The Dark History of Liberal Reform | New Republic

If Leonard didn’t have the quotes from prominent progressives to back up his claims, this would read like right-wing paranoia: The state’s most innocuous protections reframed as malevolent and ungodly social engineering. But his citations are genuine.

From: The Dark History of Liberal Reform | New Republic {via Jaybird}

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36 thoughts on “The Dark History of Liberal Reform | New Republic

  1. The article ends with an anguished “looks like the lesson is that everyone sucks!” No. The lesson is that when someone comes up saying “I’m not making a decision about morals or preferences, I’m simply behaving in accordance with scientific fact“, we should look really carefully at that scientific fact.

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      • The most fundamental problem is that scientific facts can merely inform your decision, by letting you have a better understanding of what the consequences of your actions might be. Whether those consequences are good, bad or indifferent is not a question that science can answer.

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        • Okay, let’s get out the knives and start cutting into the meat.

          What, exactly, lets us figure out what is good? What is bad? What is indifferent?

          (Have I welcomed you to the board, Pillsy? Please, let me rectify that. Welcome to the board.)

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          • @Jaybird:

            What, exactly, lets us figure out what is good? What is bad? What is indifferent?

            I don’t know if the problem with this question is that it’s too hard to answer, or that it’s too easy to ask. :D

            Less facetiously, I usually rely on a blend of emotional reactions and a very half-assed sort of rule-based utilitarianism. I find that this rarely puts me so far out of step with people that I’m actually talking to that communication becomes impossible.

            Can I back up moral statements that strike me as axiomatic in a way that will convince anybody else? Doubt it.

            Do I find myself having to convince anybody else of the truth of moral statements that strike me as axiomatic? Less often than I’d expect.

            (Have I welcomed you to the board, Pillsy? Please, let me rectify that. Welcome to the board.)

            Thanks!

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            • Rule-based emotionalism mixed in with utilitarianism?

              Dude. We should sit together and drink and argue. I can’t imagine that we’d disagree about enough to the point where the evening would be unpleasant.

              If you’re ever in the Denver area, let me know.

              You, me, and a couple of people I know can spend a quite pleasant evening yelling “NO! I disagree!” about trivial things.

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            • In thinking about this some more, I’m seeing how someone (anyone) raised with this morality would fit in very well with everyone else raised with this morality no matter what year it happened to be. No matter what culture it happened to be. It works in the USA in 2016, it works in China in 3714, it works in Persia in 100.

              It gets you to different conclusions each time, of course… but that seems less important than the whole “working” thing though.

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              • Yeah. I think I like it because it mostly allows me to talk to people. I have little defense against getting things wrong because they cut against my intuitions, but I’m not sure I’m convinced any approach to morality that I’ve seen has a convincing record of doing otherwise.

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