Liberalism, Our Culture's Faith

Liberalism (in the broad, politicla theory sense) purports to be religiously neutral. But that is false. It itself is a religion, and to forward its ends acts continually to marginalize, and especially, to push from the public sphere, all other religions. But it is part of the creed liberalism that it is "value neutral," so it is extremely difficult for liberals to admit that they are perfectly willing to "push their (liberal) values on others." So, for instance, I encountered someone online who thought it was ridiculous for a florist to "push her values" on others and refuse to provide flowers for a lesbian couple's wedding. I pointed out that he was perfectly willing to "push his values" (for the acceptance of homosexuality, in this case) on the florist to the extent of driving her out of business. His response was to tell me to fellate him, but in cruder terms. It is rather obvious that he is "pushing his values" on the florist far harder than the florist is with the lesbian couple. The couple, after all, only had to go down the street to find another florist perfectly willing to sell them a wedding bouquet. Meanwhile, the florist is losing her very livelihood. But my liberal interlocutor, when faced with the risk of having the façade of liberal neutrality exposed for what it is, could only respond with crude insults.

In any case, here is Ed Feser on liberalism:

"What liberals of all varieties -- from Hobbes and Locke to Kant to Rawls and Nozick -- share in common, whatever their significant differences, is an emphasis on the sovereignty of the will of the individual. For liberalism, no demand on any individual is legitimate to which he does not in some sense consent. The tendency is therefore to regard any such imposition as an affront to his dignity. The liberty that the liberal wants to further is freedom from fetters on the individual’s will, whether those fetters are political, social, moral, religious, or cultural. The individual will is sovereign, its dignity supreme.

"Liberalism in this broad sense is the dominant way of thinking and feeling in modern times. It is, essentially, the compulsory ethos, indeed the religion, of modern times. It absolutely permeates contemporary political, social, moral, religious, and cultural life."

8 comments:

  1. Do you think the idea that government involvement causes conflict can be traced back to liberalism? That seems to be the general idea with the separation of church and state, marriage "privatization", and other things.

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  2. More a meta religion. The religion necessary to make room for all others, arbitrate between them, and allow for coexistence, though assertion of a common value hardly seems like will of the individual in either case.

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    1. Well, what liberalism very much doesn't do is "make room" for other religions: it tells them to shut up in the public sphere and confine themselves to private belief. That is kind of how the caliphate treated Jews and Christians.

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    2. The alternative to which is intolerance to any other, indoctrination.

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    3. Who says intolerance is bad?

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    4. A couple fellows named Cui Custodiet and Ipsos Custodes. I'm sure Mr Nash E Quilibrium does too. Such a nag that fellow, always coming back to the same point.

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    5. I have to your interlocutor's attitude is at variance with Feser's description. He sounds more like an American liberal than what Feser is talking about. I don't think the clasic civil libertarian would side with your fellatee manque. Nor of course the Paulines. Bob Murphy fits Feser's description, but I bet he's on the florist's side.

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    6. Yes, he does, but it's still a manifestation of the same "don't impose your morality on me" BS.

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