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1 reine.de.tout  Sat, Aug 14, 2010 6:01:42pm

Nimed - if you read this:

I'm "subscribed" to this thread so I'll see any response, if you post one, and will check back later.

2 Eclectic Infidel  Sat, Aug 14, 2010 6:30:43pm

Heh. Good video. I'm just a few minutes into it. Loved the map with the label "dumbfuckistan," used after Dubya was elected. It rings true because I felt that way at that time.

3 Nimed  Sat, Aug 14, 2010 6:38:53pm

I pretty much agree with everything you said here. Specifically on close-mindedness, the term has an obviously derogatory connotation that should be avoided -- the 5 moral dimensions should be looked at as something inherently neutral, not something we should cheerleader or disapprove of. The same goes for the correspondence established by Haidt of liberals to Shiva and conservatives to Vishnu, which could be seen as insulting if misunderstood ("Whaddya mean by that? Conservatives preserve stuff and liberals trash the place?").

In the end of the talk, Haidt substitutes the expression "close-mindedness" with an inclination toward an established order. The idea is that a value system that is perceived as having produced good results in the past (like Christianity, the Constitution, certain traditions) should not be rejected merely because someone identified a flaw in it, since trying to correct the flaw may have all sorts of unforeseen harmful consequences.

Importantly, notice that differences between conservatives and liberals in the five dimensions of morality (recapitulating: harm/care, fairness/justice, ingroup/loyalty, authority/respect, and purity/sanctity) regard what people consider as an acceptable argument. I think it's pretty obvious that liberals are every bit as tribal as conservatives -- we just don't like to think of ourselves that way. The same goes for purity (the example of moral vegetarianism works well here) and authority.

Closing thoughts:

- this is not very obvious in the presentation, but each of the sources of moral judgement emerged because they supposedly fulfilled an important role throughout the history of humanity. This is the more speculative part of Haidt's theory, but also one of the more interesting. So here's an example anyway:
Purity, and the associated negative emotion of disgust, probably helped our ancestors avoid rotting food, stay away from people with visible signs of sickness, and so on. But the moral "sense" of purity is flexible, and can be "tuned" to other objects. So we can be disgusted with promiscuity, for instance, or with other races. Interracial sexual relations was a good example up until some decades ago -- people literally flinched at the thought of sex. Some people learn to be disgusted with perfectly healthy food in the case of of a specific culture, religious food restrictions or vegetarianism.

- liberals kind of come off as morally unbalanced, if you think about it. Notice that conservatives are still sensitive to harm and fairness arguments, but liberals seem to dismiss the other 3 dimensions.

4 Nimed  Sat, Aug 14, 2010 6:40:35pm

Oh, and thanks for making the page, reine. I've now subscribed it too. :)

5 reine.de.tout  Sat, Aug 14, 2010 6:45:00pm

re: #2 eclectic infidel

Heh. Good video. I'm just a few minutes into it. Loved the map with the label "dumbfuckistan," used after Dubya was elected. It rings true because I felt that way at that time.

*grumble grumble*

6 reine.de.tout  Sat, Aug 14, 2010 6:55:05pm

re: #3 Nimed

I pretty much agree with everything you said here. Specifically on close-mindedness, the term has an obviously derogatory connotation that should be avoided -- the 5 moral dimensions should be looked at as something inherently neutral, not something we should cheerleader or disapprove of. The same goes for the correspondence established by Haidt of liberals to Shiva and conservatives to Vishnu, which could be seen as insulting if misunderstood ("Whaddya mean by that? Conservatives preserve stuff and liberals trash the place?").

In the end of the talk, Haidt substitutes the expression "close-mindedness" with an inclination toward an established order. The idea is that a value system that is perceived as having produced good results in the past (like Christianity, the Constitution, certain traditions) should not be rejected merely because someone identified a flaw in it, since trying to correct the flaw may have all sorts of unforeseen harmful consequences.

MOST excellent point.

Importantly, notice that differences between conservatives and liberals in the five dimensions of morality (recapitulating: harm/care, fairness/justice, ingroup/loyalty, authority/respect, and purity/sanctity) regard what people consider as an acceptable argument. I think it's pretty obvious that liberals are every bit as tribal as conservatives -- we just don't like to think of ourselves that way. The same goes for purity (the example of moral vegetarianism works well here) and authority.

Closing thoughts:

- this is not very obvious in the presentation, but each of the sources of moral judgement emerged because they supposedly fulfilled an important role throughout the history of humanity. This is the more speculative part of Haidt's theory, but also one of the more interesting. So here's an example anyway:
Purity, and the associated negative emotion of disgust, probably helped our ancestors avoid rotting food, stay away from people with visible signs of sickness, and so on. But the moral "sense" of purity is flexible, and can be "tuned" to other objects. So we can be disgusted with promiscuity, for instance, or with other races. Interracial sexual relations was a good example up until some decades ago -- people literally flinched at the thought of sex. Some people learn to be disgusted with perfectly healthy food in the case of of a specific culture, religious food restrictions or vegetarianism.

- liberals kind of come off as morally unbalanced, if you think about it. Notice that conservatives are still sensitive to harm and fairness arguments, but liberals seem to dismiss the other 3 dimensions.

Well, and here I would disagree with the "morally unbalanced" assessment. Liberals don't dismiss the other 3 dimensions, but give less weight to them.

The bottom line, for me anyhow - is that unless someone is being obviously provocative or "trollish", it behooves us to assume good faith on the part of others, even when we don't agree or think their take is "silly". And then we can communicate with each other. It's when either side assumes the other is not operating in good faith, from deeply held rational beliefs and convictions, that communication breaks down. And unfortunately, I've seen it happen all too often; those who "flounced" from LGF could not, would not, refused to assume the newer, more liberals lizards were operating in good faith. And that was a sad sad thing for me to watch happen. They were just as obstinate as they accuse liberals of being. And they didn't even realize it.

7 Our Precious Bodily Fluids  Sat, Aug 14, 2010 7:36:24pm

The bit at 4:45 might be taken to imply that Pinker's "The Blank Slate" argues in favor of the blank-slate model of cognitive development that Haidt calls "the worst idea in all of psychology". Pinker's book argues quite forcefully to the contrary, and I think anyone who is interested enough in this video to watch it all the way through would find the book edifying.

Plus, Steven Pinker - who carries the gene for male pattern baldness - has awesome hair, which of course instantly invalidates any criticism of his ideas.

8 freetoken  Sat, Aug 14, 2010 7:52:49pm

I took some of the questionnaires at yourmorals.org in March of 2009.

In the 5 bases of morality test (about which the TED discussion revolves), I came out somewhat atypical.

It would be interesting to see how other lizards come out on that questionnaire.

9 reine.de.tout  Sat, Aug 14, 2010 8:30:08pm

re: #8 freetoken

I took some of the questionnaires at yourmorals.org in March of 2009.

In the 5 bases of morality test (about which the TED discussion revolves), I came out somewhat atypical.

It would be interesting to see how other lizards come out on that questionnaire.

My test results were - odd, I don't know quite what to make of it.

My results are the green part of the graph. I scored higher than liberals on al parts, and higher than conservatives on all parts except the "authority" section..

What does it mean?

10 reine.de.tout  Sat, Aug 14, 2010 8:37:53pm

OK, this one is even weirder.

This scale:

The scale you just completed was the Dogmatism scale, developed by Bob Altemeyer (2002). This scale measures how certain people are that their beliefs are absolutely right. People who score highly on this scale are firmly convinced that they are right, and they are often able to act more decisively. People scoring high on this scale sometimes perceive people who score low on this scale as indecisive and wishy-washy. Conversely, people who score low on this scale generally doubt that there is a single absolutely correct view of the world and prefer to entertain many different possibilities

Here's my comparison.

My score is exactly what a "liberal" would be likely to score.
yeesh.
What has the world come to?

11 freetoken  Sat, Aug 14, 2010 8:45:57pm

re: #9 reine.de.tout

My test results were - odd, I don't know quite what to make of it.

What does it mean?

You don't like indeterminacy?

I interpreted my results to mean that I just don't give a damn, which is fine for an old curmudgeon.

re: #10 reine.de.tout


My score is exactly what a "liberal" would be likely to score.
yeesh.

What has the world come to?

It's time to come out of the closet reine!

12 reine.de.tout  Sat, Aug 14, 2010 8:57:55pm

re: #11 freetoken

re: #10 reine.de.tout

It's time to come out of the closet reine!

gah!

13 windsagio  Sun, Aug 15, 2010 1:27:40pm

My thing >

I've carried on in depth about the 'tribalism' issue, so yeah you know how I feel about that :P

In general tho', the place I'm coming from isn't in demonizing conservatives in general, but rather in that there are people who have to some degree recognized the traits Haidt is talking about, and are ruthlessly exploiting them.


Not a 100% great answer, but its something >>

14 reine.de.tout  Mon, Aug 16, 2010 8:10:42am

re: #13 windsagio

My thing >

I've carried on in depth about the 'tribalism' issue, so yeah you know how I feel about that :P

In general tho', the place I'm coming from isn't in demonizing conservatives in general, but rather in that there are people who have to some degree recognized the traits Haidt is talking about, and are ruthlessly exploiting them.

Not a 100% great answer, but its something >>

Could that not be taking place on all "sides"?
I hate to talk about "sides".

I think anyone with any sense will use whatever tools are at their disposal to get a message across, particularly one they are passionate about. It just - well, it just makes sense.

It would be very interesting, IMO, if you'd take the same test freetoken and I took. Results might be surprising, or might not be, either way it would be interesting (yeah, I know, another assignment! Feel free to ignore).


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