Nature is conservative
Nature imposes limitations on humanity, and there are clearly consequences, almost always not good, when they are exceeded. This basically explains the difference between conservatives and liberals. Liberals seek personal liberation through unlimited freedom, therefore they want to eliminate all restraints and limits on the "pursuit of happiness." They use government to achieve those ends, and they vehemently oppose religious and conservative doctrine that advocates personal restraint, tradition, and obligation as the only path to authentic health and happiness.
Many people accuse the Bible of being God's buzzkill that takes all the fun out of life with its moral dictates of personal restraint. Where the liberals and secular humanists go wrong is twofold. One, those moral dictates are voluntary, but if they are followed, one will have for the most part a safe and secure life. And two, since liberals and atheists don't want to be told what to do with their lives, the logical conclusion to a life without restrictions is a life of hedonism leading to self-destruction, such as alcoholism, drug abuse, and the myriad of addictions that infect all of society. Addiction by definition is lack of self-restraint that leads to the inability to stop a destructive activity.
Secular rationalism looks at things differently. It is essentially contemptuous of the very idea of tradition. It also lacks a central principle of virtue. Instead, it proposes a whole set of virtues–toleration, pluralism, relativism: the "liberal" virtues–which, one might say, construct a supermarket of possible good and decent lives, with no discrimination permitted. This is a prescription for moral anarchy, which is exactly what we are now experiencing. And there is no way that moral anarchy can pass for moral progress.
In the end, liberalism's goal of a mythical and unobtainable individual liberation is impeded by the greatest conservative of all, Nature herself, imposing limitations on all of humanity that are impossible to remove.
Our bodies are obviously limited in what we can do with them. We are limited by gravitation, by our senses and perceptions, by our intellect. How fast we can run. How much heat or cold a body can endure. How many intoxicants one can ingest before bodily organs start permanently shutting down. Whether one is a male or a female and the physical structure of each sex. Life is nothing but limitations. And the biggest boundary of all is none other than death itself. Death puts a finite number of years every person will spend on this planet.
But in the words of the late political theorist and scholar Peter Lawler, the underlying and delusional raison d'être of liberalism is to "put death to death" in its narcissistic quest for liberation through unlimited pleasure and redefining what it means to be human. An essay titled "He Built Better Than He Knew," written by one of Mr. Lawler's students, reflects on his thought:
Up to his last essay, Peter homed in on the transhumanist quest to conquer death as another instance of the gnostic turn in modern ideology and its ceaseless war on human nature and God. He reasoned that, in effect, the transhumanists want to wield biotechnology to become the Christian God and take away death's sting.
It is a belief system of denial, a perversion of seeking immortality that will be attained when the self is fully and completely liberated from all restraints imposed by reason and theology. But of course, the greatest conservative of all, Mother Nature, will always have the last word and the last laugh
Image courtesy Pixabay.