Dec 3, 2016
The True Liberal
Someone posted this definition of a liberal from a Webster’s Dictionary.
- Possessing or manifesting a free and generous heart; bountiful.
- Appropriate and/or fitting for a broad and enlightened mind.
- Free from narrowness, bigotry or bondage to authority or creed.
- Any person who advocates liberty of thought, speech or action.
I thought I would comment on this since this was evidently posted with the idea of presenting the people of the Left as being represented by this definition.
I have written a number of times about the fact that people are confused about the use of the words liberal and conservative as they often use liberal when speaking of conservatism. For instance, the strongest conservative stance on earth is taken by some environmentalists groups who fight tooth and nail to conserve earth in its natural undistorted state. In spite of this strong desire to conserve, they are called liberals.
On the other hand, religious Christians who are labeled conservatives, have been documented as being the most liberal people in the country as far as donating time and money to charitable causes.
I believe that Libertarians such as myself, who strongly adhere to the Principle of Freedom, are the most liberal of all people. We even have the word “liberal” as the base of the title we claim. Strangely though libertarians are usually grouped with conservatives by the masses rather than the so-called liberal Democrats and when forced to pick between the two major parties we usually vote with the Republicans because they are the most liberal on all things but the social issues which isn’t as big a deal to us as downsizing government control and controlling overspending.
Now let us look at these definitions of a liberal and see how they apply to me.
- “Possessing or manifesting a free and generous heart; bountiful.”
I certainly believe in this approach and try to live up to it.”
- “Appropriate and/or fitting for a broad and enlightened mind.”
This quality is difficult to pin down in black and white for neither side thinks the other is enlightened or broad minded. Like most people though I attempt to entertain things from a broad and enlightened point of view.
- “Free from narrowness, bigotry or bondage to authority or creed.”
I don’t think anyone can accuse me of narrowness. My belief system has changed and evolved throughout my life as I have e looked into many Christian religions, Islam Buddhism (even written a book on it) eastern religions and of course the Ancient Wisdom.
I study both sides on political issues and have read books by Obama and Al Gore as well as Ann Coulter and Bill O’Reilly. Many I communicate with only know of one side and that only in part.
So am I free from bigotry? The online Oxford dictionary defines bigotry as follows:
“Intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself.”
So far in my life of 71 years no one has pointed out anything I have said or done that is bigoted. I must confess though I am somewhat intolerant of those who murder, rape, steal, etc.
I like the last part of this definition which sees a liberal as one who is free of “bondage to authority or creed.”
This is the essence of a true libertarian. He especially wants maximum freedom from government authorities, regulations, restrictions, as well as most other authorities and creeds.
In my case I do not just blindly accept any statement just because it comes from a supposed authoritarian source. For instance, when I hear an non scientist politician authoritatively tell me I must accept his version of global warming because 97% of scientists agree with him I immediately question and look into it. Then I discover that the statement is a great distortion, that the 97% do not really agree on much except that humans do have some effect on the climate, but how much varies from one scientist to another. Some say humans account for less than 1% of the warming and a few even say 100%. Of course the 100% makes no sense for that would mean there would be no climate change without humans and there was a lot of change before fire was discovered or before humans were on the earth.
The last definition is placed in a second category, meaning that it can stand by itself as an alternative definition. I like this definition best of all which says a liberal is “Any person who advocates liberty of thought, speech or action.”
This goes to the heart of my teachings on the Principle of Freedom which strongly supports these three freedoms.
Unfortunately, many who are called liberals today support restrictions on these three things. Let us examine these three items.
First, thought and speech go together because you do not know what one is thinking until he expresses it.
The main side trying to restrict speech today are the ones labeled as liberals. They tell us what is politically correct and hate speech and in many cases seek to curtail such speech by force of law or enforced rules. In the liberal universities students are demanding “safe places” where they will be insulated from speech with which they disagree and if a conservative speaker comes on campus they will often protest or shout the person down in attempts to limit speech.
As far as action is concerned both those labeled conservatives and liberals seek all kinds of unnecessary restrictions on us. The true libertarian, or liberal will not seek to control any action of others unless a definite harm is created and I certainly support this idea.
So, overall after considering this definition of a liberal I must confess that I must be about as liberal of a person as one can find. This is quite the irony for when I go on a political site and merely mention a belief in Divine Intelligence, articulate doubt that climate change will bring an apocalypse, or express a desire for responsible government spending I am called names and attacked as an extreme conservative.
For more details on what a liberal and conservative is go to this LINK.
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