The Righteous Mind: The Moral Roots of Liberals & ConservativesSubmitted by Treg on Sun, 07/06/2014 - 09:56
Here is Johnathan Haidt's TED TALK: http://www.ted.com/talks/jonathan_haidt_on_the_moral_mind
"If you're ready to trade in anger for understanding, read "The Righteous Mind."
"In this subtle yet accessible book, Haidt gives you the key to understanding the miracle of human cooperation, as well as the curse of our eternal divisions and conflicts. He shows why liberals, conservatives, and libertarians have such different intuitions about right and wrong, and he shows why each side is actually right about many of its central concerns."
"Drawing on his twenty five years of groundbreaking research on moral psychology, he shows how moral judgments arise not from reason but from gut feelings."
"As America descends deeper into polarization and paralysis, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt has done the seemingly impossible—challenged conventional thinking about morality, politics, and religion in a way that speaks to everyone on the political spectrum."
"The social psychologist Jonathan Haidt’s finding that conservatives understand liberals better than liberals understand conservatives."
But my own question is, do libertarians even understand ourselves, let alone both liberals and conservatives? Take the Morals test here: www.YourMorals.org
Read more about liberal, conservative & libertarian test results here:
Read this, taken "From Understanding Libertarian Morality: The Psychological Dispositions of Self-Identified Libertarians": "People who are dispositionally high on openness to new experiences are more likely to develop liberal values. People who are dispositionally high on disgust sensitivity are more likely to develop conservative values"..."Libertarians' preferences about how to live their lives may have been transformed into a moral value — the value of liberty — in the same way that vegetarians have been found to moralize their eating preferences or non-smokers moralize their aversion to smoke. From a social intuitionist perspective, this process is no different from the psychological comfort that liberals attain in moralizing their empathic responses or that social conservatives attain in moralizing their connection to their groups. For those who self-identify as libertarian in our sample, their dispositional and motivational profiles all point toward one supreme moral principle: individual liberty."
Well if it is true that there are "5 Mental Windows that filter our 'moral feelings', do we libertarians even know what these are? Sure, we filter all politics through our lens of Life, Liberty & Property = Individual Rights, making a unified, consistent, systematic political position, but nobody else does that. And nor does anyone care to do that. And here is why, they have other filters.
Here is everyone else's moral filter according to the book:
1) harm/care valuation filter.
2) fairness/reciprocity valuation filter.
3) in-group/loyalty valuation filter.
4) authority/respect valuation filter.
5) purity/sanctity valuation filter.
Is there a 6ths moral filter?
6) liberty/oppression valuation filter.
If its true what author says, then liberals filter all their issues through the prism of 1) "harm/care". And if it is true what the author says, the conservatives filter all their issues through the prism of the bottom three, 3) in-group/loyalty, 4) authority/respect
5) purity/sanctity. So where does that leave 2) fairness/reciprocity and 6) liberty/oppression? Answer: Highly Debated & Contested.
These insights may help us "emotionally & morally speak" to either liberals or conservatives. Take the issue of the minimum wage. The angle we must address liberals on is simply this, it causes great harm and cares for no one. You must point that out in dozens of ways, all with a caring heart, all with a single focus for the wellbeing of others and passion to do no harm to anyone. In fact, to get him to switch his position you must show that this one caring/no harm issue works against the care and help that 'we are all' trying to give over here, here, and here.
But lets say you are talking with a conservative who "doesn't like the minimum wage", but when asked, "would you abolish it"? they say "well no, I would not get rid of the minimum wage, I just would not raise it", then you address the "authority of the past traditions we must respect" and point out in dozens of ways, this tradition should not be respected or honored. In fact, to get him to switch his position you must show that this one issue "has not always been so" and "should never have been apart of all our other wonderful traditions that makes us, us".
There is an excellent review of the book here by Todd Zywicki.
Todd writes, ... "One final word on libertarians: Haidt has written a completely separate scholarly article analyzing the “Psychological Dispositions of Self-Described Libertarians.” While one can quibble with such things, his findings seem largely persuasive to me. In that article, Haidt applies the same tools to self-described libertarians and concludes that there are distinct psychological correlates to to libertarian morality that distinguished libertarians from both liberals and conservatives. Perhaps most striking is the libertarians emphasis on systematization. Now this, I think, is an important insight. For it explains a point that seems to be highly distinctive to libertarians: the recognition by libertarians, often with a high degree of pride, that libertarianism offers the only “consistent” ideology and that is one of the most compelling aspects of it. Well here’s Haidt’s point: Most people simply do not care whether their ideological views are consistent. For most people (liberals and conservatives), consistency is simply not a relevant variable or axis for determining what you believe or your ideological worldview. This explains, I think, the frequent bewilderment that libertarians face when they try to persuade someone to change their mind about, say, a social policy because it is “inconsistent” with their economic policy beliefs. It simply is not a relevant argument to them. This has obvious implications for communicating libertarian ideas to non-libertarians (i.e., the overwhelming number of people in America!)."
Read more from Todd's book review here: http://www.volokh.com/2014/01/17/jonathan-haidt-psychology-p...