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Old 20th December 2012, 03:17 PM   #1
StankApe
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Odd Political Paradoxes and/or irony

I have noticed some stranger paradoxes in belief systems (on both sides) and thought it might be fun to discuss some of them.

Not tryin to turn it into "your side is crazier than my side" or "well, MAYBE that ONE issue is kind of a paradox, but that OTHER thing on THAT side is much worse.."

No need to start ranting at each other, let's just look at these things as they are.


Pro life people tend to be pro death penalty (and vice versa)

Jewish Americans tend to vote to the left, yet the right has been traditionally friendlier to Israel

one of my favorites: "you disagree with me and are thus closed minded" (both sides like to use that one)

religious people attempt to force their icons/POV on society at large )claiming freedom of speech rights) yet try and stop atheists from countering (and sometimes vice versa)

and my last one : complaining about the rise of special interest groups and lobbying, except of course when it' their "pet issue".

I'm sure there are more, so list more! Let's try and keep it fun and not nasty if possible!



and not limited to the USA (hence the general politics forum) if there are some in your country that are different, tell us about em!
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Old 22nd December 2012, 05:43 PM   #2
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People who want the strictest gun control also want the most permissive drug policies.
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Old 22nd December 2012, 05:47 PM   #3
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Leftist celebrity idiots who are worth millions and supported that Occupy Wall Street stuff.
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Old 22nd December 2012, 05:58 PM   #4
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The UN is full of tyrants, persecutors and human rights abusers who decry "racism" and "Islamophobia".
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"They say the right things. They ‘speak truth to power’, ‘transgress boundaries’, and all the rest of it. But you will have noticed that they are careful only to challenge religions that won’t hurt them (Christianity) and governments that won’t arrest them (democracies)." - Nick Cohen.
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Old 22nd December 2012, 06:05 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by StankApe View Post
Pro life people tend to be pro death penalty (and vice versa)

Jewish Americans tend to vote to the left, yet the right has been traditionally friendlier to Israel

one of my favorites: "you disagree with me and are thus closed minded" (both sides like to use that one)

religious people attempt to force their icons/POV on society at large )claiming freedom of speech rights) yet try and stop atheists from countering (and sometimes vice versa)

and my last one : complaining about the rise of special interest groups and lobbying, except of course when it' their "pet issue".
I think Nicholas Nasseem Taleb gave a few good examples of this in the Black Swan. I'll try and find the relevant section a bit later.

Of course, a lot of the advocates for these things will make distinctions that, at least in their mind, make the world of difference.

Pro-life people would probably argue that they are in favour of protecting innocent life, whereas the death penalty is there to punish the guilty. It seems that some formulations of this don't take that distinction into account, however, as when George W. Bush said in the euthanasia case of a woman in a persistent vegetative state that we must always err on the side of life. I don't think he consistently applied that principle.

Jewish Americans may decide that their entire politics need not be reduced to the Israel issue and, furthermore, may find the religious right's support of Israel to be counterproductive or encourage the Israeli government to behave recklessly.

As for the lobby thing, I think David Aaronovitch made a good point that one man's excessively funded and excessively influential lobby is another man's essential advocacy group.

Perhaps another issue which has paradoxical effects is that of gay marriage where conservatives who usually desire small, non-interventionist government, want to legislate against particular forms of marriage. Some conservatives, on the other hand, have no problem with it.
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Old 22nd December 2012, 06:12 PM   #6
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I think that there is also a problem that terms like "conservative" and "liberal", certainly in the American context, tend to mean people who subscribe to an array of beliefs that have come together by historical accident rather than any particular consistent principle.

These days, lots of "liberals" want people to stop saying things which cause offence and also for big government, when that was certainly not the original meaning of the terms.

Conservatives, on the other hand, sometimes seem to want radical changes of society based on the whims of the free market.

Both groups are a mixed bag though which often have their kinship based on voting blocs, rather than some deep ideological commitment among the members of each group.
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Old 22nd December 2012, 06:15 PM   #7
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People who wear Che Guevara shirts would themselves be thrown in prison or killed under Che Guevara.
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Old 22nd December 2012, 06:21 PM   #8
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People who call themselves "liberal" tend to be hostile to economic freedom.
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Old 22nd December 2012, 08:04 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Virus View Post
People who call themselves "liberal" tend to be hostile to economic freedom.
That's true and conservatives tend to be hostile to conservation.
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Old 24th December 2012, 07:22 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by StankApe View Post
I have noticed some stranger paradoxes in belief systems (on both sides) and thought it might be fun to discuss some of them.

Not tryin to turn it into "your side is crazier than my side" or "well, MAYBE that ONE issue is kind of a paradox, but that OTHER thing on THAT side is much worse.."

No need to start ranting at each other, let's just look at these things as they are.


Pro life people tend to be pro death penalty (and vice versa)

Jewish Americans tend to vote to the left, yet the right has been traditionally friendlier to Israel

one of my favorites: "you disagree with me and are thus closed minded" (both sides like to use that one)

religious people attempt to force their icons/POV on society at large )claiming freedom of speech rights) yet try and stop atheists from countering (and sometimes vice versa)

and my last one : complaining about the rise of special interest groups and lobbying, except of course when it' their "pet issue".

I'm sure there are more, so list more! Let's try and keep it fun and not nasty if possible!



and not limited to the USA (hence the general politics forum) if there are some in your country that are different, tell us about em!
I thought it was fairly well established that Israel was way down the list of priorities for US Jewish voters. Quite why anyone assumed that the politics of a foreign country which is broadly supported by both parties would take precedence over jobs etc is beyond me. Also the US Jewish population tends to be less hawkish anyway.

Eg: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/13/op...vote.html?_r=0
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Old 24th December 2012, 08:15 AM   #11
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Free market capitalists who want governmental protection for their investments?
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Old 24th December 2012, 10:28 AM   #12
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anti-corporationists who have 401-k's
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Old 24th December 2012, 10:48 AM   #13
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Anti-capitalists who don't live by subsistence farming.

They hate corporations, but love the stuff and jobs and wealth they produce.
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Old 24th December 2012, 10:56 AM   #14
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A draft doger starting two wars.

A homophobic politician getting caught in an airport men's room soliciting sex.

A black man in the White House.
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Old 24th December 2012, 11:07 AM   #15
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Those who publicly plead with the government to tax them more, but then behave in such a manner as to lower their tax rate as much as possible.
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Old 24th December 2012, 11:09 AM   #16
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movie stars who rant about corporations and support the OWS people, but then are more than happy to take the $12m offered to them by Sony Pictures
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Old 24th December 2012, 12:00 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by StankApe View Post
Pro life people tend to be pro death penalty (and vice versa)
Catholics?

Quote:
Jewish Americans tend to vote to the left, yet the right has been traditionally friendlier to Israel
Isreal isn't as much of a jewish issue as it used to be.
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Old 24th December 2012, 12:03 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by WildCat View Post
Anti-capitalists who don't live by subsistence farming.

They hate corporations, but love the stuff and jobs and wealth they produce.
No in fairness you get groups like the new internationalist publishers who are a workers cooperative (for a fairly small magazine its actualy a fairly reasonable approach).
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Old 24th December 2012, 12:15 PM   #19
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Well I guess the current british goverment probably qualifies.

In terms of Political Paradoxes the Reform Act 1867 probably qualifies. Due to a bunch of utterly bizarre political manoeuvring a conservative goverment ended up supporting a bill that expanded the franchise to a greater extent than even the the liberal wing of the liberal party had originaly dared propose. Or to put it another way rather a lot of people got the vote not because Disraeli wanted to give it to them but because Disraeli wanted to spite Gladstone.
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Old 24th December 2012, 12:16 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by geni View Post
No in fairness you get groups like the new internationalist publishers who are a workers cooperative (for a fairly small magazine its actualy a fairly reasonable approach).
Why yes who could live without the gadgets and wealth that group has produced! Whatever it is.
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Old 24th December 2012, 12:18 PM   #21
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Liberals who support genocidal terrorist groups like Hamas and otherwise excuse or ignore virulent anti-semitism among Palestinians.
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Old 24th December 2012, 12:30 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by WildCat View Post
Liberals who support genocidal terrorist groups like Hamas and otherwise excuse or ignore virulent anti-semitism among Palestinians.
Nothing paradoxical about that. There are versions of liberalism which have no particular problem with violence.
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Old 24th December 2012, 12:38 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by geni View Post
Nothing paradoxical about that. There are versions of liberalism which have no particular problem with violence.
But you rarely see that combined with virulent racism and still maintain the label "liberal".
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Old 24th December 2012, 01:41 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Piscivore View Post
A black man in the White House.
Not a paradox. That's the democratic process, in one form, at work.


Odd political paradox: Belgium.
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Old 24th December 2012, 02:03 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by WildCat View Post
But you rarely see that combined with virulent racism and still maintain the label "liberal".
Actualy that would be a pretty good description of the classical liberal. Charles Dickens (to take a well known example) despite his support of various forms of social reform was clearly racist.
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Old 24th December 2012, 05:16 PM   #26
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People who call it paradoxical for their opponents to have a particular combination of opinions, as if logical consistency required either one of them to be combined with the opposite of the other one, when they have the opposite of both themselves.
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Old 24th December 2012, 05:31 PM   #27
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Old 24th December 2012, 05:36 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Quote:
Pro life people tend to be pro death penalty (and vice versa)
Pro-life people would probably argue that they are in favour of protecting innocent life, whereas the death penalty is there to punish the guilty. It seems that some formulations of this don't take that distinction into account, however, as when George W. Bush said in the euthanasia case of a woman in a persistent vegetative state that we must always err on the side of life. I don't think he consistently applied that principle.
I've also not understood why people bring that up as a paradox, but I think it can be explained best by looking at the viewpoint on personal responsibility.

On the pro-responsibility side: You get pregnant, you carry your baby to term. You kill somebody, you get killed in return. No weasling out of it.

On the pro-forgiveness/mercy side: You get pregnant, well, it shouldn't ruin your life; you can undo it if you want to. You kill somebody, well, you might reform; let's not do anything hasty.
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Old 24th December 2012, 05:48 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Pup View Post
I've also not understood why people bring that up as a paradox, but I think it can be explained best by looking at the viewpoint on personal responsibility.

On the pro-responsibility side: You get pregnant, you carry your baby to term. You kill somebody, you get killed in return. No weasling out of it.

On the pro-forgiveness/mercy side: You get pregnant, well, it shouldn't ruin your life; you can undo it if you want to. You kill somebody, well, you might reform; let's not do anything hasty.
that's not the way the arguments get presented though (as generally there's a truckload of emotion riding behind it)


The argument is based around the child and the criminal, not the mother and the criminal. so it's the 'unimportant lump of cells" versus "every cell is sacred" on one hand and "eye for an eye" and "govt shouldn't be killing human beings" on the other hand.
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Old 24th December 2012, 08:31 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by geni View Post
Catholics?
Yeah, Catholics are good on the pro-life when it comes to abortion and death penalty. However, the official line of the RCC does come into a bit of a conflict with being pro-life when they do everything they can to discourage use of a cheap and effective way to prevent the spread of deadly disease.
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Old 24th December 2012, 08:32 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Virus View Post
People who want the strictest gun control also want the most permissive drug policies.
What on earth is paradoxical about that? If you want guns off the street, then decriminalisation of intoxicating substances is a rational step. Was it not the criminalisation of alcohol that introduced the sub machine gun to the streets of American cities?

Anyway it is perfectly reasonable that people should have one opinion about how to deal with one thing, and a different opinion about how to deal with another thing. No paradox at all.
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Old 24th December 2012, 08:55 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
Anyway it is perfectly reasonable that people should have one opinion about how to deal with one thing, and a different opinion about how to deal with another thing. No paradox at all.
The issue that many have is not so much the actual positions but the often stated rationales for those positions.

Being anti-abortion and pro death penalty, for example, is not intrinsically a paradoxical position. However, when you argue against abortion on the grounds that all life is sacred, then the support of the death penalty is harder to justify.

In the item that you responded to, however, guns/drugs, I don't see either group (+guns/-drugs or -guns/+drugs) using arguments for one that have any impact on the other. So I agree that there is not even a paradox based on rationale in that one.
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Old 24th December 2012, 09:11 PM   #33
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I would assume that the argument would be (and this is pure speculation btw):

You are trying to make the country safer by taking guns from law abiding citizens but legal drugs would make it less safe....

I suspect that legal drugs would have the positive effect of lowering gang violence, but might increase some of the social problems that lead to gangs in the first place. But, it's kinda hard to know for sure either way
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Old 24th December 2012, 09:20 PM   #34
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Heck, any strong position on Israel/Palestine seems to be a paradox. The bad guys are killers and murderers so the good guys need to kill as many of them as possible to protect themselves.

It really doesn't matter which side someone is on, it boils down the same flippin' argument.
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Old 24th December 2012, 09:24 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by cwalner View Post
Heck, any strong position on Israel/Palestine seems to be a paradox. The bad guys are killers and murderers so the good guys need to kill as many of them as possible to protect themselves.

It really doesn't matter which side someone is on, it boils down the same flippin' argument.
Indeed, and it applies to other things like Sunni's and Shiites in Iraq/Iran, the Hindu/Muslim war in India....etc

one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter I think the expression goes.
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Old 24th December 2012, 09:26 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Virus View Post
Leftist celebrity idiots who are worth millions and supported that Occupy Wall Street stuff.
If these folks claimed that being a millionaire is wrong, that would obviously be hypocritical. But many OWS supporters are not necessarily against wealth or capitalism--they're against banks being allowed to be too big to fail, against executive bonuses to companies that nearly destroyed the economy, etc.

The views of OWS supporters really runs the gamut. There are some hardcore communists among them for sure, but many who are fine with regulated capitalism (they might be more sympathetic to other countries that are capitalist but with less income disparity, universal health care, etc).
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Old 24th December 2012, 09:31 PM   #37
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here's the "win the thread" one!


9/11 truthers who assert that W was an evil criminal mastermind behind the event, and then when questioned bout all the problems with their "evidence" comment that he was a babbling idiot.
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Old 24th December 2012, 09:36 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by StankApe View Post
here's the "win the thread" one!


9/11 truthers who assert that W was an evil criminal mastermind behind the event, and then when questioned bout all the problems with their "evidence" comment that he was a babbling idiot.
No fair bringing CTers into this. They are living being paradoxes so intent on finding non-existent patterns they cannot differentiate between their own ass and a hole in the ground.
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Old 24th December 2012, 09:39 PM   #39
StankApe
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LMAO!!! noted, okay, truthers off limits!
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Old 24th December 2012, 09:48 PM   #40
amensae
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Originally Posted by Virus View Post
People who want the strictest gun control also want the most permissive drug policies.
Paradox - people who want the strictest drug control also want the most permissive gun ownership policies.

Originally Posted by Virus View Post
Leftist celebrity idiots who are worth millions and supported that Occupy Wall Street stuff.
Right-wingers don’t understand that this is not a paradox.

Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
These days, lots of "liberals" want people to stop saying things which cause offence and also for big government, when that was certainly not the original meaning of the terms.
Wanting to stop people saying things that cause offence is not the same as censorship – which is advocated not by liberals but by conservatives and radicals.
Liberals don’t want big government, they want compassionate government.

Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Conservatives, on the other hand, sometimes seem to want radical changes of society based on the whims of the free market.
In Australia, the Liberal Party calls itself conservative but its policies are radical (right-wing).

Originally Posted by Virus View Post
People who call themselves "liberal" tend to be hostile to economic freedom.
Paradox - people who call themselves "conservative" tend to be hostile to economic freedoms guaranteed by equality of opportunity.

Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
Free market capitalists who want governmental protection for their investments?
In Australia, the most vocal supporters of massive subsidies and protectionist policies for inefficient farmers are the proudly anti-socialist National Party.

Originally Posted by geni View Post
Originally Posted by StankApe: Pro life people tend to be pro death penalty (and vice versa)
Catholics?
Paradox (or simple hypocrisy) - religious bigots who single out one religious faith while ignoring the identical “sins” of others.

Originally Posted by WildCat View Post
Liberals who support genocidal terrorist groups like Hamas and otherwise excuse or ignore virulent anti-semitism among Palestinians.
Paradox - “anti-war” people who applauded the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait; left-wingers who avow feminism and gay rights but are strangely silent on the oppression of women and persecution of homosexuals by Islamic regimes.
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