Jump to content
Christopherhays

Why aren’t there many Atheist Republicans?

Recommended Posts

4 minutes ago, TABA said:

 

Oh I was going to mention that. There is some history behind that loan. Used to know what it was... been too long.

 

Besides this wasn't supposed to be a dick measuring contest. I was simply pointing out that the claim to greatest can depend entirely on the metrics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, LogicalFallacy said:

 

Oh I was going to mention that. There is some history behind that loan. Used to know what it was... been too long.

 

Besides this wasn't supposed to be a dick measuring contest. I was simply pointing out that the claim to greatest can depend entirely on the metrics.


what would you say is the greatest country in the world based on your metrics?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Christopherhays said:


what would you say is the greatest country in the world based on your metrics?

 

I wouldn't make such a claim. I think its pointless and based on subjective opinion. It's like saying what's the worst country? We know that there are great countries and bad countries but because much of what we consider great or bad is subjective it's just an opinion. 

 

If we chose an objective metric - let's say best military well US is greatest. But if we choose metrics like happiness or wellbeing which might be better, they are nevertheless subjective. 

 

Personally I think NZ is a great country. I think it's a better place to live than the US. But I wouldn't claim it's the greatest. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, LogicalFallacy said:

 

I wouldn't make such a claim. I think its pointless and based on subjective opinion. It's like saying what's the worst country? We know that there are great countries and bad countries but because much of what we consider great or bad is subjective it's just an opinion. 

 

If we chose an objective metric - let's say best military well US is greatest. But if we choose metrics like happiness or wellbeing which might be better, they are nevertheless subjective. 

 

Personally I think NZ is a great country. I think it's a better place to live than the US. But I wouldn't claim it's the greatest. 


Than why have a problem with me saying the US is the greatest country?

 

Happiness and wellbeing is not greatness. Sitting on a beach in New Zealand for 80 years is less great than 1 day feeding children in Africa. The US consistently gives more in foreign aid than any other country. Why not use that metric? We also lead the world in medical research and innovation. Our breakthroughs in medicine and science have improved people’s lives in every nation. Why not use that metric?  My school played a small part in the Green Revolution, which is credited with saving over a billion lives. That’s greatness. It’s not about being happy or healthy or getting everything right... it’s about solving problems and innovating new ways to improve the world. It’s about pushing yourself to the limits and leading others to a brighter future. That’s greatness. No country does this like the US.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In general, I've noticed that true greatness doesn't require declaration, let alone defense. It's just plainly obvious. 

 

I've also noticed that many Americans are quick to declare their country to be the greatest in the world, and often become defensive when they aren't agreed with outright. I find this interesting.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, Christopherhays said:

Than why have a problem with me saying the US is the greatest country?

 

That's an interesting question... but I think Disillusioned hit's on part of the issue.

 

The US is the only country I'm aware of that constantly spouts to the world about how great it is - problem is you only focus on the great stuff, and not on the shit stuff. It's kinda like a cat walking past a mirror and seeing a lion, but everyone else sees a cat. For example you arguably have the worlds best economy - and so much debt you'll never pay it off. You gave the world internet which is awesome... but also gave the world McDonalds and KFC... and coca cola etc which is causing huge health problems. You say you give the most aid - you also bomb the shit out of more people... by far! You see where I'm coming from? I don't just look at all the great things, I take an overall look.

 

Maybe it's because I come from a culture where the people are more humble and polite and don't feel the need to continually yell to the world about how great we are.

 

Anyway, we are off topic track, some other US citizens might be getting angsty if they read this page. It was supposed to merely be an observation about the subjective nature of calling ones country "greatest", not a back and forth on the particular metrics. Probably the greatest country is some little haven we've never heard of.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, florduh said:

I'm not convinced that is actually true. Between 1892 and 1954 over 12 million people came here through Ellis Island alone, but it doesn't matter. I also don't understand the distinction you make over by what mechanism someone came from another country and now lives here. The only point I wanted to make is that other than the Native Americans, everyone living here, for whatever reason, has their origin in another country. Many people seem to say that their family came here 50, 100 or 200 years ago so we can just stop the immigration now.

 

I was thinking about the original "immigration" period, i.e. 1584 to the Revolution, not the 19th-20th century. I should have clarified that. But then, a large number of Asian migrants of the 19th century were also sent here against their will as cheap labor. The main reason for immigration to the USA, voluntary or otherwise, was/is capital's need for cheap labor and the depression of wages for everyone. That is the driving force, not a sentimental Hallmark greeting card set to the tune of a Neil Diamond soundtrack. 

 

Native Americans are also "immigrants," just from an earlier period. Nobody grew up from the ground. The history of the world is population movement. 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Christopherhays said:


our constitution was a huge leap forward in the evolution of limited government. We created it because England’s leadership was not giving us representation and thus stripping our freedom. 

 

The revised 1789 Constitution was created in order to set up a centralized taxing entity, necessary to pay our creditors for huge war debts. The 1789 Constitution thus greatly EXPANDED the central government, not limited it. The original Constitution of 1781 (The Articles of Confederation) was a genuinely limited central government. 

 

But none of this matters much. The very concept of "limited government" was invented by the mercantile classes in Holland and England in the 16th-17th century mainly to enrich themselves rather than the monarchy or aristocracy. In essence, capital is sovereign in the western world (and now globally), and "government" exists mainly to socialize the debts and deal with all the social problems that sovereign capital creates, e.g. illegal immigration. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, disillusioned said:

In general, I've noticed that true greatness doesn't require declaration, let alone defense. It's just plainly obvious. 

 

I've also noticed that many Americans are quick to declare their country to be the greatest in the world, and often become defensive when they aren't agreed with outright. I find this interesting.

 

I began questioning that mantra in my 20's. We grow up with these claims here and generally accept them at face value. Or in the form of confirmation bias, to be honest about it. But I began to ask myself questions like how free are we actually?  And the answer looks like not as free as we can be. There's more work that needs done on the freedom front. Libertarians are pushing for those freedoms. 

 

I suppose the greatest country mantra mostly boils down to might equals right thinking. The argument for innovation sounds pretty good, though. We have brought the world a ton of innovation and I agree with that reasoning. But when it comes to declaring to everyone else how great WE are, I agree with you, the question of why this greatness requires declaration is a good one.

 

An example of declarations of greatness can come from the trades.

 

A lot of tradesmen tend to boast and brag on themselves as "the best" around at their trade. It's mostly fluff, too. Because on metrics there's only so far anyone can go in terms of being good at a given trade. I like to use tile installation as an example. If the tile is set perfectly square, there's no lippage over industry standard, or at all in the best case, the grout is perfectly smooth and at perfect elevation in the joints, then that's it. There's no such thing as being "greater" than that. And the problem here is that anyone who meets these standards are equally great in that respect. There is no such thing as "the best." There can only be "one of the best" and if you meet these standards, then you can stand beside anyone else who also meets these standards.

 

So in general, I tend to frown on declarations of the best or greatest for these general reasons. There are myriad problems when it comes to declaring, "the best." One of the best or one of the greatest I'm much more apt to consider. And I don't think it's unreasonable to correct our American mantra to "one of the greatest" countries in the history of the world, or in the world right now. It may not be too boastful to declare it from that perspective. Just a sense of being proud to be among the greatest. But personally, I prefer to let it go without saying. I don't feel the need to declare it around. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Blood said:

Native Americans are also "immigrants," just from an earlier period. Nobody grew up from the ground. The history of the world is population movement. 

 

Exactly right. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Christopherhays you've made some interesting comments in this thread. When I deconverted over nine years ago, I became politically very liberal (just search my old posts on this forum), and slowly transitioned into conservativism over the past four years. Now you mentioned two important terms: atheism, and the Republican party. My relationship with atheism is "it's complicated," and I do call myself Hindu since I was born in that religion before converting. But for the purposes of this discussion I can say that I don't accept the objective existence of God. As for the Republican party, I would say that I am a conservative and I find the Republican party a useful vehicle for those philosophies at the political level. Based on what you say in your original post, it sounds like you are also a conservative at a philosophical level, and that this philosophy is what leads you to vote Republican. Correct me if I'm incorrect in that assumption, of course.

 

As to why more atheists aren't conservative or Republican, I have been thinking about this for awhile and have a few complete thoughts on the matter. First, it's important to note that atheism isn't a positive category or set of beliefs; it is simply a lack of belief in God or gods. So a priori we can't say very much about what philosophies an atheist would be predisposed to support. I think we can say though that atheism by itself doesn't lend itself to conservative thinking. Religions provide an established social framework, complete with a set of moral virtues and vices. Conservativism, at its core, is about preserving the status quo, and this is a value that religions also tend to hold. So I can see why an atheist would be less likely to be conservative than a theist.

 

Secondly, atheists can and do hold to specific philosophies beyond mere atheism. One of the interesting things about America (and a contributor to its status as greatest nation on earth) is that America is built on a set of ideas rather than on a specific race or ethnicity. The nation's founders were deists, and the fact that our founding documents make reference to "Nature and Nature's God" allow for the inclusion of a wide variety of religious philosophies. I would argue that this statement is even inclusive of atheism. If America were a Christian nation, it would be almost impossible for an ex-Christian to be a conservative or a patriot. But our founding on a set of ideas other than Christianity makes non-Christian and ex-Christian conservativism possible in this country.

 

Finally, I have recently realized that religion seems to be an evolutionary adaptation among humans. There is indeed a "God-shaped hole" in the human heart. Given that moths have an evolutionarily-imparted attraction to candle flames, I don't think the human predisposition to religion is necessarily a good thing, and it certainly doesnt suggest the existence of God. But the predisposition is there nonetheless. What I have noticed among the mainstream progressive movement in the West in recent years is a tendancy towards authoritarianism. The left has moved from equal rights for gays to mandatory celebration of the most arcane and absurd sexual predilections (and now the right supports equal rights for gays). The Left used to portray climate change as a purely scientific issue, but it has now transmogrified into the pseudoscientific climate justice movement involving children who are taught to believe that civilization will end in twelve years. Leftists seem to be the only ones silencing free speech on pain of loss of employment, and now outright threats of violence. Leftists also support illegal immigration, and use emotional photos of dead children to convince us that we are morally obligated to surrender our possessions and finances to people who have no right to use the nation's social services. I could go on, but from these examples we have:

  • Enforcement of specific sexual values
  • Pseudoscience taught to children
  • Fear of an imminent end of the world, as well as instillment of that fear in children
  • Thought policing and socially-enforced punishment for blasphemy
  • A commandment to sell our worldly possessions and give to the poor
  • Intimation to associate with the degenerates of society (taxpayers/prostitutes -> illegal immigrants)

Leftism is not a philosophy at this point, it is a religion. Specifically it is Christianity, except without the 2,000 year history of rigorous philosophy and classical music. I believe many skeptics of Christianity are becoming aware of this. I have noticed an interesting phenomenon. When I publicly state that I am a conservative and a Trump supporter, I am generally referred to as a white supremacist (not sure why an Indian would be a white supremacist, but that's another thread altogether). Clearly that charge is meant to suppress open discourse. When I state the same here on ex-C, I will get a wide range of opinions ranging from agreement to disagreement. But no one has called me a white supremacist or other absurd monikers yet. One person here called me a misogynist, but that was about the furthest it went. Clearly, the skeptical nature of this community causes it to question far left ideology. Even most of the liberals here are reasonable. What I'm trying to say is that I think as Western progressivism coaleses into an organized and religious movement with a specific and cohesive philosophy, it will become less attractive to atheists, and we may in fact see more atheist conservatives in the future.

 

Hopefully that will happen before the Left imports a critical mass of Muslims.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, LogicalFallacy said:

 

That's an interesting question... but I think Disillusioned hit's on part of the issue.

 

The US is the only country I'm aware of that constantly spouts to the world about how great it is - problem is you only focus on the great stuff, and not on the shit stuff. It's kinda like a cat walking past a mirror and seeing a lion, but everyone else sees a cat. For example you arguably have the worlds best economy - and so much debt you'll never pay it off. You gave the world internet which is awesome... but also gave the world McDonalds and KFC... and coca cola etc which is causing huge health problems. You say you give the most aid - you also bomb the shit out of more people... by far! You see where I'm coming from? I don't just look at all the great things, I take an overall look.

 

Maybe it's because I come from a culture where the people are more humble and polite and don't feel the need to continually yell to the world about how great we are.

 

Anyway, we are off topic track, some other US citizens might be getting angsty if they read this page. It was supposed to merely be an observation about the subjective nature of calling ones country "greatest", not a back and forth on the particular metrics. Probably the greatest country is some little haven we've never heard of.


I think Americans naturally point out the good we do because the rest of the world is so quick to point out the bad. It’s kinda like cnn and fox spending more time countering each other than delivering the news... There’s allot of bad in our past. That’s true for most world powers. I see value in appreciating and recognizing the accomplishments of our country. I’m worried the left doesn’t appreciate what we have, and is more likely to f it up. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Bhim said:

@Christopherhays you've made some interesting comments in this thread. When I deconverted over nine years ago, I became politically very liberal (just search my old posts on this forum), and slowly transitioned into conservativism over the past four years. Now you mentioned two important terms: atheism, and the Republican party. My relationship with atheism is "it's complicated," and I do call myself Hindu since I was born in that religion before converting. But for the purposes of this discussion I can say that I don't accept the objective existence of God. As for the Republican party, I would say that I am a conservative and I find the Republican party a useful vehicle for those philosophies at the political level. Based on what you say in your original post, it sounds like you are also a conservative at a philosophical level, and that this philosophy is what leads you to vote Republican. Correct me if I'm incorrect in that assumption, of course.

 

As to why more atheists aren't conservative or Republican, I have been thinking about this for awhile and have a few complete thoughts on the matter. First, it's important to note that atheism isn't a positive category or set of beliefs; it is simply a lack of belief in God or gods. So a priori we can't say very much about what philosophies an atheist would be predisposed to support. I think we can say though that atheism by itself doesn't lend itself to conservative thinking. Religions provide an established social framework, complete with a set of moral virtues and vices. Conservativism, at its core, is about preserving the status quo, and this is a value that religions also tend to hold. So I can see why an atheist would be less likely to be conservative than a theist.

 

Secondly, atheists can and do hold to specific philosophies beyond mere atheism. One of the interesting things about America (and a contributor to its status as greatest nation on earth) is that America is built on a set of ideas rather than on a specific race or ethnicity. The nation's founders were deists, and the fact that our founding documents make reference to "Nature and Nature's God" allow for the inclusion of a wide variety of religious philosophies. I would argue that this statement is even inclusive of atheism. If America were a Christian nation, it would be almost impossible for an ex-Christian to be a conservative or a patriot. But our founding on a set of ideas other than Christianity makes non-Christian and ex-Christian conservativism possible in this country.

 

Finally, I have recently realized that religion seems to be an evolutionary adaptation among humans. There is indeed a "God-shaped hole" in the human heart. Given that moths have an evolutionarily-imparted attraction to candle flames, I don't think the human predisposition to religion is necessarily a good thing, and it certainly doesnt suggest the existence of God. But the predisposition is there nonetheless. What I have noticed among the mainstream progressive movement in the West in recent years is a tendancy towards authoritarianism. The left has moved from equal rights for gays to mandatory celebration of the most arcane and absurd sexual predilections (and now the right supports equal rights for gays). The Left used to portray climate change as a purely scientific issue, but it has now transmogrified into the pseudoscientific climate justice movement involving children who are taught to believe that civilization will end in twelve years. Leftists seem to be the only ones silencing free speech on pain of loss of employment, and now outright threats of violence. Leftists also support illegal immigration, and use emotional photos of dead children to convince us that we are morally obligated to surrender our possessions and finances to people who have no right to use the nation's social services. I could go on, but from these examples we have:

  • Enforcement of specific sexual values
  • Pseudoscience taught to children
  • Fear of an imminent end of the world, as well as instillment of that fear in children
  • Thought policing and socially-enforced punishment for blasphemy
  • A commandment to sell our worldly possessions and give to the poor
  • Intimation to associate with the degenerates of society (taxpayers/prostitutes -> illegal immigrants)

Leftism is not a philosophy at this point, it is a religion. Specifically it is Christianity, except without the 2,000 year history of rigorous philosophy and classical music. I believe many skeptics of Christianity are becoming aware of this. I have noticed an interesting phenomenon. When I publicly state that I am a conservative and a Trump supporter, I am generally referred to as a white supremacist (not sure why an Indian would be a white supremacist, but that's another thread altogether). Clearly that charge is meant to suppress open discourse. When I state the same here on ex-C, I will get a wide range of opinions ranging from agreement to disagreement. But no one has called me a white supremacist or other absurd monikers yet. One person here called me a misogynist, but that was about the furthest it went. Clearly, the skeptical nature of this community causes it to question far left ideology. Even most of the liberals here are reasonable. What I'm trying to say is that I think as Western progressivism coaleses into an organized and religious movement with a specific and cohesive philosophy, it will become less attractive to atheists, and we may in fact see more atheist conservatives in the future.

 

Hopefully that will happen before the Left imports a critical mass of Muslims.


you make excellent points! I agree with everything you said and you put it more clearly than I would’ve. I am indeed a republican and a trump supporter. I have been called racist and bigot, and I think someone suggested I was ‘immigrant-phobic’ in this thread when I stated opinions about ILLEGAL immigration.
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Christopherhays said:

Than why have a problem with me saying the US is the greatest country?

On its face value the claim will sound hollow to non-Americans and as soon as you use such a statement you risk others getting defensive or negatively viewing your position. You may have a perfectly reasonable position but others will most likely jump to the statement being hyperbole and bragging and therefore see your comment as incorrect before they consider how you came to that conclusion. 

As it can have a negative impact on conversations it would be better to avoid its usage unless given with clearly defined criteria to head off such issues. 

 

Many Americans will tout freedom as the defining criteria of American greatness and yet when asked in what way you are free and especially in what way America is uniquely more free than other Western nations and things get a bit vague. I am also horrified by America being black listed by Amnesty International over the conditions in Gauntanimo Bay. It was scary how quickly the US were willing to drop freedom, due process and legal representation in order to imprison without trial. 

 

America gives the most aid? Unless you look at it as a percentage of gross national income, in which case it doesn't crack the top 10. 

America is the most innovative? Yet it the last year China had over twice as many patent applications (1.5m verse 600k). It is reported American patent applications went down for the first time in a decade. 

America has the best medical facilities? And yet is one of the only western countries to have millions of its citizens uninsured and potentially not receiving the care they need, while paying the highest costs for not the best outcomes. 

 

The question that comes to mind is whether a countries greatness is a snapshot in time or accumulated over history? Saying America was MVP in the team that won WW2 is true, but it is also 75 years ago. Does that past achievement still make you great today? If so how far back is admissible? If it was a bankrupt cesspit now would we still be saying the country is great based on history? The Green Revolution was 60-70 years ago, do we still look back that far to judge greatness today? Do we say Germany can't be great because of WW2 regardless of progress since then? 

Perfectly understandable to be proud of a country's achievements but I don't know how you would use that as a criteria to judge a country's greatness? 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Christopherhays said:

I think someone suggested I was ‘immigrant-phobic’ in this thread when I stated opinions about ILLEGAL immigration.

 

You mean me? I was referring to the fact that a leftist might call you phobic if you don't accept their dogma. XD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/26/2019 at 12:57 PM, Christopherhays said:

There are literally millions of illegal immigrants too and more coming every day. We have a party that wants to give these people all sorts of free stuff to win their vote

 

Illegals don't get to vote

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Christopherhays said:

I’m a country and rock fan... so all the greats in those genres are pretty much American.

 

With regard to country, the market is predominantly American, so that's to be expected. Yet, what about Keith Urban? 

 

With regard to rock, have you forgotten about The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, AC/DC, The Who, Queen, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Scorpions, Rush, etc.? A LOT of great rock music is not American. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, Citsonga said:

 

With regard to country, the market is predominantly American, so that's to be expected. Yet, what about Keith Urban? 

 

With regard to rock, have you forgotten about The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, The Who, Queen, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Scorpions, Rush, etc.? A LOT of great rock music is not American. 

 

Or Heavy Metal/Symphonic Metal

 

Nightwish, Within Temptation, Sabbaton, Xandria, Beast in Black - the list goes on. All European Bands.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Bhim said:

@Christopherhays

 

Secondly, atheists can and do hold to specific philosophies beyond mere atheism. One of the interesting things about America (and a contributor to its status as greatest nation on earth) is that America is built on a set of ideas rather than on a specific race or ethnicity. The nation's founders were deists, and the fact that our founding documents make reference to "Nature and Nature's God" allow for the inclusion of a wide variety of religious philosophies. I would argue that this statement is even inclusive of atheism.

 

 

Just like "we're all immigrants," this notion that "the founders were Deists" or "the founders were Christian" is simplistic gobbledegook that muddles the issue instead of clarifying it. 

 

The people are the founders of the United States -- not a few select individuals whose letters (often privately communicated) can be quote-mined to harmonized to somebody's current political/social agenda. "The people" is inclusive of everyone from Baptists to atheists. What was "founded" in 1789 (actually re-founded) was a central government with broad taxation powers, a judiciary, and a small standing army. All 13 colonial governments had been "founded" prior to this. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, LogicalFallacy said:

 

Or Heavy Metal/Symphonic Metal

 

Nightwish, Within Temptation, Sabbaton, Xandria, Beast in Black - the list goes on. All European Bands.

 

Yeah, especially Within Temptation; I really like them. Most Americans don't know them, but they're a great band that's hugely popular in Europe. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Christopherhays said:


I think Americans naturally point out the good we do because the rest of the world is so quick to point out the bad.

 

This was basically my point. See: defensiveness.

 

For the record, I love the US, and I want to love it more than I do. But my former statement stands. If no one but you perceives you as the greatest, are you really the greatest? By that logic,  China is the greatest. So is North Korea. I'm not drawing parallels here, just making an observation. If you were really clearly the greatest,  everyone would know it. We don't. Therefore,  you aren't.

 

Personally, I think any claim to be the greatest country is absurd on the face of it. There is no precise measure of greatness where countries are concerned. America has been great. I'd like almost nothing more than to truly see it be great again.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

I suppose the greatest country mantra mostly boils down to might equals right thinking. The argument for innovation sounds pretty good, though. We have brought the world a ton of innovation and I agree with that reasoning. But when it comes to declaring to everyone else how great WE are, I agree with you, the question of why this greatness requires declaration is a good one.

 

I agree. But the thing about innovation is,  it's all very relative to when you're talking about.

 

Egypt brought great innovation. Greece brought great innovation. Italy brought great innovation. Germany brought great innovation. America is on the list too, for sure,  but the claim isn't that America has been the greatest,  its that it is. Right now, the argument that America is the most innovative is harder to make.

 

9 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

An example of declarations of greatness can come from the trades.

 

A lot of tradesmen tend to boast and brag on themselves as "the best" around at their trade. It's mostly fluff, too. Because on metrics there's only so far anyone can go in terms of being good at a given trade. I like to use tile installation as an example. If the tile is set perfectly square, there's no lippage over industry standard, or at all in the best case, the grout is perfectly smooth and at perfect elevation in the joints, then that's it. There's no such thing as being "greater" than that. And the problem here is that anyone who meets these standards are equally great in that respect. There is no such thing as "the best." There can only be "one of the best" and if you meet these standards, then you can stand beside anyone else who also meets these standards.

 

So in general, I tend to frown on declarations of the best or greatest for these general reasons. There are myriad problems when it comes to declaring, "the best." One of the best or one of the greatest I'm much more apt to consider. And I don't think it's unreasonable to correct our American mantra to "one of the greatest" countries in the history of the world, or in the world right now. It may not be too boastful to declare it from that perspective. Just a sense of being proud to be among the greatest. But personally, I prefer to let it go without saying. I don't feel the need to declare it around. 

 

I agree with this. America is pretty great. There's no precise measure of absolute greatness. That should be the end of the conversation, as far as I'm concerned.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Wertbag said:

On its face value the claim will sound hollow to non-Americans and as soon as you use such a statement you risk others getting defensive or negatively viewing your position. You may have a perfectly reasonable position but others will most likely jump to the statement being hyperbole and bragging and therefore see your comment as incorrect before they consider how you came to that conclusion. 

As it can have a negative impact on conversations it would be better to avoid its usage unless given with clearly defined criteria to head off such issues. 

 

Many Americans will tout freedom as the defining criteria of American greatness and yet when asked in what way you are free and especially in what way America is uniquely more free than other Western nations and things get a bit vague. I am also horrified by America being black listed by Amnesty International over the conditions in Gauntanimo Bay. It was scary how quickly the US were willing to drop freedom, due process and legal representation in order to imprison without trial. 

 

America gives the most aid? Unless you look at it as a percentage of gross national income, in which case it doesn't crack the top 10. 

America is the most innovative? Yet it the last year China had over twice as many patent applications (1.5m verse 600k). It is reported American patent applications went down for the first time in a decade. 

America has the best medical facilities? And yet is one of the only western countries to have millions of its citizens uninsured and potentially not receiving the care they need, while paying the highest costs for not the best outcomes. 

 

The question that comes to mind is whether a countries greatness is a snapshot in time or accumulated over history? Saying America was MVP in the team that won WW2 is true, but it is also 75 years ago. Does that past achievement still make you great today? If so how far back is admissible? If it was a bankrupt cesspit now would we still be saying the country is great based on history? The Green Revolution was 60-70 years ago, do we still look back that far to judge greatness today? Do we say Germany can't be great because of WW2 regardless of progress since then? 

Perfectly understandable to be proud of a country's achievements but I don't know how you would use that as a criteria to judge a country's greatness? 


this has all really blown out of hand... I made a statement forever ago that ‘the worlds greatest country is in danger’ or something like that... it’s my opinion and was never meant to be an insult to other countries. The point is America is a great country and we need to recognize, appreciate, and protect it. That’s my point. I don’t think the left belittling our accomplishments helps anyone. I shouldn’t have to avoid saying patriotic things because people will take it wrong, be offended, or make false assumptions. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There has been an attempt to rank countries based on their Prosperity: https://www.prosperity.com/rankings

The thought being if you can set weighted values for the categories of things that point to a countries success, then you can remove the subjective element to give a objectively ranked list.  They have considered 12 categories including security, freedom, infrastructure, economy, health, living conditions, education and environment.

The list can only be as good as the data collected which varies greatly in quality, and it is quite possible to disagree with their weighting or to think there are other variables they haven't considered.  I think it is the most complete and detailed attempt at such a thing, but of course its not perfect.

The top 10:

Denmark

Norway

Switzerland

Sweden

Finland

Netherlands

New Zealand

Germany

Luxembourg

Iceland

 

With America ranked 18th with security and health being the two biggest areas needing improvement.

 

I actually think Germany is very impressive, considering the state of the country in 1945, with millions dead, their cities in ruins, leadership gone, infrastructure destroyed and held for 45 years as the front of the cold war.  From that devastated condition they rebuilt to be the economic power of Europe.  Hard to think of any other country that has dragged itself back to the top from such a low point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, Christopherhays said:

this has all really blown out of hand...

 

I agree. As I stated earlier I merely raised the question of what greatest means. Was never meant to have a full blown thesis on it. (As much as I have admittedly enjoyed the conversation thus far and the questions it raises)

 

However if anyone wants to start a new topic on what makes a country great I'll be happy to dive in. :D 

 

Heck if I get time I might cut the posts out of here that focus on "greatest" and put them in a new thread. I said IF I get time. :P 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.