Winner of the coveted Fresh Air Barnstar
I’ve just posted what was a personal list of comments clarifying the rules to my personal talk page here User:Reginod/dicta . If you find it helpful or see changes that are needed, please let me know on that page’s talk page.
Since I have been accused of being nothing but a complainer who does nothing to actually improve or add to Conservapedia I’ve started a list of places I feel I’ve made a difference here. I hate to have a “brag list” on my user page, but it seems like the prudent course of action given the current atmosphere.
Articles started or largely responsible for:
- John Birch – started.
- Polygamy – Greatly fleshed out, added historical, cross-cultural, and modern information
- Pornography – Started a much improved version (not yet adopted—see draft here Talk:Pornography/draft )
- Protests against the Vietnam War – started at TK’s suggestion, still very much in progress.
Articles substantially contributed to:
- Atlantis – Improved section on Plato
- Divine right of kings – Added traditional Biblical support for the doctrine
- Eris – Added role in Greek mythology and modern astronomy, made much less silly
- Free will – turned a article serving as a religious argument into a start of a real argument.
- Inalienable rights – Clarified the philosophical concept
- Jason – Summarized Greek myth
- Jean Paul Sartre – added to list of Sartre’s works
- Jericho – Added information about archeological history
- OPEC—Removed biased stub, provided a factual start for the article
- Suicide bombing – added some history and numbers
- United States National Motto – Corrected mis-quotes and tracked down proper sources for those quotes.
- Agape – Started after vandalism
- Albert Einstein – Removed numerous misleading references
- Alfred Kinsey – Removed numerous misleading references
- Feminism – Some work on the philosophical position
- Feminist – Some work on the philosophical position
- Rudi Giuliani – Lots of quoted material was uncited, I fixed that.
- Roe v. Wade – Clarified the Court’s 3 trimester structure.
- Sufi—clarified relation to rest of Islam
Libertarian not Liberal
As long as I’m at it. I’ve also been accused of being a “liberal” so I may as well take a moment to make my political philosophy clear.
I am, politically, a Libertarian. I believe that in a state of nature no one has the right to touch me or my stuff without my consent and that I have the right to use as much force as necessary to prevent others from touching me or my stuff without my consent. However, I also believe that many people would not, in a state of nature, respect my rights and that I am not strong enough to protect my rights against infringement by all others. So, I take myself out of a state of nature and enter into society. I submit myself to the authority of a government and surrender some of my rights in order to ensure that the rest of my rights are respected and protected. However, I surrender as few of my rights as possible to make the government work. This means I submit to reasonable levels of taxation, surrender my right to use force to protect my rights (except in cases of immediate self-defense), and I give up the right to behave without consideration of the public good. That’s about it. I may have given up a few more rights, but I’d have to hear a very good argument before I would agree to that.
In practical terms, this means I agree with members of both major parties some of the time and disagree with them on others some of the time.
Here is where I am on some of the “hot button” issues.
- Abortion: I consider myself a moderate here. Once the fetus is a human being, it is morally indefensible to abort it other than to protect the health of the mother (the mother has no right to take a human life, unless that human life threatens her own). While the fetus is not a human, abortion, for any reason the mother wants, is morally permissible. I don’t know when the fetus becomes a human being—I have some suspicions (Almost certainly by the end of the 2nd trimester, but probably not before the end of the 1st trimester). If I had to decide, I’d probably draw the line around the end of the 1st trimester.
- Drugs: A person has the right to do to their own body any stupid thing they want. So long as the drugs are used in the privacy of ones own home and I don’t have to pay taxes to care for those who are stupid enough to injure themselves with drugs, I think they should be legal. Legalize and tax—that’s what I say. (same goes for prostitution)
- Evolution: I lack the expertise to judge the arguments for and against it—I’m fairly convinced, by the vigor with which creationists argue for the inclusion of ID in public schools, that ID is a religious position rather than a scientific one (but I’m open to hearing otherwise), if that is the case I don’t want the schools teaching it as science.
- Federal Debt: This is way to high, borrowing against the future is both bad policy and morally questionable, why should children yet to be born have to pay for things being done today?
- Federal Deficit: I oppose deficit spending, save in extraordinary emergencies.
- Gay marriage: If a church wants to recognize a gay marriage it should be allowed to, if it doesn’t want to recognize a gay marriage it shouldn’t have to. Personally, I’d make marriage a purely religious matter and take the government out of it all together. Its none of the government’s business who I chose to live with or how I and my religion choose to see that living arrangement.
- Homosexuality: A person has the right to consent to any use of their body they see fit. I don’t care who has sex with who, its none of my business.
- The Income Tax: As it is, it hovers around the acceptable high (if it were much higher I’d think it was immoral, if it were lower, I’d be happer)—I guess if I felt the government was using all the money it collected appropriately I’d be happier about it—The government has the right to tax for what it needs, so long as it only taxes for what it needs and not what it wants.
- The Iraq War: What a mess. If I was sure that we went in with pure motives, if we really were going in in self-defense, I’d support the War 100%. If I was sure we went in under false pretences, if we really went in for the profit of oil companies or for some Bush family vendetta, I’d oppose the War 100%. As it is, I’m not sure what was going on in the White House. Now I just want as few of out solders to die and be injured as possible while protecting America against future attacks, and I have no idea what choice in the future will best serve those interests.
- Religion: Personally I’m fairly agnostic—I don’t know who is right and I don’t pretend to. I’d like to believe that some sort of divine being exists and that so long as I live my life morally (by which I mean respecting the rights and autonomy of others) that being will see me as good when and if I am judged. Politically, I think religion is a personal choice, I don’t care what religion a person holds in their heart, I care what they do in public. As far as I am concerned a person can worship any deity from Athena to YHWH and so long as they respect my rights I could care less.
- War on Terror: The United States government has no duty higher than that to protect American citizens from terrorist attacks. Full stop, the end.
For those who care, I also just took the “political compass” test and it places me as a centrist libertarian Left/Right: 0.00 (Dead Center) Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.62 (More Libertarian than any figure I see on their chart)
Stats for 90/10 rule
As of this posting 7:30 pm EST 4/11/07 Contribution stats are (by my count – rounded to the nearest whole percent) as follows: 283 – Total edits
- 135 – Article main Page edits 48%
- 102 – Article talk page edits 36%
- 9 – User Page edits 03%
- 24 – User Talk Page edits 08%
- 4 – Conservapedia page edits 01%
- 9 – Conservapedia talk page edits 03%
(Total numbers include minor edits and talk page edits include all posts)
Why I am here
When I was banned, I was asked me to explain why I was here and what I hoped to contribute to the project. What follows is a slightly edited version of my response:
- I identify, as a fairly centrist Libertarian. That is not a point of view I see well represented among the contributors to the project – I see a lot of Social Conservatives of a number of stripes and I see a fair number of liberals who see themselves as something like the “loyal opposition”. However, the libertarian voice is an important and powerful one in the broader Conservative movement. In part, I think my presence, and my strong commitment to that position is of value to the site in and of itself. More importantly, I think it is important that the broader Conservative movement not become identified exclusively with Social Conservativeism—I think that is vital for the success of the movement, and for the good of the nation—so I do have a larger political goal in being here, one which I think serves the ends of the project. Other than that, I have a broad knowledge base in philosophy, law, current events, and (to a lesser extent) history and comparative religions. I try to keep my edits to those areas and I think in doing so I am helping Conservapedia move to becoming a better encyclopedia in that regard. To some extent this ties back to the first way I think I am helping the project, as I feel familiar with both sides (or in some cases all sides) of points of controversy (largely as a result of my philosophy background) and I am able to add information about a side that is not represented in many articles (I think that a number of articles are slanted, not as a result of any intention on the author, but as a result of not know why the other side thinks the way it does or how the other side perceives itself, and as a result not knowing what facts are important in presenting a factually neutral article). For example, I am somewhat familiar with some of what the ACLU does and I agree with some of it and disagree with other parts of it, but I understand the reason they think what they are doing is right and why those who oppose them when I don’t think why what they are doing is wrong—but without presenting both why the ACLU is acting and what the ACLU is seen as doing no one will truly understand the controversy around any of the cases (I think, by the way, that the changes I helped with at the ACLU article are a particularly good example of this).
- I do understand that I may be seen as obstructive because I want to understand why actions are taken (this is the negative flip side to the fact that I do understand what the arguments for both sides of a position are)—but I want to assure everone that I have never indented to be obstructionist or harm the project. I have admittedly gotten angry and posted on talk pages in haste and said things I wish I hadn’t, I’ve been upset by comments that seemed intended to provoke when they were not, I’ve misunderstood people’s position and argued about irrelevant points as a result, and I’ve occasionally been frustrated enough to make a rather sarcastic and pointed comment. But those are failings that I recognize and try to work on – and they are failings that all contributors will have to some extent or another. I also acknowledge that I have these failings and am more than willing to accept constructive criticism, and if anyone sees me engaged in behavior they think I should not be engaged in, they should feel free to let me know (I may not always agree with you but I do promise to always consider what you have to say).
I hope, to some extent, that explains what I am doing here.