“Reflection on a Comment”,” by Michael Forbush, Dr. Forbush Thinks, 21 April 2005, http://drforbush.blogspirit.com/archive/2005/04/21/reflection_on_a_comment.html.
Forbush saw my lazy use of English, and he pounced
â€œIndividuals can change. But the people (the mean of society, the “average man,” whatever) does not.â€
This means that the average of society remains constant. So, for every person who improves himself there is another poor bloke who falls from the grace of God. If this is truly the conservative philosophy it is very nihilistic. What is the point of trying to make things better? If this is the basic philosophy of conservatives, then no wonder they feel so selfish. â€œGet what I can for myself before I become the poor slob who looses everythingâ€ must be the conservative motto.
And he goes in for the kill
I wonder if this could actually be proven by some measurable quantity. So, we could look at some measurable quantities to test this theory. Lets look at education. Students are tested every year. If the conservative theory were correct there would not be any point of making this measurement, because it would always be the same. But, the point could be to point out which schools are on the extreme ends of the spectrum. But, based on this conservative philosophy nothing could be done to change anything on average. If you improve the education at the poor schools, then the better schools must slip into mediocrity. If you are still reading this I hope that you realize the absurdity of this statement.
And then wonders how this effects evangelism
But, maybe he is referring to ethics or morality. After all he is a self-proclaimed Christian and morality may be his only true concern. If this is so, then what is the point of Christian Evangelization. With all the effort in the world the average number of people who are going to be saved must remain the same. Why make the effort if you donâ€™t believe that the effort is going to make a difference. Why not become a monk or recluse and make sure that you are going to be saved. After all the mean number of people who are going to be saved remains constant no matter what effort you make.
It’s all mad worse by a question I answered, poorly
So, you agree that George W Bush is a drunken cocaine fiend that only has his self-interest in mind. He is average in intelligence and has extremely poor management skills. And to top it off he has no faith in God. Because these are all admitted to by George W Bush himself or documented in public record [sic, but the point is taken — tdaxp]. If you believe that people can not change then George must be the same person he was…
I never said persons cannot change. But a New Style People will never be created…
So, to answer…
When I said that “the people (the mean of society, the “average man,” whatever) does not” change, I meant their “virtue” does not change. People will always be as proud, greedy, envious, angry, lustful, gluttonous, slothful, etc. Individuals can truly change.. but rarely. Both Paul and Bush had the same basic personality they had before their conversions as afterwards.
But these “vices” can be controlled and sublimated. The conservative project is to do that well. Conservatives want to maximize happiness and minimize tyranny by attention to man’s limitations. A New Style Man will never be created, be we can still build a future worth creating.
Christian Evangelism serves two purposes. First, it builds a system of horizontal controls. (Progressivism is especially dangerous here, because it attempts to destroy the old horizontal controls.) These create a safe society and preempt the need for vertical controls. Second, Christianity introduces a revolution in social affairs: loving kindness. This doctrine, created by Jesus and expounded by Paul, makes society kinder at the margins and saves us from the worst of horizontal pressures.