This Week’s Mtg on Politics and Morality (11/5/9)

I’ve posted on this, so not much to add, except please come.  I’ll give a brief (really)intro and then Jim will address the issue his way, and then the usual chaos will ensue.

As a refresher, I wanted to do this topic because I think the moral bases of our political beliefs tend to get shoved aside in the group in favor of antiseptic arguments based on appeals to self-interest or “reason.”  I’m probably the worst offender, too, maybe because I have such a robust background in political minutia.  But we all do it.  Maybe it’s just a bunch of guys being uncomfortable with emotional appeals, or maybe it’s our way of keeping the debate friendly by not seeming to attack other people’s values. 

Hey, that would be all to the good in most groups devoted to politics or religions.  In a meeting of the social democrats or an Ayn Rand fan boy club, members’ core values don’t need to be made explicit because the values are all shared.  That’s why the people are there.  But, with our ideological diversity, it just lmits us not to be upfront about it.  So, let’s spend an evening shining a light on morality and politics. 

A’s I’ll explain on Thursday, I think it’s especially important to be clear about our value differences now, because, for the first time in 25-30 years, the nation’s political values may be about to be redefined away from the conservative frame that has ruled for a generation towards a more liberal version.

Finally, be thinking about your political values and what someof the common terms we throw around really mean to you–and what you think they might mean to others; e.g., freedom, patriotism, personal responsibility, Christianity, family values, community.

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