Category: Points of Order


A Reluctant Apostate

It’s been over half a year since I created this blog, but looking back, I’ve noticed that I have not yet given a a satisfactory explanation of my pseudonym, which is important, since taking it at face value could give a mistaken impression.

Apostasy is typically refers to rejection of one’s religious origins and has mostly been used in conjunction with Islam because of that particular religion’s attitude toward apostasy.  On that front, I would qualify as an apostate from Christianity, but when I created the blog, the apostasy I had in mind was political:

It is a bit more difficult to describe my political views.  They are easiest to define in the negative: I, unlike most of my friends and family, am not a conventional American liberal or progressive.

I choose to use the word “apostate” to refer to my turning away from American liberalism because in many ways, that ideology has a quasi-religious structure such that morality is partially tied to politics.  In particular, the concept of equality plays a strong normative role in the worldview of the Left and it is one of the main tenets that I reject, which by the definition set forth by Paul Gottfried, makes me a Man of the Right.

I choose to refer to myself as a reluctant apostate because I understand the difficulty of apostasy as a viable route to a worldview and that is that an apostate is defined by what he is not and in opposition to his past worldview.  An apostate is giving up a system of beliefs without necessarily adopting a complete replacement.  While as an apostate, I reject the structures of thought that predominate the Left, I recognize the dangers that this entails.  Just as a religious apostate can fill the newfound void with an even more pernicious worldview, such as Marxist communism, one who rejects the doctrines of the Left must be aware that some of the alternatives lead down a far more destructive path.

I’d also like to add my reluctance as an apostate as has some personal roots.  Most of my family and the people who I’ve associated with through most of my life would identify as liberal or progressive.  The fact that I am writing under a pseudonym is an indicator of the extent to which I am willing to air my heretical views publicly.

Welcome

I started this blog as a way to present my views and discuss issues that interest me.  I come from a liberal Christian background in the American midwest.  However, I have found over time that my political and religious views have strayed further and further from those of my family and friends.

On religious issues, my position is relatively clear-cut: I’m an agnostic atheist.  That is, I don’t believe that there exist any entities that would be worthy of being called deities in our Universe, but I also admit that it is difficult to impossible to know this with a high level of certainty.  I accept the scientific consensus that the Universe as we know it began about 13.75 billion years ago, that the Earth formed about 4.54 billion years ago, and that life has evolved by a long dysteleological process of natural selection.

It is a bit more difficult to describe my political views.  They are easiest to define in the negative: I, unlike most of my friends and family, am not a conventional American liberal or progressive.  I do not accept many of the main tenets of American liberalism, though I do not reject all its positions outright.  In posts to come,  I hope you’ll get a better sense of where my views lie.  I do not currently have an ideological home and I consider my positions to be in a state of flux.  For now, I will say that while at times I default to liberal positions on some topics, my thinking has been influenced by libertarian thought and elements of the Right, though I think it would be incorrect to describe me as either a libertarian or a man of the Right.

Ultimately, I’m an ideological pluralist.  I enjoy a vigorous debate between competing viewpoints and believe that situations where people are not exposed to ideas that challenge their viewpoints are breeding grounds for sloppy thinking.  I don’t believe that all viewpoints are equally right, but I do think that no given viewpoint holds a monopoly on important insight and that it is thus wise to listen to people from a wide variety of ideologies and I seek to do so myself.

That is all for now.  I hope you enjoy my blog.