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  1. #1
    Senior Member Ruthie's Avatar
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    Default The premise of social conservatism

    If you sift through the laundry list of issues, at its heart social conservatism makes the following comparisons between past and present:

    1. Families are less stable than they used to be.
    2. Communities are more transient.
    3. Social mores regarding behavior have deteriorated.
    4. There is less deference to previous generations or their values.
    5. Community, national, religious institutions have become less relevant.

    On the facts, it's tough to argue the truth of those points (easy to measure stats like divorce rate, crime rate, average number of job/career changes, church membership, etc... and compare it to the same statistics from, say, 1945.)

    So, here's what I want to open up to the board for debate: setting aside the issues the social conservatives back today (same-sex marriage chief among them), are those five changes positive, negative, or neutral?

  2. #2
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    I think all of those five changes are a turn for the negative. Being unable to find stability or being in a constant state of "waiting for things to crumble" is not healthy for anyone. You don't have much to lean on when things get tough. Strong ties with the family and community help to find the stability needed. Respect for people around you, your family, previous generations and community you're a part of are very important. Even if the values the previous generations held in the past have changed to suit the world of today, there still is something to learn from them. Values are not built on empty ground, they're still based on previous ones. All the negativity that originates with unertainty and disrespect creates more negativity and that's a vicious cycle that is hard to break.

  3. #3
    Supreme Allied Commander Take Five's Avatar
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    The changes are bad because now personal identity is tougher to discover or define, both by others and oneself. And without an identity, known by oneself and the community, one will likely turn to wrong behavior.

  4. #4
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Take Five View Post
    The changes are bad because now personal identity is tougher to discover or define, both by others and oneself.
    So, is the deterioration of conservative values pushing existentialism?
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruthie View Post
    1. Families are less stable than they used to be.
    I think this is strongly due to the financial freedoms the individual have gained over the years. Especially women. Back then it wasn't a viable option to divorce and split up the family.

    Family unity may have gone down because buses and planes are more available to people giving them more choices to move away from their family.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruthie View Post
    2. Communities are more transient.
    Our neighbors are not our only option for social interactions anymore. We have the internet like this forum to mingle, we can afford to drive further to other towns to find and make friends with people who share more common interests with us. Finding other new communities are easier then ever to join that is not as hard anymore to leave old ones.

    Overall I really don't mind how society is going. Mainly because I really don't know how "back in the old days" was like. I'm pretty sure most people are exaggerating how wonderful it was.

  6. #6
    Senior Member LEGERdeMAIN's Avatar
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    1. Families are less stable than they used to be.

    negative: When the divorce rate among married parents increases the children are the ones hurt the most. I don't think the divorce rate by itself is a good measure of familiy stability, since not all marriages produce offspring. The solution would be to curb pregnancy overall for 15-30 yos and, more specifically, for unmarried 15-30 yos.

    Neutral: It's not illegal, wrong or inherently harmful for adults to marry and divorce or otherwise begin and end long-term relationships, regardless of their "legitimacy", so long as children are not involved. Hopefully, the children of today will be the childless adults of tomorrow.

    Positive: I don't think that divorces are a bad thing, especially when two people were married for the wrong reasons. Everyone should claim the right to decide what to do with their lives, especially on a personal level.

    2. Communities are more transient.
    3. Social mores regarding behavior have deteriorated.

    This is not the case in my country, except where groups with competing lifestyles exist in close proximity to each other. Oh, wait, that's practically every place on earth. The "transience" is a positive thing in the long run, information is passing more quickly and the breaks in tradition will eventually lead to new solutions to problems(for example: capitalism and socialism are no longer viable as economic models and, eventually, we will find something better to replace them. This can't happen if traditions, beliefs and your social mores are passed from generation to generation) We're in a transition phase as a complex, global civilization and it's expected that many things will go wrong before it gets better. Whatever that means.

    4. There is less deference to previous generations or their values.

    This always exists. It's not bad, it's the evolution and maturity of the species (Indigenous peoples are savage animals, Homosexuals should be put to death, etc.)


    5. Community, national, religious institutions have become less relevant.

    The way I see it, community and regional organizations are replacing irrelevant, out-of-touch national and religious institutions. Old institutions(designed in/for their own time) are eventually replaced by new institutions(designed in/for our time), which are more responsive to the needs, wants and whims of society. This is a narrow perspective, sorry, I'm feeling thin today.

    On the facts, it's tough to argue the truth of those points (easy to measure stats like divorce rate, crime rate, average number of job/career changes, church membership, etc... and compare it to the same statistics from, say, 1945.)

    So, here's what I want to open up to the board for debate: setting aside the issues the social conservatives back today (same-sex marriage chief among them), are those five changes positive, negative, or neutral?[/quote]
    “Some people will tell you that slow is good – but I’m here to tell you that fast is better. I’ve always believed this, in spite of the trouble it’s caused me. Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba…”


  7. #7
    Supreme Allied Commander Take Five's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haphazard View Post
    So, is the deterioration of conservative values pushing existentialism?
    I have no way of proving that. But I will say that I would not be surprised if that is the case. At any rate, I don't think that's too hard to imagine.
    What do you think?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Ruthie's Avatar
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    I don't see how anyone could look at those 5 points above and think they were anything but negative. But, okay...

    Next question - the remedies. What's your take on these?

    1. Do away with no-fault divorces.
    2. Strengthen labor unions [the need for multiple incomes adds stress to marriages].
    3. Mandating a year of national or military service [re-teaching the ethic of duty].
    4. Use public funds to bring jobs back to old industrial towns [cut back on transient communities]
    5. Support same-sex marriage. [Marriage is a social stabilizer]
    6. Increase the minimum wage. [money issues are the number one cause of divorce]
    7. Teach character and civic values in school [hopefully encouraging participation in basic institutions, whether religious, civic, or community-oriented]
    8. Stiffer prison sentences for violent offenders [crime kills neighborhoods]
    9. Strict banking and wall street regulations [greed hurts families and communities]
    10. Public support of faith-based organizations [they feed the hungry and house the poor effectively]
    11. Medicare for all. [medical catastrophes lead to bankruptcy; bankruptcy hurts families.]
    12. Stricter gun control laws [see #8]

    My guess is that most people will support some of these and oppose some of these (except for my libertarian friends, who are likely to oppose most if not all of the above). Still, it's an interesting idea... using liberal means to bring back "Main Street"* values. There really isn't a platform for this side of things right now.

    *I deliberately used the term "Main Street" instead of "conservative." The concepts of faith, family, duty, country, service, loyalty, and patriotism are often called "conservative values." But conservatism is all about rampant individualism over community cohesion. "Main Street" seemed more appropriate.

  9. #9
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    1. No
    2. No
    3. No
    4. No
    5. Sure, why not? I say "civil unions for all," though. Get the government out of marriage.
    6. No
    7. That sounds a little vague, perhaps
    8. Depends on the crime and the circumstances
    9. Stricter penalties for crimes; NO BAILOUTS
    10. Government support? No
    11. No
    12. No
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  10. #10
    Supreme Allied Commander Take Five's Avatar
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    I'd say yes to 6, 7, 8, and 10.

    No to 2, 3, 4, 5, 11.

    Undecided on 1, 9, and 12.

    Though community cohesion, absent a severe crisis, may be outside of government control ultimately.

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