Wednesday, April 22, 2009

innocent vs. innocence

A key dividing line in the "culture wars" is the assumption about the inherent "nature of man". To what extent is he inherently good or bad?

So-called liberals often see the nature of man as inherently good; so-called conservatives often see the nature of man as more inherently bad.

In listening to an interview, it struck me that, despite the differences in worldview, both have a similar approach to "the world" and its corrupting influences. The liberals see "the world" corrupting what is otherwise relatively good. Conservatives are worried about the corrupting influences of the world on their already susceptible children (and even adults).

Each side sees children as innocent in a sense-- liberals as inherently innocent and conservatives as those who need their innocence protected until they are better able to withstand the world.

There's still a gulf between the two camps, but maybe they're closer than we think?


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