Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Truth is a Slave & Somebody Owns it!

A week ago, AngloGermanicAmerican thought this link would be of interest to me and was he right! It is a post by an “Independent Conservative” with the motto “Saying what needs to be said”.

Besides enabling me to view closely the religious basis on which some anti-homosexuals stand in the United States, the blogger’s dialogue with his commentators reveals yet again how conservatism as a trait stands in a disconnect from religion (or ideologies). Conservatives across the map might quote different religions contexts but remain indistinguishable from one another (in their tendencies).

In the link, Conservative chops off Anglo’s first comment, and explains his action by saying, “it's a very lengthy dissertation of what is already above and starts getting into more details that are unnecessary.” But despite the explanation, Conservative emails the “unnecessary” parts to “chosen” readers. He then moves to questioning Anglo’s “Christian-ness” asking him to provide valid proof, and from thereon the discussion turns to preaching. (There's the tendency to judge, control and silence a suspectable opponent.)

Without relying on a label, it is fairly easy for a Christian to visit a Christian site and recognize the conservatism of it the same way it is easy for a Muslim or a Jew to recognize the different ways their religion is interpreted or used by its followers. However, separating the trait from the faith becomes a challenge in cross-religious/nonreligious encounters. A problem further complicated by ownership of the truth and necessity for implementing it proving to be a core characteristic in the conservative trait.

I was reminded by this whole deal yesterday, as I read about the 9 “Islamists and tribal MPs” of the Kuwaiti Parliament who walked out of the room in a protest against two women ministers who do not cover their hair, claiming that “the two ministers violated a law that requires women to (abide by Islamic regulations while voting or contesting the elections.)”


أبو سنان said...

You write:

"Conservatives across the map might quote different religions but remain indistinguishable from one another."

But what is the cause of that? Is it that all conservatives are alike, or is it because the religions, at their core, are alike?

Aysha said...

The exact question crossed my mind while writing the post. I tend to develop my ideas through writing, sometimes. In this case I intentionally left it as "Conservatives quote religions" and not "religious conservatives quote religions" because funny enough, the trait of conservatism exists even in the argument of "no-religion" folks, the ways with which they portray and try to implement their new path as the one and only.

Aysha said...

Dear Abu-Sinan,
With your permission, I have added to the post after your comment (to clarify my thoughts further) and indicated what's been added by including it in (....)

Murtadha said...

what all conservative people have in common is that they use a religion as their main weapon...
they think of it like this :
- if you are against conservative christian, this means you are against a christianity as a whole ..
the same for muslims, if you are against conservative muslims, this means in their view , you are against islam..

this is why conservatism appear to be so radical in some aspects

anyway, my point here is that
criticizing conservative people doesn't mean that i am criticizing their religion but their interpretation of their religion!

Murtadha said...

my contradictory side ask me to come back again and present the other side of the argument..
so let assume that conservative guy is here,, his respond would look like this :)

liberal are too using a liberty as their weapon... they always think that criticizing them means criticizing the liberty and freedom of human being...
and that is wrong ... because FREEDOM and LIBERTY are so big and vague ... you can give the woman the total freedom to be naked and say hi that is her freedom... while that represent the make her live under the total oppression and dehumanization ..
conservative people look at FREEDOM and LIBERTY beyond the materialistic view... while liberal confine their view on the materialistic side ...
for example, muslim conservative think that ( alhejab ) is a great sign of woman's liberty and whenever a woman take it off, means she is throwing her liberty on the garbage :))

at the end,,i don't agree with what i wrote ... but i wrote it anyway just to make the argument fair from both sides and to make my contradictory side happy as well :))

thanks aysha for opening such an interesting topic like this

Saudi in US said...


I would like to take a different approach at explaining the behavior of conservatives.

I think at the root of their behavior is a believe system that develops a universe of too many facts. Liberals on the other hand have a much smaller set. This smaller set is based on rational thinking. If a person is a true liberal a fact is not accepted unless it can be defended. Of course there is a spectrum of that covers all sorts of people from the extreme conservatives to the extreme liberal.

OK now for the behavior part. I think conservatives carry a heavy burden of too many believes to defend. Many of those facts cannot be defended with methods that are accepted by others. For an example a person that holds the belief that homosexuality is evil and bases that on some text from the bible. Others may not accept that text, therefore there is no common ground and the conservative gets frustrated.

Another issue is that when you move an opinion to the fact column, it becomes essential to your believe system. Having any of these facts destroyed, even by reasoned argument, may impact the entire system. This goes to the core of radicalism, every fact no matter how insignificant has to be defended.

On the other side, liberals by definition have very few facts. I as a liberal only accept things into the fact column if and only if they can be proven by evidence. Everything falls into the gray area. That means I can be persuaded with logical arguments to change positions and I do not have the burden of putting a defensive barriers.

Murtadha said...

saudi in us,,
i just wanna say that your comments always amaze me...
something i really love in aysha's blog is that i always get the opportunity to listen and discuss with unique people like you ..

Saudi in US said...


Thanks you for the kind words. I am also very fond of your multi-personality arguments. You have found a unique technique to add value to the discussions by applying different prospectives.

AngloGermanicAmerican said...

Ironically, I suppose, is the fact that I consider myself to be a conservative, with some, perhaps many, undeniably liberal views. :) The difficulty, of course, is with language and what we really mean when we describe a view, or a standard operating procedure, as either liberal or conservative. Oftentimes, the key is context.

A conservative, as I use the term, is resistant to change and even fearful of it. The conservative values tradition and finds both comfort and safety in continuing within the “tradition.” Tradition carries with it an identity; it’s who we are and what we should continue to do. At the extreme, a conservative is one who refuses change in any form, for whom all issues have been resolved or are capable of resolution by established principles, and whose hostility to change results in a closed mind, an unremitting compulsion to close the minds of others, and the need to silence opposing views, especially those opposing views from within the tradition who must now be labeled heretical. Ultimately, the extreme conservative necessarily claims sole possession of the truth and assigns to himself or herself the responsibility of defending and enforcing the truth, becoming an authoritarian and totalitarian in the process. (I should point out that the road to authoritarianism by a liberal is analogous, but in my view, more sinister and far less comprehensible – but this is perhaps my own prejudice speaking. In America, one must recognize that conservatives are persons who relish and preserve a liberal tradition – a seeming paradox that, in my opinion, too few recognize.)

Ahmed said...

You have been tagged :-)

Aysha said...

Murtadha, Saudi in Us, Anglogermanicamerican, allow me to listen in without commenting. You each bring accuracy to the argument of "conservatism" and analyze it beautifuly in it's active form. I benefit immensly from sitting amongst you in silence...