1. I like your essay on this…Hey, remember that verse that says, “I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.” That’s me, flying kite-like in new age, wrapped warm in the blanket of old-time-religion, add a dash of speculative sci-fi, but with roots deep in the soil of scripture! Our God is that big!

  2. Given the examples you gave of having little drops of each ‘color’, I guess I’m a mix of all three. I do believe in influencing things for the better and pretty much everyone has their own way of viewing what society should be and is a bit of a Moralist from that standpoint.

    At the same time, I don’t think we can force everyone onto the right path, and doing so would cause lots of problems, regardless of what the end goal actually is. The anime Death Note can be a good example, though of course a generally exaggerated one. Yagami Light was basically using the Death Note to kill off all criminals and force the world to be peaceful. He was going to use that to scare everyone into behaving right and set himself up as the world ruler. But even though he claimed to be a defender of the meek, many innocent people of course opposed him, and thus he killed a lot of good people trying to get what he wanted.

    That dynamic can play out in small ways. People hold a moral conviction because they think it’s right and will make the world better, but act forceful or prejudiced about it until they harm people and turn them away. A lot of liberals are hateful because they had parents, teachers, etc that went about their beliefs the wrong way. But now it’s flipping, with a lot more conservatives becoming self aware and a lot of liberals becoming more forceful.

    There’s a difference between morally right and what should be a law, though. And maybe also a difference between morally right and what people try to enforce on each other through social pressure. The more extreme liberals seem to conflate all those together, almost to the extent that they think the law should force people to be nice.

    In a matter of speaking I consider myself an autonomous unit from everyone, but try to influence things for the better, but not in the sense of forcing people into things. I believe more in conversation and being an example of one’s philosophy. Not to say that I won’t ever stand up for anything, but I try to be conscious of how I do it. I engage in aspects of culture, but I hesitate to call myself much of a Universalist. I don’t think ‘everything’s fine’. Even if I watch something I can have a big problem with it. It’s easy for me to understand and sympathize without agreeing. It’s also fun to think that everything and everyone will be redeemed no matter what, but there’s no way to know for sure, so why risk it?

    I’m less about ‘rules’, at least in terms of societal traditions and such, and more about what it takes to accomplish things in a constructive and moral manner. That involves understanding the other side and gathering info on what they think. It isn’t really possible to force everyone to believe a certain way and doing so would be wrong, but there’s a lot of other goals to work toward and influence. Maybe two people won’t ever agree, but they can learn to respect each other and work out a situation where they’re both treated decently and can actually work together for reasonable solutions.

    My parents also liked to say ‘Be in the world but not of it’, so that was part of the philosophy I grew up with. Wouldn’t say I exactly match my parents, at least in terms of precise ways I handle things, though. But maybe some of our overall processes are similar, and we differ on details and execution.

    • Travis Perry says:

      I wrote you a nice long comment but it didn’t save for some reason.

      I think though that if my 3 primary colors are correct (and they may not be) then almost everyone would be a combination of the three things. I am too, even though I’m definitely more separatist.

      • I think SpecFaith’s eaten a few of my comments before, too.

        And yeah, probably. Some of it might break down to the reasons people exhibit some of these behaviors and how reliant each color is on those reasons, though. If someone engages/integrates culture into their lives, but does it simply to learn how to navigate it or change it(instead of engaging with it because they think God will redeem it all anyway), then would that be Moralist or Universalist? Like, the Universalist behavior is there, but the reasons are Moralist. Maybe it’s just an example of how complex the mixing of the colors can get.

        I guess due to how much of a lone wolf I am I might be primarily separatist as well, though it’s hard to say for sure right now.

        Where would you put a more Libertarian view? (Libertarian in the sense that people should be free to do what they want as long as they aren’t harming anyone). That one’s probably fairly common.

        • Travis Perry says:

          I think you are right that a “free to do what you want” view is probably a color I left out. But it’s quite similar to what I called “Universalism”–but Universalism says “I’m free to do whatever I want because God has blessed it”–unless some obvious harm is evident.

          What you’re calling the “Libertarian” view would be, “I’m free to do whatever I want just because I am, who cares what God thinks about it”–unless some obvious harm is evident.

          The “what God thinks about it” line is a bit harsh to the Libertarian point of view, but seriously, as a Christian, I think we ought to be thinking along the lines of having theological justifications for what we do. Libertarians don’t agree that such theological justifications are necessary. So a Universalist would pretty much act like a Libertarian, but justify the actions differently.

          You are probably right that there are many Libertarians in practice, probably many more than Universalists. I should have accounted for that. I’ll have to do better next time, if I ever write anything like this again.

What do you think?