Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Appreciation …

… Underrated: Jonathan Haidt | Standpoint.  (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Haidt argued from a coolly scientific, even-handed perspective, demonstrating that our political and religious convictions are deeply rooted in human nature and hence largely impervious to rational analysis. We are ingenious at finding reasons to justify our gut feelings: “Anyone who values truth should stop worshipping reason.”

1 comment:

  1. Firstly, he is hardly coolly scientific if he has an intent to dismantle anything, never mind the "coddling" he sees. Secondly, morality in psychology is studied as a matter of development, not as what's practical, not from the point of view of 6 yes/no categories. He's a psychology hack.

    We can apply this to how the electorate was manipulated in Mississippi in the election between Hyde-Smith and Espy. In order to get the racist vote, Hyde-Smith came out and said that she would want to be in the front row of a lynching. Here we have a US Senate candidate who not only wants to lynch American citizens, but she want to celebrate it, a dog whistle for anyone else who is such a lowlife. If Espy were to respond in kind, for instance, he would have said, in order to get the woman-hater votes, that he would want to be in the front row to watch a white woman get raped.

    We have a moral deal breaker. As a low-life, Hyde-Smith ought never be elected, you'd think. Not so, though, even though Espy continued to take the high ground and frankly called her on her reprehensible behavior.

    Trump comes in to save the day for Hyde-Smith, saying that he needs Hyde-Smith to put forth his agenda, and we now see the manipulative set-up. What this does, is not just to place the decision into Haidt's 6 categories of yes/no "moral" decisions, but it goes to the infinite. There is this vast project going on, and Hyde-Smith is necessary for it. If someone bites on the argument, this shrinks the negative impact to a minimum, essentially zero.

    To complete the set-up on the electorate, something that in itself shows low morality of whatever "category", Hyde-Smith then says that people do not know what is in her heart. The result is that people supported her. When asked, they said that they considered her remark about being in the front row of a lynching was a non-issue ~~ a polite way of saying that they decided to be violently racist and support murder for the sake of "agenda".

    Let's take another example just for argument. Let's say there's a father, who is sexually abusing his child, boy or girl, no matter. This is grounds for arrest certainly, counseling, going on sexual predator lists, and so forth. But let's say the mother does nothing about it, and lets even say that she is a Democrat or liberal, in order to take this conservative foolishness away from Haidt. The mother does nothing about it, because she minimizes the seriousness of the damage on the child, accepting the father's argument that there are other categories to consider. See, he is a good provider in many ways, and can be very loving. So he keeps him around. The problem is obvious again, that by not acting on a deal breaker as if it is a deal breaker, the child continues to be abused for years.

    This type of bad analysis when it comes to morals also showed up in a news item on the View, when Meghan McCain interrupted one of the other panelists, Joy Behar to say that she is "one issue" and did not want to hear it. Stopped the discussion altogether. It never went forward. And that makes sense, that if you are going to invoke six categories, then any "one issue" is going to be minimized to account for a maximum of 16% of a decision. And of course, no one is completely one-issue, but if there was such a person, that one issue, like Hyde-Smith's dog whistle and the abusive father's sexual assaults on his child, are issues to be heard and not interrupted nor minimized to 16%, and thus nullified.

    What then gets nullified is the idea that Haidt's conservatives can out-moral his liberals. Anyone can be a lowlife, and anyone can take the true high ground. And as we saw with McCain not wanting to hear Behar, it is being used, not to heal the divide, but to exacerbate it, to add illogical and unscientific confusion for further division.