I hereby suggest that we Conservatives of Doubt start calling ourselves “dubicons.”
I don’t know, Ramesh, I didn’t find the Douthat piece particularly perspicacious. What’s the guy saying? That we wishy-washy Anglican trimmers bob about helplessly on the sea of public opinion, changing our views to suit the times? Well, to a degree, of course we do, as does everyone else. (Unless somewhere I’ve not been told about heretics are still being burned at the stake and Friday is compulsory fish day.)
Douthat’s best debating point is that “imposing moral absolutes” on society is exactly what the relativist-Left crowd (of which the gay rights crowd is a subset) are doing, with great success. The moral absolute here is that individual autonomy overrides all but the most pressing and obvious social requirements. Incest OK, murder bad.
I am not myself of that persuasion, though. Furthermore, I think it’s a dangerous idea. I think civilization is a fragile thing and needs, especially down in the left-hand tail of the bell curve, quite strict standards — rules. I’m a regulocon. That’s where I part company with both fay ce que vouldras hedonists and let’s-see-if-THIS-works experimentation with things like marriage.
A good, though not infallible, source for those rules is the accumulated collective experience of humanity. Another good, though (see above)
likewise not infallible source is organized religion.
Where I part company with the Conservatives of Faith (fidecons) is in believing that some — I think I’ll say “a lot” — of those standards are, from a metaphysical point of view, arbitrary, or at least arbitrary within certain narrow limits defined by human nature. And _that_ is why I think the present rapid increase in our understanding of human nature via the biological & human sciences is socially very important — which puts me among biocons like Steve Sailer.
So put me down as a dubiregulobiocon.