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Aligning With Camps


XtianChris
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For history of how this topic came about, see this post.

 

I've noticed that we tend to align ourselves with "camps" that hold specific viewpoints on many social issues. It happens most noticeably in politics and religion. In politics (in the US at least) we have the liberal camp and the conservative camp, Democrats and Republicans. Of course there are other camps, but these two are the largest. We have an atheist camp and an organized religion camp. There are of course other camps in religious and spiritual matters, but these two are the largest.

 

Personally, I do not see myself fitting squarely into any political camp, not even when I was a Christian. I voted for Bush both times (I'll take my flogging now), but I did so not because I agreed with Republicans on the major issues, but because I perceived him to be the lesser of two evils (damn, was I wrong!)

 

As far as religion goes, I never aligned myself with extremist beliefs of "once saved, always saved", "all abortionists are baby-killers", or "homosexuality is sin". I have always viewed such issues with an open mind and when and if I came to a decision about any of them I did it on my terms, not the terms of the church or sect that I chose to associate with.

 

Why do we tend to agree with our aligned "camp" on almost every issue? Shouldn't we favor forming our own opinions about issues rather than playing "follow the leader" of our associated camp(s)?

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I think the thing is that many opinions tend to fall into certain camps, and human beings have a tendency to slap a label onto people, so those labels get slapped on whether we want them to or not. I suspect it's an evolutionary trait. Probably in the old days when people lived in caves, those tribes with people of more similarities tended to survive better.

 

Also, don't feel bad. I voted for Bush the first time too because I saw him as the lesser of two evils, but I voted against him the second time because it was clear I was wrong. I have a tendency to be moderate when it comes to politics, but I see no way I could vote for a republican now unless they were republican in name only. in which case they'd never get the nomination anyway. I may very well be voting 3rd party in the '08 election, depending on who gets the nomination for the democratic party.

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It's easy and convenient to have your mind made up for you, by contrived associations, rather than have to make up your own mind on an issue.

 

It's a crime the way human laziness is used.

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It's easy and convenient to have your mind made up for you, by contrived associations, rather than have to make up your own mind on an issue.

 

It's a crime the way human laziness is used.

 

Heh - well said :)

 

Sadly, especially after the advent of Xianity in the West, that encampment mentality is strong amongst humans. Xianity sets itself up as the first important camp to belong to, and then labelled anything in contradiction as the opposition camp. As Xianity began to lose sway over people and humans began to take to other religious ideas, they made their own camps. For the part, before Xianity came, people just were; today, for example, we have the Asatru (who follow pre-xian Teutonic beliefs and practices) but when such beliefs and practices were common, there was no name nor any sort of label for it. There existed no opposition to it, as does today, so no label was thought of.

 

This trend has bled over into everything, like politics and philosophy, and of course people were making up labels for things before Xianity existed, but it seems so much stronger now, in the post-xian world. Strong fervor for one's beliefs and positions certainly helps bring it about, I think.

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Why do we tend to agree with our aligned "camp" on almost every issue? Shouldn't we favor forming our own opinions about issues rather than playing "follow the leader" of our associated camp(s)?

 

I'm not sure that you can say that all people really agree with an aligned camp, I think some people say they agree. It can be a lonely road when you have an opinion that differs from those you associate with. Not to mention the bashing that may occur. Think of those who are still going through the motions of being Christian. They say they believe but they really don't. But to say that they don't they risk losing their friends and family.

 

I tend to stay away from groups because I find that to identify with one you tend to lose your own ability to think and reason and make your own decisions. In my opinion in a way you lose your identity. And I much prefer to listen to people of all walks of life because it opens up new possibilities for me that I may never have gotten had I aligned myself to one specific group. I get to listen to all sides, hear all points of view and then form a decision based on what I hear, see and read.

 

When voting I look at the person running and how they stand on the issues. This past year I voted republican, democratic and independent all on the same ballot, I looked at the individual and their stand on the issues. When I get stuck and all candidates agree on the issues I tend to vote democratic or independent because the people behind the scenes feeding them the information they use to form their decisions sometimes (and I say sometimes) carry a great deal of weight.

 

I once had a dilemma such as that and I voted republican because the wife of the democrat who was running was a class A-1 Bxxxx (no independent ran). Her kids went to my sons school and during a festival we were working on she knocked one of the volunteers to a group of us. I took the day off from work to work on the festival and the majority of the time she was standing around talking bad about someone who had given their time to help out, not to mention that because she was heading up the work we were doing nothing got done. I guess I figured that if she was such a jerk and he was married to her he just may have that trait as well. So he didn't get my vote, I may have been wrong in my reasoning, but he did get elected, he was a jerk and didn't do jack while in office. He was voted out the next year and an independent took his place...wonderful woman!

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