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Education and Morals

By Wolfman456 - Posted on 09 November 2008

I had a friend that told me that the Republicans that broke from the party were "uneducated idiots that want nothing for something. They don't have any moral values".

So I want to ask this question and take a bit of a poll. I have to questions.

I would like to ask, if you don't mind replying, about what your education levels are. Did you complete high school, get a GED, get a major or what?

The second one I would like to ask is "Do you believe that you have moral value?"

Since I asked the questions, I'll start.

I am going to college at NC State studing buisness finance and buisness administration. I am trying to achieve a Bachlors of Science there.

I believe I have moral values. I have never hurt anyone on purpose. I have never committed a felony, and I have never even had a parking ticket. I help those in need, I volunteer in helping work with children and rape victims.  I also go to church every Sunday.

I completed high school, received technical training in the military, and I have taken some college courses.

I believe that I have moral values, although they are expressed not in going to church or volunteering so much as just trying to live my life by my principles every day, and instilling those values and principles upon my children.

And upon random people on the internet.  :D

"For those who plan with audacity and execute with vigor,
progress is the magnificent by product." 

FIRST of all - WHY are you listening to them? Who cares what they think? Look at some of the Conservatives who backed Obama - are they calling Christopher Buckley dumb??? Second of all, if you REALLY want to know, I'm a successful small business owner with a college degree. I am ethical and I consider that to be "moral".


- formerly klaf

Well, let's look at it this way: like it or not, the Republican party has displayed an overriding sense of party loyalty, to the point of brazenly attacking anyone who dared to disagree with the party line-- see Scott McClellan, for example, and he wasn't even involved in the Obama campaign at all until late in the general election season. I remember Bob Dole tearing into McClellan, calling him a "miserable creature", among other things.


Sticker/sign tally in Orange County, CA:

  • Obama - 13
  • McCain - 5
  • (As of 2008/11/4 09:15 PST)

I am a Vietnam vet (Purple Heart, Bronze Stars, etc).  I was an officer in the US Army from 1968-1972.  I received my BA in History in 1968 from Dickinson College in PA, and - after my service - went to grad school at U Mass Amherst where I received my MA and PhD.   I taught college for seven years before turning to computer support where I continue to work.

Do I have moral values?  I think so.  Though not a regular church attender, I feel I can place my ethical standards up against anyone else's and can make a good showing.  Certainly better than many politicians whom I will refrain from naming.  Raised in the Episcopal Church, I have received a heavy dose of moral training, most of which has "stuck."  So much so that, after returning from Vietnam and coming to the realization that we should not be there, I sacrificed a promising military career as a Regular Army officer to openly question our involvement there.  (Yes, this was when John Kerry was doing something simlar from the comfort of being a civilian.)   I may have lost a career opportunity, but I regained my conscience and my soul.  I came out ahead on that bargain.

I will challenge anyone, including Wolfman's "friend", to question my patrriotism, my honesty or my moral compass.  They are all in good working order.

HS Diploma, 1978
Some college, towards a BSEE in Electrical Engineering '85-'89 (dropped out because wife got cancer)
Currently working on a Certificate in C Programming from U. of WA.

As for morals, I still have some left. (HA!)  A good law abiding citizen who pays his taxes, loves his children and parents. 

I am a veteran of the USAF.

I have a BA in Communications from Trinity College.

I am currently enrolled in a graduate program working towards my MA in Clinical Psychology with a counseling specialization at the Chicago School of Professional Pschology. 

I donate to and volunteer with Public Action to Deliver Shelter (P. A. D. S.) and up until my son was born I had worked for 13 years as a Christian youth worker, as well as having been on church staff as a youth coordinator.

I volunteer as a Class Helper twice a month in my son's kindergarten class.

...and I love animals, gardening, and every night my family gathers around my guitar-playing husband,  holding hands and singing "Kumbaya."

(Okay, you can refrain from sharing the Kumbaya ritual, but feel free to use it if you need more ammunition.  I actually did sing it as a Girl Scout in gradeschool... ;)

I have a college degree but I can tell you that smarts and education don't necessarily go together. I've seen many go through college that I would not consider smart, and also many that were smart but could not be bothered with getting a degree.

Similarly, morals and church going are two different things. We tend to use the term "morality," but more often than not we really mean empathy. From my observations and study empathy is more common with smart people, especially those with higher emotional intelligence. It takes a certain amount of smarts to be able to put yourself in somebody else's shoes. And you don't need a degree in anything for this kind of "smart."

This is so true, peter.  Some of the smartest, wisest, and moral people I know don't have a degree... one didn't even graduate from high school.  Unfortunately, Wolf's friend doesn't see things the same way...

I like that you used the term "emotional intelligence."  I haven't heard that term used in a while. :)

 My story, No High School diploma. I went to 8th grade as did my granparents and they had a very succesful life. So through elementary school I was usually a straight A, shy student, recieved best overall student award, and then honor roll student in middle school. My brother graduated and I just jokingly said I think I will finish up homeschooled. Everyone including my parents, friends,relatives, NO!NO! that is horrible, don't do it, its a mistake, you'll be backwards and never talk to people. So after taking in that information I knew I was going to do it. What started out as a far stretched thing. Mostly a joke, turned into something I now was determined to do. I actually was pissed off hearing those things. So with my power of persuasion I got what I wanted. During what I guess you would call my 9th grade year I worked part time from there out. Come what would be my senior year I was told get your GED if you don't you will be sorry. So again I said fine we will see. That made my determined to see where I go without it. I currently am 1 of 3 people working for a man on a 2000 acre development, its still in the infant stages but things are starting to take off even with the poor economy. One of the other employees is my brother who I got a job for him and his friend. So who knows, along this process I have met and talked and dealt with more people than I ever imagined. I don't think anyone of them would have anything negative to say about the way I treat anyone. What the project holds in store is a guess at this point. But if it all goes according to how we hope I will be more than happy with the path I took.  I have and always will believe things happen for a particular reason, why we meet people and friendships created to me seems like the reason for it all and in that I am extremely happy.  I do not in any way promote not finishing school, but I think it all comes down to the type of person and your will and want to to determine what you achieve. I never was a believer that a piece of paper could determine my future.  I now attend what would have been my high school through sports, active in all my cousins softball, basketball, voleyball , football game and have met so many people. Help them out when possible and have made many friends through this. Everyone always said also I would never go around the school again either.  It seems half of my former classmates have moved to the city or moved away and the other half have spent their fair share in jail. Although I do not attend church a great deal I am a strong believer in God and thank him for everything everyday and for the opportunities I have had and all the wonderful people I have met and from reading there are a lot of truly great people here and I wish you all the best of the best of anything you do, and most of all your health.

Hobbies, gardening, sports, weather, hunting

Sorry for the long autobiography, but since its a different route than most I felt it needed some explaining. Before you openely all call me a dumbass.

Nah -- no one would call you a dumbass because of your background.


Interestingly enough, I can relate a little bit. When I was in high school people told me that I shouldn't join the Marines because I would never make it -- I'm not tough or a jock or anything like that. So it became my mission to prove them wrong.

"For those who plan with audacity and execute with vigor,
progress is the magnificent by product." 

Awww, Blakey, you know we love you! :) 

Thanks for sharing.

I agree that education is not directly correlated with intelligence.  However to answer the question -- I'm not sure we qualify, as my husband and I are registered as Democrats, but he has a MS in Engineering from MIT and I have a BA from Art Center College of Design.

The following I know voted democratic this year, regardless of their regular affiliation:

Sister - BA - Linguistics, (would have had a PhD if advisor hadn't left the school)

Brother-in-Law PhD - Engineering (electrical I believe)

Niece - PhD - Microbiology 

 My brother - completed some college - was so angry about the whole economical mess that he voted for whomever was not already holding a politcal position.  Normally he votes republican.

I have a semesters worth of community college, as part of my official education. However, like Lincoln, I have read many books and studied many things on my own. I have a personal library I am quite proud of and have been reading Ebooks since 98 on my first palm device. I am almost always reading something, and it is very rare that I read fiction.

I have extensive experience in Information technology, I've been working in it since 92, although I've only done small contracts here and there in it over the last 5 years as our online stores have taken off. Unlike Joe the Plumber, I actually did go into business for myself, despite there being a president in office that I perceived to be running the economy into the ground. Given what has happened in the last couple of months, my perception turned out to be dead on correct and the perspective of many "educated" republicans completely wrong(I'm talking about you Mr. Phd in Economics Phil Gramm) and despite that, my business continues to do well. 

As for morality, I am just a man. All honest men are scoundrels at heart, it's only the liars who claim otherwise. Does recognition of this basic fact which the Bible itself clearly testifies to make me immoral? The beautiful people can throw the stones, my house is made of glass and is not worth defending.


First, I agree with Frances... WHY are you placing any credence on what they say in such a sweepingly general way?

Second, to answer your questions.  (1) I have a Masters Degree, plus one professional designation behind my name and another one in process. (2) Yes, I believe I have "moral value," and one of the biggest moral values I have is to not judge the character of other people.

I find your friend's rationale a bit puzzling: how does sticking to a party line show moral values, especially when the party line means going AWAY from your moral values?   Thinking for myself is a moral value I hold very, very dear.

If you have good morals then you wouldn't be questioning someone else moral values. That explain it?  

If you have to claim you have something, then do you really have it?

I have my diploma, some six sigma business training (yellow belt program) also a computer tech in software & hardware repair, certified in both software & hardware.

My training has been more specialized, advanced training in 2 lockbox payment processing platforms. Wausau & AFS (advanced financial solutions, they are gone now though) 

"How can you build a future when your past still haunts your present" - M.R.H.

I am a high school graduate, attended LSU, and graduated from nursing school.  I worked as a nurse for 16 years and recently decided to become a stay at home mom.  I do consider myself someone with moral value.   Am I perfect??  LOL...nope! But,  I do try hard to live as God commanded us to.   Since I have had children,  one of my "moral compasses" is to never do or say anything that I would be embarrassed for my kids to read about in the paper ( or these days, on the internet!)   

Wolfie, I don't give what you friend said any merit at all.   I KNOW you must have given him/her an ear full!  I answered this because I have come to consider the people at RFO friends, in a virtual sense LOL, and I think it is interesting to get to know each other!!

People tie "moral" too closely with religion, when it is nothing of the sort.

Moral == ethical. And we all have ethical values, and we all criticize others for not sharing those values.

I see it here all the time.

So while I really love Benjamin's statement "The beautiful people can throw the stones, my house is made of glass and is not worth defending", it seems to me more rhetorical than absolute.

"For those who plan with audacity and execute with vigor,
progress is the magnificent by product." 

"   And we all have ethical values, and we all criticize others for not sharing those values."

We often do do that, but, the conversation that changes minds and cuts through the bone and the marrow of issues are the ones where ideas are challenged and not other people. 

it seems to me more rhetorical than absolute."

It's not exactly rhetorical and it's not absolute(especially because trying to practice it absolutely is impossible precisely because it is true)... It's more to get people thinking about themselves and their own shortcomings, especially those who would imply that someone else is lacking in character/morality. Really, we should be working on criticizing the ideas we don't agree with, not attacking the morality of other people. Shouldn't we? Isn't that what we should aim for? Isn't that exactly what most of us here are sick of from the far right, that they don't bother to discuss ideas, they just head right for our characters and question our morality? 

One of the most important arguments and discussions I've had on here was when Golf changed my mind on a subject I had long been stubborn on. He didn't do it by attacking my character, he did it by arguing for an ethical view and challenging the ethical views I had put out there. Had he simply criticized me rather than the ideas, I wouldn't have changed my mind because he would have given me no reason to.

Again, you're not giving me a lot to work with here!

Let's see -- to me, of course, character is doing what's right even when no one is looking.

But I agree that, in general, one should attack the idea and not the person. But there does become a point where you see a pattern of misbehavior after which attacking the person becomes relevant, no?

Personally, I still prefer to stick with arguing ideas myself, except for in extreme cases.

It is one of the things that gets on my nerves about this place from time to time though.

Of course, I'm not perfect in that regard myself. 

"For those who plan with audacity and execute with vigor,
progress is the magnificent by product." 

Personally, I still prefer to stick with arguing ideas myself, except for in extreme cases.

I completely agree whether it is a candidate or poster.  Often the ideas can be enhanced by or detracted by the person delivering the message but the message doesn't change - only our reaction to it as we often judge the message by the person delivering it. 

Did that just make any sense - my cup of ambition has yet to kick in.

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