T Nation

Shifting Left



So I can't say I'm surprised nor particularly bothered by most of these, nor do I necessarily see all these as "leftist" positions.

I would like to hear what you think about this though.

In particular I found the whole "harvest babies for science, but don't test on animals" swings rather amusing in a "we aren't civilized at all" sort of way.


My question is, who are all these people who believe that gambling is immoral? A terrible long-term investment strategy*, yes. But immoral?

  • Actually, come to think of it, many investment strategies are a lot like gambling. Risk and reward, etc. I guess capitalism itself is immoral in many of these people's views.


Sure... I mean it leverages greed and self interest to inflate the whole. A rising tide and all that.

I would imagine a system that takes a sin like greed, and transfers it into a benefit for the whole (assuming it is done within the confines of property rights, so no theft, fraud or coercion) isn't really scoring all that hot on the moral scale.

Then again collectivism certainly can't either, so you're damned if you do, damned if you don't.



The idea that gambling is immoral is based on some of these arguments. Gambling is addictive. Many people who get involved with gambling cannot afford to do so. It can cause financial ruin for families. The process of gambling takes money and does not offer a fair return in goods or services. It violates a basic principle of doing honest work, rather than trying to "get something from nothing." Honest work edifies and ennobles mankind. The attempt to get something from nothing does not.

These are some of the reasons gambling may be viewed as more than imprudent.


Sure, some of these are good arguments against gambling as a sensible person's pastime, particularly with regard to people who are poor or easily made addicts. But gambling itself as plainly and unambiguously immoral is too 19th-century for my taste. Surely alcohol can be just as destructive -- or more destructive -- and yet close to 90 percent of adults drink (and presumably don't consider themselves to be living immoral lives as a consequence).

Also, though I agree that gambling does not edify and ennoble as does honest work, I would suggest that gambling is most certainly not an attempt to get something from nothing. It is an attempt to get something more in return for the willingness to lose something one already has. And this, as I mentioned earlier, is how much our economy works today.

Obviously I do get what you're saying and don't think you're wrong so much as I'm simply surprised that so many people think that way. It also comes down to terminology: I reserve "immoral" for things like lying, adultery, and murder.


Seven of the survey items can be viewed as a continued extension of the sexual revolution.

Attitudes toward sex between unmarried persons, abortion, gay marriage, children born out of wedlock, divorce, polygamy... All sexual revolution issues. Though it's not a survey item, we have a growing acceptance of transgender issues. The sexual revolution continues to roll out, questioning everything about sexual morality and identity. Attitudes and policies regarding transgendered persons are another extension.

Similar moral principles are involved. The sexual revolutionary forces tend to come from the more liberal and less church-going segments of the country. In that sense, I would say it's more "from the left", Beans. Look at these survey items according to how most Evangelicals or more Orthodox Christians have traditionally viewed them.

KEY HERE - As people begin to decide that two or three of these issues are "moral", they are more likely to surrender on other related issues.

These shifts will continue to come up against Christian theology, or course. Interestingly enough, more pro-life bills were passed in the past three years than in the previous decade. That sounds like there's still quite a bit of cultural strength toward traditional values, right?


Yeah, I know what you mean. I can think of a lot of things that seem a lot more immoral/ higher on the Dr. Evil scale. I was just giving you the traditional view that I was taught as a church-going person. Think about how lotteries and gambling have proliferated over the past few years. As our country becomes less religious, these attitudes have shifted.

About capitalism or investing strategies - You could certainly make the case that some investment or business schemes may be legal but not ethical. I'd say the same for some of our legal practices. It would be hard for me to do some of the work attorneys do, and still feel like an ethical person. People have to look to their own conscience.



Don't blame me because I count cards.


Maybe Libertarian leaning, socially liberal people with a high value on individual freedom, are less likely to be "bothered" by these cultural changes?

What does bother me, is seeing religious freedoms infringed on, or a willingness to censor or silence those who disagree with the current "social revolutionaries." You'd think free speech is so fundamental, that we'd all agree on that one. Go figure. The left leaning people who are pushing some of these issues can be intolerant of people who don't want to go along, or are on the opposite side of some of these shifting social attitudes, because of their religious moral compass. We saw that in Indiana with the "You'll host my gay wedding reception or else" kind of tactics.


I'm not sure moral is the best way to describe some of these, I personally don't see how morals have to do with some of them even though others may use morality as a justification on their stance. I'd say they are just "controversial" issues in that everyone has a strong opinion regardless of their knowledge.

Gay lesbian relations


Once the argument was won, that homosexual marriage was equal/equivalent to interracial marriage, the sentiment you hold above become no less vile than sticking up for anti-miscegenationists.

Every single orthodox Christian (and others) should be:

1) When his or her most sacred beliefs come into conflict with the new morality, his or her will and faith should be bent, or he or she must be made to surrender their business via civil rights laws.

2) Having now surrendered the role of employer, and having joined the ranks of the employed, they must be driven out of employment by publicly shaming his/her employer. "You have an openly racist (homophobic) individual working for you." Laws must be changed if need be to protect the employer for simply ridding the business of "bigots."

We're the new racists. The new Jim Crow holdouts. It's only begun.

Every single individual that has ever likened homosexual marriage to interracial marriage is now charged with driving both racism and orthodox Christians (and others, yes) into dark, secret, and private places. There may even be some on this forum who've made the comparison between the two forms of marriage, yet continue to treat me as just a guy that, though they may disagree with, they enjoy debating. I should instead be a pariah to them. A racist, if we're honoring the equivalence made.




There were nothing about smoking. Do the left consider smoking to be a sin? I think they do, since so many have themselves quit.


That is certainly part of it. I can't in good conscious sit here and demand I be left alone to live my life (ironically not taking part in the vast majority of the things here listed) and not offer the same "as long as your actions don't directly hurt me, I don't care what you do" line of reasoning to others.

I do understand that this approach has flaws and consequences, but it's generally where I'm at. I don't have the energy to police other people's lives to the degree others want to, from both sides of the spectrum.

I'm quite bothered by it as well. Since I was a child I've never understood why people care what sex someone else is attracted to, unless they themselves are attracted to an individual that isn't into them as well. Therefore I've always been a very big supporter of the "lgbt movement" by default. Here was a group of people who just wanted to be able to be honest about how they feel and live without their lives destroyed in the process. Nobel enough goal, IMO. What consenting adults do sexually in their privacy is not of my concern.

But now, I'm no longer able to support the "movement" on whole. Because these very same people that assured they only want acceptance, are now actively trying to destroy the lives of "others" now that they have popular support. They have pushed their "good thing" into a negative, and become what they have spent decades trying to defeat.

It's rather sad.

It's collectivism, plain and simple. We've been infected, and can't cut out the tumor any longer. Our society, our government and our freedom is now a terminal cancer patient. I understand my general apathy described in the first paragraph doesn't help, but at this point, I'm not so sure a soap box or ballot box is going to turn this tide.

I'm convinced the money will run out before the leftist purge independent thought from our nation, before their "PC Newspeak" creates thought crime actually punishable by government and before the reeducation camps come into full swing. However, if I'm wrong, I can't wait to have long and wonderful conversations with a lot of you at said camps.


One could argue that this kind of thing you're worried about existed back when even talking about certain topics were complete and absolute taboo.

If word got out that you were gay back in the 1950s or something, you'd be rather fucked in every sense of the word. How is that not Christian/conservative collectivism destroying lives too?

I completely agree with your dislike towards the SJW and the PC movement. But I don't think it's completely fair to say that they're doing anything new here. They're trying to upend the old world order. But their issue isn't so much that they're trying to upend it with something new, but rather by just replacing old bigotries with new ones.


Sure... Some people live fighting cancer for a very long time.


Just back to the gambling tangent for a second -

I remember working in an inner city school where the kids had this playground rhyme.

Mama's in the kitchen cookin' rice.
Daddy's in the alley shootin' dice....

You can see how the local pastor might be preaching against the vice of gambling on Sunday. Not much good coming from that, right?

Of course, when we were kids most of the big gambling was controlled by organized crime so you're dollars were usually supporting The Mob. That's probably still true to some extent, but now we've got states with lotteries that are passed with the intention to "do public good" like fund no smoking education campaigns. They are usually just a regressive tax on poor people who buy lottery tickets AND cigarettes.


As more data has reinforced the fact that smoking is bad for you, it's become MUCH less socially acceptable. Many college campuses are now "smoke free" for example. You can't even smoke outside in a designated area.

That, paired with the move toward more socialized health care where we are all going to be paying for an individual's smoking-related health problems, has made smoking more of a "sin."

I'd be interested in attitudes in Finland on smoking, since your health care system is more socialized than ours.


Threadjack for kaaleppi -
We're watching this with some Finnish friends tonight. I didn't realize you people are so creepy. :wink:



I often find myself in the strange position of supporting some things that I personally don't participate in or even that sometimes go against my own moral compass for the sake of individual freedom, and also for pragmatic reasons.

I have never smoked weed, but I don't want to fill our prisons up with pot smokers, for example. And I recognize that it has medical benefits for some people, at the very least. I'm open to the idea of medical marijuana to treat seizures in one of my own kids, if we were to run out of good medical options. I've considered trying it to treat my own PMS symptoms. Either that, or my husband could use it when I have PMS so I can be bitchy and he just won't care. :slight_smile: