Kevin Drum wonders:
to the extent that you really do believe that cognitive abilities are (a) important, and (b) strongly biologically determined, shouldn’t you also believe that the poor are more unlucky than anything else, and haven’t done anything to deserve hunger, lousy housing, poor medical care, or crappy educations? If genetic luck plays a big role in making us who we are, then support for income redistribution from the rich to the poor is almost a logical necessity for anyone with a moral sense more highly developed than a five-year-old’s.
Long story short, belief in biological determinism should make you into a liberal. And yet, here in the real world it mostly does just the opposite. Go figure.
One can appreciate that liberals do not accept the conservative claim, but Mr. Drum fails to acknowledge what the conservative claim is. Conservatives do not deny that unfairness exists in the world. In the conservative view, however, the justice that humans can guarantee to themselves is limited to redress of injuries cause by one man against another: “injustices” worked by nature and nature’s God are beyond the limits of what man can properly redress. This is what separates questions of morality, theology, and science on the one hand, from political theory and state power on the other. Not all issues arising in the former categories are properly answered by the latter.