A "Come to Jesus" Moment for the Right?

By RightKlik

Andrew Klavan hits the nails on the head.  Number three is perhaps the most important:

Recently, a number of books by secular intellectuals have noted the disaster that is postmodern relativism—the nihilist philosophy that has corrupted and gutted Western liberal education. Education’s End, by Anthony T. Kronman, Why We Should Call Ourselves Christians, by Marcello Pera, and What Ever Happened to Modernism?, by Gabriel Josipovici, come to mind. All lament the abandonment of our commitment to the Great Conversation—the intellectual’s belief that the creative tension of the uniquely brilliant Western literary and philosophical canon can lead us in the direction of moral truth.

But the authors cannot fully grasp the nettle of the solution. Many assume that the Great Conversation depended on the sort of open mind only secularism can provide. As Kronman puts it: “Every religion insists, at the end of the day, that there is only one right answer to the question of life’s meaning,” thus rendering the pluralism of the Great Conversation impossible. I would contend the opposite: only the existence of a God in whose image we are created can support the notion of moral truth at all. It was always Judeo-Christianity, and that alone, that made the Great Conversation possible. Pera understands this intellectually, but cannot really plunk for faith. And therein lies the problem. The triumph of science, the comfort of Western life, and a sophisticated elite virulently hostile to religion have all contributed to an intellectual atmosphere of unbelief—a sense that atheism should be the default mode of reasonable, thinking people. That is a mere prejudice and needs to be answered in the culture, not with Bible-thumping literalism and small-minded judgmentalism—nor with banal happy-talk optimism—but by sound argument made publicly, unabashedly, and without fear. John Adams and the other Founders were right about this: an irreligious people cannot be free. Liberty lives in the palace of moral truth, and you can’t build that palace on the empty air.
Read the rest.

Urban Dictionary: Come to Jesus

8 comments:

  1. Keeping the tent small is the death knell for the republican party. I know this isn't the intent of the article or this post. But realistically, based on present realities, this is the likely result.

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    1. I disagree-it is relevant. The question, I believe, has always been how to retain the original guiding message of the Conservative base. It is a two-edged sword in that in order to be conservatively contemporary there must be an acknowledgement of changes in our country, demographics, economics and especially technology, which then creates apprehension in how those new ideas will affect conservative values and theories. Conservatives have a difficult time expressing the intangibilities(?) of Conservatism, the basic message being the woven strands of faith and stewardship. We have not yet learned how to find our voice. Why? What is so frightening to us that we cannot trumpet the joy of a true belief in God and happy willingness to care for His world? This is what makes us so vulnerable and that is why the phrase "Nice guys finish last" was coined. There is nothing wrong with Great Conversations, when all agree to disagree, which does not seem to be the case. (Hope I wasn't too long.)

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  2. "...realistically, based on present realities, this is the likely result."

    Explain how that is so.

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    1. I did in comment on previous post. It is more likely than not those who most need to to recognize that which is needed to grow the size of the fiscally conservative tent will do.

      They are the socons and the neo cons. The minimally focused, or single issue folks. This election was the republicans to lose, and they did.




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    2. I'm not sure how your comments on other posts apply to this one. But this post is about conservatives, not about the Republican party. If you haven't read it already, I recommend the article I linked. I'm interested in what the LCR crowd thinks.

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  3. The dichotomy he's struggling with is between the feeling that there are moral truths and the idea that they can't be arrived at by reason. The solution is not to brush it under the rug as he does by declaring that reason and faith are compatible. The solution is to derive morality from observation, as Ayn Rand did from observations about the nature of life and values.

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    1. I appreciate most of what Rand has to say, but Objectivism can only go so far in real-world politics. Moral and political questions can't be answered by reason and observation alone. I strongly recommend The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt. Haidt is a center-left liberal, but his insights into the morality of politics are profound, in my opinion. To make a long story short, libertarians and conservatives will continue to fail in politics if they think that they can win elections with facts and reason alone.

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  4. Not to put a to fine a point on it, but atheism is not the problem.

    Its that morality is not "taught" in schools anymore.

    And I am an atheist!


    Consider this, stealing is wrong. I can prove that in a logical argument. IF you taught that argument, you can provide a base for morality. Absent that debate, and absent anyone telling any reasons why stealing is wrong, (even if it is as wrong a reason as god will burn you in hell), then people will find no justification not to steal.

    Unfortunately, a lot of atheists think that people are intrinsically moral. I do not, it is a taught behavior - even if the morality comes from example, not discussion.

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