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With all do respect, "Atheists for liberty" is an oxymoron.

An oxymoron is a figure of speech that juxtaposes concepts with opposing meanings within a word or phrase that creates an ostensible self-contradiction.

"Liberty" in the context of libertarianism is a religious concept and while it may be that God was replaced by the state and priests with "Experts" and scripture with "science", yes one can argue that it may be godless, but it is far from irreligious.

And atheism as a term simply means absence of belief in the supernatural. And if liberalism means freedom of religion, shouldn't liberty also include religious people? as in freedom of religion?

And if it does not, than liberalism is not about liberty at all, is it? Its about imposing its religious ideas on others. I don't see why would atheists who do not want this be cooped into this religion. Its like LGBTQ trying to say that L's and G's and B's and T's and Q's all have the same mind and are one monolioght. Not to mention that many gay's do not want to be part of that religion nor do they appreciate being placed in it without their consent.

I am an atheists but I am not a liberal. So am I an enemy of liberalism or a friend? Why is my atheism part of someone's religion? Atheism means absence of belief in supranational , it does not mean automatic membership in another religion.

Also, to establish liberty for all it means to destroy all other forms of beliefs? How is that any different than Christianity, communism or Islam trying to impose their religion on others?

You can't have libertarian empire and not be imperialistic, something liberals have become from the start.

The Empire of Liberty is a theme developed first by Thomas Jefferson to identify the "responsibility" of the United States to spread freedom across the world. Jefferson saw the mission of the U.S. in terms of setting an example, expansion into western North America, and by intervention abroad.

“Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.” ― William F. Buckley

P.S.
You claim; "We work to defend the fundamental freedoms that support the human quest for knowledge."

Being an atheist and not being part of your organization should qualify as fundamental freedom that support the human quest for knowledge, does it not? And if so why is word "atheism" in the name of your organization?

In other words; Leave my atheism out of your liberalism.

Krunoslav 9 July 28
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I could not be Christian and not understand what important concepts meant, at least to me, but also valid generally. If only to me, then I don't understand what has been said.

A-theism is without theistic beliefs. Theism is gods, not supernatural.
They would reject religions that follow a god of any name.

I was miraculously, or supernaturally, drawn to Jesus late in life.
What happened did not make sense.
Ha, my spouse became worried about me, came too, and became a more fervent Christian than I am, in ways.

But Jesus said 'If the son of man makes you free, you shall be free indeed'.

I went through what this meant, and became astounded at the depth of it.

The world with its rules, written but arbitrary, and unwritten (socially enforced) was not followed. For example, I had a good time when the mask enforcers came my way. Why? I OBEYED what Jesus said.

Christianity is completely different from any other religion, not just 'all religions differ'
but 'out of this world ' yet enabling me to be in this world.

I also found what you said about liberalism. Never thought about it as a religion but it is, false religion. Most are false. It's no wonder so many misunderstand Christianity when what Jesus taught is so often not followed.

"A-theism is without theistic beliefs."

True.

"Theism is gods, not supernatural. They would reject religions that follow a god of any name."

True, but God is supernatural concept. To an A-Theist like myself there is no difference between existence of God or Spirits or anything similar. I do recognize that not all concepts of the supernatural are understood in the same way by those who believe in them, such as yourself. And that impact on culture and civilization is not the same, To me though, it is not a matter of existence of God, Gods or mythological beings, it is a matter of function in society. I don't have to believe in for example concept of Christian God to appropriate its impact on the societies at large and individuals as well.

That being said I still consider liberalism a religion because it holds dogmatic worldview in virtually all of its forms that it refuses to examine with intellectual honesty. The liberal proponents and true believers simply believe certain concepts much like Christians, Muslims or Jews believe in God.

For instance liberalism sees itself as the most moral religion there is, which is false. It uses this false notion like so many other religions to try to spread its influence and power at the expense of others. So much of liberty.

Liberalism believes in "Human Rights" which is a false concept, so much so that liberals understood they need the power of state to implement "inalienable rights". Hence the first contradiction.

Inalienable definition is - incapable of being alienated, surrendered, or transferred.

And yet we see evidence everywhere where they are surrendered, alienated and transferred, don't we via the power of the state.

I could go on and on about many contradictions inside the liberal tradition that makes it a religion because its proponents refuse to correct those contradictions arguing instead false ideas to be true. Human Rights concept is one of many, but it is very much core of virtually all strands of liberalism. Except so called neoliberals, which is arguably misnomer.

The neoliberal offensive

As alluded to in earlier chapters, one of the most prominent misrepresentations of liberalism has been the introduction of the term ‘neoliberalism’. In this case an ideological variant dons the mantle of a rival in order to clothe itself in rhetorical respectability and even to wrest ground, deliberately or unwittingly, away from established liberal versions. Neoliberals tend to see the world as an immense and potentially unencumbered global market, in which the exchange of goods for profit overrides other aspects of cross-national relations. Individual understandings of neoliberalism will of course differ.

But in general terms, being a liberal is understood by neoliberals to characterize the free individual agent, alone or in conjunction with others, as being above all economically assertive. The defining features of that assertiveness are to maintain and develop the economic power inherent in capitalist production and transactions, to open up new areas for investment, and to benefit from the plethora of goods available for consumption. Neoliberals subordinate social, political, and cultural spheres to a professed self-regulating economic market and their principles are supposed to inspire the ways all social activities are run.

In terms of liberal morphology, neoliberals confine the core liberal concept of rationality to maximizing economic advantage. They do away with any idea of natural sociability and minimize mention of human individuality as the end of social progress. State power is mainly marshalled to guaranteeing trade and commerce, not to creating the conditions for human flourishing and well-being. Instead the unfettered power of the market is unleashed, so that the liberal concept of constrained and accountable power is circumvented. It is retained mainly to protect entrepreneurs in going about their business, while sidestepping the aim of a genuinely free market that could unlock the economic energy and inventiveness held to be intrinsic to all individuals. In its most recent forms, neoliberalism champions a world in which huge multinational corporations and mega-banks increasingly control and dictate the way we live, fostering an imposed and conformist managerialism.

Instead of regarding economic intercourse as a means to the furthering of political ends such as peace and international solidarity, it sees political institutions as a framework arrangement for securing the efficiency and financial prosperity of the private sector. Liberal universalism has been replaced with neoliberal globalism; the ethical permeation of individuals has been supplanted by the economic ingestion of territory. Even governments themselves are predominantly recast as investors and facilitators of trade, rather than deliverers of welfare or social justice. Only when financial crises erupt do governments make efforts to regulate the world of banking, but that is done with a relatively light touch.

In promoting the notion of a self-regulating market, neoliberals approach conservative terrain. One of conservatism’s key features is a belief in the extra-human origins of the social order, reflecting sets of rules that derive from the divine, the historical, the economic, or the ‘natural’. Neoliberals provide a self-assured economic version of the naturally balanced system. In that version, attempts to direct and coordinate human effort can trigger catastrophic intervention when ‘natural’ economic rules are flouted. Hayek’s inspiration is evident on this point. In terms of liberalism’s layers, neoliberalism has been decoupled from its closest antecedent, layer two market liberalism, which nourished a moral vision of markets as a part of a civilizing endeavour, emphasizing individual talent not corporate power.

There are few vestiges of an ethical mission towards a fair society among neoliberals—instead, levels of social inequality have been rising under neoliberal policies. And there is little commitment to engaging the engines of progress in the quest for human self-improvement. The welfare-state role of layer four is whittled away or handed over to private organizations. The constitutional arrangements of layer one, with their safeguarding of individual space and liberation from tyranny, are retained but effectively redirected towards free competition among powerful and vastly unequal economic players. In sum, neoliberals do not possess the minimum kit to be located squarely at the heart of 21st century liberalism. Put more forcefully, the complex morphology of liberalism is shattered and becomes barely recognizable.

-- Liberalism A Very Short Introduction by Michael Freeden (2015)

@Krunoslav An interesting doctor used science to debunk 'will power' showing the flaws. Then he demonstrated what DOES happen, and called it 'won't power'. I don't have this good video, no computer for storage.
Jesus said 'As many as received Him'...so they a) had to be invited to receive Him, and b) they could exercise 'won't power'.
In Christianity, God is sovereign: it is erroneous for people to say 'they chose'. God chooses, but individuals have 'won't power, necessary for freedom.

The path of Christianity has led me into what's termed, as a derogatory sign, conspiracy theorist. I found more substance there. Ewaranon has put out amazing material, mostly BANNED. Whether Christian or not, it is amazing.

Just my simple version? What I have seen of liberalism is
freedom to 'sin' (Christian term) so ALL sex with anyone is good.
This produces a problem in pedophilia with the rights of the young person.

All drugs are good. This gets severely curtailed with laws meaning those drugs the government gets a substantial cut.

Jesus makes me free from all that. Obviously not for all.

@2FollowHim Yeah. I often post this.

“AFTER THE ORGY”

"I have a vision for the future where all the necessary sex education will be available for everyone. . . . No one will ever go hungry for sex because there will be sex kitchens all over town serving sex instead of soup. . . . We will learn how to use orgasm to cure disease as some of the ancient Tantrics and Taoists did. . . . In the future, everybody will be so sexually satisfied, there’ll be an end to violence, rape and war. We will establish contact with extra-terrestrials and they will be very sexy." - Annie Sprinkle, (1996) an American sex educator, former sex worker, feminist stripper, pornographic actress, cable television host, porn magazine editor, writer, sex film producer, and sex-positive feminist, which now identifies as ecosexual.

"If it were necessary to characterize the state of things I would say that it is after the orgy. The orgy is . . . the explosive moment of modernity, that of liberation in all domains. Political liberation, sexual liberation, liberation of productive forces, liberation of destructive forces. . . . Today everything is liberated . . . we find ourselves before the question: what are we to do AFTER THE ORGY?" - Jean Baudrillard (1929-2007) a French sociologist, philosopher, cultural theorist, political commentator, and photographer in The Transparency of Evil (1993)

Contemporary attitudes toward sexuality and its liberation—what Jean Baudrillard has aptly dubbed the “culture of premature ejaculation.” This is a culture rooted in an imagined dialectic of “repression” and “liberation,” or the belief that our sexuality has been suppressed and denied by prudish Victorian values and that we must now free our sexuality through hedonistic enjoyment:

Ours is a culture of premature ejaculation. More and more, all seduction . . . disappears behind the naturalized sexual imperative calling for an immediate relation of a desire. . . . Nowadays one no longer says: “You’ve got a soul and you must save it,” but “You’ve got a sexual nature and you must learn how to use it well.” . . . “You’ve got a libido and you must learn how to spend it.”

Yet this leaves us with the troubling question of just what is there left to do “after the orgy”—after every taboo has been violated, every prohibition transgressed, and every desire satiated.

― Tantra: Sex, Secrecy, Politics, and Power in the Study of Religion (2003)

..............................

Daisy Cousens: The Sexual Revolution Destroyed The West

The sexual revolution is portrayed in popular culture as one of the crowning glories of Western civilization; a triumph of female sexual empowerment. But has it really benefitted the West? Is patriarchy to blame for the decline in female happiness from the 1970s to now, or do the cultural foundations that forced women to behave like men have more to do with it than feminists let on?

@Krunoslav Why do people want orgies, orgasms, plenty of sex?
Not all do. And some cultures don't. All of the orgy behaviors are people who WANT, needy, not satisfied, thus unhappy. Sex is the solution to cravings, unhappiness.
Consider before reacting, see the causes.

1

Atheism is abstract, a product of cultural evolution. Religion is not as abstract but seems rooted as much in physical evolution as cultural evolution. Both are closely tied to a social mammals need for authority.

There is legitimate and illegitimate authority. In chimpanzees illegitimate authority is characterized by a tyrannical male and troop instability. Legitimate authority by a male leader that establishes coalitions and spends time grooming subordinates and females. The latter style of leadership leads to stable troops. Human groups tend to follow a similar pattern. Pointing the existence and importance of instincts in human social structures.

In some social mammals the problem of tyrannical males is dealt with by matriarchy. Orcas and elephants being a common example. Bonobos because they are isolated and subject to less troop on troop stress avoid male tyranny through a relaxed or promiscuous sexual behavioral pattern. Bonobos also live in a less intolerant and complex environment making troop survival less dependent on leadership. In Baboons there are mixed models dependent on environmental stresses.

In humans tribal societies tend to follow these natural predilections. Males and females taking leadership roles over various activities. Importantly in harsh environments where intertribal conflict is more constant and resources less evenly dispersed tribal leadership is often more tyrannical. When tribal size exceeds close relatives complexity requires a more authoritarian leadership in most cases.

Civilization is closely tied to agricultural. The first civilizations developed in extremely harsh environments because they were often dependent on irrigation or other complex agricultural systems. These systems required competent management and defense. They pushed social organization to the next level and made hierarchies of competence essential. Part of the hierarchy was almost always a religious structure. Often with tyrannical gods to enforce social norms and protect or legitimize the necessary hierarchy.

Environment has continued to play an important role in social organization. Environmental conditions in the U.S. seem to have been perfect for establishing liberty as foundational principle. Conditions were neither hot or cold enough to require organized agricultural and free productive land was abundant. Further south hostile jungles or desert conditions made large scale agriculture more difficult. The Spanish obsession with gold and silver also created conditions where organized labor and tyrannical control were more likely to take hold. The religious systems were part of that control and tyranny.

In the old world tyranny was unavoidable because of population density and land ownership. Europe for most of it's history was at war largely a result of migration and population density. Nothing needs to have greater hierarchies of competence and social organization than warfare. Religious tolerance is unlikely under those conditions unless stability was already assured by something like the Roman empire even then religious tolerance was sporadic and caprice. Under those conditions however atheism seems to have been more prevalent. Stability and Luxus seem inversely proportional to strict religious adherence.

The religious impulse seems to grow have evolved out of the natural conditions where the environment is easy but unstable. It is likely it is tied to social structures where there is a patriarch or matriarch. Where gods fill in the gaps that a patriarch is not competent.

Today secular religions fill a similar role. They fill in the gaps where the state is demonstratively incompetent. The progressives having failed in almost every aspect of social engineering have created ideological gods to explain the incompetence. When science fails as it has with the recent pandemic progressives turn to almost religious ritual. Everything becomes the fault of "sinner" or people that worship another God. What characterizes the latest stage of progressivism is incompetence largely stemming from the breakdown of competency hierarchies. When one of there members such as Andrew Cuomo kills thousands through gross incompetence not only is he not held responsible but the blame is placed on the non believers. Certain proof that the religious instinct is alive and well in functional atheists. The religious instinct being closely tied to natural hierarchies. Hierarchies not dependent so much on competencies fit for the harsh but stable civilized state but for the easy but unstable natural state where competency is measured in social networks not productivity.

The hostility towards natural law such as the reality of sex differences, the rejection of group selection and the eusociality of large scale civilization, the denial of the connection between genes and intelligence, the over emphasis on networking skills not practical skills, denial of racial differences, etc. are necessary components of the new secular religion that most atheists have adopted. Reality itself is a threat to diversity, inclusion and equity. The DIE religion is inclined towards ritualistic sacrifice to appease the socialist God. The thing they hold most sacred, individuality, is not too great a sacrifice to reach Nirvana. First they will sacrifice the non believers then each other it is the way of the religious monkey.

wolfhnd Level 8 July 28, 2021

I agree. Otherwise caveman would go insane... but that brings up the question, why does modern man still explains things in such a way.

Well I guess its about cognitive economy. How to get as much emotinal satisfaction for as little intellectual effort.

In other words its easier to say; Zeus had a bad day, than....

"Thunder is caused by lightning, which is essentially a stream of electrons flowing between or within clouds, or between a cloud and the ground. The air surrounding the electron stream is heated to as hot as 50,000 degrees Farhenheit, which is three times hotter than the surface of the sun. As the superheated air cools it produces a resonating tube of partial vacuum surrounding the lightning's path. The nearby air rapidly expands and contracts. This causes the column to vibrate like a tubular drum head and produces a tremendous crack. As the vibrations gradually die out, the sound echoes and reverberates, generating the rumbling we call thunder. We can hear the thundering booms 10 miles or more distant from the lightning that caused it.

When the lightning is within sight, however, we see it first because the speed of sound in air is considerably slower that that of the electron flow. Thus, the sound behaves more like a shock wave than an ordinary sound wave. The shock wave follows the path of the electrons like a fist in a sock. The speed of sound is even more insignificant when compared to the speed of light. The light from the flash reaches us in a fraction of a second, whereas the sound lags along like a snail following an interplanetary rocket.

The audiovisual spectacle of thunder and lightning is a combination of the dynamics of the vibration of air molecules and their disturbance by electrical forces. It is an awesome show--and one that reminds all of us of the powers of nature and our own insignificance in relation to them."

I also heard a hypothesis how as the social group and its social interactions / politics increases the brain size increases among primates. There are animals like sperm whale that has a large brain compared to body size, but that is because the need echolocation to map the ocean depths in search of food.

In primates brain size tend to be bigger because of our social interactions and complex politics. Although if Birds are what is left after dinosaurs they had more time to evolve, maybe that is why small brain in a bird , like a crow brain can be comparable to larger brain power of a dog.

"Man is by nature a political animal."

  • Aristotle, Politics

CHIMPANZEE GAZE & DECEPTION

New study out by Dr. Katie Hall in American Journal of Primatology.

Primate PoliticsDe Waal described similarities in the way humans and primates arrange political hierarchies in his 1982 book, Chimpanzee Politics: Power and Sex Among Apes. Much of this insight emerged through watching the animals interact over the course of thousands of hours at the Royal Burgers’ Zoo in de Waal’s native Netherlands.

“This book [...] demonstrates something we had already suspected on the grounds of the close connection between apes and man: that the social organization of chimpanzees is almost too human to be true.

Harold Laswell's famous definition of politics as a social process determining "who gets what, when, and how," there can be little doubt that chimpanzees engage in it. Since in both humans and their closest relatives the process involves bluff, coalitions, and isolation tactics, a common terminology is warranted.”

― Frans de Waal, Chimpanzee Politics: Power and Sex Among Apes

One trait of a political structure, said de Waal, is the existence of what he calls “reciprocity.” By this he means that any leader, from a human president to an alpha male ape, needs powerful friends both to form a coalition and to gain the respect of the populace. Over the years, de Waal has seen many signs of this behavior in primate leaders, from walking in step with older, respected members of a group (“alpha emeriti” primates) to letting weaker females eat food that might easily be taken from them (chivalry may be dead, but it’s still good politics).

De Waal and collaborators tracked reciprocity among primates during thousands of interactions related to grooming and food sharing. They found that if Ape A grooms Ape B in the morning, then Ape B will share more food with Ape A than with anyone else in the afternoon — a sign of both memory and gratitude for the earlier act. De Waal said that reciprocity is more or less present in everything chimps do.

“Even the lowest ranking female in the group is able to hold onto her food because she’s part of the reciprocity system,” he said.

Chimpanzee Culture

[ Chimpanzees are members of the family Hominidae, along with humans, gorillas, and orangutans. They split from the human line about four to six million years ago, see Chimpanzee-human last common ancestor. Chimpanzees are the closest living relatives to humans (subtribe Hominina); both are members of the tribe Hominini. Chimpanzees are the only known members of the subtribe Panina.

The two Pan species, bonobo and common chimpanzee, split about one million years ago. This article uses the individual name when distinguishing one species or the other, and uses Pan or chimpanzee (or chimp) when both or either one is implied.

Along with the common chimpanzee, the bonobo is the closest extant relative to humans. Because the two species are not proficient swimmers, the formation of the Congo River 1.5–2 million years ago possibly led to the speciation of the bonobo. Bonobos live south of the river, and thereby were separated from the ancestors of the common chimpanzee, which live north of the river. There is no concrete data on population numbers, but the estimate is between 29,500 and 50,000 individuals.

Bonobos's Sexual social behavior

Sexual activity generally plays a major role in bonobo society, being used as what some scientists perceive as a greeting, a means of forming social bonds, a means of conflict resolution, and postconflict reconciliation. Bonobos are the only non-human animal to have been observed engaging in all of the following sexual activities: face-to-face genital sex (though a pair of western gorillas has been photographed performing face-to-face genital sex, tongue kissing, and oral sex.

“Everything in the world is about sex except sex. Sex is about power.”
― Oscar Wilde

More sex = Less Conflict. Sexual favors = Political Power.

Image: Maria Elena Boschi Politics; the Italian way. The thong has been photoshoped, but implication is not a lie.

Anyway, lets continue, shell we.

Throughout the day, males and females, adolescents and elders alike greet one another sexually for apparently almost any reason—and do so with everything from a quick feel, to porn-style choreographies, to elaborately athletic couplings. This feature—the variety of their easygoing sex life—is what led Duke primatologist Vanessa Woods to cheekily title her book about them Bonobo Handshake. Bonobos have deployed their elaborate sexual toolkit to ease all kinds of social transitions—ranging from saying good morning to giving the blessing before dinner to expressing a hearty welcome to a new member of the group. Females will casually present themselves to males. The male will walk right up to a female without any hesitation. All bonobos frequently have homosexual sex—the males being quite fond of hanging upside down, face to face, from a tree and engaging in what the gay community calls frottage.

And bonobos do all this…a lot.

Among the chimpanzees, sex occurred exclusively during estrus, phase when the female is sexually receptive ("in heat" ), that is, when female hormones signaled to the male that it was time. The male chimp sometimes fingers a female, sniffs his finger to determine if the timing is right, and if the hormonal signal is positive, then rutting commences. Otherwise the male is not at all interested. Bonobos, on the other hand, have moved way past those hormones. They would “copulate during all phases of the female’s menstrual cycle”—a human tendency as well, and one rendered crisply in the literature as “continuous receptivity.”

What allows for the generally loose relationship between chimpanzee communities is that they apparently recognize a wider range of social bonds than do monkeys. They often have relatives and friends in several different neighboring troops. When chimpanzee communities come together, they usually exchange friendly greetings rather than show aggression. However, it would be a mistake to assume from this that chimpanzee society is always peaceful.

The adult males within each community are frequently engaged in complex political activities involving scheming and physical intimidation in order to move up the dominance hierarchy. They develop short-term alliances with other males by mutual support, sharing meat, and allogrooming (grooming others). It isn't always the largest and strongest males who make it to the top of the hierarchy. Often teamwork used to frighten and impress is more effective than any one individual's muscles in achieving chimpanzee goals. This is an indication of their intelligence.

Within their own communities, male chimpanzees spend much of their time scheming in order to move up in dominance. The successful ones usually accomplish this by forming temporary alliances with a few other males in order to physically dominate the rest. These alliances are often created by sharing meat and other prized foods as well as grooming each other. Female chimpanzees apparently do not take part in this constantly changing, often violent political restructuring of their community.

An even darker side of male chimpanzee behavior is that they occasionally murder members of other chimpanzee communities. Groups of males periodically go on aggressive raids into neighboring territories where they isolate individual males and then violently beat and bite them to death. Over time, these marauding gangs will kill all of the males in the targeted communities if they can.

Aftermath of a Chimpanzee Murder Caught in Rare Video | National Geographic

They also have been observed eating the infants there, but they usually leave their mothers alone. This behavior has been recorded at several locations in East Africa. The motivations of the killers is not entirely clear, but the net effect is to increase their territory and food resources and at the same time reduce competition for potential mates. This kind of murderous behavior is, of course, reminiscent of humans as well. There are many instances of it in our own history.

Additional resource: Bonobos help strangers without being asked November 7, 2017 by Robin A. Smith

"Being both more systematically brutal than chimps and more empathic than bonobos, we are by far the most bipolar ape. Our societies are never completely peaceful, never completely competitive, never ruled by sheer selfishness, and never perfectly moral." — Frans de Waal, Dutch primatologist and ethologist and professor of primate behavior*.

*Professor of Primate Behavior in the Emory University psychology department in Atlanta, Georgia, and director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center and author of numerous books including Chimpanzee Politics and Our Inner Ape. His research centers on primate social behavior, including conflict resolution, cooperation, inequity aversion, and food-sharing. He is a Member of the United States National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.

As for religious tenancies even among primitive cultures, it seems that apart from some gods that appear in animal forms, why do people tend to envisage gods as person-type beings?

Simple, because it is easier to imagine the imaginary being having familiar motives with familiar intentions. If the imaginary beings were abstract forms, the would be not relatable to humans. Even animal forms have human like characteristics.

Also we have seen how pacific islanders tend to adopt what they see, shark and vulcano as Gods, and Ancient Egyptians stuck around the Nile delta with desert all around them , carefully observed the animals around them and made them into characters in their mythology.

Scarab Beetle in Ancient Egypt Scarab beetles were considered sacred in ancient Egypt, and these insects were linked with the religion and mythology of the land. As mentioned above, it is the dung-rolling habit of the scarab beetles, that was noticed by the people of ancient Egypt.

According to their beliefs, Khephri created himself out of nothing. The ancient Egyptians believed that, like Kephri, the scarab beetles too emerge out of nowhere. According to them, only male scarabs existed. Thus, they started linking scarab beetles to the God. As per ancient Egyptian beliefs, the scarab beetle symbolizes regeneration, transformation, renewal, and resurrection.

Egyptian scarab beetles have also been connected to the sun God Ra. According to Egyptian mythology, this God renews the sun daily, by rolling it across the sky during daytime. After dawn he carries the sun to another world, so that it is renewed for the next day. The scarab beetles that carry dung rolls were compared to this God, who carries the sun every day. This was another reason for attributing a sacred status to these beetles. Egyptian scarab beetles were also an important part of the ancient Egyptian funeral rites.

Ancient Egyptian God Anubis, God of Funerals and Embalming For thousands of years, ancient Egyptians worshiped the jackal-headed god known as Anubis. Obviouslly inspired by the local Jackals. Originally Anubis was venerated as the god of the dead. After he restored Osiris' body to full health, Osiris was given the honorary title of God of the dead.

etc.

................................

*Atheism: A Rough History of Disbelief – known in the United States as A Brief History of Disbelief – is a 2004 television documentary series written and presented by Jonathan Miller for the BBC and tracing the history of atheism.

................................

Here is a transcript of one of the interview he has with anthropologist Pascal Boyer

"I admit that there are things believe without knowing them directly.

For example, I never saw a coelacanth with my own eyes, but believe them.
I also believe that the Earth turns around the sun, although there seems to be so.
I assume that these things are true, for the simple reason that I recognize... the authority of the people who say they are true.

On the other hand, there is a range of dubious entities, such as ghosts, witches, spirits and immortal souls... which I absolutely do not believe.

But people who actually believe in them does not make necessarily... with bases on trust

or authority. The psychological origins of such beliefs can be found... in certain predispositions that we all share... simply as human beings.

The anthropologist Pascal Boyer... has written widely about the origins... The religious impulse in humans. I believe there are issues that are important in most religions of the world but are not things that are familiar.

The concern about who created the world, for example, is not one of them.
Concern on mortality, what happens after death, is not one of them, in a surprising way.

According to Pascal Boyer, this notion of "invisible agents"... is not a "counter intuitive" as much as it may seem. Can be strongly intertwined in our brain.
In a primitive community accidents and misfortunes... unduly occur, have more sense if we assume... someone or something actually intended to to occur. A strange coincidence is that the which is usually hard to explain... makes more sense if we assume that there is some secret intention behind them.

And those charges occur frequently even today. It may seem strange if we suggest we are strongly predisposed... to suspect that we are threatened by evil beings... but there may be good selective advantages to this trend in a world... where you're surrounded by predators.

The presence of agents invisible on the environment... is something that is in all religions.

You will find that there is some notion that there spirits ghosts of ancestors, etc.
What I call... "counter intuitive" as they are not like you or me, or animals; they do not have a physical body, but have all the characteristics of an agent ... such as a mind, intentions, etc.

Although there is always the possibility to commit embarrassing mistakes, and the over-allocation of intention when this does not exist, worth committing occasionally "embarrassing positive force" when the alternative is catastrophic negative force, like when you end up being devoured.

And only a small step to avoid genuine threats, Believe that the misfortunes Adam could also be... the result of certain intentional evil forces, that could be the result of hidden and invisible intentions... directed against you ."

I think when we look at any of the old traditional religions like Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism etc, they all developed around small communities and it was important for people too cooperate in order to survive so lot of morality is part of the religion. When kings adopted the religions they added state craft but kept the morality.

By the time we get to liberalism which tried to "liberate" people from tyrannies and religions of all they proclaimed, falsely that all men are men of reason and that they can govern themselves and make rational decisions if only they are liberated. Plus they need to have rights , which happen out of no where, but to ensure this all to work , lets empower the state.

Obviously this type of religion as liberalism grew out of "elitists" intellectuals who hoped to model the new religion according to their worldview. They off course claim science and reason , no religion. But historic evidence is quite clear it is a religion.

Liberals don't like the idea of shared moral code, not because they don't think there is such a thing as good or bad, but because they insists each individual must make that choice for himself and no institution should mandate it. In that sense liberalism is antisocial, but demands protection of the state.

It rejects past moral ties and tradition, arguing for rights instead.

By the time of Marx we have three big components needed for new religion that picks up where liberalism left off but in the most radical materialists ways.

background on the context from which communism arose as a system of ideas. This context involved three different recent elements: French political revolution, the Industrial Revolution in Britain, and German philosophical evolution.

French Political Revolution

Beginning in 1789, the French Revolution ushered in the era of ideological mass politics, which we are still in today. That revolution, its radicalism radiating out from Paris, haunted socialist and communist thinkers. It seemed both a model for how to make revolution and a cautionary tale.

In a quick review, the French Revolution became steadily more radical after it erupted in Paris in 1789. First, revolutionaries sought to break with feudal privileges. Then, radicals deposed the king and executed him. Suspecting treason against the revolution, they identified “enemies of the people” and sent them to their deaths. In the Reign of Terror from 1793–1794, tens of thousands were killed.

In short order, the revolutionary regime became so radical that it was soon arresting revolutionaries as insufficiently devoted. Eventually, radical leaders were themselves arrested and replaced by a more conservative leadership, which in turn was deposed by a young military genius, Napoleon Bonaparte. In 1799, he made himself dictator and then emperor. He presided over years of constant war in his bid to control Europe.

When Napoleon finally was defeated in 1815, it seemed that this conflagration had burned itself out. Many of those who were still attached to utopian hopes of making a new society now sought peaceful, cooperative, voluntary means of association rather than force. Turning away from revolutionary violence, such socialists, as they began to call themselves, hoped that their utopias could be realized without killing, but instead demonstrating new forms of association.

This age saw many communal experiments, including the model factories of Robert Owen, the Welsh manufacturer, and his settlement in the US: New Harmony in Indiana, which only lasted two years. The followers of the French thinker Henri de Saint-Simon also dreamed of a cooperative society owning all wealth, tools, and land in common.

Another French thinker was Charles Fourier, a clerk in Lyon who spent much time dreaming up new principles of organizing people. In France, some followers of Fourier tried to establish communities along the lines he envisioned, but it was in the New World that his experiment proliferated.

In describing their communism, Marx and Engels would later pour scorn on the ineffectiveness of these earlier socialists, deriding them as merely utopian (which was not a compliment in their vocabulary). However, they were generous and admitted that this was at an early stage of the development of the true revolutionary ideas.

The Industrial Revolution in Britain

Marx and Engels promised to bring a correct understanding of the Industrial Revolution, which first roared to life in Great Britain. The world was being visibly and dramatically changed by science and technology. This made Marx and Engels eager for a theory that would describe human society as it changed and predict where the future was headed.

From the 18th century and accelerating in the 19th century, the Industrial Revolution had consequences as profound as political revolutions. Industrialization had important consequences for society and politics, remaking physical landscapes and disrupting traditional ways of life.

Industrialization also changed the social order. The aristocracy and peasants were still around, but they seemed less important. The new middle class, the bourgeoisie, arose in the cities and towns. In the cities, there also arose an industrial working class. At the extreme edge of survival lived a class of miserable poor and unemployed, denounced as dangerous or criminal classes.

In search of markets and resources, Europe’s powers also engaged in overseas imperialism. This brought industrialization to other lands, wiped out Indian textiles, and forced China to accept the trade in opium so that Britain could buy tea.

German Philosophical Revolution

While France revolted and Britain industrialized, Germany was already famed for its profound scholarship and thought. Especially huge was the impact of the philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, who proposed history with a direction and transcendent meaning.

In Hegel’s scheme, a dialectical process (that is, a dynamic series of clashes) moves history forward. A given existing social state (the thesis) encounters opposing forces (the antithesis). The result of their collision is a new state (synthesis)—a higher resolution. In this age of growing nationalism, Hegel tended to identify the Prussian state and Prussian bureaucracy with the realization of the principle of freedom.

Some of his followers set off in other directions, which were radical rather than conservative. Other disciples of Hegel, called the Young Hegelians or Left Hegelians, moved on to demolish Christianity with this argument of historical change.

  • The Rise of Communism From Marx to Lenin by Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius

This whole social interactions remind me of a story about crabs and running.

"The weak are more likely to make the strong weak than the strong are likely to make the weak strong."- Marlene Dietrich

The Crab Mentality and Why Humans Do This

Crab mentality, also known as crabs in a bucket (also barrel, basket, or pot) mentality, is a way of thinking best described by the phrase "if I can't have it, neither can you". The metaphor is derived from a pattern of behavior noted in crabs when they are trapped in a bucket. While any one crab could easily escape, its efforts will be undermined by others, ensuring the group's collective demise.

The analogy in human behavior is claimed to be that members of a group will attempt to reduce the self-confidence of any member who achieves success beyond the others, out of envy, resentment, spite, conspiracy, or competitive feelings, to halt their progress

Crab mentality affects performance in an organization as humans behave in similar manner as the crabs particularly within social teams. The impact of crab mentality on performance was quantified by a New Zealand study in 2015 which demonstrated up to an 18% average exam result improvement for students when their grades were reported in a way that prevented others from knowing their position in published rankings.

It works the other way too, if one man can do it so can another...

A four-minute mile is the completion of a mile run (1,760 yards, or 1,609.344 meters) in four minutes or less. It was first achieved in 1954 by Roger Bannister in 3:59.4. The "four-minute barrier" has since been broken by over 1,400 male athletes, and is now the standard of all male professional middle distance runners in cultures that use Imperial units. In the 65 years since, the mile record has been lowered by almost 17 seconds, and currently stands at 3:43.13. Running a mile in four minutes translates to a speed of 15 miles per hour (24.14 km/h, or 2:29.13 minutes per kilometer, or 14.91 seconds per 100 meters). It also equals 22 feet per second (1320 feet per minute).

0

I am an atheist who supports individual liberty and responsibility. No religion is involved.

"I am an atheist who supports individual liberty and responsibility. No religion is involved."

I am the same. Although it depends on what we think of "individual liberty and responsibility" .

Liberalism is a political religion. The term "atheist" should not be used as a cheap attempt to pretend it is not. Even anti-theist would be wrong term to use.

Liberalism and the term from which it got its name, "liberty" in political context has specific doctrine behind it. Atheism should not be description of a doctrine, since the term does not describe any particular doctrine in any particular religious context. It simply describes person who does not have beliefs in what he or she understands to be supernatural.

Furthermore atheists can support religion but not believe in supernatural. Although concept of inalienable rights is borderline supernatural if I'm generous, however it is true that someone can be an atheists and support a religion, but the term is not specific of a religion. usually though it is used as euphemism for anti Christian. Or anti-isamic and pro communist or pro liberal. And that is the implication that I'm not supporting.

Atheism and liberty as understood by libertarians are not the same thing, they can be related but also quite separate. Trying to call the organization "Atheists for liberty" implies that all atheists support libertarian concepts. Same as LGBT doctrine tries to claim all homosexuals are part of it, or feminism tries to sell false notion that all women are by default feminists. They are not.

"I am an atheist who supports individual liberty and responsibility. No religion is involved."

Indeed, it does not have to be per se, but this clearly is trying to be more than philosophy. ....

"Atheists for Liberty is a 501c3 educational, nonprofit dedicated to fighting for and sustaining individual rights and the separation of religion & government."

Unlike your statement, responsibility is not mentioned and what are individual rights are also not specif iced or where do they come from. I assume that in the context of liberal tradition it is a contradiction:; rights magically are always there, but we sill need the state to enforce it.

And that is a slippery slope. Furthermore it says separation of religion & government. But what kind of goverment? And what if goverment acts like a religion, imposing dogmatic rules and worldview, as it does more and more.

Also should liberty exclude those that want to be say Christians, Buddhists, or Muslims? Don't they have rights?

Another slippery slope, where expansion of liberal doctrine, by default demands contradiction of other doctrines, invalidating itself as liberation theology in any real sense.

Lets not forget that liberal doctrine is not everyone's doctrine, it has came about and developed among those who had too much time to think about ways to change the world in their image, compared to most who were too busy working to have time to think about such ideas. In other words liberalism is and always was "elitist" ideology, excluding by its very nature of existence much of the opinions, experiences and interest of most of the world population.

The liberal narrative

"There is something very unusual regarding the way the history of political thought is usually written about and taught. It is presented as the accumulated thinking of some fifty individuals, give or take. The express route begins around Plato and Aristotle, moving through St. Augustine and Thomas Aquinas, stopping at Machiavelli and then on to Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau. From there it branches to Hegel, Marx, and Mill, and after that offers a series of lesser tracks into the 20th century. Occasionally there are smaller halts on the way that vary from journey to journey. We will not ignore that tradition, and Chapter 5 is devoted to assessing some of its central liberal players. Indeed, at times strenuous efforts are made to broaden that canon, as in the Cambridge University Press blue books series, so we now have perhaps a hundred or so individuals who have to be taken into account. But think about the following for a moment: could any other branch of history get away with a narrative encompassing so few people, whether fifty or a hundred? Could social or cultural historians pull that off, for example?

The reason for the strange historical sweep—or lack of it—of the study of political thought is complex. For one, it was not designed by historians but in the main by scholar-philosophers whose prime interest was in the unique, the outstanding, and the visionary. Second, it was rooted in now-disputed theories of evolution and progress that regarded political thinking as unfolding in a clear sequence. Third, it became a self-perpetuating convention, encouraged in universities, of addressing political ideas as reified and constituting the challenging heart of dignified culture, albeit with a striking Western bias.

Liberals of course colluded in that feat of human imagination, selective and elitist as it was. As suggested in Chapter 1, one way of approaching liberalism is to see it as a story about how individuals and societies change for the better over time. The tale liberals want to tell is about the growth of civilization and the progress of humanity. According to that optimistic narrative, human beings are increasingly driven by a love of freedom and opposition to tyranny and oppression. The cultivation of one’s individuality, and a respect for the individuality of others, are held to be the hallmarks of a decent society. Consequently liberals wish to manage the relationships between individuals, states, and societies by endowing people with sets of rights intended to protect and enhance their liberty and individuality."

...................

Disconnected and overlapping histories

Liberals and students of liberalism have frequently regarded their cluster of ideas as a unity developing smoothly through time. That view reflects their cardinal belief in a linear progression of humanity towards higher and more civilized ends. But liberalism itself has done no such thing. That evolutionary self-image, wedded to theories of progress and cherished by so many liberals, is not borne out by liberalism’s own history. Instead, liberalism has undergone fits and bursts of change resulting both in convergences and separations of its key tenets. That is a consequence of liberal ideas having originated at different times, from diverse sources, and with varying aims in mind.

Accordingly, it is more helpful to approach liberalism as an ideology with complex, interacting layers in a constant state of mutual rearrangement. Crucially, those layers do not constitute a neat sequential chain. They are a composite of accumulated, discarded, and retrieved strata in continuously fluctuating combinations. As will presently be shown, the so-called liberal tradition is a mixture of at least five different historical layers linked, if at all, in ill-fitting and patchy continuities. One reason why the five layers do not add up into a unified whole is because they too often pull in irreconcilable directions. Some do indeed succeed others, but others exist in parallel, and others still disappear and then re-emerge. Liberalism’s newer layers often obscure and conceal, as well as expand, the gathered meanings it contains and transmits.

Conceptual historians like to use the phrase ‘the simultaneity of the non-simultaneous’—an expression coined by the doyen of that school, Reinhart Koselleck. Applied to liberalism it implies that our current understandings always include new ways of looking at earlier, past understandings of that ideology, as if those understandings live only in the present. Thus, if liberalism once concentrated on non-intervention in individual lives, liberals may now regard the unremitting application of that time-honoured practice both inadequate and occasionally undesirable. Although it still appears in many liberal versions, non-intervention may be accompanied by appeals for measured intervention to mitigate human misery. All those stratified understandings combine to form a rich tapestry of the liberalism we now experience and contemplate.

Inasmuch as no layer can capture the intricacy of liberalism on its own, liberalism cannot be understood without acknowledging their interplay. In the course of those intersections, we may find one major layer (say, the defence of economic markets) thickening and becoming more marked, while another layer (say, the securing of social rights) is present in less noticeable form. But in another instance that interrelationship may be inverted—the previously major theme shrinks, while the minor one exhibits prominence. Indeed, any given version of liberalism may deliberately exclude or debase segments of other layers in the liberal tradition if it deems them incompatible with its own: liberals can be as selective in doctoring their stories as the rest of us!

That constant interplay of layers throws light on the range of existing interpretations of what it means to be a liberal and provides the tools through which to chart the intricacies the term invokes. To do justice to the complexity of liberalism means to attempt to reconstruct a rather messy interrelationship of phases, trends, hiatuses, and sub-plots. An idealized optimal liberalism would include the features of all five layers as they have presented themselves over the past few hundred years. However, that is logically and substantively impossible because some features of liberalism are simply incompatible with others. Accordingly, no actual variant of liberalism exhibits all five layers. All known liberalisms are therefore at most only sub-optimal, ‘second-best’ approximations of the over-arching ideational resources that liberal ideology can host, and has hosted.

How, then, do the layers interact? Imagine a sheaf of five sheets of paper, one on top of the other, each of which contains different messages liberalism has imparted. The surface of each sheet has a mixture of transparent and semi-opaque holes cut into it, the latter covered with wax paper. That means that through the top sheet you can clearly read some areas of the lower sheets, but other parts of those lower sheets are rendered fuzzy. And of course, where no holes have been cut, the areas underneath are concealed entirely. In addition, liberals are prone to re-arrange the order of the sheets, except for the bottom one, which they leave in place. That early, bottom sheet extols the importance of liberty and rights, and that message can be seen through all the sheets stacked above it. But the view of other inscriptions on the lower sheets will depend on how the cut-outs are positioned on each of the sheets placed higher up. Moreover, as the sequence of the sheets is shuffled from time to time and from place to place, the view through the holes changes continuously. Thus, messages concerning competition may be seen in one arrangement of the layers but veiled in another. Sometimes, too, liberals simply crunch up and throw away one or more of the sheets, leaving a much thinner version of the combined liberal tradition.

-Liberalism A Very Short Introduction by Michael Freeden (2015)

....atheists for liberty is not immune from this problem. It too tries to carve a niche in the greater liberal narrative and position itself as the true version.

Liberalism has at some point in the 19th century reached a good balance of rights, responsibility, economy etc. But instead of remaining there and protecting what works, the elitists intellectuals would be out of job so they kept "progressive" ideas and I would argue regressed. And so Liberterians are always chasing... no place..... liberal utopia. This makes them related to Marxists. Hence liberals tend to turn the blind eye to socialism but are skeptical if not cynical of traditional religions.

“In the end, the actions of such liberals have the effect---again unwittingly---of continuing to cover for the goals of the extreme Left. Yet again, the soft Left is helping to conceal the hard Left, whether it realizes it or not.” ― Paul Kengor, Dupes: How America's Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century

"Rationality is a persistent core liberal concept. Liberalism presupposes the capacity of people to make reasonable choices; to reflect on their ends and ways of life; and to behave towards others in a considered, intelligible, and respectful manner. Some philosophers employ the notions of autonomous and purposive agency in identifying what is rational about members of a liberal society. By that they mean the capacity to plan, to anticipate, to seek the optimal options for themselves, to be entrusted to make sensible decisions for themselves, and often also to live harmoniously with their fellow women and men. Derivative from that idea of universally held rationality is an argument for equal rights and opportunities for every person to express that rationality. For many of the early proto-liberals, rationality was God-given or natural, and that contention can still be heard today among philosophers and moralists. Rationality directs human beings towards a good life for themselves, and towards regard for the preferences of others in their own search for the good life.

A very different reading of rationality is the calculated attainment of ends through the most cost-efficient means. It enters liberalism through economic and utilitarian theories that endorse a self-centred and usually competitive maximizing of benefits and advantages. Currently, that is most evident in some neoliberal approaches that flit around the edges of the liberal family. True, liberal theory has now increasingly come to terms with the importance of emotion and of cultural inclinations in our preferences and decisions, and true also that students of ideology recognize that many decisions are unintentional and unplanned. Yet human reason, and rational communication, still serve as liberal lodestars.

Individuality is a third core concept. It is often confused with individualism, which is a view of social structure that prioritizes the role of individuals and regards them as the only unit of society—self-contained and self-sufficient. Individualism rejects approaches that identify groups, or even society as a whole, as distinctive entities. That is not the case with individuality. Individuality sees people as endowed with a qualitative uniqueness. They are regarded as capable of self-expression and flourishing, and they require those attributes in order to realize their full potential. Individuality possesses spiritual and moral elements of character and will that may be nourished by individuals themselves, but it also depends on fostering the educational, economic, cultural, and health environments that provide the necessary opportunities for that nourishment. Liberal social arrangements are thus evaluated in relation to attaining those ends.

Progress is closely associated with individuality, but is a core concept in its own right. It introduces the dynamic of positive movement and development into liberalism. That dynamic is often seen as part of liberalism’s enlightening and civilizing mission, and it includes the constant improvement of material technology and increasing standards of living through human inventiveness and effort. Above all, it focuses on an optimistic view of time as unfolding in the direction of social betterment in the broadest sense. The unfolding of liberal time is not predetermined or teleological—that is, it does not inexorably move towards a projected end, as may be the case in some socialist or utopian ideologies. Instead, it is open-ended. Human development is a continuous process that harnesses and reflects the free will of individuals embedded in and secured through the other liberal core concepts. Being neither automatic nor imposed, it is not entirely predictable.

A fifth core concept that runs through liberal discourse is sociability, though its inclusion in this list may surprise some. An initial clue to its importance lies in Locke’s proto-liberalism, specifically in his state of nature, which already is governed by two other liberal core concepts, rationality and the dispersal of power among all. But it also includes the duty of men ‘to love others than themselves’, indicating a strong interdependence of respect and affinity among people from the very beginning. Locke’s state of nature is thus pre-political but not pre-social, because of the concern of any one person for the life, property, and health of another. Out of those modest beginnings there then arose over the years within liberalism the notion of beneficial mutual interdependence, whether economic, ethical, emotional, or physical. That notion vindicated the non-solitary condition of human beings and it even made inroads into market versions of liberalism. For that reason if, as some critics of liberalism insist, individualism is interpreted as social atomism—the fundamental separateness of every person from another—that kind of individualism is not part of liberalism’s mainstream profile, though we may find it among libertarians.

Sometimes related to sociability, but conceptually distinct, is the concept of the general interest. That sixth core concept conjures up the liberal claim to include all individuals—and groups—in its purview rather than emphasizing class, race, gender, or ethnicity as points of rupture. Liberals thus appear to be impervious to those distinctions as a matter of principle. The critics of liberalism emphatically deny that liberal blindness. They point out ways in which liberals display contentious prejudices, often deluding themselves that they do not. Generally speaking, the idea of community on different levels implies the sharing of some conditions or circumstances that forge a specific identity of its members, an identity that also includes a loose pooling of perspectives, opinions, and ideas. In the liberal case, the default position of the sixth core concept is the desire to appeal to universal human interests as such, to what unites people rather than what divides them, even to some fundamental consensus. That may refer to a sense of decency, to reasonableness, to mutual respect and equality of regard, and to a wish to promote the collective good of individuals. Even among those who interpret liberalism as a market oriented and competitive ideology, there are emphatic references to the general interest. They often subscribe to a version of Bernard Mandeville’s famous ‘Fable of the Bees’, in which he contended that private vices produce public benefits: the pursuit of personal advantage could result in benefits for all. Adam Smith and Hegel, as mentioned in Chapter 2, had suggested that an invisible hand worked to convert the pursuit of self-interest through the division of labour and specialization into outcomes that were in the public interest.

What then, about the fifth layer of liberal pluralism and multiculturalism? Although here liberals recognize the multiplicity of communities within any society, their relationships are not wholly centrifugal. Layer five liberals simply extend the notion of the general interest to endorse the setting up of conditions under which group co-existence is not only possible but valuable. Decency, reasonableness, and mutual respect become even more imperative in societies where those parallel and interrelated communities of religion, ethnicity, and locality cohabit. The assumption here is that their humanity and pursuit of the good encourages interaction and makes it more likely that they form strong attachments to the other core liberal concepts. But as we have seen, intractable problems still obtain for liberals grappling with social pluralism. The former inattentiveness of liberals to minority identities has been attenuated by a conflicted awareness of them.

A seventh core concept is power, but in a specific sense—as limited and accountable. In a deep sense liberals are embarrassed by power: after all, the historic emergence of liberalism was chiefly in response to abuse and oppression by the powerful. In another sense they realize that governments have to be authorized to make binding decisions, and the making and implementation of decisions always involve the exercise of power. Notwithstanding, decisions in a liberal polity are hedged in and circumscribed by checks and balances, by countervailing power, by constitutional rules of justifiable and hence enforceable usages of power, and, not least, by a dispersal of power that renders it less perilous and that draws in a variety of groups into its wielding. That targeted conception of power inches its way towards greater inclusivity and is put at the service of a community, aiming at clearing the paths towards the optimal—if not perfect—realization of the comprehensive package of core liberal values."

-Liberalism A Very Short Introduction by Michael Freeden (2015)

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