The Righteous Mind - Jonathan Haidt and Liberal vs Conservative ethics

Zadius Sky

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Laura said:
You can go here to find out more and take the test. http://hexaco.org/ The test is also included in the book.
I just took the test and below is my result:

Honesty-Humility: 4.31
Emotionality: 3.81
eXtraversion: 2.25
Agreeableness: 3.25
Conscientiousness: 4.44
Openness to Experience: 3.94

My lowest is eXtraversion, which isn't surprising. My highest is conscientiousness, which again isn't surprising as I tend to aim for perfection in my tasks.

I just ordered the book and looking forward to reading it.
 

987baz

The Living Force
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my scores

Honesty-Humility 4.06
Emotionality 3.50
eXtraversion 3.25
Agreeableness 3.75
Conscientiousness 3.63
Openness to Experience 4.25

I guess the results makes sense to me for the most part, I thought my extraversion would be a bit lower.
 

seek10

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One thing to keep in mind while doing this quiz, you can't change back once you go to next question. You have to go back and restart.
Here are my scores.

BehaviourMy ScoreMedian ScoreMiddle 80% Score
Honesty-Humility4.563.222.41-3.97
Emotionality3.693.342.63-3.97
eXtraversion23.52.72-4.22
Agreeableness3.2532.22-3.72
Conscientiousness33.472.72-4.16
Openness to experience2.753.312.5-4.13

Conscientiousness part is surprising. I think it is due to organization and prudence

BehaviourMy ScoreMedian ScoreMiddle 80% Score
Conscientiousness33.472.72-4.16
Organization2.53.382.13-4.38
Diligence3.753.882.88-4.71
Perfectionism3.53.632.38-4.38
Prudence2.253.252.13-4
 

whitecoast

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I did this quiz awhile back before. Here were my prior results:

Honesty-Humility: 3.69
Emotionality: 3.31
Extroversion: 3.63
Agreeableness: 2.94
Conscientiousness: 3.69
Openness: 4.75

I retook it this week:

Honesty-Humility: 4.00
Emotionality: 3.06
Extroversion: 3.81
Agreeableness: 3.25
Conscientiousness: 4.00
Openness: 4.63
 

Pashalis

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Laura said:
Pashalis said:
Laura said:
As for "inattentive responding", there were at least four questions that went something like: "just to check that you are paying attention respond strongly agree to this question" And each one suggested a different response; so you probably messed up on one or more of those.
Most likely. I was a bit confused by those questions and thought they want to test how one would respond to "being asked to do something without knowing why, by an authority", or something like that, so I responded to a number of those differently as they were asked. For example, in the "strongly agree" question, I clicked strongly disagree instead.
There was no need to be confused, only a need to draw a correct inference about the question and the possible reason for it. In short, it reveals that you are running significant thinking errors.
No kidding! This is true and thank you for alerting me to it. Obviously I have to work on a number of significant thinking errors.
 

Altair

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Finished the book. Very interesting read. When reading it I had strong feeling that Haidt wasn't really describing differences between liberals and conservatives but the differences between 2 fundamentally types of humanity (OPs vs. souled people?). Here are some quotes grouped by chapters.

Where Does Morality Come From?

Intuitions come first, strategic reasoning second. Moral intuitions arise automatically and almost instantaneously, long before moral reasoning has a chance to get started, and those first intuitions tend to drive our later reasoning. If you think that moral reasoning is something we do to figure out the truth, you’ll be constantly frustrated by how foolish, biased, and illogical people become when they disagree with you. But if you think about moral reasoning as a skill we humans evolved to further our social agendas— to justify our own actions and to defend the teams we belong to— then things will make a lot more sense. Keep your eye on the intuitions, and don’t take people’s moral arguments at face value. They’re mostly post hoc constructions made up on the fly, crafted to advance one or more strategic objectives.

The central metaphor of these four chapters is that the mind is divided, like a rider on an elephant, and the rider’s job is to serve the elephant. The rider is our conscious reasoning— the stream of words and images of which we are fully aware. The elephant is the other 99 percent of mental processes— the ones that occur outside of awareness but that actually govern most of our behavior.
We also have the ability, under special circumstances, to shut down our petty selves and become like cells in a larger body, or like bees in a hive, working for the good of the group. These experiences are often among the most cherished of our lives, although our hivishness can blind us to other moral concerns. Our bee-like nature facilitates altruism, heroism, war, and genocide.
The moral domain varies by culture. It is unusually narrow in Western, educated, and individualistic cultures. Sociocentric cultures broaden the moral domain to encompass and regulate more aspects of life.

People sometimes have gut feelings— particularly about disgust and disrespect— that can drive their reasoning. Moral reasoning is sometimes a post hoc fabrication.

Morality can’t be entirely self-constructed by children based on their growing understanding of harm. Cultural learning or guidance must play a larger role than rationalist theories had given it.
The Intuitive Dog and Its Rational Tail

We do moral reasoning not to reconstruct the actual reasons why we ourselves came to a judgment; we reason to find the best possible reasons why somebody else ought to join us in our judgment.
Emotions are not dumb. Damasio’s patients made terrible decisions because they were deprived of emotional input into their decision making. Emotions are a kind of information processing.Contrasting emotion with cognition is therefore as pointless as contrasting rain with weather, or cars with vehicles.

Margolis helped me ditch the emotion-cognition contrast. His work helped me see that moral judgment is a cognitive process, as are all forms of judgment. The crucial distinction is really between two different kinds of cognition: intuition and reasoning. Moral emotions are one type of moral intuition, but most moral intuitions are more subtle; they don’t rise to the level of emotions.
Intuition is the best word to describe the dozens or hundreds of rapid, effortless moral judgments and decisions that we all make every day. Only a few of these intuitions come to us embedded in full-blown emotions.

In The Happiness Hypothesis, I called these two kinds of cognition the rider (controlled processes, including “reasoning-why”) and the elephant (automatic processes, including emotion, intuition, and all forms of “seeing-that”).
The rider can do several useful things. It can see further into the future (because we can examine alternative scenarios in our heads) and therefore it can help the elephant make better decisions in the present. It can learn new skills and master new technologies, which can be deployed to help the elephant reach its goals and sidestep disasters. And, most important, the rider acts as the spokesman for the elephant, even though it doesn’t necessarily know what the elephant is really thinking. The rider is skilled at fabricating post hoc explanations for whatever the elephant has just done, and it is good at finding reasons to justify whatever the elephant wants to do next.

Figure 2.4: The social intuitionist model. Intuitions come first and reasoning is usually produced after a judgment is made, in order to influence other people. But as a discussion progresses, the reasons given by other people sometimes change our intuitions and judgments.



The dots mean that independently reasoned judgment is possible in theory but rare in practice. This simple change converted the model into a Humean model in which intuition (rather than passion) is the main cause of moral judgment (link 1), and then reasoning typically follows that judgment (link 2) to construct post hoc justifications. Reason is the servant of the intuitions. The rider was put there in the first place to serve the elephant.

We make our first judgments rapidly, and we are dreadful at seeking out evidence that might disconfirm those initial judgments. Yet friends can do for us what we cannot do for ourselves: they can challenge us, giving us reasons and arguments (link 3) that sometimes trigger new intuitions, thereby making it possible for us to change our minds. We occasionally do this when mulling a problem by ourselves, suddenly seeing things in a new light or from a new perspective (to use two visual metaphors). Link 6 in the model represents this process of private reflection. The line is dotted because this process doesn’t seem to happen very often.
Far more common than such private mind changing is social influence. Other people influence us constantly just by revealing that they like or dislike somebody. That form of influence is link 4, the social persuasion link. Many of us believe that we follow an inner moral compass, but the history of social psychology richly demonstrates that other people exert a powerful force, able to make cruelty seem acceptable and altruism seem embarrassing, without giving us any reasons or arguments.
The mind is divided into parts, like a rider (controlled processes) on an elephant (automatic processes). The rider evolved to serve the elephant.

You can see the rider serving the elephant when people are morally dumbfounded. They have strong gut feelings about what is right and wrong, and they struggle to construct post hoc justifications for those feelings. Even when the servant (reasoning) comes back empty-handed, the master (intuition) doesn’t change his judgment.


The social intuitionist model starts with Hume’s model and makes it more social. Moral reasoning is part of our lifelong struggle to win friends and influence people. That’s why I say that “intuitions come first, strategic reasoning second.” You’ll misunderstand moral reasoning if you think about it as something people do by themselves in order to figure out the truth.

Therefore, if you want to change someone’s mind about a moral or political issue, talk to the elephant first. If you ask people to believe something that violates their intuitions, they will devote their efforts to finding an escape hatch— a reason to doubt your argument or conclusion. They will almost always succeed.
Elephants Rule

I have argued that the Humean model (reason is a servant) fits the facts better than the Platonic model (reason could and should rule) or the Jeffersonian model (head and heart are co-emperors). But when Hume said that reason is the “slave” of the passions, I think he went too far.

A slave is never supposed to question his master, but most of us can think of times when we questioned and revised our first intuitive judgment. The rider-and-elephant metaphor works well here. The rider evolved to serve the elephant, but it’s a dignified partnership, more like a lawyer serving a client than a slave serving a master. Good lawyers do what they can to help their clients, but they sometimes refuse to go along with requests.
The elephant is far more powerful than the rider, but it is not an absolute dictator.
The elephant may not often change its direction in response to objections from its own rider, but it is easily steered by the mere presence of friendly elephants (that’s the social persuasion link in the social intuitionist model) or by good arguments given to it by the riders of those friendly elephants (that’s the reasoned persuasion link).
...under normal circumstances the rider takes its cue from the elephant, just as a lawyer takes instructions from a client. But if you force the two to sit around and chat for a few minutes, the elephant actually opens up to advice from the rider and arguments from outside sources. Intuitions come first, and under normal circumstances they cause us to engage in socially strategic reasoning, but there are ways to make the relationship more of a two-way street.
The first principle of moral psychology is Intuitions come first, strategic reasoning second. In support of this principle, I reviewed six areas of experimental research demonstrating that:

Brains evaluate instantly and constantly (as Wundt and Zajonc said).

Social and political judgments depend heavily on quick intuitive flashes (as Todorov and work with the IAT have shown).

Our bodily states sometimes influence our moral judgments. Bad smells and tastes can make people more judgmental (as can anything that makes people think about purity and cleanliness).

Psychopaths reason but don’t feel (and are severely deficient morally).

Babies feel but don’t reason (and have the beginnings of morality).

Affective reactions are in the right place at the right time in the brain (as shown by Damasio, Greene, and a wave of more recent studies).
The elephant (automatic processes) is where most of the action is in moral psychology. Reasoning matters, of course, particularly between people, and particularly when reasons trigger new intuitions. Elephants rule, but they are neither dumb nor despotic. Intuitions can be shaped by reasoning, especially when reasons are embedded in a friendly conversation or an emotionally compelling novel, movie, or news story.
Vote for Me (Here’s Why)

We should not expect individuals to produce good, open-minded, truth-seeking reasoning, particularly when self-interest or reputational concerns are in play. But if you put individuals together in the right way, such that some individuals can use their reasoning powers to disconfirm the claims of others, and all individuals feel some common bond or shared fate that allows them to interact civilly, you can create a group that ends up producing good reasoning as an emergent property of the social system.
The first principle of moral psychology is Intuitions come first, strategic reasoning second. To demonstrate the strategic functions of moral reasoning, I reviewed five areas of research showing that moral thinking is more like a politician searching for votes than a scientist searching for truth:

We are obsessively concerned about what others think of us, although much of the concern is unconscious and invisible to us.

Conscious reasoning functions like a press secretary who automatically justifies any position taken by the president.

With the help of our press secretary, we are able to lie and cheat often, and then cover it up so effectively that we convince even ourselves.

Reasoning can take us to almost any conclusion we want to reach, because we ask “Can I believe it?” when we want to believe something, but “Must I believe it?” when we don’t want to believe. The answer is almost always yes to the first question and no to the second.

In moral and political matters we are often groupish, rather than selfish. We deploy our reasoning skills to support our team, and to demonstrate commitment to our team.
I concluded by warning that the worship of reason, which is sometimes found in philosophical and scientific circles, is a delusion. It is an example of faith in something that does not exist. I urged instead a more intuitionist approach to morality and moral education, one that is more humble about the abilities of individuals, and more attuned to the contexts and social systems that enable people to think and act well.
Beyond WEIRD (white, educated, industrial, rich, democratic) Morality

...as soon as you step outside of Western secular society, you hear people talking in two additional moral languages. The ethic of community is based on the idea that people are, first and foremost, members of larger entities such as families, teams, armies, companies, tribes, and nations. These larger entities are more than the sum of the people who compose them; they are real, they matter, and they must be protected. People have an obligation to play their assigned roles in these entities. Many societies therefore develop moral concepts such as duty, hierarchy, respect, reputation, and patriotism. In such societies, the Western insistence that people should design their own lives and pursue their own goals seems selfish and dangerous— a sure way to weaken the social fabric and destroy the institutions and collective entities upon which everyone depends.


The ethic of divinity is based on the idea that people are, first and foremost, temporary vessels within which a divine soul has been implanted. People are not just animals with an extra serving of consciousness; they are children of God and should behave accordingly. The body is a temple, not a playground.
Even if it does no harm and violates nobody’s rights when a man has sex with a chicken carcass, he still shouldn’t do it because it degrades him, dishonors his creator, and violates the sacred order of the universe. Many societies therefore develop moral concepts such as sanctity and sin, purity and pollution, elevation and degradation. In such societies, the personal liberty of secular Western nations looks like libertinism, hedonism, and a celebration of humanity’s baser instincts.
The second principle of moral psychology is: There’s more to morality than harm and fairness. In support of this claim I described research showing that people who grow up in Western, educated, industrial, rich, and democratic (WEIRD) societies are statistical outliers on many psychological measures, including measures of moral psychology. I also showed that:

The WEIRDer you are, the more you perceive a world full of separate objects, rather than relationships.

Moral pluralism is true descriptively. As a simple matter of anthropological fact, the moral domain varies across cultures.

The moral domain is unusually narrow in WEIRD cultures, where it is largely limited to the ethic of autonomy (i.e., moral concerns about individuals harming, oppressing, or cheating other individuals). It is broader— including the ethics of community and divinity— in most other societies, and within religious and conservative moral matrices within WEIRD societies.

Moral matrices bind people together and blind them to the coherence, or even existence, of other matrices. This makes it very difficult for people to consider the possibility that there might really be more than one form of moral truth, or more than one valid framework for judging people or running a society.
The Conservative Advantage

Liberal brains showed more surprise, compared to conservative brains, in response to sentences that rejected Care and Fairness concerns. They also showed more surprise in response to sentences that endorsed Loyalty, Authority, and Sanctity concerns (for example, “In the teenage years, parental advice should be heeded” versus “ … should be questioned”). In other words, when people choose the labels “liberal” or “conservative,” they are not just choosing to endorse different values on questionnaires. Within the first half second after hearing a statement, partisan brains are already reacting differently. These initial flashes of neural activity are the elephant, leaning slightly, which then causes their riders to reason differently, search for different kinds of evidence, and reach different conclusions.
Moral Foundations Theory says that there are (at least) six psychological systems that comprise the universal foundations of the world’s many moral matrices. The various moralities found on the political left tend to rest most strongly on the Care/ harm and Liberty/ oppression foundations. These two foundations support ideals of social justice, which emphasize compassion for the poor and a struggle for political equality among the subgroups that comprise society. Social justice movements emphasize solidarity— they call for people to come together to fight the oppression of bullying, domineering elites.

Everyone— left, right, and center— cares about Care/ harm, but liberals care more. Across many scales, surveys, and political controversies, liberals turn out to be more disturbed by signs of violence and suffering, compared to conservatives and especially to libertarians.

Everyone— left, right, and center— cares about Liberty/ oppression, but each political faction cares in a different way. In the contemporary United States, liberals are most concerned about the rights of certain vulnerable groups (e.g., racial minorities, children, animals), and they look to government to defend the weak against oppression by the strong. Conservatives, in contrast, hold more traditional ideas of liberty as the right to be left alone, and they often resent liberal programs that use government to infringe on their liberties in order to protect the groups that liberals care most about. For example, small business owners overwhelmingly support the Republican Party in part because they resent the government telling them how to run their businesses under its banner of protecting workers, minorities, consumers, and the environment. This helps explain why libertarians have sided with the Republican Party in recent decades. Libertarians care about liberty almost to the exclusion of all other concerns, and their conception of liberty is the same as that of the Republicans: it is the right to be left alone, free from government interference.

The Fairness/ cheating foundation is about proportionality and the law of karma. It is about making sure that people get what they deserve, and do not get things they do not deserve. Everyone— left, right, and center— cares about proportionality; everyone gets angry when people take more than they deserve. But conservatives care more, and they rely on the Fairness foundation more heavily— once fairness is restricted to proportionality. For example, how relevant is it to your morality whether “everyone is pulling their own weight”? Do you agree that “employees who work the hardest should be paid the most”? Liberals don’t reject these items, but they are ambivalent. Conservatives, in contrast, endorse items such as these enthusiastically.

Liberals may think that they own the concept of karma because of its New Age associations, but a morality based on compassion and concerns about oppression forces you to violate karma (proportionality) in many ways. Conservatives, for example, think it’s self-evident that responses to crime should be based on proportionality, as shown in slogans such as “Do the crime, do the time,” and “Three strikes and you’re out.” Yet liberals are often uncomfortable with the negative side of karma— retribution...
The remaining three foundations— Loyalty/ betrayal, Authority/ subversion, and Sanctity/ degradation— show the biggest and most consistent partisan differences. Liberals are ambivalent about these foundations at best, whereas social conservatives embrace them.
Can’t We All Disagree More Constructively?

Libertarians are the direct descendants of the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Enlightenment reformers who fought to free people and markets from the control of kings and clergy. Libertarians love liberty; that is their sacred value. Many libertarians wish they could simply be known as liberals, but they lost that term in the United States (though not in Europe) when liberalism split into two camps in the late nineteenth century. Some liberals began to see powerful corporations and wealthy industrialists as the chief threats to liberty. These “new liberals” (also known as “left liberals” or “progressives”) looked to government as the only force capable of protecting the public and rescuing the many victims of the brutal practices of early industrial capitalism. Liberals who continued to fear government as the chief threat to liberty became known as “classical liberals,” “right liberals” (in some countries), or libertarians (in the United States).
We found that libertarians look more like liberals than like conservatives on most measures of personality (for example, both groups score higher than conservatives on openness to experience, and lower than conservatives on disgust sensitivity and conscientiousness). On the Moral Foundations Questionnaire, libertarians join liberals in scoring very low on the Loyalty, Authority, and Sanctity foundations. Where they diverge from liberals most sharply is on two measures: the Care foundation, where they score very low (even lower than conservatives), and on some new questions we added about economic liberty, where they score extremely high (a little higher than conservatives, a lot higher than liberals).
People don’t adopt their ideologies at random, or by soaking up whatever ideas are around them. People whose genes gave them brains that get a special pleasure from novelty, variety, and diversity, while simultaneously being less sensitive to signs of threat, are predisposed (but not predestined) to become liberals. They tend to develop certain “characteristic adaptations” and “life narratives” that make them resonate— unconsciously and intuitively— with the grand narratives told by political movements on the left (such as the liberal progress narrative). People whose genes give them brains with the opposite settings are predisposed, for the same reasons, to resonate with the grand narratives of the right...
I suggested that liberals might have even more difficulty understanding conservatives than the other way around, because liberals often have difficulty understanding how the Loyalty, Authority, and Sanctity foundations have anything to do with morality. In particular, liberals often have difficulty seeing moral capital, which I defined as the resources that sustain a moral community.
 

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Eboard10

The Living Force
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Here are my results from the quiz.

Honesty-Humility: 3.19
Emotionality: 3.31
Extroversion: 2.69
Agreeableness: 3.56
Conscientiousness: 3.81
Openness: 3.75

The low eXtraversion and high contentiousness aren't that surprising. What surprised me instead is Honesty. While I tend to be quite fair and modest, I scored low in sincerity which is likely a sign that I'm not being very honest with myself.

Just received the book. Will start reading it once I'm done with HDT.
 

whitecoast

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FOTCM Member
A new connection occurred to me last night. If the general world order is a construct of the policy scientists of the liberal educated class, it seems obvious to me that their notions of how a society should be structured exclude various inbuilt moral faculties like the in-group preference, respect for authority, and sanctity. Since these tools are disregarded for social engineering, the only moral faculties they can rely on are care, fairness, and liberty from oppression. This, I think, kind of explains the quasi-revolutionary nature of progressive democracy in several ways. In order to exert authoritarian control, they have to couch it in terms of protecting the weak, "social justice", and above all invert the reality of power in our modern day and age to portray themselves as liberators fighting a vast evil. In spite of being the most powerful ideological group in the west, they are constitutionally REQUIRED to portray themselves as underdogs and victims because these are the only way to rally or organize their moral sentiment into justifying the world order they compel others to adopt. Of course any incomplete theory of power narratives in a society will inevitably skew any true understanding, which is why you get the most oppressive regimes in the 20th century being the ones most vehemently dedicated to human rights.
 

Bluefyre

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An interesting short video The "Stunning Fragility" & Vindictive Political Correctness of Today's Students - Jonathan Haidt.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snqXOvnHzcQ
 

genero81

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FOTCM Member
I was reading 'Maps of Meaning' and Peterson was quoting an account of a death camp survivor. I don't remember the guys name. Some of you may recognize it. This guy refused to go along with the program which was to become an inmate guard in exchange for more favorable conditions. Basically becoming a traitor to one's fellow inmates. Well he not only refused to go along, he basically told the Nazi guards what he thought of them. Not surprisingly this made his stay there harsher then his fellows. But curiously as time went on, he seemed to get stronger and more vibrant. The others who had sold out on the other hand, grew weaker, withered and died. This caused me to think that this belief center the C's talk about may be the key here. If one is strongly aligned with a particular thought center, that 'belief center' hooks into one's neuroendocrine system which literally regulates the entire body. "Mind through central nervous system connection to higher levels?"

So let's say one is not hooked into a principled thought center like this guy apparently was; I was going to use the example of the modern SJW who believes the world would be a great place if no one ever hurt anyone's feelings. But then I thought: "wait! there's a better example." Let's say one is convinced of the 'truth' of man made global warming. So much so that their fanaticism breaks up their own family, even though blood is supposed to be thicker than warming waters. This belief is obviously influencing the 'elephant.' And the 'rider' (rational mind) is dutifully confirming and justifying the intuitions and emotions of the elephant. To the point of absurdity and negative effect on his family.

So I said all that to say maybe the way for the rider to have more influence over the elephant is to do the work necessary to change alignment to a more objective belief or thought center. Unfortunately I've run out of time to pontificate further, as I have somewhere to be. But I think that gets the general point across.
 

Ocean

Jedi Council Member
My results

Honesty-Humility - 4.56

Emotionality - 2.63

eXtraversion - -3.38

Conscientiousness - 4.19

Openness to Experience - 3.19

----------------
Emotionality is pretty low.
 

luc

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whitecoast said:
A new connection occurred to me last night. If the general world order is a construct of the policy scientists of the liberal educated class, it seems obvious to me that their notions of how a society should be structured exclude various inbuilt moral faculties like the in-group preference, respect for authority, and sanctity. Since these tools are disregarded for social engineering, the only moral faculties they can rely on are care, fairness, and liberty from oppression. This, I think, kind of explains the quasi-revolutionary nature of progressive democracy in several ways. In order to exert authoritarian control, they have to couch it in terms of protecting the weak, "social justice", and above all invert the reality of power in our modern day and age to portray themselves as liberators fighting a vast evil. In spite of being the most powerful ideological group in the west, they are constitutionally REQUIRED to portray themselves as underdogs and victims because these are the only way to rally or organize their moral sentiment into justifying the world order they compel others to adopt. Of course any incomplete theory of power narratives in a society will inevitably skew any true understanding, which is why you get the most oppressive regimes in the 20th century being the ones most vehemently dedicated to human rights.
I've been thinking about these things as well lately (although I haven't read Haidt's book yet, but think I got the main idea from this thread and a few videos). One thing that kind of struck me is that warfare in general could be seen as a means to wipe out/target "conservatives", i.e. those with the full moral spectrum. I mean, who is more likely to join the army? Well, those with a moral obligation towards their in-group, respect for authority etc. And who will be more likely to fight to the death for their comrades? Who will be the unsung heroes dying a forgotten death in the battlefield? I guess it would be the "conservatives", whereas the "liberals" are much more likely to weasel out of such situations. Of course, it's a statistical matter and not black and white, but maybe this is important in light of the theory that souled individuals have this richer moral life?

Although all of that is speculation of course, it's an interesting line of thought - that today, the world is set up in a way that is systematically hostile towards those with the full moral spectrum.

As another example of this, look at the art world (I recently saw parts of an interesting video by Jonathan Pageau that goes into this): you have this liberal narrative of the history of art that each "epoch" (Rennaissance, Impressionism, Expressionism, Dadaism, postmodernism etc.) is a revolutionary triumph over the previous epoch; a doing away with oppressive norms, a rebellion against dogmatism and authority and so on. It's seen as a progression towards freedom of the artist and of society. But in reality, especially today, nothing could be further from the truth: contemporary art is exhibited in huge, lofty "temples" that are funded by the state, i.e. the authorities. These people with their disgusting war on beauty ARE the establishment, the authorities. In other words, the state is some kind of leviathan funneling tons of resources away from "full-spectrum people" (souled humans?) towards the "morally impaired" (OPs?).

Along these lines, I wonder whether classical liberalism (small government, individual responsibility, honest capitalism and so on) has more to it than I always thought. This seems like the true enemy of the pathocracy - whether they are leftists or fascist right-wingers, who always build monstrous burocracies that enact lunatic laws and provide totally upside-down incentives, thus screwing up common sense and especially the moral sentiments of those who have the full moral capabilities. And as we know, these all-powerful bureaucracies can wreck havoc in their misguided "reality creation" attempts, whereas in a system with smaller communities, honest competition, responsibility and so on, the truth about human life prevails far better.

Anyway, just some thoughts I had lately.
 

whitecoast

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
luc said:
As another example of this, look at the art world (I recently saw parts of an interesting video by Jonathan Pageau that goes into this): you have this liberal narrative of the history of art that each "epoch" (Rennaissance, Impressionism, Expressionism, Dadaism, postmodernism etc.) is a revolutionary triumph over the previous epoch; a doing away with oppressive norms, a rebellion against dogmatism and authority and so on. It's seen as a progression towards freedom of the artist and of society. But in reality, especially today, nothing could be further from the truth: contemporary art is exhibited in huge, lofty "temples" that are funded by the state, i.e. the authorities. These people with their disgusting war on beauty ARE the establishment, the authorities. In other words, the state is some kind of leviathan funneling tons of resources away from "full-spectrum people" (souled humans?) towards the "morally impaired" (OPs?).
Thanks for mentioning Jonathan Pageau's talk, I quite enjoyed it. It also brought to mind a section out of Speculum Mentis:

The same instability which affects the life of the individual artist reappears in the history of art taken as a whole. To the historian accustomed to studying the growth of scientific or philosophical knowledge, the history of art presents a painful and disquieting spectacle, for it seems normally to proceed not forwards but backwards. In science and philosophy successive workers in the same field produce, if they work ordinarily well, an advance; and a retrograde movement always implies some breach of continuity. But in art, a school once established normally deteriorates as it goes on. It achieves perfection its kind with a startling burst of energy, a gesture too quick for the historian's eye to follow. He can never explain such a movement or tell us how exactly it happened. But once it is achieved, there is the melancholy certainty of a decline. The grasped perfection does not educate and purify the taste of posterity; it debauches it. The story is the same whether we look at Samian pottery or Anglian carving, Elizabethan drama or Venetian painting. So far as there is any observable law in collective art history, like the law of the individual artist's life, the law not of progress but of reaction. Whether in large or in little, the equilibrium of the aesthetic life is permanently unstable.
This strongly juxtaposes the interview Jonathan gives, where he speaks of his history with icon carving and learning from the great masters to participate in the symbolic world of Eastern Orthodox art. What distinguishes this from other artistic movements seems to be that Eastern Orthodox art is decidedly religious in nature. In Collingwood's terms, it means it is aesthetics nested within a cosmology and assertion of reality's nature; art without this dimension is atomized, unattached to anything, and about a departure from reality (insofar as the artist synthesizes visual experiences to create a visual artistic experience not seen before in such a specific way). So religious art is capable of development, because it is tied to evoking a particular state of experience (religious awe and piety) and so can refine itself toward those ends.

What's telling is the progressive wish to tack a systemic history of art onto secular art itself. It simply ends up look like squiggles on a cave wall approaching the real thing (Da Vinci's realist paintings, for example), then endeavoring to develop back into squiggles on a page again. What cosmology is being telegraphed there? Entropy? The "heat death" of the universe?

Along these lines, I wonder whether classical liberalism (small government, individual responsibility, honest capitalism and so on) has more to it than I always thought. This seems like the true enemy of the pathocracy - whether they are leftists or fascist right-wingers, who always build monstrous burocracies that enact lunatic laws and provide totally upside-down incentives, thus screwing up common sense and especially the moral sentiments of those who have the full moral capabilities. And as we know, these all-powerful bureaucracies can wreck havoc in their misguided "reality creation" attempts, whereas in a system with smaller communities, honest competition, responsibility and so on, the truth about human life prevails far better.
This kind of hearkens back to Jordan Peterson (himself a classical liberal) and his advice about how we should solve a problem at the lowest level of abstraction necessary/sufficient. That being said, it is likely possible to solve the problems of a society without necessarily developing into a classical liberal one, since changing a cultural system of governance is definitely the highest level of abstraction, and going straight to it precludes the possibility of solving it at more concrete levels. (In other words, if you have a flat tire, you just replace the tire instead of the whole car). Peterson's vocal dislike of Russia, Iran, China, Venezuela, and probably Duterte in the Philippines seems to stem from abstract logical thinking that precludes taking a more concrete look at the problems these societies and their best men are trying to solve, given the natural and cultural tools at their disposal (e.g., Peterson blames socialism for Venezuela's difficulties instead of industrial sabotage by foreign actors)
 

John G

The Living Force
whitecoast said:
luc said:
Along these lines, I wonder whether classical liberalism (small government, individual responsibility, honest capitalism and so on) has more to it than I always thought. This seems like the true enemy of the pathocracy - whether they are leftists or fascist right-wingers, who always build monstrous burocracies that enact lunatic laws and provide totally upside-down incentives, thus screwing up common sense and especially the moral sentiments of those who have the full moral capabilities. And as we know, these all-powerful bureaucracies can wreck havoc in their misguided "reality creation" attempts, whereas in a system with smaller communities, honest competition, responsibility and so on, the truth about human life prevails far better.
This kind of hearkens back to Jordan Peterson (himself a classical liberal) and his advice about how we should solve a problem at the lowest level of abstraction necessary/sufficient. That being said, it is likely possible to solve the problems of a society without necessarily developing into a classical liberal one, since changing a cultural system of governance is definitely the highest level of abstraction, and going straight to it precludes the possibility of solving it at more concrete levels. (In other words, if you have a flat tire, you just replace the tire instead of the whole car). Peterson's vocal dislike of Russia, Iran, China, Venezuela, and probably Duterte in the Philippines seems to stem from abstract logical thinking that precludes taking a more concrete look at the problems these societies and their best men are trying to solve, given the natural and cultural tools at their disposal (e.g., Peterson blames socialism for Venezuela's difficulties instead of industrial sabotage by foreign actors)
Haidt seems to prefer a pluralism of these ideologies where they get debated rather than picking one or having a relativism where each do what they want. He notes classical liberalism could do better market-like things for things like health insurance. Haidt relates current health insurance to the idea of overusing auto insurance to pay for an oil change. However he adds that progressive liberalism can be better at doing things like getting lead out of the environment and conservatism doing a better job of making sure that communites like religious ones aren't swept aside. Communities like religious ones can be an optimal source of support for people in the communities.

Haidt though does think of religious narratives as being not necessarily true and to some degree post hoc fabrications. But "not necessarily" and "some degree" does leave some wiggle room. He also says it's possible one moral community actually did get it right with the rest of the world being wrong. Haidt relates supernatural agents to a hypersensitive agency detector. I don't get the feeling he thinks there's much of a chance of there actually being anything god-like even though the concept is useful for group bonding. Godel correctly said religions are bad for the most part. It's like with mainstream information on Russia and Venezuela being bad; can't overly blame Haidt or Peterson for having some mistaken views. The "post hoc" requires some really good research that simply simply isn't found in the mainstream west.

The Haidt "hive switch" for bonding communities is interesting. He has dancing, chanting, face painting, and mushroom use around a bonfire flipping the switch as well as modern dancing, lights, rock music, and uppers or face-painting and chants at a sports event flipping the switch. He relates this to neurotransmitters (oxycotin, serotonin, dopamine). With a little web searching, it looks like there's a reset of the brain's default mode network. It's like the Cs mentioning that mushrooms get the ego out of the way and Laura mentioning that depression is too much ego. Things like depression and fight or flight anxiety seem to require a reset to optimally bond to a local organization like a conservative or even to have optimal openness to experience like a liberal. Liberals seem to have to get to a hive switch in more of a post hoc openness way.
 

Niall

SuperModerator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
I've been engaging with some of Haidt's W.E.I.R.D.s on Sott and I tell ya, it's like we're using the same script (English) but speaking two completely different languages with it. It's not just that we disagree: we use the same kinds of points to make our arguments and counter-arguments, only... theirs are completely inverted! We're completely impervious to them, and vice versa. Two totally different value systems, and never the twain shall meet.

Could this Conservative-Liberal split be, more or less, the 'splitting of Earths' described in an old session? Where we're in '4D Earth' but observing and interacting with '3D Earth'? An early phase or manifestation of it perhaps?

I don't think it was described quite like that, but dang if we're not in Kansas anymore!
 
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