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Patriotism is like Religion


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Both can be taken too far, and become oppressive things -- "burn the heritic/communist" etc; and both can be used to justify pretty nasty things, because its what god/our contry wants us to do.

 

I believe that they both also are ways of controlling people and reenforsing social rules.

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I think recently the religious have tried to blur the distinction between patriotism and religion. Especially when you have certain presidents saying things like:

 

"I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God."

 

-- George H.W. Bush

 

To me American patriots are those who uphold the Constitution and the liberties it provides in any way shape or form. This includes the members of the armed forces, the ACLU for upholding the Constitution in court, every hippie who has ever protested for a rights violation of any kind, and every strict Constitutionalist civil libertarian.

 

Needless to say this definition of patriotism doesn't mesh well with the groupthink of modern day "patriots" who think patriotism means decorating your car and house with lots of flags and showing thoroughly unapologetic support for the government even when it seeks to undermine Constitutional rights. There's been a lot of that going on lately and most "patriots" don't seem to care one bit. If anything, they look at groups like the ACLU fighting the unconstitutional provisions of the PATRIOT act as being somewhat traitorous.

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Needless to say this definition of patriotism doesn't mesh well with the groupthink of modern day "patriots" who think patriotism means decorating your car and house with lots of flags..

Evil things these flags, represent liberty and equality and junk. If you have one and display it, then you're an oppressive commy! (I was being sarcastic in case you didn't get it)

...and showing thoroughly unapologetic support for the government even when it seeks to undermine Constitutional rights.

Hmmm, I don't suppose that you have relized that there are a few interpretations of constitutional rights than your own, or did you not relize, I see what you say your location is:

bascule

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In my opinion, one way to look at government is to take a "scientific" approach, i.e. to see government from a realistic perspective, looking at the individual politicians in government, the laws that constrain them, their interests, and the political process as a whole. Disciplines like public choice theory, law, and political science often help facilitate this view. But while this is the "scientific" view of government, because it views government and governmetal processes as a naturalistic process dependent on axioms of self-interest and so forth, there is also a religious side to government that attaches a spiritual element to government. This is patriotism and nationalism.

 

Patriotism and nationalism assume that there is more to a country than the sum of the individuals in it, that there is some sort of spirtitual entity that unites people, that there is an "American soul," that there is something sacred about a country's border. This I believe is the religious side of politics. It panders to the emotions of the masses. It blinds them from the actual mechanics of the political process.

 

Science is about the many laws and theories that describe phenomena. Religion attributes all phenomena to a supreme being. Parallels can be seen with patriotism. The nation-state is a mass of individuals within a border constrained by a specific set of laws set up and enforced by institutions, but patriotism or nationalism simplify all that by characterising the nation-state as if it were a supreme being.

 

Not to appeal to authority or anything, but it's curious that Albert Einstein himself describes nationalism as an "infantile disease" as well as the "measles of mankind."

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You mean they're not the same?

 

State != Church?

 

By golly ...

 

On the other side of the fence, I agree with you guys --- patriotism is similar to religion in the living sense. After living, religion brings in an after-death scenario. I don't know if patriotism talks of anything after.

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Patriotism involves the belief that the country is separate, sovereign, and different. It is also a certain pride in the country. I am proud because I won the science fair in Kindergarten, we are proud because we made the first democratic country and created the constitution.

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Do you think patriotism is very similar to religions?

 

Not in any meaningful way; that is to say in no way that does not yield yield similar parallels between patriotism and secularism, or atheism, or belief in the tooth fairy.

 

Rev Prez

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we are proud because we made the first democratic country
no you didnt.

 

is patriontism like religion? yes. both can go to your head, and both can propogate self-serving non-truths.

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To me American patriots are those who uphold the Constitution and the liberties it provides in any way shape or form.

 

The broadest definition patriot in in OED, "[a] person who loves his or her country, esp. one who is ready to support its freedoms and rights and to defend it against enemies or detractors," restricts its application to persons who:

 

1. recognize the exceptionalism of their country,

2. supports a consistent of social and political principles associated with that country,

3. is provoked to action by threats to his country's security and reputation.

 

Now we can waste all day arguing whether the Left (or the ACLU and hippies in your example) generally meet conditions 2 or 3. However, 1 is usually the sufficient dealbreaker. Since the late 1960s the Left has actively traded in American exceptionalism (not to be confused with nationalism) for an internationalist worldview. This is why the serious definition of patriotism generally has both a positive (from the right) and negative (from the left) connotation; the right disdains internationalism and the left argues that patriotism undesirably competes with an international value system.

 

Needless to say this definition of patriotism doesn't mesh well with the groupthink of modern day "patriots" who think patriotism means decorating your car and house with lots of flags and showing thoroughly unapologetic support for the government even when it seeks to undermine Constitutional rights.

 

The former is an expression of patriotism, albeit a possibly shallow one from many perspectives (and therefore, a ridiculous cheap shot in discussion). The latter refers to the kernel of nationalism's definition--love for the state--rather than to the sum of social features that defines the kernel of patriotism's "love for country."

 

There's been a lot of that going on lately and most "patriots" don't seem to care one bit. If anything, they look at groups like the ACLU fighting the unconstitutional provisions of the PATRIOT act as being somewhat traitorous.

 

Because the ACLU and the USA PATRIOT Act's critics are wrong, and dishonestly so in their inane quest to strike down or sunset provisions that enlarge the capability of security agencies without compromising American liberties. These are some smart people, driven by what may very well be an well-intentioned, internationalist set of convictions. But they are not patriots, they are doing something that aids and abets the enemy (however minimally), and that to me at least qualifies as treason.

 

Rev Prez

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no you didnt.

 

is patriontism like religion? yes. both can go to your head' date=' and both can propogate self-serving non-truths.[/quote']

 

Like science, which doesn't even purport to propagate truth but empirical knowledge that is decivisely self-serving (it's sure as hell useful, isn't it?). Or heuristics for that matter. Or mneumonics. Once again, another useless parallel.

 

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the 'usless parralells' is more applicable to your own than to mine; religion and patriotism actually propogate lies (i avoided this word before because i didnt want it to sound like i was accusing demosthenes of lying), and those lies are self-serving.

 

note the presense of the word 'can' in my original statement. im not sujjesting that all religion and/or patriotism is self-servingly descietful, just that, when taken to extremes, they oftern are.

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the 'usless parralells' is more applicable to your own than to mine; religion and patriotism actually propogate lies.

 

So do forms of entertainment like print fiction or TV sitcoms. Or forms of nonfiction like scientific journals and cookbooks. What's your point?

 

Rev Prez

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i really dont see how science journals propogate lies. and, to clarify, im talking about intentionally propogating lies that support your own position. "were doing this because god said x" when really, no where in the bible does god say x; "our country rox a fat 1 because it was the first democracy" when it quite clearly wasnt.

 

my aim was to point out that both religion and patriotism, when taken too far (IMO), are symptomatically identicle, with the sole exeption that religiouse people worship a god, and patriots worship their contry: both involve a high degree of believing that there way is the best, that there way is endorsed by a higher entity, that people who dont subscribe to there way are somehow lesser than they are; both involve a mixture of factual knowledge, beliefs and plain-outright-falshoods which are desighned and spread with the sole purpose of supporting the belief-system; both are controlling of ones life, and somewhat desighned to be so; both are used to justify atrocities; both evoke strong feelings in a person; and theres an annoying tendancy for both to try and enforse there beliefs upon others, convert others, and shout at others loudly if they disagree. oh, and no matter how logical and demonstratably true something is, if it contradicts the beliefe its somehow incorrect. working out a way to make it seem incorect is preferable, but failing that volume and/or reppetition will do. i'll remind you that im talking here of patriotism and/or religion gone too far, not all patriotism/religion.

 

i'd like to see you parrellel that to cooking. even cooking taken too far to the extreme.

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A parallel between patriotism and religion can be very practical because politicians can analyse the elements of religion that make it potent, isolate these elements, and then apply them in political campaigns to serve their own interests.

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i really dont see how science journals propogate lies...

 

Well, to avoid too much controversy with the definition of "lie," there are hoaxes and actual incidence of fraud that make their way onto journal pages. A more generous definition would extend to cookbooks with typos. This should adequately illustrate why your claim that religion and patriotism "propagate lies" is unproductive to the point of being meaningless.

 

...and, to clarify, im talking about intentionally propogating lies that support your own position.

 

In that case, we can include scientific journals on the grounds that hoaxes and fraud are by definition intentional. So now we can say "patriotism is like religion and Physical Review." Hell, I'll be generous. Call it Physical Review D.

 

...my aim was to point out that both religion and patriotism...

 

We all know what your point was. You've got a beef against religion and patriotism and want classify them to the exclusion of things you find commendable. Fair enough. My aim is to point out the stupid extremes you have to go to do so.

 

both involve a high degree of believing that there way is the best...

 

Most value systems purport that it is good to believe in its correctness. So now we can say "patriotism is like religion, charitable giving, and not tripping over untied shoe laces."

 

i'd like to see you parrellel that to cooking. even cooking taken too far to the extreme.

 

Already have. You can't even show that patriotism is like religion in any way that's meaningful even to yourself. Why should any such parallel be meaningful to the rest of us?

 

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A parallel between patriotism and religion can be very practical because politicians can analyse the elements of religion that make it potent, isolate these elements, and then apply them in political campaigns to serve their own interests.

 

Well that's a complete load of bull. Replace "patriotism" with "love for country," "religion" with "belief in the supernatural," and "politician" with "agent setting and implementing public policy" and you have a pretty wordy and generally useful claim.

 

You apparantly assert there are communicative features of religious persuasion that are unique only to believers expressing religious belief and patriots expressing their patriotism. I really doubt you believe that. In fact, I suspect you really want to argue that the social phenonoma of patriotism in Country X's history (say, American history) is structurally similar and possibly correlates to the social phenomona of religion in said country. If that's the case, we're a long way from such a moronically general claim that "patriotism is like religion" followed by a string of moronically foolish truisms. But just for kicks, why don't you clear up exactly what you mean by coopting "elements of religion" to make a "potent" political case?

 

Rev Prez

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We all know what your point was. You've got a beef against religion and patriotism and want classify them to the exclusion of things you find commendable. Fair enough. My aim is to point out the stupid extremes you have to go to do so.
No, i have absolutely nothing against either religion or patriotism. which is why i pointed out that i was talking about religion/patriotism TAKEN TOO FAR, as opposed to all patriotism/religion.
Well, to avoid too much controversy with the definition of "lie," there are hoaxes and actual incidence of fraud that make their way onto journal pages. A more generous definition would extend to cookbooks with typos. This should adequately illustrate why your claim that religion and patriotism "propagate lies" is unproductive to the point of being meaningless.
typos are mistakes, and are not what im talking about here.

 

but yes, there are lies and untruths present in all things. also, 'my way of belief is the best' is quite oftern associated with belief systems. i see your point; however, i dont believe that its present in many other areas to anywhere near the same degree as it is in patriotism/religion.

 

if we stop talking of those who take it to extremes for a minute, and talk about the regular religiouse/patriotic people, there are still parrallells:

 

they are usually central to ones life (in a way in which cooking and science very rarely are); they both have a tendancy to dictate ones morals and ones actions (in a way in which cooking and science very rarely do); they both generally carry with them the feeling that someone else who shares the belief is a better person for it (someone who can make an exquisit soufle will be viewed by other cooks as a great cook, not nessesaraly a great person; someone who is patriotic will be viewed by another patriot as a better person); both can cohese large groups of people, and bring them together/strengthen there bonds; and both are very emotional and pride-evoking belief systems. (ok, there is a parellel to science and cooking (respectively) in those last two, if we ignore the fact that cooking isnt a belief system)

 

try and imajine someone who is patriotic to god and christianity, and someone who is religosly worshipful and devout of there contry, and you start to see the similarity between the two. try and imajine someone who is scientifical about their attetude to there contry, or someone who reads the bible like a cook book and there is very little similarity.

 

id like to state again that i have nothing against patriotism or religion per se, nor against the vast majority of religiouse or patriotic people. you assume too much. the reason my posts may have sounded slightly negative was because i was examining the extreme religiouse/patriotic people, cos i felt the extremeness would make observing them easyer.

 

i do have a 'beef' with a certain kind of extremely religiouse/patriotic people, but only because of there tendancy to believe that i have to live like a good religiouse/patriotic person just because they do, and there tendancy to tell me this in a very loud voice.

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I am proud because I won the science fair in Kindergarten, we are proud because we made the first democratic country and created the constitution.

Your democracy was based on the British democracy. I fail to see how you could continue to regurgitate this old misinformed logic, you've been corrected on this in detail in many other threads. The US was in no aspect the first democracy. The US even copied the constitution and courts from the English. The politicians and civil servants in the US were English, and copied what they knew.

 

Whatever, I forgot "modern". The U.S. was the first real democracy in modern times, since even Sparta.

Sparta was a monarchy that became a military state, the very opposite of a democracy. If your basing your idea of democracy on Sparta, no wonder you are so confused.

 

If that's the case, we're a long way from such a moronically general claim that "patriotism is like religion" followed by a string of moronically foolish truisms

The 3rd Reich was exactly that. It's was conceived and implemented with the basic idea that patriotism could be utilized like a religion. The legacy of that is politicians who use charisma and rhetoric to influence voters, we live in the era where a politician who is persuasive wins over the politician with good policy.

 

Try not to strawman if you reply. It's getting to be your trademark.

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typos are mistakes, and are not what im talking about here.

 

They're also untruths. But if we want to include deliberate deception, a case could be made that some recipes described as "trouble free" amount to blatant lies. We can also say that patriotism is now similar to KFC's claim that fried chicken was part of an Atkin's diet.

 

i see your point; however, i dont believe that its present in many other areas to anywhere near the same degree as it is in patriotism/religion.

 

That's easy enough to disprove. I'm quite sure you believe that stand-up comics and stage actors lie as much if not more so than the clergy and patriots.

 

if we stop talking of those who take it to extremes for a minute, and talk about the regular religiouse/patriotic people, there are still parrallells:

 

Except you can't come up with a satisfactory standard that successfully delineates religion and patriotic types from the rest.

 

they are usually central to ones life (in a way in which cooking and science very rarely are); they both have a tendancy to dictate ones morals and ones actions...

 

Like hearing examiners. So patriotism is like religion which is like the judiciary.

 

...(in a way in which cooking and science very rarely do)...

 

That's probably because a generous view of science notes that it is concerned with empirical matters, not an ethical or aesthetic ones. On the other hand, cookbooks often do stipulate their beauty (tastes great) and righteousness (healthy eating).

 

...both are very emotional and pride-evoking belief systems.

 

So is eighth grade graduation. So patriotism is like religion which is like graduating from junior high to high school.

 

id like to state again that i have nothing against patriotism or religion per se, nor against the vast majority of religiouse or patriotic people. you assume too much. the reason my posts may have sounded slightly negative was because i was examining the extreme religiouse/patriotic people, cos i felt the extremeness would make observing them easyer.

 

This is disingenuous. You made no distinction in your first post and you still admit you have a beef with religious and patriotic ideals. You might not have a problem with moderate drug use per se, but that doesn't mean you don't consider it to lie on a spectrum that includes Tyrone Green.

 

Rev Prez

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