more on preserving stable, healthy society and less on supporting individual rights that could undermine society, and boy did I see an outstanding example of how that can go wrong that on my first jury duty here in the deep south. Pure kangaroo court "justice," the jury ignoring their duty as the trier of facts to rubber stamp a clearly multiply dishonest prosecution that also amazingly ineptly failed to make its case. Guessing the DA knew the jury would have their back. Fortunately, because I really didn't want to play out 13 Angry Men, including accusing the sheriff's department, DA and testing lab of incompetence and obvious malfeasance by all, for a woman we all knew shouldn't be driving (suffering from intense clinical anxiety, physically disabled, and on prescription narcotic pain medications, muscle relaxants, and psychotropics, with other accidents in the past), I turned out to be the alternate. (Btw, my second and third jury duties both went well; all did their duty under the law.)

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