The Righteous Mind - Jonathan Haidt and Liberal vs Conservative ethics

Approaching Infinity

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Laura said:
Taking all this together suggests that the 6 foundation moral system is a consequence of this spiritual influence on humanity, that the evolution of GROUPS isn't so much evolution as an expression of spiritual connections at higher levels. The conflict within the individual isn't so much the conflict of double-mindedness due to evolution on the two tracks, but rather the conflict of the soul vs. the animal based body system.
I had similar thoughts while reading Haidt (it's become a habit whenever reading materialist evolutionary accounts!). I'd just add that in a sense, it's both evolution AND spiritual connection. In other words, I don't see anything wrong with Haidt's main story: selfishness was adaptive for the individual in the group, but groupishness helped certain groups outcompete those who couldn't bind together. The roadblock for Darwinists is where those new traits come from - what their true nature is. They just write them off as random mutations. But as Laura wrote above, it's actually the establishing of a connection to higher spiritual levels. At a certain evolutionary level, beings can access more possibilities, and then manifest them.

Basically, having a good spiritual connection is evolutionarily adaptive for groups in the face of competition and attack both from individuals and other groups. Life has to have a very strong base of self-preservation in order to keep the species going so that it can reach higher levels. So STS is absolutely necessary for 2D and 3D. (There's a reason Ra said the requirement for STO graduation is only 51% STO, I think! Humans wouldn't survive long enough to polarize in that direction without a relatively healthy sense of self-preservation - food, shelter, reproduction...) And even groupishness needs to have a protective instinct, so that groups don't get wiped out. But like everything, it can get messy: free riders going unnoticed, extreme ethnic inclusivity/exclusivity, world wars, etc.

Anyway, these are some of the thoughts I've had about this and why I suggested that the 3 foundation moral system of the Liberal left in the US is that of the Organic Portal, while the 6 foundation moral system of the right is more like the STO position which considers others - within a group - as self, so to say.

Obviously, as humans, we don't always get things right when they are stepped down from higher densities, but the group care, loyalty, submitting to the authority of the "group mind", and care for sanctity - higher principles - seem to be reflections of higher density STO influences. Yes, care for the individual is there, but is not the primary focus because, as the Cs say, its not the body but the soul that counts and to be body-centric is to be STS. That seems to describe the left/liberals pretty well.
I'm still trying to work this through in my mind to see if it holds. There's a bunch of data to take into account. E.g., check out the chart that Neil posted when he took the test: https://cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php/topic,45426.msg749091.html#msg749091 Liberals do have SOME of those other moral foundations, they're just not as strong as Care and Fairness. I'd be interested in seeing a breakdown of the extremes. Are there any outliers who don't value Loyalty, Authority and Purity at all? Maybe those would be the pure OP types? Or maybe those stats just reflect liberals "reflecting" a deeper morality, but in a caricatured version (e.g., the "organic food" purity in contrast to purity about sex).

Also there's the personality research to take into account (liberals being higher on openness to experience, conservatives being low on that and higher on conscientiousness, similar to the differences between women and men). As Haidt describes near the end, someone high on openness will probably find themselves in a liberal environment and then drink the koolaid to conform to their new group. Open types are also the ones to search out new ideas. Conservatives tend to stick to old ideas, even when they're stale and out of date. I think new revelations probably need open individuals to receive them.

It's almost as if the stereotypical liberal morality is an archetype of the OP mentality. It's not necessarily that any individual liberal with those beliefs will conform exactly to type - just a tendency to go in that direction. And conservative morality represents the souled mentality. But some conservatives may find themselves conservatives just because of their lack of openness, and conform to the group moral foundations out of groupishness, just putting on the display of morality in order to survive in the group, like Haidt describes humans doing. Dunno!
 

Gaby

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Approaching Infinity said:
It's almost as if the stereotypical liberal morality is an archetype of the OP mentality. It's not necessarily that any individual liberal with those beliefs will conform exactly to type - just a tendency to go in that direction. And conservative morality represents the souled mentality. But some conservatives may find themselves conservatives just because of their lack of openness, and conform to the group moral foundations out of groupishness, just putting on the display of morality in order to survive in the group, like Haidt describes humans doing. Dunno!
Perhaps the Authoritarian Follower type is still the good clue, regardless of the ideology. There are usually authoritarian follower types in both sides and perhaps the bulk of them navigate towards the ideology that the Control System promotes any current time.

The Conservative Authoritarian follower type would need a strong external locus of control because the inner moral compass and "inner sacredness" is missing. And the Liberal Authoritarian type is just like we see nowadays in the news. Totally unrestrained in their animal instincts.

Just some thoughts.
 

Laura

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Yes, it obviously needs work; I was just writing out my initial ponderings. It becomes more obvious that there are problems with the theory when you read Wilson. As I said, I'm not recommending it but some might want to take a look at it. He really glosses over the issue of when Neanderthals came "out of Africa" and that whole problem.
 

whitecoast

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Laura said:
Whitecoast, have you finished reading "The Righteous Mind"??
Not yet, I don't have a copy of it yet. It's on the top of my list though once I finish HDT. Just sharing preliminary thoughts also.
 

Laura

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whitecoast said:
Laura said:
Whitecoast, have you finished reading "The Righteous Mind"??
Not yet, I don't have a copy of it yet. It's on the top of my list though once I finish HDT. Just sharing preliminary thoughts also.
Usually not a good idea to share "preliminary thoughts" if you have not read the material.
 

John G

The Living Force
Approaching Infinity said:
I'm still trying to work this through in my mind to see if it holds. There's a bunch of data to take into account. E.g., check out the chart that Neil posted when he took the test: https://cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php/topic,45426.msg749091.html#msg749091 Liberals do have SOME of those other moral foundations, they're just not as strong as Care and Fairness. I'd be interested in seeing a breakdown of the extremes. Are there any outliers who don't value Loyalty, Authority and Purity at all? Maybe those would be the pure OP types? Or maybe those stats just reflect liberals "reflecting" a deeper morality, but in a caricatured version (e.g., the "organic food" purity in contrast to purity about sex).

Also there's the personality research to take into account (liberals being higher on openness to experience, conservatives being low on that and higher on conscientiousness, similar to the differences between women and men). As Haidt describes near the end, someone high on openness will probably find themselves in a liberal environment and then drink the koolaid to conform to their new group. Open types are also the ones to search out new ideas. Conservatives tend to stick to old ideas, even when they're stale and out of date. I think new revelations probably need open individuals to receive them.

It's almost as if the stereotypical liberal morality is an archetype of the OP mentality. It's not necessarily that any individual liberal with those beliefs will conform exactly to type - just a tendency to go in that direction. And conservative morality represents the souled mentality. But some conservatives may find themselves conservatives just because of their lack of openness, and conform to the group moral foundations out of groupishness, just putting on the display of morality in order to survive in the group, like Haidt describes humans doing. Dunno!
The Big 5 personality traits have been correlated to Jungian (MBTI) ones by Costa and McCrae and the MBTI in my view has better descriptions for mixing traits than the Big 5 has. Liberals would be NFPs and conservatives would be STJs for the MBTI. F for women and T for men would be the gender difference but it's a 2 to 1 difference not a 1000 to 1 difference. For descriptors like "Care", you really have to at times look at the exact semantics since different people can use different ones. I personally in personality theory papers have used "care" as an opposite to "discover". It would be an SJ guardian type of care vs an NP theoretical discover. It's kind of the NPs off in futuristic discovery land while the SJ guardians are preserving what we have in the present and this guardian care can be a "tough love" kind when the guardian thinks it is required. The SJ guardians do have 2/3rds of the STJ conservative traits while the NPs have 2/3rds of the NFP liberal traits.

As for OPs, obviously what I would say for this is not anything from research, others or my own, but for me the stereotype for an OP just personality-wise would be the SFP Hippy/flower child. It's kind of a more earthy variety of a Liberal. It has the FP "harmony" of a liberal but lacks the N abstract openness to experience and instead has the concrete earthy S.
 

Neil

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I'm not sure if this is worth posting, but Haidt did develop a second test that expanded on the first one. Haidt stated the objective as follows:
The idea behind the scale is that there are at least 5 psychological "foundations" of morality, which are measured in the original Moral Foundations Questionnaire. We have long found that political liberals and conservatives score differently on those foundations. But some critics (other psychologists, and some visitors to our site) have told us that there are some moral issues that were not measured in the original MFQ. In particular, we had no foundation related to liberty/autonomy. And we measured Fairness mostly as concerns about equality (on which liberals score higher), whereas there are several other kinds of fairness, some of which might be higher among conservatives. In this version of the MFQ, we are hoping to correct those defects. We are collecting data from a few thousand people on these potentially "missing" foundations. We'll look particularly closely at people who completed two or all three parts of the MFQ and see which questions correlate with which other questions, for which kinds of people. If the data show that there are more than 5 major clusters of moral issues, we will revise our theory. Thank you for helping us to improve!
The definitions for Chart 1
The graph above shows your scores on four different kinds of fairness:
• Fairness as egalitarianism (e.g., "ideally, everyone would end up with the same amount of money)
• Fairness as equity or proportionality (e.g., "people who work the hardest should be paid the most")
• Fairness as retribution (e.g., "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth")
•Fairness as personal responsibility vs. freeloading (e.g., "whether or not everyone is pulling their own weight")
The definitions for Chart 2
The graph above shows your scores on three different kinds of liberty/autonomy:
• Personal liberty (e.g., "everyone should be free to do as they choose...");
•Freedom from government (e.g., "the government interferes too much in our everyday lives");
• National autonomy (e.g., "I want my nation to stay clear of treaties that will limit...")
The questions on this test seemed to be a bit more nuanced and I didn't really have any issues with it. I'm still pretty much in the middle, but there is a discernible lean to the right this time around. The last two dimensions raised some interesting philosophical questions. It is interesting that Conservatives have such a greater respect for authority, while craving such a high degree of freedom from government. Living in the bible belt, I can attest that they seem to be seeking "God's authority" or anyone who seems to profess it. Perhaps if the religious material wasn't so pathological, these are the people who would more likely be able to interface some sort of higher metaphysical reality. It seems that liberals believe much more in the sanctity of human institutions, and atheistic and postmodern philosophies effectively contour that belief. While I don't particularly care for either side, finding them both terribly flawed, it lends some credence to Laura's idea that there is more of a "seed" for STO growth in conservatism rather than liberalism.

I actually agree that nations should be eliminated and be more like a loose federation of states guided by an intermediary body like the UN because the world's problems are too big to be solved by two or three nation states, however I think it is being done in the wrong way. The goal is clearly to establish an opaque totalitarian bureaucracy, which becomes the "God" of the liberalism. In this environment, nationalism does offer a partial antidote to this plague. I think the test accurately captured my slight endorsement of nationalism at the expense of globalism. I also live in a deeply conservative county, outside of the gated communities designed to corral the northerners, and I can have animals on my property, private water, shoot guns, and the only code enforcement rules that really pertain to me basically amount to "don't dump trash in the front yard" and "no open or exposed septage." Sounds pretty reasonable to me. While I certainly bicker about how the taxes are spent, rated the overall influence of government in my life about right. My opinion would probably be much more negative if I lived in a big city with lots of rules.

As for the third test he talks about, I thought most of the dimensions were more of an opinion poll than a morality test per se. The definitions for Chart 3
The graph above shows your scores on five candidate moral "foundations":
• Universalism (e.g., "I wish the world did not have nations or borders and we were all part of one big group.");
•Liberal purity (e.g., "Eating genetically modified foods pollutes the body");
•Authenticity (e.g., "It is better to stay true to yourself than to follow the dictates of society");
• Waste (e.g., "It is morally wrong to let food go to waste unnecessarily");
• Self-control (e.g., "Self-control is more important than self-expression")
These tests can be found here _http://www.yourmorals.org/all_morality_values_quizzes.php links 1,6, and 7.
 

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Jeffrey of Troy

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Bluelamp said:
The Big 5 personality traits have been correlated to Jungian (MBTI) ones by Costa and McCrae and the MBTI in my view has better descriptions for mixing traits than the Big 5 has. Liberals would be NFPs and conservatives would be STJs for the MBTI. F for women and T for men would be the gender difference but it's a 2 to 1 difference not a 1000 to 1 difference. For descriptors like "Care", you really have to at times look at the exact semantics since different people can use different ones. I personally in personality theory papers have used "care" as an opposite to "discover". It would be an SJ guardian type of care vs an NP theoretical discover. It's kind of the NPs off in futuristic discovery land while the SJ guardians are preserving what we have in the present and this guardian care can be a "tough love" kind when the guardian thinks it is required. The SJ guardians do have 2/3rds of the STJ conservative traits while the NPs have 2/3rds of the NFP liberal traits.

As for OPs, obviously what I would say for this is not anything from research, others or my own, but for me the stereotype for an OP just personality-wise would be the SFP Hippy/flower child. It's kind of a more earthy variety of a Liberal. It has the FP "harmony" of a liberal but lacks the N abstract openness to experience and instead has the concrete earthy S.
I have not read Haidt's book, but I have read "Please Understand Me 2" by Keirsey which crosses MBTI with temperament theory. Having thought about how the MBTI's fit into modern Western Civ politics for many years, it seems to me:

SJ = Conservative (whether I or E, whether T or F)

They can feel shame, not compassion.

Then it gets a bit more complicated..

SP's can feel compassion, but not shame. Intuitive types - NT & NF - can feel both shame and compassion.

SFP & NF are Liberals. However, Intuitive liberals are a very different kind of liberal than Sensation type liberals. (What ties the N & S liberals together is the preference for being Friendly / Feeling over Tough minded / Thinking. Sensation liberals - male or female - prefer not judging / sticking to a time schedule; iNtuitive liberals have depth of compassion that is unfathomable to the rest of us, whether they are J or P.)

STP & NT are Neithers. They are neither liberal nor conservative. But STP (sensation type Neither, like ESTP Trump) are very different in some ways from NT Neithers.

This 3rd, Neither, category isn't really acknowledged in popular discussion, which is binary all the way down. However, I seem to fit it better than I do the standard 2, & I suspect many on this forum will feel (or Think, as your preference may be) the same for themselves.
 

John G

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Jeffrey of Troy said:
Bluelamp said:
The Big 5 personality traits have been correlated to Jungian (MBTI) ones by Costa and McCrae and the MBTI in my view has better descriptions for mixing traits than the Big 5 has. Liberals would be NFPs and conservatives would be STJs for the MBTI. F for women and T for men would be the gender difference but it's a 2 to 1 difference not a 1000 to 1 difference. For descriptors like "Care", you really have to at times look at the exact semantics since different people can use different ones. I personally in personality theory papers have used "care" as an opposite to "discover". It would be an SJ guardian type of care vs an NP theoretical discover. It's kind of the NPs off in futuristic discovery land while the SJ guardians are preserving what we have in the present and this guardian care can be a "tough love" kind when the guardian thinks it is required. The SJ guardians do have 2/3rds of the STJ conservative traits while the NPs have 2/3rds of the NFP liberal traits.

As for OPs, obviously what I would say for this is not anything from research, others or my own, but for me the stereotype for an OP just personality-wise would be the SFP Hippy/flower child. It's kind of a more earthy variety of a Liberal. It has the FP "harmony" of a liberal but lacks the N abstract openness to experience and instead has the concrete earthy S.
I have not read Haidt's book, but I have read "Please Understand Me 2" by Keirsey which crosses MBTI with temperament theory. Having thought about how the MBTI's fit into modern Western Civ politics for many years, it seems to me:

SJ = Conservative (whether I or E, whether T or F)

They can feel shame, not compassion.

Then it gets a bit more complicated..

SP's can feel compassion, but not shame. Intuitive types - NT & NF - can feel both shame and compassion.

SFP & NF are Liberals. However, Intuitive liberals are a very different kind of liberal than Sensation type liberals. (What ties the N & S liberals together is the preference for being Friendly / Feeling over Tough minded / Thinking. Sensation liberals - male or female - prefer not judging / sticking to a time schedule; iNtuitive liberals have depth of compassion that is unfathomable to the rest of us, whether they are J or P.)

STP & NT are Neithers. They are neither liberal nor conservative. But STP (sensation type Neither, like ESTP Trump) are very different in some ways from NT Neithers.

This 3rd, Neither, category isn't really acknowledged in popular discussion, which is binary all the way down. However, I seem to fit it better than I do the standard 2, & I suspect many on this forum will feel (or Think, as your preference may be) the same for themselves.
Yeah Keirsey-wise the four temperaments get related to conservative/liberal this way:

_http://www.keirseyresearch.com/temperamentgap.html

At Keirsey Research, our research has long shown a noticeable difference between the 4 Temperaments when it comes to politics. Prior research has shown that Guardians tend to be the most politically conservative, while Idealists tend to be the most liberal. During our polling prior to the 2008 presidential vote, we found that Artisans made up the largest block of undecided voters late in the election cycle. Rationals are the most skeptical voters. Not surprisingly, these poll findings fall right in line with Keirsey Temperament Theory.
I tend to take that SJ Guardian vs NF Idealist for Conservative vs Liberal as STJ vs NFP since this is an actual 180 degree difference. I do things like that a lot in reference to Keirsey. I also like to do some things he does for the 4 temperaments for all 12 non E/I two factor types. There as you say is certainly a continuum between the binary opposites and expanding from 4 to 12 adds more binary opposites and I do like to make sure the opposites are really 180 degree opposites but as you say there is certain a continuum of neithers in between. One could have an XXXX MBTI type aka in between on all four scales. The SPs can certainly shamelessly bull their way through obstacles and Please Understand Me II does use "compassionate and altruistic" for the NF Idealist.
 

Laura

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The personality type comparison is interesting but don't let that stop you from reading Haidt. There are a lot of very interesting things in that book!!!
 

Joe

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Approaching Infinity said:
It's almost as if the stereotypical liberal morality is an archetype of the OP mentality. It's not necessarily that any individual liberal with those beliefs will conform exactly to type - just a tendency to go in that direction. And conservative morality represents the souled mentality. But some conservatives may find themselves conservatives just because of their lack of openness, and conform to the group moral foundations out of groupishness, just putting on the display of morality in order to survive in the group, like Haidt describes humans doing. Dunno!
I think the strongest evidence for that suggested difference is that a majority of the extreme left tend to be atheistic. Atheists seem to be more likely to attack and attempt to destroy social structures and government because their 'belief system' does not include the idea of any inviolable 'higher authority'. That said, I'd say that most of the members of this forum and those interested in its foundation have historically been on the 'left' and many still are today, although less-so because of the rise and effect of the extreme left.

As you said, openness is an important trait if a person is to embrace new (and even radical) ideas that are positive. The ideas discussed on this forum could be said to be new and radical and I think you'd have a hard time finding a traditional religious conservative willing to embrace them. Also, a lot of people on this forum would tend to be anti-authority (at least anti-earthly authority) which is a leftist trait. We're also historically "anti-war" although in a specific way (anti unnecessary and unnecessarily destructive wars).

Maybe a basic difference is in the capacity to feel deeply, which tends to make people more 'respectful' of life itself, i.e. when you've been beaten down by life, you tend not to arrogate to yourself the power to effect wholesale change to 'life' or society because you are aware of just how small you are. Those that don't feel the slings and arrows of life too deeply may have an inflated idea of their own agency.
 

Pierre

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Laura said:
We have learned a lot, in an esoteric sense, about seeing the unseen in other human beings such as pathological types, and that one cannot give to them because it simply fuels their descent in to service to the self. Ra expresses it as a "war" where the STO elements cannot give in to the demand of the STS elements to submit, otherwise the whole deal would collapse including the STS side which operates due to free will. This seems to be expressed in the human dynamic as well. The most basic level of it is often referred to as "tough love".

Anyway, these are some of the thoughts I've had about this and why I suggested that the 3 foundation moral system of the Liberal left in the US is that of the Organic Portal, while the 6 foundation moral system of the right is more like the STO position which considers others - within a group - as self, so to say
I had similar thoughts while reading 'the righteous mind'. The liberal mind shows specific traits that relate to the OP/souled and STS/STO duality. These two dualities are directly connected to an important component of our cosmogony: the tree of life with the STS/STO duality permeating most densities and reflecting the 'horizontal' differentiation and the OP/souled being duality, which can be seen as the two sub-densities of the third density, 'reflecting' therefore the vertical differentiation.

The 3 moral taste buds of the liberal might be related to OPs having only low centers while the 3 extra moral taste buds of the conservatives might be related to the additional presence of 3 higher centers.

Concerning the STO/STS duality, one of the fundamental differences between the liberal ideology and the conservative one is the 'focus of change' where the liberals display proselytism and aim for an enforced 'equality' by changing the others. The conservative ideology is more focus on the individual, it aims for freedom.

These different ideological views resonate strongly with what was repeated several times by the Cs: respect of free will, which, I think is an important principle on the path to STO.

From this perspective, the liberal ideology seems to be regressive for one who aspire to 4D-STO-ness in the sense that it offers a limited OP-like morality (shift towards lower sub-density instead of density progression) and an inherent proclivity to breach free will because of its rampant proselytism (shift towards STS-ness instead of STO-ness).
 

John G

The Living Force
Laura said:
The personality type comparison is interesting but don't let that stop you from reading Haidt. There are a lot of very interesting things in that book!!!
Oh yeah this and one other of the recently recommended books are ones I want to get ASAP just for intense curiosity reasons before even getting into the help with life part (and I certainly need tons of that). These two will get me up to 4 of the recommended books and there's a fifth I'll definitely get eventually. My wife had said years ago without me asking that she's OK with spending money on your books and it had been a while since I did before these recent books. These technically aren't your books but I'm sure there's something important about supporting your sources and not just buying your books plus these books I can see as quite useful for both my wife and I (including our relationship). Personality types are an interest I had for years before coming to this forum (and I have spent money for that before too).
 

Mr. Premise

The Living Force
I haven’t read his book yet but I just finished the 90 minute talk with him and Jordan Peterson. He makes a lot of sense. Before listening to it I thought he was one of those liberals turned conservative but he wasn’t that at all. He said he never voted for Republicans and that he is generally on the left. He just developed more respect for conservatism, which is something I’ve had since the eighties- true conservatism that is, not the radical right wing reactionary ideology of much of the Republicans nowadays.

The purity/disgust thing was interesting, I was sceptical before I watched this that it is a basis for moral thinking but they convinced me. But it can’t be taken to extremes as both of them pointed out. The Hitler table talk that Peterson talked about is the farthest extreme, but Haidt also pointed out that there needs to be a balance between openness to otherness and a reactive, immune response to the different.

The other thing I found interesting is his demographic/historical analysis of what went wrong in academia. He said it started in 1993/1994, which is exactly when I left academia. The diversity of faculty when the senior faculty were the WW2 GI Bill generation was in full effect in the 80s when I was there. The history department I was a grad student in had a balance between liberals, conservatives, and Marxists and we students were able to be exposed to a wide range of ideas.
 
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