How can liberals speak of a bad thing, if they don’t believe in the good?
How can commentators attempt to make sense of the Virginia Tech killings, when they do not have the framework from within which to make such assessments and judgments?
Most of them have denied the validity of traditional morality and historical Christian knowledge. On what basis can they make any sense of individual acts detached from tradition and history?
Liberalism is the denial of history and tradition yet pundits attempt to use traditional language and ethical terminology to attempt to assess individual actions. On what basis?
The simplest answer was provided by Seraphim Rose, who said something like: Liberals deny the truth, while still wanting to enjoy the benefits that result from the truth. So liberals access the language of the moral tradition because there’s really nothing else, yet they don’t believe in the foundation of morality so it all sounds, and is, empty.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 24, 2007 03:10 PM | Send
You wrote: “Liberalism is the denial of history and tradition yet pundits attempt to use traditional language and ethical terminology to attempt to assess individual actions. On what basis?”
Your point shows the impossibility of liberalism. Human beings require a shared ethical understanding, i.e., a “tradition,” in order to live in society; but liberalism denies both the objective spiritual and philosophical basis of ethics and any real tradition by which a society shares, preserves, and transmits a particular ethical view. Thus liberalism denies the very basis of social existence. What then are liberals to do? What they do is parasitically feed off the words and slogans of the ethical tradition whose truth they deny. They have no choice but to do this. Appealing to concepts that one doesn’t actually believe is the essence of liberalism.
Liberals (including conservatives) are more open about this than ever before. They will speak of how religion is necessary because it provides morality and consolation and social glue. They sincerely believe in religion—but as an instrument for social functioning, not because it’s true. Society can function on that basis, sort of, for a while. But now, in a passion for extinction, the more consistent liberals are attacking any presence of religion in society at all.
However, looking again at your opening question, I see that I have missed the most obvious answer. You asked: “How can commentators attempt to make sense of the Virginia Tech killings…?” And the answer, which I have been stating repeatedly for the last week, is that they don’t attempt to make sense of the massacre. They see it as a sign of the senseless malevolence of the universe. When you reject truth, that’s what you end up with.