Wednesday, October 27

Our Sharply Divided Land Part 2

Several weeks ago, I started on this topic (here), motivated by musings after the Vice-Presidential debate. What I was musing on was:
What separates the left from the right is they have different ethical standards. Ethics to put it baldly is how one defines "good". To use a simple example from one of the above "dividing lines" in our society, a "Bible-based citizen" (BBC) will fall on a different side of the SSM (Same Sex Marriage) issue than a secular humanist (SH). The SH feels that a persons "personal sexual affirmation" trumps societies concerns. Nowhere in the biblical tradition is homosexuality affirmed, thus the BBC is against it. This difference is not going to be addressed by the BBC insisting to the SH that he is going to drag society into a pit of amoral licentiousness. The SH is not going to convince the BBC that he is "hateful" and must be "embrace diversity".

Now I had promised to discuss further identifying the major ethical frameworks in America today and to discuss ways of facilitating communication between the two main "camps" (which I had called BBC and SH).

Some of the ethical groups which I can identify (not being a modern anthropologist by trade) include:
  1. The Bible based Christian, that is a Christian who feels that biblical authority trumps other moral guideposts available to the modern man.
  2. The non-bible based Christian. Many Roman and protestant Christians fall into this category, notable examples include , Mr Kerry & the Episcopal Bishop Robinson. These Christians believe Christ is their Savior (faith, hope, and grace) but do not derive their concept of "ethic" (see above) from the Torah. Most in this age, have some melange of post-renaissance mostly humanistic understanding of good.
  3. Secular humanists. Most derive their ethic and worldview from the same sources as the non-bible based Christian. Many of them might claim to be Christian, but in analogy to RINOs (from the political arena (RINO == Republican In Name Only)) are actually CINOs (Christian In Name Only). A fellow parishioners of mine calls them CEO Christians. CEO stands for Christmas and Easter Only. Many others claim to be agnostic or atheist, or just too damn enamored of lazy Sunday mornings. At any rate they get their ethic from a mishmash of enlightenment philosophers, but in the large do not live a life "examined" enough to know from where their strongly held beliefs derive.
  4. Jews and Moslems. To be honest, I haven't become close enough to any of members of these groups to form an opinion of their beliefs.