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Why and to what extent have conservatives supported tradition?

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  • Essay length: 1279 words
  • Submitted: 10/10/2011
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AS and A Level Political Philosophy

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Why and to what extent have conservatives supported tradition?

Traditional conservatives place an emphasis on tradition as they believe, according to Edmund Burke that traditional customs and practices in society is 'God given'. Burke thus believed that society was shaped by the 'law of the Creator', or what he called the 'natural law'. If human beings tamper the world they are challenging the will of God. Burke further described tradition as a partnership between 'those who are living, those who are dead and those who are to be born'. Tradition is also revered as it could be argued to proven to work as it has been 'tested by time', and should therefore be preserved for the benefit of the living and for generations to come. Tradition reflects a Darwinian belief that those institutions and customs that have survived have only done so because they have worked and been found to be of value. They have been endorsed by a process of 'natural selection' and demonstrated their fitness to survive. Conservatives also respect tradition because it generates, for both society and the individual, a sense of identity. Established customs and practices are ones that individuals can recognize; they are

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