Are there positions you have that are not conservative?
For instance I support same-sex marriage, legalized prostitution and the legalization of marijuana (but not other drugs) even though I would never touch the stuff myself if they legalized it tomorrow.
Although as a conservative I wouldn't use the courts to force their legalization.
I am a fiscal conservative not a social conservative (this does not mean I support liberal social policy.) I do find the libertarian stance to be appropriate on many things such as the issues Andrew has raised.
I believe in assisted suicide. I think people should have the right to manage their own lives however they see fit. It's funny to me that conservatives believe in limited government on so many issues but fall short on this one.
I agree James. How can government get smaller if they are regulating all our behaviors.
Me too. I also believe in assisted suicide. I forgot about that one.
Hello all...glad to be here. I once took a quiz on how progressive (knowing I am conservative) I am, and was amazed that I tested "very conservative" not merely conservative. I want abortion to be kept legal, but well restricted. I support gay marriage or civil unions, including adoption. I want the choice, should I need to make it, of ending my life to be kept between me and my doctor and family. I am tending to be more libertarian with the passing of recent years, but I am not ready to pull back from wanting the USA to be the leader in various global efforts, be they military or economic, environmental or legislative. I would prefer US leadership over China's or any other up and coming nation's power. I support the separation of church and state, but not so much that I am willing to risk the future of this country on it. I consider that to be of much less importance than I did fifteen years ago.
That's tough to answer, as many positions are not definitively either liberal or conservative.
For instance, I am, generally speaking, in favor of freedom, yet most liberals I know call me a conservative; does this mean that liberals are therefore against freedom? I can say with certainty that some I have met definitely are, but I'm sure many, if not most, would deny it.
Indeed, it's very hard to divide most issues into "liberal" or "conservative". You can look at the agendas of the two major political parties, but many of the items there are philosophically in conflict with each other. For example, how can you reconcile claiming to be against the death penalty on moral grounds, with favoring abortion? In both cases you are killing a living thing. Either you think that's permissible or you don't, but it's inconsistent to try and have it both ways.
So I follow a consistent philosophy which makes me out of step with both parties. I strive for the most freedom, equal treatment under the law, and the least government regulation that we can get away with.
This means that I feel that the government should have little or no say in medical issues, including how anyone choose to pay (or not pay) for treatment. I feel that abortion should be legal, as it is a legitimate medical procedure, but as an optional procedure; no insurance should be forced to cover it except when it is a medical necessity. Similarly, as birth control is an optional procedure, it should be treated the same way; no one (and no insurance company) should be forced to provide it or pay for it.
Likewise I feel guns should be legal save for those who have shown by their actions that they cannot be trusted to own them. I'm generally an advocate of property rights; you should be able to do what you like with your land, provided you are not directly harming anyone else.
I feel that homosexuality (and other private matters) are outside the purview of the law; such behavior is no one else's business as long as it's kept private. On the other hand, tolerance of personal behavior does not imply a necessity for special privileges. Therefore I am against the so-called "gay marriage" concept.
On the other hand, I favor decriminalization of prostitution. Sex is legal, selling is legal, why should selling sex be illegal? Having lived in a state where prostitution was legal (Nevada) and seen that it can be controlled and regulated successfully, I don't see any point in continuing to prosecute what is essentially a religious crime.
Drugs are tricky; some drugs (alcohol, tobacco) are legal, the arguments about the legitimacy of their use are murky, and prohibiting them would be a massive job. On the other hand, some (meth, crack, LSD) are obviously dangerous and addictive and we're clearly better off without them. It's tempting to be simple about it and say get rid of all of them, and somewhat less tempting to advocate legalization, but neither approach seems to work well. So I'm inclined to split the difference and keep the illegal ones illegal, while leaving the rest controlled. I'd put this in the "compromise" category.
I don't feel religion is a conservative/liberal issue, since I've found that self-proclaimed "religious liberals" are as unaccepting of atheism as are many of the so-called "religious conservatives". On the other hand, most liberal atheists I've met are unrepentant bigots, and the most acceptance I've gotten was from nonreligious conservatives.
I'm split on issues like environmentalism, which I feel was initially a good idea which has now been taken way too far. It's one thing to save stretches of forest from being paved over; it's quite another when you get someone who can't fill a pothole in their driveway because it's been declared a "wetland". (Yes, that is an actual example.) Similarly it's ridiculous to prohibit trade in animal furs of creatures that are in absolutely no danger of being over-hunted.
So it's a mixed bag. Honestly, I'd like to take the most extreme people on either side of the political spectrum and drop them into a black hole somewhere, so the rest of us could quit worrying about them and get on with our lives.
Like I said in my first post, my conservative streak is mostly about social matters. Actually more family values than anything.
Here are some positions of mine that go against standard conservatism (besides atheism-linked ones such as keeping religion out of public schools):
Gun ownership should be severely restricted.
People should not be "fruitful and multiply." (With a few exceptions.)
Social services ought to be increased in some ways, including decent subsidized health care for all who can't easily afford it on their own.
Environmentalism is a good thing.
My conservative ideology all come from a basis of personal responsibility. So while I hold most of the standard conservative ideals, my reasons for them are obviously different from those that claim religion or god in their conservative beliefs.
So my post is less about what non-conservative positions I hold as it is about why I am conservative in certain beliefs.
With drugs, personal responsibility. You can use them, but if you hurt someone else in using or getting them, you should go away (jail.) Being under the influence of a substance is no excuse for causing harm. Especially those people that claim addiction. Whether it is alcohol, hard drugs, cigarettes, whatever chemical item a person is addicted to, they chose to use it the first time and are therefore personally responsible for all negative repercussions on top of their own health problems as a result of their use.
With abortion, personal responsibility. I support pre-marital sex, but if I got someone pregnant I would have been raising that kid. If you dip your stick or spread your legs, be prepared for 18 plus years of parenting for your own choice. Abortion also sucks in regards to the loss of common sense in society. I think the women getting the abortions are the wrong ones, the smarter ones. The same women that get abortions are cognizant enough to realize that having a baby in their lives would be extremely disruptive and a financial burden. They have the sense to realize that their children should have better lives and that shows they have intelligence. The women not getting abortions, outside of the religious realm that are afraid to do it because of hell, are the ones too stupid to understand or too heartless to care how negative the childs life will be. So if you have the sense to know that your baby would be better off without you, by killing it you end the line of intelligence that allowed you to come up with that thought. Every aborted baby makes humanity dumber since intelligence is inherited. And even if the dumber people started getting abortions, their babies might be better or smarter people than them, so let the babies live and grow and if they screw up majorly as adults, their actions will either then get them killed or jailed or both.
As an atheist, I have no belief that all people have a place in life like the religious do, we are not all creatures of a god. I believe we all deserve a place in life until we demonstrate that we no longer deserve it and that eliminates abortion because babies aren't the screw ups that adults can be. and I think a baby is a baby once it's own heart starts beating which is around week 20 I think so I guess abortion up to the first heartbeat could be acceptible.
With guns, personal responsibility. I cringe whenever I hear someone say guns should be restricted or removed from society. What kind of sick society do these people want to live in. I can just see criminals running amock in this new world of "might makes right" where the strongest bullies dictate how society is run. I am a husband and father of three and I'll be damned if I let politicians tell me how to defend my family from criminals. I am six feet tall and 190 pounds and I would get my ass handed to me and surely something broken if I had to fight some career criminal trying to hurt my family.
Personal responsibility. If you choose to commit crimes, you should be prepared to have your ass in a box in the ground. Let the law abiding have what they want for weapons, put the criminals away forever, or bury them. And nothing saves tax dollars like a private citizen shooting a criminal.
And if you want to rely on the police, look at the recent shooting in the U.S., New York where a shooter killed his former employer and then the cops shot nine other people trying to get the shooter. OOps! The police are there to clean up crimes, not prevent them.
For personal responsibility in crime and societal behavior, I believe if you will not be held equally accountable to the laws as everyone else, than you should not be on the streets with everyone else. So if you are some psycho that needs to take a bunch of medications to keep you from killing everyone around you, than you should either be locked up for the safety of society or someone else should be held accountable for your actions should you go batcrazy. A getaway driver will go to prison for driving the robbers to the bank and a doctor, lawyer, politician or family member should accompany a crazy person to prison if their actions allowed that individual into society. Personal responsibility. Don't say a person is sane enough to live in society unless you are willing to join them in the slammer if they screw up.
Gay marriage versus gay relations - personal and public responsibility. What you do in your room is your business, but marriage is designed to hold the fabric of society together. To make functional family units that are able to raise children to adulthood (which I guess is after age 26 now due to the healthcare law.) This will really get me in trouble with gay activists, but I don't think they should be able to adopt kids. And at the very least gay men can only raise girls and gay women can only raise boys. Homosexuality to me is a biological defect in which nature has determined for some physical or chemical reason that an individual should not be attracted to the opposite sex which leads to reproduction and therefore not have children. So for me, nature has made me allergic to mushrooms so I stay away from them. If you are a guy that likes guys, don't have kids.
Fiscally - personal responsibility. Allow people the opportunity to succeed or fail. I have failed at many things and succeeded at a few as well. They are all my own responsibility as they all came from my own choices. Don't artificially prop up society to try and prevent failure. As some have said, equal opportunity, not equal results should be the goal.
Euthanasia and assisted suicide - Adults should be allowed to make their own decisions on if they wish to die. On the assisted part, it should be regulated to ensure no kill happy person runs around convincing people they should do it and no profit from it should be allowed.
Environmentalism - personal responsibility. As individuals, do what you want with your own property, knowing that if you dump trash in your yard you could get sick and die, but their have to be some regulations about littering. I think the EPA has run amock and man made global warming is a government control issue more than a what can we do issue. Rivers no longer burst into flames like they did in the 70's from pollution so the U.S. is cleaner now. Cars run on unleaded gasoline rather than leaded so the air is cleaner as well. Let people know that their actions may make them sike or infertile and that will change enough behaviors to keep things clean, but don't tell me what kind of light bulb I can buy or what to set my thermostat at.
Robert, would you please run for President, so I can vote for someone without any reservations?
I wish I had the money. I would love to see a strong conservative atheist candidate for President. Even for Senate or House of Reps, it would be a huge beacon for fellow atheists and those conservatives that are disenchanted with the religion talk in conservative (GOP) circles.
My views on most political issues like what should be legal and what should the government do to help people is that it depends. Depends mostly on the behavior of the person you are granting the liberty or public assistance to. The problem with most conservatives and liberals is that they have this everyone or no one should be granted a liberty or assistance.
For example, I don't believe anyone on probation for a crime or on public assistance should be allowed liberties like alcohol, guns, drugs, cigarettes, prostitution, having children, etc... For everyone else legal.
I believe in providing welfare benefits for people enrolled in real job training programs. If people don't participate or refuse to work after being trained, no benefits.
I also have views that you may call communist. No private ownership of land and other natural resources. An upper limit on the number of children one can have.
The whole gay marriage debate is ridiculous. I don't believe the government should be in business to sanction any one's marriage. Marriage is also discrimination against single people. I don't believe in a distinction between married and single people as a mater of government policy.
BTW, we already have government assisted suicide. Taxing people to death!