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News Conservatives and Liberals

  1. Sep 7, 2012 #1


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    A good interview of Jon Haidt by Bill Moyers that goes into the history of the ideological separation, moral philosophy, and destruction of polarization. Haidt's view is that the demonizing that takes place between political parties so much more frequently now is causing the nation to suffer and suggests that we sit together to work things out.


    I'm curious what conservatives think of Haidt's characterization? I think he's pretty spot on, but under the layers it's possibly from one liberal to another, so I'd like to relieve myself of any plausible confirmation bias.

    I think one of the more interesting, maybe fundamental ideas to come out of Haidt's interviews is "our intuitions come before our reasoning and our reasoning is usually a post-hoc justification for those intuitions. As a result, humans do a horrible job at understanding those with whom they disagree."

    Here's another interview I found:

    Last edited: Sep 8, 2012
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  3. Sep 8, 2012 #2


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    I think Haidt has some pretty accurate views about human nature in general and, naturally, human nature is going to have a large effect on politics.

    I liked this part and it flows directly from your quote:

    A big part of any human personality is plain and simple irrational and failing to accept that some of your actions and beliefs are taken solely because they make you more you can cause a person a lot of grief.

    This part is interesting in light of the current campaign:

    This year, things might get flipped. Just from the conventions, I think Obama/Biden are set to do a lot better job at this than Romney. One, because they're very good at it. Second, Romney doesn't quite fit in today's Republican Party. There's too much about his past that violates "sacred" issues for him to truly develop that "master narrative".

    Republicans will be appealing to reason and facts and Democrats will be trying to offer a moral argument about fairness, etc that generates a vision for the future.
  4. Sep 8, 2012 #3


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    Yeah, I think he specifies a little later that it's in-group and solo reasoning that is bad. You really need to reach across the table and reason as a group (conservatives and liberals together) to eliminate as much bias as you can. But then you have to do so gently, without demonizing... or everybody just recedes back into their comfortable reasoning domain and nothing's been accomplished.

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