I have a difficult time with atheists and Progressives. Not because I 'am a Conservative' but because I'm a student of history and I have a serious appreciation for thinking which has already been done, with skepticism against that which is yet to come. Most atheists and Progressives I come in contact with always seem at the ready to crowdsource their latest meme against the history of mankind that has brought us the status quo.
The other day, somebody in one of the streams I read argued briefly that people who care not for nuclear energy or fracking logically care not for the prevention of AGW. I don't care one way or another about those particulars because I already know that the rich and powerful will still live better than those who are not, and my plan is to court the rich and powerful. You know, in the same way that doctors who 'cure cancer' do, within the institutional boundaries of well-capitalized wishful thinking. IE Big Technology on the verge of being appreciated as Magic by them who don't know. Poor blighters.
But as always, I am drawn to pointing out the unexpected consistencies as well as the studied hypocrisies of wishful thinking and belief in magic. So it occurred to me that atheists and Progressives, appropriately qualified, are pragmatic utilitarians, and also predictably humanist. As such they are likely to eschew human sacrifice of virgins in order to order good karma from the Gods, nevertheless they are quite willing that we all suffer a bit in particular to progress a step in general. So if you ask an atheist whether we should all pray for peace, they'll huff dismissively at you and tell you to go through the pain of researching the conflict (say in Gaza) and to then agitate appropriately to the proper authorities, especially by not buying Sodastream or giving any credibility to laws originating in the Torah. Similarly if you asked Progressives if a dude like me ought to by an economically inefficient Prius to make my symbolic obeisance to the current balance of atmospheric gasses, they will assert so in a hurry. But what other kinds of sacrifices are popular with these sorts which make about as much sense as burning sheep guts in effigy to the Great Spirit?
I think this will be my new course of wry stoic study.
In order to do so, I will assert some of what I assert might have been Seneca's Rules.
#1. If it works for the rich and powerful, it will work for you given that you are sufficiently rich and powerful.
The obvious corollary to this is that since people still want to be rich and powerful, all the miracle cures peddled to the poor and weak don't actually work. If they did, nobody would have a need or reason to become rich and powerful. Doesn't that make perfect sense to you? It does to me. Which is why I keep wondering what motivates Progressives in particular to endlessly come up with shortcuts toward humanistic utopias in their bleatings. You see in all of this I'm also thinking very seriously that I may very well be rich already and just don't know it - and therefore am paying too much attention to things beneath my consideration as a Progressive knee-jerk reaction. (Yes I still possess such impulses, masked as they are as moral sentiments). (Or should I call them sentiments masked as moral impulses? )) It's probably more accurate to say that we are all merely middle-class dreaming up ways for the poor to become middle-class and have no idea what really works in this world - but are merely rearranging furniture in a rented house for the benefit of our poor cousins, and restraining our tongues civilly at the Thanksgiving table. Either way..
What if the horrors of fracking are what is required for the diesel fuel that moves all the freight across the country so that poor people can shop at the supermarket instead of grow, shuck, and bake their own cornbread? What if we could sacrifice the environement of North Dakota so that everybody else in the Lower 48 can continue taking public transportation to the free health clinics? Now I haven't connected those particular dots, but you're getting the picture. No matter what you think about gluten free bread, it comes in paper or plastic bags. Trees or oil. Obviously there are third ways that work out nicely and it might actually be more economical for the local supermarket to give away free hemp shopping bags than all those previous disposable recyclables. But also maybe not - maybe it's just as uneconomical as the gas mileage you supposedly get on a hybrid Toyota Prius over a gasoline engine Honda Civic.
This circles back to my Peasant Theory, which is something of an elaborate critique on the American post-war economy and consumer lifestyle that is at once making our cities both comfortable and idiot-proof.