Wednesday, April 21, 2010

BEDA 21: Conservatives

Did you know that it used to be illegal and immoral to dissect human bodies after death and this greatly limited our knowledge of basic human anatomy?
Did you know that the first real connection between hand sanitizer and reducing the infant and mother mortality rate at birth was first made as recently as 1847?
Did you know we used to enslave black people, and then openly segregate against them, and even now live in a society saturated by subconscious racism because of this history?
Did you know we used to burn witches?

BUT our species evolved past these mistakes in science, politics, philosophy and morality with something I like to call "progress." Through an evolution of ideas, mankind was able to perceive the world in a different, more sensible way. This made the ideas of the past null and void.
See, I think the definition of a conservative is someone who thinks that progress was good for the last 10,000 years, but isn't good anymore. Like we struggled as a species all the way through history to get exactly where we are and not one inch further.
To be conservative you can't see the time line of human achievement as a living thing extending both behind and in front of us. You have to see it as the stationary past which took place before the stationary present. In the eyes of a conservative, the present is not only stationary, but eternal.
Someone who opposes the progress of morality (such as granting equal rights to homosexuals) or the progress of law (such as legalizing and taxing marijuana, an incredibly popular and incredibly harmless drug) or the progress of science (such as stem cell research) is someone who thinks it will be the present forever.
We need not travel any further into the future. We're comfortable right here, thank you. All the important discoveries have been made. We don't need to figure anything else out or show compassion to anyone that isn't already being showed it.
I mean, look what happened when we freed the slaves. Now a black man is president and he's trying to make sure everyone gets health care! What's next?! What other basic human rights will be ensured to us by the government?!

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