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The Big Picture

'Have you ever heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates? Morons.' -- Vizzini from "The Princess Bride"

Friday, November 23, 2007

Literature: Conservative and Liberal

PZ Myers has a great post up which should make anyone with an I.Q. greater than two digits stand up and take notice. In it he is humorously (well, not so much, as it is serious) commenting on the recent debate over over the books written by an atheist, Philip Pullman. The first of the trilogy, has now been made into a movie, "The Golden Compass."

Anyway, it seems that conservatives, and especially Christian conservatives, want to simply ban books that they don't want anyone to read. Their current attack is preventing children to read books which may challenge the conservative's viewpoints. But we all know they also want to prevent adults from the same -- They want to prevent adults from viewing pornography, for example.

Is this really effective? Simply eliminating from public access books and material which they do not want be publicly known... But more importantly, how does the left handle books and material they do not want on the shelves, for public consumption?? The liberals of this world all have one thing in common, they will allow public access to all information, books, materials, etc. Their limit has to deal with only one thing: Delivering factual accuraccy to our children. Liberals only want to limit the direct teaching of anti-factual ideas, or at best, fact-less ideas. However, liberals do not support restricting access to books which support those same ideas. The perfect example is Intelligent Design. No liberal has suggested that the book, "Of Pandas and People" be eliminated from libraries despite it being full of factual inaccuracies. But teaching that same dreck to students should be completely eliminated from school science curricula.

I guess the simplest way to put the difference is this: Conservatives, especially conservative Christians, think that removing access to all books they don't like and preventing individual choice is the best route whereas liberals think that teaching only fact based classes and allowing access to non-factual hogwash for everyone is best.

And oddly enough this again boils down to whether or not one lives in a reality-based community, like liberals; or some fantasy land, like conservatives.

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