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tejretics
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4/11/2015 12:01:57 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I don't really understand the core philosophy of conservatism. I've always leaned towards the political left and am a strong liberal, but I don't understand the benefits of "discrimination" [yes, perhaps that is too strong a word] based on ethnicity, religion, etc. Conservatism is basically a point of view that leans towards a religious group, etc. but in what ways? Actually, this is weird coming from an Indian as India is ruled by the center-right BJP party, a conservative one. Thanks for your help.
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass
Varrack
Posts: 2,410
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4/11/2015 4:26:55 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/11/2015 12:01:57 PM, tejretics wrote:
I don't really understand the core philosophy of conservatism. I've always leaned towards the political left and am a strong liberal, but I don't understand the benefits of "discrimination" [yes, perhaps that is too strong a word] based on ethnicity, religion, etc. Conservatism is basically a point of view that leans towards a religious group, etc. but in what ways? Actually, this is weird coming from an Indian as India is ruled by the center-right BJP party, a conservative one. Thanks for your help.

Conservatism is a philosophy that promotes retaining traditional social institutions in the context of the culture and civilization. It's based on preserving virtues that seem to be eroding away and opposing modernism. Many conservatives are religious because their faiths are consistent with tradition, such as family values. I think it's also based around the implied idea that God's word doesn't change through popular opinion or social pressures, so conservatism makes more sense to them.
16kadams
Posts: 10,497
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4/11/2015 5:34:24 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/11/2015 12:01:57 PM, tejretics wrote:
I don't really understand the core philosophy of conservatism. I've always leaned towards the political left and am a strong liberal, but I don't understand the benefits of "discrimination" [yes, perhaps that is too strong a word] based on ethnicity, religion, etc. Conservatism is basically a point of view that leans towards a religious group, etc. but in what ways? Actually, this is weird coming from an Indian as India is ruled by the center-right BJP party, a conservative one. Thanks for your help.

Ideologies range a lot. Libertarians are right-leaning but tend to be socially liberal.

Conservatives don't discriminate against race or religion in their platforms. I am a Hispanic and deist--neither of which are 'Christian white' (though my religion flips a lot between deism, agnosticism, and atheism cause I don't know much about the issue). Jeb Bush is married to a Mexican and Marco Rubio is Cuban. Bobby Jindal is extremely conservative and he is from India. Herman Cain and Ben Carson, conservatives, are black. Conservatives when asked "what will we do for black people" say nothing. Jeb did. Everyone cried and said "discrimination!" But our answer is not that we will help a group of people, but that we will help them all through free market capitalism, which leads to economic growth.

Liberals favor groups all the time. Affirmative action, a liberal policy, specifically favors minorities. Say Varrack and I both get a 34 on the ACT, get straight A's, and are both equal in all respects. We apply to University of Chicago. I get accepted over him because I am a Puerto Rican. That is pure favoritism and reverse racism.

Minimum wages are meant to help minorities and the poor. But minimum wages specifically harm minorities and the poor by causing a labor surplus (fewer jobs). Policies like this have the unintended consequence of harming the people they wish to help.

Since no major political party (in the US, and I stress the word *major*) supports discriminating against different races. The economic, social, and foreign policies differ. Conservatives, in my humble opinion, end up helping the poor the most. Liberals end up hurting it.

I don't really like the entire label of an ideology (e.g. conservatism v liberalism). Debating specific issues is important. I oppose key parts of the war on terror but still consider myself a neoconservative because I support some intervention and the Afghan war. Debating, forum posting, and PMing members about specific issues is more productive than debating what conservatives and liberals are like.

"Conservatism is basically a point of view that leans towards a religious group"

See, I am not really that religious and still am pretty extreme. Many conservative politicians hold views like against gay marriage or in support of the death penalty because of some weird versus in Leviticus. But their motives don't concern me, it is their actual view. Rick Santorum opposes abortion because of religion (which leads him to believe it is murder). I also agree with that statement but my arguments for that are secular.

You can be a secular conservative. You can be conservative on pretty much every issue using only reasoning and facts. And sure some conservatives are like "don't remove the 10 commandments from this governmental building". I personally don't care about the issue, but having a rock with 10 suggestions on it probably don't really affect the government workers...

I am kinda going everywhere and don't know what I am saying. But if one thing I say sticks, be it that conservatism/libertarianism can be supported without religious arguments and only through facts. And the 'discrimination' debate really goes both ways.
https://www.youtube.com...
https://rekonomics.wordpress.com...
"A trend is a trend, but the question is, will it bend? Will it alter its course through some unforeseen force and come to a premature end?" -- Alec Cairncross
16kadams
Posts: 10,497
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4/11/2015 5:39:50 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/11/2015 4:26:55 PM, Varrack wrote:
At 4/11/2015 12:01:57 PM, tejretics wrote:
I don't really understand the core philosophy of conservatism. I've always leaned towards the political left and am a strong liberal, but I don't understand the benefits of "discrimination" [yes, perhaps that is too strong a word] based on ethnicity, religion, etc. Conservatism is basically a point of view that leans towards a religious group, etc. but in what ways? Actually, this is weird coming from an Indian as India is ruled by the center-right BJP party, a conservative one. Thanks for your help.

Conservatism is a philosophy that promotes retaining traditional social institutions in the context of the culture and civilization. It's based on preserving virtues that seem to be eroding away and opposing modernism. Many conservatives are religious because their faiths are consistent with tradition, such as family values. I think it's also based around the implied idea that God's word doesn't change through popular opinion or social pressures, so conservatism makes more sense to them.

I don't think that is correct because if it was, you would support slavery. And you don't. You are very progressive on that issue.
https://www.youtube.com...
https://rekonomics.wordpress.com...
"A trend is a trend, but the question is, will it bend? Will it alter its course through some unforeseen force and come to a premature end?" -- Alec Cairncross
Varrack
Posts: 2,410
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4/11/2015 5:45:08 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/11/2015 5:39:50 PM, 16kadams wrote:
At 4/11/2015 4:26:55 PM, Varrack wrote:
At 4/11/2015 12:01:57 PM, tejretics wrote:
I don't really understand the core philosophy of conservatism. I've always leaned towards the political left and am a strong liberal, but I don't understand the benefits of "discrimination" [yes, perhaps that is too strong a word] based on ethnicity, religion, etc. Conservatism is basically a point of view that leans towards a religious group, etc. but in what ways? Actually, this is weird coming from an Indian as India is ruled by the center-right BJP party, a conservative one. Thanks for your help.

Conservatism is a philosophy that promotes retaining traditional social institutions in the context of the culture and civilization. It's based on preserving virtues that seem to be eroding away and opposing modernism. Many conservatives are religious because their faiths are consistent with tradition, such as family values. I think it's also based around the implied idea that God's word doesn't change through popular opinion or social pressures, so conservatism makes more sense to them.

I don't think that is correct because if it was, you would support slavery. And you don't. You are very progressive on that issue.

Well, technically someone who supports slavery is extremely conservative. But no one does, so it's not an issue. Someone who is extremely progressive may support something like public nudity for example. Yet it is so far-fetched that no one even thinks about it. Just because the word can apply to extreme examples doesn't mean it's not a valid definition.
Harper
Posts: 374
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4/11/2015 5:47:30 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/11/2015 4:26:55 PM, Varrack wrote:
At 4/11/2015 12:01:57 PM, tejretics wrote:
I don't really understand the core philosophy of conservatism. I've always leaned towards the political left and am a strong liberal, but I don't understand the benefits of "discrimination" [yes, perhaps that is too strong a word] based on ethnicity, religion, etc. Conservatism is basically a point of view that leans towards a religious group, etc. but in what ways? Actually, this is weird coming from an Indian as India is ruled by the center-right BJP party, a conservative one. Thanks for your help.

Conservatism is a philosophy that promotes retaining traditional social institutions in the context of the culture and civilization. It's based on preserving virtues that seem to be eroding away and opposing modernism. Many conservatives are religious because their faiths are consistent with tradition, such as family values. I think it's also based around the implied idea that God's word doesn't change through popular opinion or social pressures, so conservatism makes more sense to them.

But what is the value of these traditional social institutions? The fact that they are eroding probably tells you something about how good they really are, no?
Varrack
Posts: 2,410
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4/11/2015 5:50:06 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/11/2015 5:47:30 PM, Harper wrote:
At 4/11/2015 4:26:55 PM, Varrack wrote:
At 4/11/2015 12:01:57 PM, tejretics wrote:
I don't really understand the core philosophy of conservatism. I've always leaned towards the political left and am a strong liberal, but I don't understand the benefits of "discrimination" [yes, perhaps that is too strong a word] based on ethnicity, religion, etc. Conservatism is basically a point of view that leans towards a religious group, etc. but in what ways? Actually, this is weird coming from an Indian as India is ruled by the center-right BJP party, a conservative one. Thanks for your help.

Conservatism is a philosophy that promotes retaining traditional social institutions in the context of the culture and civilization. It's based on preserving virtues that seem to be eroding away and opposing modernism. Many conservatives are religious because their faiths are consistent with tradition, such as family values. I think it's also based around the implied idea that God's word doesn't change through popular opinion or social pressures, so conservatism makes more sense to them.

But what is the value of these traditional social institutions? The fact that they are eroding probably tells you something about how good they really are, no?

They are valuable because they constitute a more moral and stable society than without them. Of course I could elaborate but there would be so many things to talk about since there are dozens of modern issues.
Harper
Posts: 374
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4/11/2015 6:15:14 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/11/2015 5:50:06 PM, Varrack wrote:
At 4/11/2015 5:47:30 PM, Harper wrote:
At 4/11/2015 4:26:55 PM, Varrack wrote:
At 4/11/2015 12:01:57 PM, tejretics wrote:
I don't really understand the core philosophy of conservatism. I've always leaned towards the political left and am a strong liberal, but I don't understand the benefits of "discrimination" [yes, perhaps that is too strong a word] based on ethnicity, religion, etc. Conservatism is basically a point of view that leans towards a religious group, etc. but in what ways? Actually, this is weird coming from an Indian as India is ruled by the center-right BJP party, a conservative one. Thanks for your help.

Conservatism is a philosophy that promotes retaining traditional social institutions in the context of the culture and civilization. It's based on preserving virtues that seem to be eroding away and opposing modernism. Many conservatives are religious because their faiths are consistent with tradition, such as family values. I think it's also based around the implied idea that God's word doesn't change through popular opinion or social pressures, so conservatism makes more sense to them.

But what is the value of these traditional social institutions? The fact that they are eroding probably tells you something about how good they really are, no?

They are valuable because they constitute a more moral and stable society than without them. Of course I could elaborate but there would be so many things to talk about since there are dozens of modern issues.

But they are based on morals that were constructed centuries ago. Sound/just morals and moral judgements (and truly all judgements) are based on factual information (called knowledge when possessed by humans); obviously, people living centuries (or even decades) ago had much less knowledge than people living today, and therefore people of the present could put together a much more sound moral system than the relatively knowledge bereft people of the past.

So if traditional institutions are based on traditional (past) morals, then they must be inferior to those based on morals that come from modern knowledge. Of course, modern knowledge and the modern liberal/progressive philosophy are two different things, so those two should never be confused in a conversation about the issue.
16kadams
Posts: 10,497
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4/11/2015 6:53:59 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/11/2015 5:45:08 PM, Varrack wrote:
At 4/11/2015 5:39:50 PM, 16kadams wrote:
At 4/11/2015 4:26:55 PM, Varrack wrote:
At 4/11/2015 12:01:57 PM, tejretics wrote:
I don't really understand the core philosophy of conservatism. I've always leaned towards the political left and am a strong liberal, but I don't understand the benefits of "discrimination" [yes, perhaps that is too strong a word] based on ethnicity, religion, etc. Conservatism is basically a point of view that leans towards a religious group, etc. but in what ways? Actually, this is weird coming from an Indian as India is ruled by the center-right BJP party, a conservative one. Thanks for your help.

Conservatism is a philosophy that promotes retaining traditional social institutions in the context of the culture and civilization. It's based on preserving virtues that seem to be eroding away and opposing modernism. Many conservatives are religious because their faiths are consistent with tradition, such as family values. I think it's also based around the implied idea that God's word doesn't change through popular opinion or social pressures, so conservatism makes more sense to them.

I don't think that is correct because if it was, you would support slavery. And you don't. You are very progressive on that issue.

Well, technically someone who supports slavery is extremely conservative. But no one does, so it's not an issue. Someone who is extremely progressive may support something like public nudity for example. Yet it is so far-fetched that no one even thinks about it. Just because the word can apply to extreme examples doesn't mean it's not a valid definition.

Um, conservatism clashes with slavery because you support human rights, and slavery is inherently uncaptialistic. Conservatives can't just be traditional because their basic beliefs (small government and capitalism) clash with slavery based institutions.
https://www.youtube.com...
https://rekonomics.wordpress.com...
"A trend is a trend, but the question is, will it bend? Will it alter its course through some unforeseen force and come to a premature end?" -- Alec Cairncross
xXCryptoXx
Posts: 5,000
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4/11/2015 9:57:14 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/11/2015 6:15:14 PM, Harper wrote:
At 4/11/2015 5:50:06 PM, Varrack wrote:
At 4/11/2015 5:47:30 PM, Harper wrote:
At 4/11/2015 4:26:55 PM, Varrack wrote:
At 4/11/2015 12:01:57 PM, tejretics wrote:
I don't really understand the core philosophy of conservatism. I've always leaned towards the political left and am a strong liberal, but I don't understand the benefits of "discrimination" [yes, perhaps that is too strong a word] based on ethnicity, religion, etc. Conservatism is basically a point of view that leans towards a religious group, etc. but in what ways? Actually, this is weird coming from an Indian as India is ruled by the center-right BJP party, a conservative one. Thanks for your help.

Conservatism is a philosophy that promotes retaining traditional social institutions in the context of the culture and civilization. It's based on preserving virtues that seem to be eroding away and opposing modernism. Many conservatives are religious because their faiths are consistent with tradition, such as family values. I think it's also based around the implied idea that God's word doesn't change through popular opinion or social pressures, so conservatism makes more sense to them.

But what is the value of these traditional social institutions? The fact that they are eroding probably tells you something about how good they really are, no?

They are valuable because they constitute a more moral and stable society than without them. Of course I could elaborate but there would be so many things to talk about since there are dozens of modern issues.

But they are based on morals that were constructed centuries ago. Sound/just morals and moral judgements (and truly all judgements) are based on factual information (called knowledge when possessed by humans); obviously, people living centuries (or even decades) ago had much less knowledge than people living today, and therefore people of the present could put together a much more sound moral system than the relatively knowledge bereft people of the past.

So if traditional institutions are based on traditional (past) morals, then they must be inferior to those based on morals that come from modern knowledge. Of course, modern knowledge and the modern liberal/progressive philosophy are two different things, so those two should never be confused in a conversation about the issue.

I just cringed while reading that. Morality is based more on reason and values than knowledge. Concepts such as trust, loyalty, selflessness, the pursuit of happiness, etc. are the kinds of values that influence morality and these have been things have been thought about for thousands of years. Just because morality changes with time does not mean that it changes for the better.
Nolite Timere
xXCryptoXx
Posts: 5,000
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4/11/2015 9:58:42 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Conservatives are Enlightenment thinkers. They support liberty, free market, and virtuous living (which may or may not imply God.)
Nolite Timere
tejretics
Posts: 6,089
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4/12/2015 2:48:21 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/11/2015 5:34:24 PM, 16kadams wrote:
At 4/11/2015 12:01:57 PM, tejretics wrote:
I don't really understand the core philosophy of conservatism. I've always leaned towards the political left and am a strong liberal, but I don't understand the benefits of "discrimination" [yes, perhaps that is too strong a word] based on ethnicity, religion, etc. Conservatism is basically a point of view that leans towards a religious group, etc. but in what ways? Actually, this is weird coming from an Indian as India is ruled by the center-right BJP party, a conservative one. Thanks for your help.

Ideologies range a lot. Libertarians are right-leaning but tend to be socially liberal.

Conservatives don't discriminate against race or religion in their platforms. I am a Hispanic and deist--neither of which are 'Christian white' (though my religion flips a lot between deism, agnosticism, and atheism cause I don't know much about the issue). Jeb Bush is married to a Mexican and Marco Rubio is Cuban. Bobby Jindal is extremely conservative and he is from India. Herman Cain and Ben Carson, conservatives, are black. Conservatives when asked "what will we do for black people" say nothing. Jeb did. Everyone cried and said "discrimination!" But our answer is not that we will help a group of people, but that we will help them all through free market capitalism, which leads to economic growth.

Liberals favor groups all the time. Affirmative action, a liberal policy, specifically favors minorities. Say Varrack and I both get a 34 on the ACT, get straight A's, and are both equal in all respects. We apply to University of Chicago. I get accepted over him because I am a Puerto Rican. That is pure favoritism and reverse racism.

Minimum wages are meant to help minorities and the poor. But minimum wages specifically harm minorities and the poor by causing a labor surplus (fewer jobs). Policies like this have the unintended consequence of harming the people they wish to help.

Since no major political party (in the US, and I stress the word *major*) supports discriminating against different races. The economic, social, and foreign policies differ. Conservatives, in my humble opinion, end up helping the poor the most. Liberals end up hurting it.

I don't really like the entire label of an ideology (e.g. conservatism v liberalism). Debating specific issues is important. I oppose key parts of the war on terror but still consider myself a neoconservative because I support some intervention and the Afghan war. Debating, forum posting, and PMing members about specific issues is more productive than debating what conservatives and liberals are like.

"Conservatism is basically a point of view that leans towards a religious group"

See, I am not really that religious and still am pretty extreme. Many conservative politicians hold views like against gay marriage or in support of the death penalty because of some weird versus in Leviticus. But their motives don't concern me, it is their actual view. Rick Santorum opposes abortion because of religion (which leads him to believe it is murder). I also agree with that statement but my arguments for that are secular.

You can be a secular conservative. You can be conservative on pretty much every issue using only reasoning and facts. And sure some conservatives are like "don't remove the 10 commandments from this governmental building". I personally don't care about the issue, but having a rock with 10 suggestions on it probably don't really affect the government workers...

I am kinda going everywhere and don't know what I am saying. But if one thing I say sticks, be it that conservatism/libertarianism can be supported without religious arguments and only through facts. And the 'discrimination' debate really goes both ways.

According to Wikipedia, "right-wing politics are political positions or activities that view some forms of social stratification or social inequality as either inevitable, natural, normal, or desirable, typically justifying this position on the basis of tradition." Isn't this social inequality or stratification a form of "discrimination"? Also, the political right often seem to be anti-environmentalist. Many Conservatives in the UK are outspoken against environmentalism and deep ecology; the Bush administration barely had an environmentalist policy. "Upon taking office in 2001, Bush stated his opposition to the Kyoto Protocol, an amendment to the UN Convention on Climate Change which seeks to impose mandatory targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions," according to Wikipedia. There was also some criticism on Bush's position on GW (https://web.archive.org....)

"The Bush administration is trying to stifle scientific evidence of the dangers of global warming in an effort to keep the public uninformed, a NASA scientist said Tuesday night.
"In my more than three decades in government, I have never seen anything approaching the degree to which information flow from scientists to the public has been screened and controlled as it is now," James Hansen told a University of Iowa audience.
Hansen is director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York and has twice briefed a task force headed by Vice President Dick Cheney on global warming. He was also one of the first government scientists tasked with briefing congressional committees on the dangers of global warming, testifying as far back as the 1980s."

In "Hell or High Water" by Joe Romm, Romm calls Bush's "don't rush to judgment" and "we need to ask more questions" stance a classic delay tactic on environmentalist policies.

What is the Conservative position on animal rights? Maximum support for anthropocentrism and anti-environmentalism has been from the political right, so ...
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass
tejretics
Posts: 6,089
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4/12/2015 2:58:18 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Interestingly, I have made some demographic statistics of DDO regarding correlation between liberalism and animal rights/environmental protection, vs. the conservative correlation.

Liberal+Pro animal rights = 976 members [23.56%]
Conservative+Pro animal rights = 585 members [13.31%]

Liberal+Pro environmental protection = 2,640 [63.74%]
Conservative+Pro environmental protection = 1,477 [33.61%]

Statistically, on DDO, Liberals are more Pro animal rights and environmental protection than Conservatives.
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass
Diqiucun_Cunmin
Posts: 2,710
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4/12/2015 3:17:05 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/11/2015 12:01:57 PM, tejretics wrote:
I don't really understand the core philosophy of conservatism. I've always leaned towards the political left and am a strong liberal, but I don't understand the benefits of "discrimination" [yes, perhaps that is too strong a word] based on ethnicity, religion, etc. Conservatism is basically a point of view that leans towards a religious group, etc. but in what ways? Actually, this is weird coming from an Indian as India is ruled by the center-right BJP party, a conservative one. Thanks for your help.

Not necessarily... There's an atheist user on DDO who is highly conservative, for example. Conservatives just prefer tradition; the reasoning is not always based on religion.
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
tejretics
Posts: 6,089
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4/12/2015 3:18:28 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/12/2015 3:17:05 AM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
At 4/11/2015 12:01:57 PM, tejretics wrote:
I don't really understand the core philosophy of conservatism. I've always leaned towards the political left and am a strong liberal, but I don't understand the benefits of "discrimination" [yes, perhaps that is too strong a word] based on ethnicity, religion, etc. Conservatism is basically a point of view that leans towards a religious group, etc. but in what ways? Actually, this is weird coming from an Indian as India is ruled by the center-right BJP party, a conservative one. Thanks for your help.

Not necessarily... There's an atheist user on DDO who is highly conservative, for example. Conservatives just prefer tradition; the reasoning is not always based on religion.

That was just an example, hence my usage of "et cetera". Conservatism is based on the political right, which is founded on the ideology that some levels of social inequality or stratification are beneficial.
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." - Frederick Douglass
Diqiucun_Cunmin
Posts: 2,710
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4/12/2015 3:20:08 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/12/2015 3:18:28 AM, tejretics wrote:
At 4/12/2015 3:17:05 AM, Diqiucun_Cunmin wrote:
At 4/11/2015 12:01:57 PM, tejretics wrote:
I don't really understand the core philosophy of conservatism. I've always leaned towards the political left and am a strong liberal, but I don't understand the benefits of "discrimination" [yes, perhaps that is too strong a word] based on ethnicity, religion, etc. Conservatism is basically a point of view that leans towards a religious group, etc. but in what ways? Actually, this is weird coming from an Indian as India is ruled by the center-right BJP party, a conservative one. Thanks for your help.

Not necessarily... There's an atheist user on DDO who is highly conservative, for example. Conservatives just prefer tradition; the reasoning is not always based on religion.

That was just an example, hence my usage of "et cetera". Conservatism is based on the political right, which is founded on the ideology that some levels of social inequality or stratification are beneficial.

Apologies, I misunderstood your use of 'etc.' I thought it was meant to indicate that there are other characteristics of conservatives, rather than other motivations/sources of their beliefs.
The thing is, I hate relativism. I hate relativism more than I hate everything else, excepting, maybe, fibreglass powerboats... What it overlooks, to put it briefly and crudely, is the fixed structure of human nature. - Jerry Fodor

Don't be a stat cynic:
http://www.debate.org...

Response to conservative views on deforestation:
http://www.debate.org...

Topics I'd like to debate (not debating ATM): http://tinyurl.com...
Harper
Posts: 374
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4/12/2015 9:41:23 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/11/2015 9:57:14 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
At 4/11/2015 6:15:14 PM, Harper wrote:
At 4/11/2015 5:50:06 PM, Varrack wrote:
At 4/11/2015 5:47:30 PM, Harper wrote:
At 4/11/2015 4:26:55 PM, Varrack wrote:
At 4/11/2015 12:01:57 PM, tejretics wrote:
I don't really understand the core philosophy of conservatism. I've always leaned towards the political left and am a strong liberal, but I don't understand the benefits of "discrimination" [yes, perhaps that is too strong a word] based on ethnicity, religion, etc. Conservatism is basically a point of view that leans towards a religious group, etc. but in what ways? Actually, this is weird coming from an Indian as India is ruled by the center-right BJP party, a conservative one. Thanks for your help.

Conservatism is a philosophy that promotes retaining traditional social institutions in the context of the culture and civilization. It's based on preserving virtues that seem to be eroding away and opposing modernism. Many conservatives are religious because their faiths are consistent with tradition, such as family values. I think it's also based around the implied idea that God's word doesn't change through popular opinion or social pressures, so conservatism makes more sense to them.

But what is the value of these traditional social institutions? The fact that they are eroding probably tells you something about how good they really are, no?

They are valuable because they constitute a more moral and stable society than without them. Of course I could elaborate but there would be so many things to talk about since there are dozens of modern issues.

But they are based on morals that were constructed centuries ago. Sound/just morals and moral judgements (and truly all judgements) are based on factual information (called knowledge when possessed by humans); obviously, people living centuries (or even decades) ago had much less knowledge than people living today, and therefore people of the present could put together a much more sound moral system than the relatively knowledge bereft people of the past.

So if traditional institutions are based on traditional (past) morals, then they must be inferior to those based on morals that come from modern knowledge. Of course, modern knowledge and the modern liberal/progressive philosophy are two different things, so those two should never be confused in a conversation about the issue.

I just cringed while reading that. Morality is based more on reason and values than knowledge.
And reason is informed by knowledge. That's why things that we considered reasonable years ago are considered absolutely bonkers today. Before we understood the animal kingdom (acquired knowledge about it) we considered ourselves above and separate from the other animals and plants-- that was a completely reasonable conclusion given our unique abilities and behavior-- even so much as to think that we were godly and that they were simply made for our consumption. But today thinking that way is not considered reasonable by any means, since we now understand that all life, including humans, come from the same ancestor millions of years ago and that humans are directly related to other apes. Today it is most reasonable to consider ourselves part of the animal kingdom.

Another example (and a relatively recent one in the span of 200,000 years of human history) is witch burning. Back then, we had little knowledge of how the world worked and what violated the laws of nature and what didn't. But at the same time, we noticed some things we simply could not explain and pinned it on witchcraft. That was the best we could do given the knowledge we had. And because of our conclusion that black witches were stirring up the trouble, it was reasonable (therefore moral) to want to eliminate them from the society. Today trying to burn witches would have you mocked and thrown into jail because we now know that these once unexplained phenomena are absolutely not explained by witches, but by natural processes.

The process of reason (the logical rules) do not change (A=A, B does not equal A, etc.), but what is/isn't reasonable does given new information. Morals are based on reasoning (what is reasonable). And, as was established, reasoning (what is reasonable) is based on knowledge. So, if morals are dependent on reason, and what is reasonable is dependent on knowledge, an argument could be made as follows: morals are dependent on knowledge. So, since we obviously have more knowledge today than we did even yesterday, a moral system based on the latest knowledge is the most sound one.

Concepts such as trust, loyalty, selflessness, the pursuit of happiness, etc. are the kinds of values that influence morality and these have been things have been thought about for thousands of years.
But even those concepts are based on the same moral reasoning everything else is and are subject to the same scrutiny and change. During the enlightenment, the big philosophical concept was that "all men are created equal", as we are all "created in god's image". Now we only take it to mean that we are all equal under the law, since the whole "created in god's image" is completely unreasonable given the knowledge we have today. There's no evidence or proof of a god, much less that he/she/it interacts with us, and much less that we take after him/her/it.

Just because morality changes with time does not mean that it changes for the better.
That is true. For example, the feminist movement based much of itself on anti-essentialism (the belief that people are a blank slate, and that behavior is socialized into them during childhood). Back then, before we were very knowledgeable about genetics and behavior, we thought that anti-essentialism was reasonable, but now we know that this philosophy completely contradicts all research that has been done on the sexes and all current knowledge we have on the subject. For that reason, we should consider anti-essentialism unreasonable and therefore only conducive to an inferior moral system and further that any feminist policy/philosophy that bases itself off of anti-essentialism is inferior as well. As I noted in a past post, modern knowledge and progressive/liberal philosophy are two different things.

Note that this example does not justify the conservative take on morals (that the morals of the past are the best kind), but only strengthens the idea that morals must be based on the latest knowledge or else they are to be termed inferior.
jzonda415
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4/12/2015 10:17:06 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/11/2015 12:01:57 PM, tejretics wrote:
I don't really understand the core philosophy of conservatism. I've always leaned towards the political left and am a strong liberal, but I don't understand the benefits of "discrimination" [yes, perhaps that is too strong a word] based on ethnicity, religion, etc. Conservatism is basically a point of view that leans towards a religious group, etc. but in what ways? Actually, this is weird coming from an Indian as India is ruled by the center-right BJP party, a conservative one. Thanks for your help.

Let's just start by looking at some definitions.

Conservative: a person who endeavors to conserve the best in our traditions and our institutions, reconciling that best with necessary reform from time to time.
http://www.kirkcenter.org...

^That link also goes over some other key tenets of conservatism.

Whenever I think of conservatism, the core word I think of the word "organic." Conservatives often are in favor of preserving the basic social institutions of society, but, if people want change, it is better to have that be organic rather than quick, violent and forced. Violent and forced change, more often than not, results in resistance and hatred to arise, and for societal order to be thrown out the window. Conservatism is about keeping preserving order, balancing freedom and morality, and minimizing radical change in favor of organic change.

Now, do Conservatives favor discrimination? Major conservatives do not, no. Conservatives embrace others, but realize that natural, social inequality and some natural hierarchy is inevitable, and that a total Egalitarian civilization is not feasible.

16k already covered the religion point pretty well. You can arrive at the conclusions conservatism arrives at from both a secular and religious viewpoint.
16kadams
Posts: 10,497
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4/12/2015 11:30:09 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/12/2015 2:48:21 AM, tejretics wrote:
At 4/11/2015 5:34:24 PM, 16kadams wrote:
At 4/11/2015 12:01:57 PM, tejretics wrote:
I don't really understand the core philosophy of conservatism. I've always leaned towards the political left and am a strong liberal, but I don't understand the benefits of "discrimination" [yes, perhaps that is too strong a word] based on ethnicity, religion, etc. Conservatism is basically a point of view that leans towards a religious group, etc. but in what ways? Actually, this is weird coming from an Indian as India is ruled by the center-right BJP party, a conservative one. Thanks for your help.

Ideologies range a lot. Libertarians are right-leaning but tend to be socially liberal.

Conservatives don't discriminate against race or religion in their platforms. I am a Hispanic and deist--neither of which are 'Christian white' (though my religion flips a lot between deism, agnosticism, and atheism cause I don't know much about the issue). Jeb Bush is married to a Mexican and Marco Rubio is Cuban. Bobby Jindal is extremely conservative and he is from India. Herman Cain and Ben Carson, conservatives, are black. Conservatives when asked "what will we do for black people" say nothing. Jeb did. Everyone cried and said "discrimination!" But our answer is not that we will help a group of people, but that we will help them all through free market capitalism, which leads to economic growth.

Liberals favor groups all the time. Affirmative action, a liberal policy, specifically favors minorities. Say Varrack and I both get a 34 on the ACT, get straight A's, and are both equal in all respects. We apply to University of Chicago. I get accepted over him because I am a Puerto Rican. That is pure favoritism and reverse racism.

Minimum wages are meant to help minorities and the poor. But minimum wages specifically harm minorities and the poor by causing a labor surplus (fewer jobs). Policies like this have the unintended consequence of harming the people they wish to help.

Since no major political party (in the US, and I stress the word *major*) supports discriminating against different races. The economic, social, and foreign policies differ. Conservatives, in my humble opinion, end up helping the poor the most. Liberals end up hurting it.

I don't really like the entire label of an ideology (e.g. conservatism v liberalism). Debating specific issues is important. I oppose key parts of the war on terror but still consider myself a neoconservative because I support some intervention and the Afghan war. Debating, forum posting, and PMing members about specific issues is more productive than debating what conservatives and liberals are like.

"Conservatism is basically a point of view that leans towards a religious group"

See, I am not really that religious and still am pretty extreme. Many conservative politicians hold views like against gay marriage or in support of the death penalty because of some weird versus in Leviticus. But their motives don't concern me, it is their actual view. Rick Santorum opposes abortion because of religion (which leads him to believe it is murder). I also agree with that statement but my arguments for that are secular.

You can be a secular conservative. You can be conservative on pretty much every issue using only reasoning and facts. And sure some conservatives are like "don't remove the 10 commandments from this governmental building". I personally don't care about the issue, but having a rock with 10 suggestions on it probably don't really affect the government workers...

I am kinda going everywhere and don't know what I am saying. But if one thing I say sticks, be it that conservatism/libertarianism can be supported without religious arguments and only through facts. And the 'discrimination' debate really goes both ways.

According to Wikipedia, "right-wing politics are political positions or activities that view some forms of social stratification or social inequality as either inevitable, natural, normal, or desirable, typically justifying this position on the basis of tradition." Isn't this social inequality or stratification a form of "discrimination"? Also, the political right often seem to be anti-environmentalist. Many Conservatives in the UK are outspoken against environmentalism and deep ecology; the Bush administration barely had an environmentalist policy. "Upon taking office in 2001, Bush stated his opposition to the Kyoto Protocol, an amendment to the UN Convention on Climate Change which seeks to impose mandatory targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions," according to Wikipedia. There was also some criticism on Bush's position on GW (https://web.archive.org....)

Kyoto was a super dumb treaty. Bush's stance on it makes sense. The effects it would have had were super tiny because it didn't involve China and India. Luckily both are moving towards carbon-free nuclear.

Social inequality is inevitable. All market economies have some degree of wealth inequality which is actually good for growth. If someone gets rich--and they don't steal from anyone--the benefit is positive. Inequality isn't a good metric: poverty is. Market economies = less poverty. The fact that liberals support stealing money from productive individuals is discrimination and class warfare. Even Paul Krugman agrees that inequality can be good, he just opposes too much (I disagree, but whatever). As long as inequality isn't codified into law--the 16kadams family always has 10x more than jzonda because I am nobility or whatever--there are no good reasons to oppose inequality.


"The Bush administration is trying to stifle scientific evidence of the dangers of global warming in an effort to keep the public uninformed, a NASA scientist said Tuesday night.
"In my more than three decades in government, I have never seen anything approaching the degree to which information flow from scientists to the public has been screened and controlled as it is now," James Hansen told a University of Iowa audience.
Hansen is director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York and has twice briefed a task force headed by Vice President Dick Cheney on global warming. He was also one of the first government scientists tasked with briefing congressional committees on the dangers of global warming, testifying as far back as the 1980s."

In "Hell or High Water" by Joe Romm, Romm calls Bush's "don't rush to judgment" and "we need to ask more questions" stance a classic delay tactic on environmentalist policies.

What is the Conservative position on animal rights? Maximum support for anthropocentrism and anti-environmentalism has been from the political right, so ...

Yeah but conservatism doesn't require it. Plus you can give animals rights without making them equal. Humans are special. I don't mind eating lamb. I would mind eating an infant. Why? Infant > animal.

When you really look into environmentalism their concerns are real. The EPA has noted how the earth is getting... cleaner? http://www.epa.gov... Part of it is the clean air and water act, but natural gas is another source because coal is being faded out. Plus, coal is cheap energy, so preventing Africa and Rasia from using it is simply immoral. Doing so condemns millions to die because they are barred from getting what we have (you live in India--you probably witness this), including warm clean water, energy, cooling, heating, etc. Instead they fill their homes with smoke from traditional fires and die at 30... A huge amount of the environmental movement sounds great--and it is for rich nations--but it is hugely immoral and impractical for poorer nations.
https://www.youtube.com...
https://rekonomics.wordpress.com...
"A trend is a trend, but the question is, will it bend? Will it alter its course through some unforeseen force and come to a premature end?" -- Alec Cairncross
xXCryptoXx
Posts: 5,000
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4/12/2015 11:50:01 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/12/2015 9:41:23 AM, Harper wrote:
At 4/11/2015 9:57:14 PM, xXCryptoXx wrote:
At 4/11/2015 6:15:14 PM, Harper wrote:
At 4/11/2015 5:50:06 PM, Varrack wrote:
At 4/11/2015 5:47:30 PM, Harper wrote:
At 4/11/2015 4:26:55 PM, Varrack wrote:
At 4/11/2015 12:01:57 PM, tejretics wrote:
I don't really understand the core philosophy of conservatism. I've always leaned towards the political left and am a strong liberal, but I don't understand the benefits of "discrimination" [yes, perhaps that is too strong a word] based on ethnicity, religion, etc. Conservatism is basically a point of view that leans towards a religious group, etc. but in what ways? Actually, this is weird coming from an Indian as India is ruled by the center-right BJP party, a conservative one. Thanks for your help.

Conservatism is a philosophy that promotes retaining traditional social institutions in the context of the culture and civilization. It's based on preserving virtues that seem to be eroding away and opposing modernism. Many conservatives are religious because their faiths are consistent with tradition, such as family values. I think it's also based around the implied idea that God's word doesn't change through popular opinion or social pressures, so conservatism makes more sense to them.

But what is the value of these traditional social institutions? The fact that they are eroding probably tells you something about how good they really are, no?

They are valuable because they constitute a more moral and stable society than without them. Of course I could elaborate but there would be so many things to talk about since there are dozens of modern issues.

But they are based on morals that were constructed centuries ago. Sound/just morals and moral judgements (and truly all judgements) are based on factual information (called knowledge when possessed by humans); obviously, people living centuries (or even decades) ago had much less knowledge than people living today, and therefore people of the present could put together a much more sound moral system than the relatively knowledge bereft people of the past.

So if traditional institutions are based on traditional (past) morals, then they must be inferior to those based on morals that come from modern knowledge. Of course, modern knowledge and the modern liberal/progressive philosophy are two different things, so those two should never be confused in a conversation about the issue.

I just cringed while reading that. Morality is based more on reason and values than knowledge.
And reason is informed by knowledge. That's why things that we considered reasonable years ago are considered absolutely bonkers today. Before we understood the animal kingdom (acquired knowledge about it) we considered ourselves above and separate from the other animals and plants-- that was a completely reasonable conclusion given our unique abilities and behavior-- even so much as to think that we were godly and that they were simply made for our consumption. But today thinking that way is not considered reasonable by any means, since we now understand that all life, including humans, come from the same ancestor millions of years ago and that humans are directly related to other apes. Today it is most reasonable to consider ourselves part of the animal kingdom.

Another example (and a relatively recent one in the span of 200,000 years of human history) is witch burning. Back then, we had little knowledge of how the world worked and what violated the laws of nature and what didn't. But at the same time, we noticed some things we simply could not explain and pinned it on witchcraft. That was the best we could do given the knowledge we had. And because of our conclusion that black witches were stirring up the trouble, it was reasonable (therefore moral) to want to eliminate them from the society. Today trying to burn witches would have you mocked and thrown into jail because we now know that these once unexplained phenomena are absolutely not explained by witches, but by natural processes.

The process of reason (the logical rules) do not change (A=A, B does not equal A, etc.), but what is/isn't reasonable does given new information. Morals are based on reasoning (what is reasonable). And, as was established, reasoning (what is reasonable) is based on knowledge. So, if morals are dependent on reason, and what is reasonable is dependent on knowledge, an argument could be made as follows: morals are dependent on knowledge. So, since we obviously have more knowledge today than we did even yesterday, a moral system based on the latest knowledge is the most sound one.

Fair point, but conservative morality is not based on specific instances, it is based on general values. For example, conservatives will be strong supporters of concept that all human beings have the natural (which may or may not imply God given) rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These are moral values. They do not require knowledge per se, but only a look at human nature i.e what humans generally naturally desire.

Concepts such as trust, loyalty, selflessness, the pursuit of happiness, etc. are the kinds of values that influence morality and these have been things have been thought about for thousands of years.
But even those concepts are based on the same moral reasoning everything else is and are subject to the same scrutiny and change.

But they are not based so much on knowledge as they are on human nature. That is why these concepts are not nearly as disputable as say the idea that supposed witches should be burned at the stake.

During the enlightenment, the big philosophical concept was that "all men are created equal", as we are all "created in god's image". Now we only take it to mean that we are all equal under the law, since the whole "created in god's image" is completely unreasonable given the knowledge we have today. There's no evidence or proof of a god, much less that he/she/it interacts with us, and much less that we take after him/her/it.

That is disputable.

Just because morality changes with time does not mean that it changes for the better.
That is true. For example, the feminist movement based much of itself on anti-essentialism (the belief that people are a blank slate, and that behavior is socialized into them during childhood). Back then, before we were very knowledgeable about genetics and behavior, we thought that anti-essentialism was reasonable, but now we know that this philosophy completely contradicts all research that has been done on the sexes and all current knowledge we have on the subject. For that reason, we should consider anti-essentialism unreasonable and therefore only conducive to an inferior moral system and further that any feminist policy/philosophy that bases itself off of anti-essentialism is inferior as well. As I noted in a past post, modern knowledge and progressive/liberal philosophy are two different things.

Note that this example does not justify the conservative take on morals (that the morals of the past are the best kind), but only strengthens the idea that morals must be based on the latest knowledge or else they are to be termed inferior.

Conservatism morality does not imply that past morals are the best, but rather that certain past moral values have worked and should continue to be used.
Nolite Timere
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4/12/2015 3:32:51 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/12/2015 11:50:01 AM, xXCryptoXx wrote:

Fair point, but conservative morality is not based on specific instances, it is based on general values. For example, conservatives will be strong supporters of concept that all human beings have the natural (which may or may not imply God given) rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These are moral values. They do not require knowledge per se, but only a look at human nature i.e what humans generally naturally desire.
But even those general values are subject to change based on new knowledge about human nature. We are still learning about human nature-- which behaviors are inherent to us, and which are simply due to culture. Further, human nature (as I'm sure you'll agree) is based on genetics. Genetics change (albeit slowly) over time, so we may find that things that suited human nature at one point may not suit the nature of humans in the present. (Not only that, but different peoples have different allele frequencies so natures can differ slightly even between ethnic groups, thus creating the necessity for different moral (and social) structures.) Even disregarding changes in genetics, one cannot deny that the world we live in today is vastly different from the one we lived in a century ago, so even the environment has changed. The point here is that one cannot hold onto the past as a way of ruling the present, we must look at the present form of man and his present environment to build moral concepts.

This does not, of course, mean that all moral concepts of the past (such as the ones you have listed) cannot be applied to today's man, but what I do mean is that holding on to traditional systems without reforming them to fit the current environmental and behavioral circumstances is to create a blind system.


But they are not based so much on knowledge as they are on human nature. That is why these concepts are not nearly as disputable as say the idea that supposed witches should be burned at the stake.
That example was illustrated in order to put current moral quandaries into perspective. Gays and transgenders today are almost like the witches of the past (despite the fact that in most civilized countries we do not kill gays, even the far right doesn't want to do that). Conservative objections and criticisms of these people is based on reason, yes, but reason informed by ancient, inaccurate knowledge.

The main objection to conservatism is not to the bigger moral concepts (personal responsibility, freedom, human rights, etc. are all conservative concepts that are still very much valid), rather it is the tight hold on traditional ways and a refusal to look at new information to form new moral conclusions.


Conservatism morality does not imply that past morals are the best, but rather that certain past moral values have worked and should continue to be used.
But I'm sure you would concede that if the ancients could come up with working morals, that present people should be doubly better at it? In other words: an old Honda Civic could still perform all of the functions of a car, but a 2015 Lexus RC would probably do all the same functions but in a much more efficient way and add in some extra benefits as well.
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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4/12/2015 4:03:41 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/11/2015 12:01:57 PM, tejretics wrote:
I don't really understand the core philosophy of conservatism. I've always leaned towards the political left and am a strong liberal, but I don't understand the benefits of "discrimination" [yes, perhaps that is too strong a word] based on ethnicity, religion, etc. Conservatism is basically a point of view that leans towards a religious group, etc. but in what ways? Actually, this is weird coming from an Indian as India is ruled by the center-right BJP party, a conservative one. Thanks for your help.

Conservatism essentially aims to keep societal structures the same as they've always been. This tends to play into religiosity, but not necessarily.

In America, what's conservative is "traditional American values"...those values happen to be classical liberalism. So, you get this unique, seeming contradiction in that American conservatism is liberalism. In other parts of the world, conservatism refers to a reversion to monarchy or something along those lines.

In modern times, American conservatism has taken to demonizing socialism, which when it sticks to such differentiates it from the left. However, it has at times attacked liberalism as well, and when it does, it destroys its own ideological foundation.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
Varrack
Posts: 2,410
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4/12/2015 5:07:13 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/11/2015 6:53:59 PM, 16kadams wrote:
At 4/11/2015 5:45:08 PM, Varrack wrote:
At 4/11/2015 5:39:50 PM, 16kadams wrote:
At 4/11/2015 4:26:55 PM, Varrack wrote:
At 4/11/2015 12:01:57 PM, tejretics wrote:
I don't really understand the core philosophy of conservatism. I've always leaned towards the political left and am a strong liberal, but I don't understand the benefits of "discrimination" [yes, perhaps that is too strong a word] based on ethnicity, religion, etc. Conservatism is basically a point of view that leans towards a religious group, etc. but in what ways? Actually, this is weird coming from an Indian as India is ruled by the center-right BJP party, a conservative one. Thanks for your help.

Conservatism is a philosophy that promotes retaining traditional social institutions in the context of the culture and civilization. It's based on preserving virtues that seem to be eroding away and opposing modernism. Many conservatives are religious because their faiths are consistent with tradition, such as family values. I think it's also based around the implied idea that God's word doesn't change through popular opinion or social pressures, so conservatism makes more sense to them.

I don't think that is correct because if it was, you would support slavery. And you don't. You are very progressive on that issue.

Well, technically someone who supports slavery is extremely conservative. But no one does, so it's not an issue. Someone who is extremely progressive may support something like public nudity for example. Yet it is so far-fetched that no one even thinks about it. Just because the word can apply to extreme examples doesn't mean it's not a valid definition.

Um, conservatism clashes with slavery because you support human rights, and slavery is inherently uncaptialistic. Conservatives can't just be traditional because their basic beliefs (small government and capitalism) clash with slavery based institutions.

Again, the definition doesn't necessarily apply to every traditional institution that there has ever been, but does for the most part. I just used the Wikipedia definition and the Meriam-Webster definition is pretty similar, so if you have a better one I'm listening.