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#1 Edited by thetenthdoctor (291 posts) -

I'm really worried about this game being a 12 hour condemnation of Conservatives. Some of us like the Constitution and owning a gun without being a psycho racist as well.

I'm hoping Levine and his writers take the path of revealing the Vox Populi to be just as bad as Comstock (just of the opposite political persuasion), showing that extremism is the actual evil, not the beliefs. The marketing and reviews have me worried that isn't the case though, and I'm not going to pay $60 to be beat over the head with an extremist and offensive caricature of my beliefs for 12 hours.

I know this is being posted early, but if anyone (GB crew included) who finishes the game could comment in a non-spoilery way, I'd appreciate it.

**EDIT AS OF 3/31: I'm near the end of the game and loving it. My concern that this would be a one sided trashing of white conservatives was fortunately unfounded**

#2 Posted by Winternet (8035 posts) -

@thetenthdoctor: As part of my thread, I looked at many reviews. I don't think you have anything to worry about.

#3 Edited by thetenthdoctor (291 posts) -

I hope that's true, but also still waiting to see it spelled out. I think we can all agree most game writers are of a more liberal persuasion, so all the comments about "powerful statements" and "ugly truths" seem to indicate confirmation bias- as in "It's about time a game finally laid bare how horrible white conservatives are!" .

I loved the first game with a passion, so I'm hoping I don't have to skip this one. I absolutely will if it's a huge infomercial for a biased look from one side.

#4 Posted by twigger89 (282 posts) -

I hope that's true, but am waiting to see it spelled out. I think we can all agree most game writers are of a more liberal persuasion, and all the comments about "powerful statements" and "ugly truths" seem to indicate confirmation bias- as in "It's about time a game finally laid bare how horrible white conservatives are!" .

I loved the first game with a passion, so I'm hoping I don't have to skip this one.

Off topic but I find it kinda funny how you have a Doctor Who avatar (who I think we can all agree is pretty damn liberal) and are a conservative.

#5 Edited by Brodehouse (10105 posts) -

Sam Harris said (paraphrasing) that fundamentalism is not necessarily evil, provided the fundamentals are not evil. I'm prone to agree.

The problem with 'extremists' is not that they've taken a good thing 'too far', it is either that the thing itself was bad to begin with, or that they no longer represent the ideology they claim.

#6 Posted by realph (261 posts) -

@thetenthdoctor: Without spoiling anything, I'll say this: the game isn't biased towards one faction. Pick it up already, you have nothing to worry about.

#7 Posted by thetenthdoctor (291 posts) -

@twigger89: I don't find The Doctor very liberal at all. I'm curious to know what about him makes you say that.

@Brodehouse: I would agree, but the majority of fundamentalists become extremists. Whether it's conservative extremists burning abortion clinics or liberal extremists blowing up buildings in Oklahoma, people who take ideas to violent or discriminatory extremes exist on both sides. I'm just sick of people acting like one side has the monopoly on it. There's lunatics of every political and societal persuasion.

@realph: That's great to hear. Seriously.

#8 Edited by twigger89 (282 posts) -

@thetenthdoctor: For starters the Dr abhors violence, he always believes that it should always be a last resort. He gallivants across time and space to help those with no expectation of payment (his guilt for what he did to the other timelords used to be a bigger theme, but they've all but abandoned that with the most recent incarnation of the Dr). He believes all things have equal merit, regardless of how much they contribute to society as a whole, and he constantly says that we need to take care of each other and he prizes intangibles like happiness and peace over wealth, power, or control.

I can see the argument that a lot of those things can also be attributed to conservatism if looked at differently, but he has such a hippy mentality that it is hard to that he would support the removal of minimum wage, or the deregulation of the financial sector.

#9 Posted by AssInAss (2706 posts) -

I've heard it's a "liberal wankfest", and I don't think Ken Levine is one for subtlety.

I'm wary of it, too, even though I could be identified as a liberal I like characters and stories to be balanced rather than a rant. Spec Ops The Line last year was interesting in that it felt antagonistic towards the player, but it also made you embrace that you're a psychopath when you're playing a shooter game. And it was more a critique of a genre than a political piece. Like Hotline Miami, it's nice to have some games that make you feel scummy which is a refreshing shift from male hero fantasies. But this is off the topic.

#10 Edited by thetenthdoctor (291 posts) -

I don't know why you'd ascribe the above behavior solely to liberals. The largest charity in the world is the Catholic Church, and 90% of their revenue is spent on providing for the poor (as opposed to many charities that only give 10-20% back to the community). They donate hundreds of millions per year to feed and clothe the needy while asking nothing in return.

The selfish religious man who only helps those he feels "deserve it" is an example of a fringe extremist being turned into a stereotype that gets perpetuated by movies and media, which people eventually begin to think represents all religion. Anyone asking for something in return for charity is behaving in the exact OPPOSITE manner of what Christianity teaches, and that's why what I've seen about Infinite worries me. Is it going to perpetuate this stereotype that religion and national pride always leads to evil?

#11 Posted by Brodehouse (10105 posts) -

@thetenthdoctor I believe you misunderstand me. I'm saying that there really can be no such thing as 'moderates' and 'extremists', if you follow some ideology it is logically intrinsic that you agree with the fundamentals of that ideology, otherwise you axiomatically do not represent that ideology. A 'moderate' is a person who doesn't actually agree with the fundamentals of their ideology (in that case, can we say that they actually represent it?), and an 'extremist' follows the same path; either someone who _doesn't_ follow the fundamentals of their ideology, and thus can't be said to represent it, or someone who _does_ follow the fundamentals of their ideology, and thus the ideology itself must logically be the 'extreme' factor in question.

Ie: a Christian who doesn't stone loose women on their father's doorstep is not a 'moderate', they are merely not a Christian. An egalitarian who demands preferential treatment for one group over another is not an 'extremist', they are merely not a egalitarian. And a Muslim who kills people who leave the faith is not an 'extremist', they are merely following the fundamentals of Islam.

Tim McVeigh is only an 'extremist conservative' if the fundamentals of conservatism are that bombing government buildings and killing innocents is a prescribed behaviour. If it is not, then Tim McVeigh is not an 'extremist' conservative, because he does not follow the fundamentals. If it is the tenets of conservativeism, Tim McVeigh is not an 'extremist', he is merely a conservative. For a BioShock example, Andrew Ryan is not an 'extremist' Objectivist, he is merely an Objectivist. If he did not follow the fundamentals of Objectivism, he would not be an Objectivist.

#12 Posted by JayEH (538 posts) -

As a fellow conservative I understand your worry. Really hoping it isn't one but I guess we'll see tomorrow.

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#13 Edited by MikkaQ (10329 posts) -

Bioshock managed to stay fairly even handed, so I don't think this will be a problem.

@brodehouse I think you're mixing up extremism with fundamentalism which are rather different. One doesn't need to follow the fundamentals of their ideology to be an extremist. Also they don't need to follow the fundamentals to properly represent that ideology. Ideologies can change and evolve, the fundamentals aren't important, it's what that ideology means to the individual that is important.

#14 Posted by twigger89 (282 posts) -

@brodehouse: I don't think conservatism and religion necessarily go hand in hand. I hold the belief (or naive hope at this point) that the current popularity of strong push to the right on cultural issues (ie abortion, gay marriage, xenophobia, etc etc) is extremism disguised as pseudo conservatism. I don't think the Catholic Church should have any political agenda, and I think religion and politics are like oil and water.

Maybe we are just talking about different things but when I say conservatism I mean stuff like deregulation, a strong push for business interests, small government, powerful military and a penchant for using it to defend sovereign interests regardless of international concern, a strong dislike for unions, and trade systems that favor temporary profit over international stability. Reaganomics and such.

#15 Edited by AssInAss (2706 posts) -

I agree, religion should be separate from politics. Evangelicals in USA having a lot of political power is dangerous. As a religious person, I still don't want to force my beliefs on anyone, and would rather use common sense and tolerance on real world issues. Some religious person forget that tolerance is a huge virtue and you don't get to judge others.

#16 Posted by JasonR86 (9762 posts) -

@thetenthdoctor:

It would be really idiotic of that team to call out specific groups and not hide their meaning in fantasy. That just separates your potential fan-base which no company wants to do.

#17 Edited by thetenthdoctor (291 posts) -

@Brodehouse: I think you misunderstand a lot of the religions you cite. Nowhere in the Quran does it say Muslim apostates should be killed, Tim McVeigh was an Agnostic Libertarian (not a Republican) and when Jesus was put on the spot about stoning a woman caught committing adultery, he specifically told a gathered crowd "Let he among you who is without sin cast the first stone" (which means "Who are you to judge her, when you are all guilty of something").

I think your views of religion and conservatives are based on falsehoods, probably from inaccurate portrayals or outrageous villans like Comstock. Hopefully this helps people understand why some of us will be insulted if the game turns out to be the religious and conservative hate fest it looks like. I love that we can have this conversation in a civil manner, though. Leave it to gamers to accomplish what news and political sites can't do for more than two posts. :)

#18 Edited by Brodehouse (10105 posts) -

@MikkaQ There is a difference between fundamentalism and extremism in that the first one exists and the second does not, as discussed above.

@twigger89 And this is why I bother to make these kind of pedantic arguments. 'Fundamentalism' does _not_ mean 'Religious Christian Fundamentalism'. You can be a fundamental ANYTHING provided you follow the fundaments of that ideology. I'm a fundamentalist atheist, in that I fundamentally believe that there are no gods. What is a 'moderate' atheist, someone who selectively does or does not believe in gods depending on how the question is asked? A 'moderate' X does not represent X at all, and someone who represents X in totality cannot be an 'extremist'. A fundamentalist Christian axiomatically believes everything in the Bible to be true; a 'moderate' does not. If you do not believe the Bible to be true in specific cases, and the fundaments of Christianity are that the Bible is true in totality, how can a 'moderate' be a Christian? How can a fundamentalist be an 'extremist'?

We generally use 'extremist' to denote the use of violence to achieve the ends of that ideology, but I ask you, if the fundamentals of that ideology prescribe violence, how can those that follow it qualify as 'extremists'?

#19 Posted by Klei (1768 posts) -

I'm really worried about this game being a 12 hour condemnation of Conservatives. Some of us like the Constitution and owning a gun without being a psycho racist as well.

I'm hoping Levine and his writers take the path of revealing the Vox Populi to be just as bad as Comstock (just of the opposite political persuasion), showing that extremism is the actual evil, not the beliefs. The marketing and reviews have me worried that isn't the case though, and I'm not going to pay $60 to be beat over the head with an extremist and offensive caricature of my beliefs for 12 hours.

I know this is being posted early, but if anyone (GB crew included) who finishes the game could comment in a non-spoilery way, I'd appreciate it.

Oh man. Now you're in the same boat as the rest of the world, who are being butchered by american video game protagonists. Germans, Middle-Eastern people, Russians, Asians... All portrayed as evil/terrorists/bad guys for the players to shoot down. See where i'm going with this?

I'm just trying to point out that hey, it's a piece of entertainment, which portrays the ideas of its creators. They have the right to speak their minds and show whatever they want. Video games have been insulting and caricaturing everything, especially nations, since their birth. You have to take it lightly.

#20 Posted by MikkaQ (10329 posts) -

@brodehouse: Well I refuted what you said above for the reasons I said above. I don't agree with your premise "If you follow some ideology it is logically intrinsic that you agree with the fundamentals of that ideology," You don't need to agree with the fundamentals of an ideology to follow it. You don't even need that to be doggedly devoted to it. Some of the most hardcore Christians I know still think it's dumb to kill someone for working on the sabbath, even though that's in-line with the fundamentals of their religion.

#21 Posted by thetenthdoctor (291 posts) -

Klei: Those games you mention are butchering Nazis, Al Qaeda, and other members of a military force who have a genocidal agenda. What you cite is a historical reenactment of gunning down heavily armed members of an army looking to wipe out an entire race of people (Jews) off the planet, while Infinite looks like it's going to be presenting people who believe the Constitutional idea of the Government staying small and out of personal affairs as mustache twirling, racist caricatures who murder minorities and their babies.

Just a sliiiight difference there.

#22 Posted by Nasos100 (727 posts) -

I HOPE its exactly that. Fuck all the ''moderate'' middle of the road bullshit. If your ideology is violent overthrow of x you are not an extremist if you adhere to it.

If that is the case the american revolutionaries should be described as extremists. I would really hate this game to become another one of those '' All violence is bad go sit in your fucking sofa unless its the US military so the violence is justified''.

#23 Edited by jillsandwich (762 posts) -

Levine's always talked about extremism being the only bad sort of political alignment. The villains absolutely are caricatures of conservatives, where as the Vox Populi look like exceedingly violent revolutionaries. I think you're going to have equal trouble identifying with both sides.

#24 Posted by MildMolasses (3226 posts) -

I'm really worried about this game being a 12 hour condemnation of Conservatives. Some of us like the Constitution and owning a gun without being a psycho racist as well.

Considering the premise of your post, isn't that using a broad stroke to paint liberals as extremists who hate guns and the Constitution?

#25 Posted by FourWude (2261 posts) -

From what I've read the game rips apart American "exceptionalism". The idea that the US is a chosen nation by God, who can do whatever it deems is right. Of course such a racist, narrow minded neo-con philosophy has no place in the civilized, democratic world. But alas...

Just for heads up, DmC rips on big corps and MSM reporting and agendas, in particular Fox News. And Metal Gear Rising is Kojima and Platinun games sticking a fat middle finger up to the US war on terror. So you should probably avoid those games as well.

#26 Posted by thetenthdoctor (291 posts) -

Not at all. I was merely pointing out that much of Hollywood and the game industry has difficulty portraying conservatives without them being a survivalist nut job who hates minorities and mutters "Dey took ur juubs".

#27 Posted by FunkasaurasRex (847 posts) -

I'm kind of worried it'll be the opposite frankly. I don't really need to see more of that finger wagging from moderates reminding the left that "they can go too far as well" or whatever. It strikes me as particularly ludicrous given the political climate in America. "Extremism is bad" is also a super dumb message to try and deliver through a game.

I wouldn't actually mind seeing more games informed by ideology, it happens in just about every other art form and I don't see why games should be an exception.

#28 Edited by MildMolasses (3226 posts) -

Not at all. I was merely pointing out that much of Hollywood and the game industry has difficulty portraying conservatives without them being a survivalist nut job who hates minorities and mutters "Dey took ur juubs".

I'll assume that this may have been in reply to me. Without extremities, you don't have much conflict. These need to be exaggerated for sake of narrative and immersing the player to the point of caring that the antagonist be taken down. A moderate anything would lead to a very dull and pointless story. Are you going care more about fighting the guy who wants to legalize gambling as a new source of tax revenue, or the guy who is rounding up his own personal militia for the sake of creating his version of equality of the people?

#29 Edited by FourWude (2261 posts) -

Should have put this in my previous post.

Just as Rapture represented a visual metaphor for Rand's Objectivism taken to an extreme. So too does Columbia represent the very ideals of "The American Manifest Destiny". A belief at its very heart that the "white race" should conquer and civilize all of NA. Again taken to its extreme conclusion.

#30 Posted by Renahzor (997 posts) -

@mildmolasses: I feel like you just described the US election process.

#31 Edited by Brodehouse (10105 posts) -

@thetenthdoctor I find it funny that you think I hold some kind of negative viewpoint on conservatives or libertarians. I have yet to even mention any kind of value judgement regarding whatever it is liberals and conservatives believe. I even said that McVeigh does not represent whatever conservatism is, unless conservatism advocates bombing innocents. I'm discussing the nature of 'moderates' versus 'extremists'. If you follow ANY ideology, of ANY sort, and you agree with the fundamentals thereof, you are a fundamentalist. If you disagree with those fundamentals, you are not a 'moderate', you are simply not a follower of that ideology.

Regarding both of your apologetics, the 'no penalty for apostasy in the Koran' remains true, however Islam follows both the Koran and the hadith, which explicitly does advocate death for apostates. The hadith are canonically the words and law of the prophet, and thus I would find it strange indeed to find a Muslim who followed one and not the other, much like a Christian who didn't follow the New Testament.

As for the 'cast the first stone' story, I've always found it incredible how a complete promotion of amorality and a total refutation of the concept of moral authority whatsoever could be found and repeated without grasping it. But that's not really what I'm talking about when I talk about fundamentalism, moderation and extremism.

Lastly, regarding 'civil discussion', it's really questionable how civil it is when you place assumptions of complete ignorance on myself personally, and then continue on as if there was no insult. It'a a tortured path to call someone ignorant and then praise how polite the discussion is.s

#32 Posted by AssInAss (2706 posts) -

And a Muslim who kills people who leave the faith is not an 'extremist', they are merely following the fundamentals of Islam.

How did I miss this gem of ignorance?! So us Muslims are totally in our right to kill non-believers? NO. You're not even allowed to chastise people who've lost faith unlike Mormons or Scientologists. Like Christians, none of us are allowed to judge others, we're meant to tolerate no matter what.

If you're doing any of this, you're considered a murderer or a sinner that is one step closer to hell. You're only ever allowed to kill people in an actual war.

#33 Edited by thetenthdoctor (291 posts) -

@brodehouse: I didn't place assumptions of ignorance on you. You were the one claiming McVeigh is a Conservative and that the Bible calls for the stoning of loose women.

You have the opinion that there's no such thing as moderate or extreme, only followers of a belief system and you're certainly entitled to that. Most people would disagree on that point though, as we've all seen some people who say "Well I don't believe that's right, but whatever", while others will declare "I disagree with that, therefore that person deserves to die". One if those is more extreme than the other- I leave it to you to decide which.

#34 Edited by AlisterCat (5698 posts) -

@assinass said:

@brodehouse said:

And a Muslim who kills people who leave the faith is not an 'extremist', they are merely following the fundamentals of Islam.

How did I miss this gem of ignorance?! So us Muslims are totally in our right to kill non-believers? NO. You're not even allowed to chastise people who've lost faith unlike Mormons or Scientologists. Like Christians, none of us are allowed to judge others, we're meant to tolerate no matter what.

If you're doing any of this, you're considered a murderer or a sinner that is one step closer to hell. You're only ever allowed to kill people in an actual war.

He's saying that an Islamic Fundamentalist would consider it a tenant of Islam to kill an apostate, and in most civilized places religious fundamentalism is condemned even by the religious. You can't deny that this has been practiced by Imams and followers of Islam, two of the most obvious cases being Salman Rusdie and Ayaan Hirsi Ali. In your defence I will say that Islam does not have a hierarchy of power, like the papacy in the Roman Catholic tradition and so these people do not speak for you.

People shouldn't say that your beliefs are aligned with every other muslim, but similarly you can't say that it is completely foreign to your faith, even tangentially. It's all about interpretation of texts, you can't lump everyone together when talking about what people actually believe.

#35 Posted by Brodehouse (10105 posts) -

@MikkaQ The fundamentals of Christianity (in short) are that God is inherently moral, God's word is true in totality, that they are contained in the Bible and they are moral prescriptions for living. Your family in question only follows, for ease of conversation, 95% of God's prescriptions. Would this mean that they only believe that 95% of the Bible is true? If not, does that mean that only 95% is moral? If not, would they say they are being immoral by not following the word of God, not killing people for working on the Sabbath, suffering witches to live, etc? There must be a conflict here.

If someone who only follows the fundamentals of Christianity 95% of the time is a Christian, would someone who only follows the fundamentals of atheism 95% of the time remain an atheist? Could someone be an abolitonist while sometimes advocating the institution of slavery? A pacifist who will attack people when they decide to?

This is the crux of what I'm saying. If you follow an ideology you axiomatically must agree with the fundamentals of it. Selectively choosing when and where the fundamentals of your ideology apply is not 'moderation', it simply means you don't actually follow the ideology. The atheist who believes in gods between 5 and 6 PM is not an atheist. The Christian who believes part of the Bible is not moral is not a Christian. The free speech advocate who censors the things they don't like does not believe in free speech. The egalitarian who only believes in equal rights for some is no egalitarian at all.

#36 Posted by MarkWahlberg (4606 posts) -

From the RPS review:

"Between this and the casting of lead antagonist, Columbia’s self-deified ruler Zachary Comstock, as an out-and-out villain (unless your sympathies lie with racists and/or people who imprison their children, at least), there’s a little less nuance to this society than I’d hoped for. Rebel faction the Vox Populi, determined to free the city from its racist shackles, don’t wind up faring much better despite their cause being an infinitely more sympathetic one than Comstock’s prejudice-led despotism. It continues BioShock’s tradition of trying (not always successfully, of course) to avoid moral black and white, but at the same time there is something odd about making people with an overwhelmingly correct grievance as monstrous as those they oppose. It’s balance, yes, but almost artificially so."

Sounds like they're just all a bunch of nutjobs on a flying city. So I think you're safe.

#37 Edited by McGhee (6094 posts) -

I really hate preachy stories, even if they are preaching toward something I agree with.

#38 Edited by McGhee (6094 posts) -

@MikkaQ The fundamentals of Christianity (in short) are that God is inherently moral, God's word is true in totality, that they are contained in the Bible and they are moral prescriptions for living. Your family in question only follows, for ease of conversation, 95% of God's prescriptions. Would this mean that they only believe that 95% of the Bible is true? If not, does that mean that only 95% is moral? If not, would they say they are being immoral by not following the word of God, not killing people for working on the Sabbath, suffering witches to live, etc? There must be a conflict here.

If someone who only follows the fundamentals of Christianity 95% of the time is a Christian, would someone who only follows the fundamentals of atheism 95% of the time remain an atheist? Could someone be an abolitonist while sometimes advocating the institution of slavery? A pacifist who will attack people when they decide to?

This is the crux of what I'm saying. If you follow an ideology you axiomatically must agree with the fundamentals of it. Selectively choosing when and where the fundamentals of your ideology apply is not 'moderation', it simply means you don't actually follow the ideology. The atheist who believes in gods between 5 and 6 PM is not an atheist. The Christian who believes part of the Bible is not moral is not a Christian. The free speech advocate who censors the things they don't like does not believe in free speech. The egalitarian who only believes in equal rights for some is no egalitarian at all.

The problem with what you are saying is that there are thousands of different interpretations of the Biblical texts. It very easy to justify an alternate view within how things are interpreted. It is not as black and white as an atheist sometimes believing in god because that is a one-off thing. Either you believe a god exists or you don't, while Christians have dozens of translations based on old Greek, Hebrew/Chaldean texts with words that can each mean many many things.

#39 Posted by Klei (1768 posts) -

Klei: Those games you mention are butchering Nazis, Al Qaeda, and other members of a military force who have a genocidal agenda. What you cite is a historical reenactment of gunning down heavily armed members of an army looking to wipe out an entire race of people (Jews) off the planet, while Infinite looks like it's going to be presenting people who believe the Constitutional idea of the Government staying small and out of personal affairs as mustache twirling, racist caricatures who murder minorities and their babies.

Just a sliiiight difference there.

I don't know where you read that I talked about genocidal historical reenactment when I totally didn't. You're trying to put words in my mouth.

I'm talking about any modern action video games, portraying the same old countries as the bad guys. Ghost Recon, Splinter Cell, Crysis, Battlefield, Call of Duty and so on.

#40 Posted by Brodehouse (10105 posts) -

@thetenthdoctor Aha, sorry about McVeigh, I misread your post in #7. Doesn't really change the crux of the argument, simply replace the words liberal for conservative. Once again, I don't really give a shit about liberal-v-conservative since I suppose I'm a lot of both. But I do care about the idea of 'moderates' v 'extremists'. As I started with, if a fundamentalist is violent, it either means the fundamentals are violent, or that they are not abiding by those fundaments. This gets more complicated in fundamental ideologies that are inherently contradictory.

Also, I'm not going to pull the verse number, but it's Leviticus. If the woman you bring to your marriage bed is not a virgin, stone her on her father's doorstep. Either one agrees with the fundaments of the faith that this is moral and true, or does not and thus does not follow. Once again, merely an example, not some kind of excoriation of that faith.

#41 Posted by jimmyfenix (3859 posts) -

what the hell is happening ?

#42 Posted by thetenthdoctor (291 posts) -

Brodehouse said: "This is the crux of what I'm saying. If you follow an ideology you axiomatically must agree with the fundamentals of it. Selectively choosing when and where the fundamentals of your ideology apply is not 'moderation', it simply means you don't actually follow the ideology. The atheist who believes in gods between 5 and 6 PM is not an atheist. The Christian who believes part of the Bible is not moral is not a Christian. The free speech advocate who censors the things they don't like does not believe in free speech. The egalitarian who only believes in equal rights for some is no egalitarian at all."

I understand where you're coming from much better now. Here's my question then: To be "An American", you are expected to uphold the founding laws and principles of the country and its laws, right? So does that make liberals wanting to circumvent parts of the constitution not Americans? Food for thought.

Also annoying: The eeeevil conservatives that it's so trendy to villainize these days oppose many programs and laws floated by the Government because they contradict the founding law of our country (the constitution), and are rarely racist. In fact, real conservatives are the ones who fought to end slavery and supported the Civil Rights Act (opposed vehemently by Democrat Robert Byrd), yet for some reason these conservative caricatures are always white racists. Sure there are some dumb hillbillies that are conservative racists, but Icalso know plenty of well educated and extremely liberal folks who will send a check to the NAACP but wouldn't DREAM of having a black man watch their house while they're gone.

As far back as you can go in American history, it is littered with examples of the Democratic party fighting against equal rights. When did the public decide to ignore history and proclaim that conservatism and racism go hand in hand?

#43 Posted by Lyisa (381 posts) -

Are conservatives racists these days? I'm still not clear on that from this conversation.

From what I've seen and read the messages of the story for this game seems to be a bit different than condemnation of modern ideologies, and more of things such as Manifest Destiny. The acknowledgement of a nations faults isn't a revolutionary idea for a story, and certainly not one anyone should be offended by.

#44 Posted by LordXavierBritish (6320 posts) -

A conservative is someone who seeks to maintain the status quo.

The problem with American politics is people think conservative is a core set of beliefs and not a fucking adjective.

#45 Posted by chrissedoff (2157 posts) -

@thetenthdoctor: Unless you consider racism, nativism and theocracy to be fundamental components of conservative ideology then you as a conservative should not be offended. If you do, then you deserve to be offended.

#46 Posted by twigger89 (282 posts) -

Brodehouse said: "This is the crux of what I'm saying. If you follow an ideology you axiomatically must agree with the fundamentals of it. Selectively choosing when and where the fundamentals of your ideology apply is not 'moderation', it simply means you don't actually follow the ideology. The atheist who believes in gods between 5 and 6 PM is not an atheist. The Christian who believes part of the Bible is not moral is not a Christian. The free speech advocate who censors the things they don't like does not believe in free speech. The egalitarian who only believes in equal rights for some is no egalitarian at all."

I understand where you're coming from much better now. Here's my question then: To be "An American", you are expected to uphold the founding laws and principles of the country and its laws, right? So does that make liberals wanting to circumvent parts of the constitution not Americans? Food for thought.

Also annoying: The eeeevil conservatives that it's so trendy to villainize these days oppose many programs and laws floated by the Government because they contradict the founding law of our country (the constitution), and are rarely racist. In fact, real conservatives are the ones who fought to end slavery and supported the Civil Rights Act (opposed vehemently by Democrat Robert Byrd), yet for some reason these conservative caricatures are always white racists. Sure there are some dumb hillbillies that are conservative racists, but Icalso know plenty of well educated and extremely liberal folks who will send a check to the NAACP but wouldn't DREAM of having a black man watch their house while they're gone.

As far back as you can go in American history, it is littered with examples of the Democratic party fighting against equal rights. When did the public decide to ignore history and proclaim that conservatism and racism go hand in hand?

The democratic party up until the early 1960s and 70s were in fact racists. That doesn't change the fact that modern republican pocilies have serious racist overtones, if not being flat out racist.

Also the american constitution was designed to be flexible and change when necessary As society changes, so should our government. Holding fast to a 200 year old document as somehow infallible is one step away from religious irrationality.

#47 Edited by MikkaQ (10329 posts) -

@MikkaQ The fundamentals of Christianity (in short) are that God is inherently moral, God's word is true in totality, that they are contained in the Bible and they are moral prescriptions for living. Your family in question only follows, for ease of conversation, 95% of God's prescriptions. Would this mean that they only believe that 95% of the Bible is true? If not, does that mean that only 95% is moral? If not, would they say they are being immoral by not following the word of God, not killing people for working on the Sabbath, suffering witches to live, etc? There must be a conflict here.

If someone who only follows the fundamentals of Christianity 95% of the time is a Christian, would someone who only follows the fundamentals of atheism 95% of the time remain an atheist? Could someone be an abolitonist while sometimes advocating the institution of slavery? A pacifist who will attack people when they decide to?

This is the crux of what I'm saying. If you follow an ideology you axiomatically must agree with the fundamentals of it. Selectively choosing when and where the fundamentals of your ideology apply is not 'moderation', it simply means you don't actually follow the ideology. The atheist who believes in gods between 5 and 6 PM is not an atheist. The Christian who believes part of the Bible is not moral is not a Christian. The free speech advocate who censors the things they don't like does not believe in free speech. The egalitarian who only believes in equal rights for some is no egalitarian at all.

This would all be sound on paper, but in the real world everything is in shades of moderation. By your definition there can be no Christians because of that conflict (and many others) in the Bible, because no one can interpret the bible as the literal word of God and still find 100% of of it inherently moral.

It's not mathematics for these religious people anyway, it's just faith and everyone's going to be different with it. And not in the sense of more or less faith, but actual different beliefs, even within the same religion. Extremism would be people having faith in something very different from the popular belief of the religion. Protestants at one point would have been extremist Christians, rejecting the dominant Catholics' on many of their positions, including and especially tithing.

My point is since Christianity is such a broad, broad set of beliefs and there are so many ways to interpret it, to say that people who don't follow 100% of it's fundamental beliefs aren't actually Christian is strange. Christianity is like an umbrella religion, I'd get your point if we're comparing sects within it, but it's much too broad for a claim like that to hold true in the real world.

Also I never said my family was Christian, that was rather presumptuous, duder. I know you needed an example, but hey.

#48 Posted by Ares42 (2770 posts) -

The problem with 'extremists' is not that they've taken a good thing 'too far', it is either that the thing itself was bad to begin with, or that they no longer represent the ideology they claim.

There is no such thing as an entrinsically good or bad thing. There is no perfect solution. Everything is good and bad and the extent is based on how far you take it. I don't wanna patronize you, but the idea that we live in a black and white world (colors not races) is something most people learn is not true sooner or later in life. Only a fundamentalist would hold on to that belief through their entire life.

#49 Posted by DonPixel (2598 posts) -

@mcghee said:

I really hate preachy stories, even if they are preaching toward something I agree with.

why? you limiting yourself to trivial story telling...

#50 Posted by Brodehouse (10105 posts) -

I understand where you're coming from much better now. Here's my question then: To be "An American", you are expected to uphold the founding laws and principles of the country and its laws, right? So does that make liberals wanting to circumvent parts of the constitution not Americans? Food for thought.

You're inventing things that are not true here. To be "an American" only stipulates that you were either born in or earned a citizenship in America. American prisoners remain American even despite failing to 'uphold the founding laws'. This expectation is clearly not a part of being 'an American' considering that it is expressly given to police officers, judges and politicians. If the demand to uphold the Constitution was an expectation of being born in America, it would be wholly unnecessary to demand such an oath before become a public servant.

The description of someone who holds the Constitution in high esteem is not 'an American' it is a 'Constitutionalist'. This is the basis for the entire American legal system, that for a law to remain on the books, it needs to be tested against the rules established in the Constitution. However, James Madison did go to the trouble of writing an amendment process for the Constitution for a reason. If you're going to talk about the founders, you should start by reading a biography about Madison. The most brilliant lawyer of the modern era.

(I'm sure you're about to label me as a lib boat te terk er gerns, but I actually oppose the nonsense Feinstein has been saying.)

Also annoying: The eeeevil conservatives that it's so trendy to villainize these days oppose many programs and laws floated by the Government because they contradict the founding law of our country (the constitution), and are rarely racist. In fact, real conservatives are the ones who fought to end slavery and supported the Civil Rights Act (opposed vehemently by Democrat Robert Byrd), yet for some reason these conservative caricatures are always white racists. Sure there are some dumb hillbillies that are conservative racists, but Icalso know plenty of well educated and extremely liberal folks who will send a check to the NAACP but wouldn't DREAM of having a black man watch their house while they're gone.As far back as you can go in American history, it is littered with examples of the Democratic party fighting against equal rights. When did the public decide to ignore history and proclaim that conservatism and racism go hand in hand?

You do not have the understanding of American history you think you do. Because in 1850, the Republican party was the liberal, urban Northeast party and the Democrats were conservative, rural Southerners. That's why the conservative Democratic (Jacksonian) south rebelled and attempted secession in order to hold onto their slaves. The Republican liberals expanded the role of federal government and limited state power more than any administration in history (remember, they called him 'King' Lincoln as an epithet, not an honorific). And it was these Radical Republicans who led the abolitionist charge. It was this way for the better part of a century, until the Roosevelts attracted the labour unions and built small Democratic strongholds in the north, relying on poor Northerners and rural Southerners for votes over the 'elitist Republicans'. Even until the 60s it remained largely this way until Barry Goldwater, another person you should probably read about if you think you know a lot about conservative politics, united the social conservative southern Democrats (like Robert Byrd, Strom Thurmond, Zell Miller) with the fiscal conservative northern and Western Republicans to form what we know as the modern conservative platform (leaving Democrats with the urban North, labour and social liberals). He ultimately lost that election, and conservative Barry Goldwater had to fight against liberal Lyndon B. Johnson's Civil Rights Act, alongside those Southern conservative pro-segregation Democrats. It was something he would live to regret, as by the time he was reaching the terminus of his political life, he had seen his staunchly libertarian and fiscal conservative party overrun with the religious right, declaring that his party was now ran by and for crazy people.

You seem to have this idea that the Republicans were always conservative, and the Democrats always liberal, and it's simply unfounded in history. I love history by the way, so when I see people profoundly misunderstand it like so it's terribly frustrating.