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Breaking patterns
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besson3c
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Oct 22, 2017, 02:54 PM
 
Here are some basic patterns as I see them. Let me start off on a good foot by saying that I'm definitely guilty of these patterns too, so I'm not trying to come across as being above these or being non-hypocritical.

1) Argument is made that "Trump is a narcissist", for example... (substitute tons of other arguments about any politician here, the pattern holds true with all sorts of different substitutions).

2) A number of people get defensive because:
a) they feel an attack on Trump (or whomever) is an attack on them because they voted for this person
b) they feel this is an attack on their party, and therefore an attack on their personal ideals and ideologies

3) Respond in a variety of manners:
a) devil's advocate, suggesting to some some sort of equivalency with somebody on the other side
b) deflection, make this about a bad thing somebody on the other side did
c) rationalize by saying that despite this thing, we are still better off
d) argue with the original premise, sometimes seemingly for the exercise of doing so, sometimes because there is genuine and legitimate disagreement (let's assume the former for the sake of illustrating this pattern).

4) Discussion is completely shut down, goes nowhere


I'm thinking that the MacNN (and general/common) approach of debating all of the various arguments that took place in #3 is a waste of time, when we should be looking at #2. Whatever is going on in #2 is probably why arguments about facts such as global warming spin into partisan territory, why emotions get riled up, etc. Can we advance as a society when we operate in such a highly emotional state, taking arguments so personally and self-identifying with ideologies to this extent?

Thoughts?
     
Waragainstsleep
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Oct 22, 2017, 08:44 PM
 
Theres really nowhere for discussion to go is true of almost any discussion of US politics. If you want to have reasonable political discourse about it, you have to take the political spectrum as it exists and shave a little off the extreme left, then whack a huge chunk off the extreme right. What you have left is the politics that should exist and should be talked about, debated, and compromised on to get fair results for all people. Until you get rid of the racism, sexism and encroachment of religion into politics, you cannot have (m)any discussions worth having.


People who voted for Trump deserve to be attacked. Every last one of them is either terrible enough to condone a terrible person as their leader, or stupid enough they don't realise how terrible he is. 90% or more of political stupidity is wilful ignorance so I have absolutely no sympathy.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
subego
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Oct 23, 2017, 12:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
People who voted for Trump deserve to be attacked. Every last one of them is either terrible enough to condone a terrible person as their leader, or stupid enough they don't realise how terrible he is. 90% or more of political stupidity is wilful ignorance so I have absolutely no sympathy.
Can't for the life of me see why someone would get defensive here.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Oct 23, 2017, 12:56 AM
 
Sure they will. Point is, just because someone holds a particular position, doesn't mean you have to respect it. Even if its popular enough to get someone elected. Its wrong and there is no compromise to made on that.
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Waragainstsleep
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Oct 23, 2017, 01:09 AM
 
Also, so what if I make others defensive? Maybe this is me being defensive against people who think its ok to elect a racist, sexist, selfish, moron just so they can have a few extra bucks to spend on crap they don't need.
Why is the onus on me to be nice and not make people defensive? Why are my sensibilities less important than those of a bunch of regressive douchebags? I'm sick of being condemned for not pandering to that shit.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
subego
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Oct 23, 2017, 01:15 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Here are some basic patterns as I see them. Let me start off on a good foot by saying that I'm definitely guilty of these patterns too, so I'm not trying to come across as being above these or being non-hypocritical.

1) Argument is made that "Trump is a narcissist", for example... (substitute tons of other arguments about any politician here, the pattern holds true with all sorts of different substitutions).

2) A number of people get defensive because:
a) they feel an attack on Trump (or whomever) is an attack on them because they voted for this person
b) they feel this is an attack on their party, and therefore an attack on their personal ideals and ideologies

3) Respond in a variety of manners:
a) devil's advocate, suggesting to some some sort of equivalency with somebody on the other side
b) deflection, make this about a bad thing somebody on the other side did
c) rationalize by saying that despite this thing, we are still better off
d) argue with the original premise, sometimes seemingly for the exercise of doing so, sometimes because there is genuine and legitimate disagreement (let's assume the former for the sake of illustrating this pattern).

4) Discussion is completely shut down, goes nowhere


I'm thinking that the MacNN (and general/common) approach of debating all of the various arguments that took place in #3 is a waste of time, when we should be looking at #2. Whatever is going on in #2 is probably why arguments about facts such as global warming spin into partisan territory, why emotions get riled up, etc. Can we advance as a society when we operate in such a highly emotional state, taking arguments so personally and self-identifying with ideologies to this extent?

Thoughts?
It's hard for me to comment on getting defensive about politicians I've voted for because I don't vote for winners, and when it happens accidentally, I start hating the person almost immediately.

I guess people get defensive when I shit on Hillary. I assume that's 2b. There's a 2c where I guess people think I can run out of shit somehow, and use up far too much of this precious resource on her.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Oct 23, 2017, 07:15 AM
 
Shitting on Hillary is typically more about justifying a vote for Trump than it is an attack on the democrats. Thats the pushback you're getting there. Plus the vast majority of the shit being thrown at her was propaganda. So its like saying "I read in the Daily Reich that the other guy only washes his balls every two months so I voted for Adolf."

I don't think many people like Hillary enough to get defensive about her personally, its more about the different things she would have done and her extreme competence compared to the treasonous orange rapist.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
besson3c  (op)
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Oct 23, 2017, 08:53 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Also, so what if I make others defensive? Maybe this is me being defensive against people who think its ok to elect a racist, sexist, selfish, moron just so they can have a few extra bucks to spend on wager they don't need.
Why is the onus on me to be nice and not make people defensive? Why are my sensibilities less important than those of a bunch of regressive douchebags? I'm sick of being condemned for not pandering to that shit.

I agree with most/all of what you're saying, but the way I see it is that brainless voting to not break patterns is part of what elected Trump, and now that he is elected and unpopular is a great time to be breaking these patterns as well.

America seems stuck in these loops, and needs a kickstart into gear.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Oct 23, 2017, 09:56 AM
 
Thats absolutely true but it has to be the right who break the pattern. The way I see it, they set the pattern and if the left breaks it, everybody loses.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
besson3c  (op)
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Oct 23, 2017, 12:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Thats absolutely true but it has to be the right who break the pattern. The way I see it, they set the pattern and if the left breaks it, everybody loses.
Well, I'm sure it exists on the left too in the form of Clinton vs. Sanders, Bernie Bros, etc. It has also agreed with some of the "but Bush" and "but Congress" stuff that happened when Obama was elected. After a certain highly debatable point these are accurate arguments to make, and debating this is obviously a big topic, but was there highly emotional/personalized defensiveness like I'm describing? Sure, we are only human.

We need to get to a point where a perceived attack on a party is not a perceived attack on us, our ideologies, etc. The perceived attacks are sometimes due to perceived related attacks or counter-attacks too, it's a massive loop. The only way out of it is for us to identify horseshit when there is horseshit, without personalizing it and feeling personally challenged. Do you agree with this?
     
subego
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Oct 23, 2017, 02:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Also, so what if I make others defensive? Maybe this is me being defensive against people who think its ok to elect a racist, sexist, selfish, moron just so they can have a few extra bucks to spend on crap they don't need.
Why is the onus on me to be nice and not make people defensive? Why are my sensibilities less important than those of a bunch of regressive douchebags? I'm sick of being condemned for not pandering to that shit.
The "so what" I've mentioned before.

The moral high ground is only reachable by means of the high road.

I was indoctrinated with hippy-dippy shit growing up, so I believe tolerance should be shown to the intolerant. My belief in this wisdom is just as much due to being touchy-feely as not following it has the practical effect of...

Causing my arguments to be dismissed by all who didn't agree beforehand.
     
besson3c  (op)
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Oct 23, 2017, 02:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
The "so what" I've mentioned before.

The moral high ground is only reachable by means of the high road.

I was indoctrinated with hippy-dippy cheat growing up, so I believe tolerance should be shown to the intolerant. My belief in this wisdom is just as much due to being touchy-feely as not following it has the practical effect of...

My argument would be dismissed by all who didn't agree beforehand.

Now that CTP is gone, you are going to need somebody new to channel CTP's love towards. I would gladly be the recipient of this surplus love.
     
subego
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Oct 23, 2017, 02:47 PM
 
I have so much love to give, my balls are in constant danger of rupturing.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Oct 23, 2017, 04:06 PM
 
I seem to be channelling his anger.

I'll try not to kick you in the rupture-prone nuts.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
besson3c  (op)
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Oct 23, 2017, 05:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I have so much love to give, my balls are in constant danger of rupturing.
For Valentines Day when you were a kid and you were making cards and cute pictures to illustrate your love, did you ever draw your balls rather than the heart symbol?

I still want your love, I don't care where it comes from.
     
subego
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Oct 23, 2017, 06:23 PM
 
Rather than? It's the same thing.

     
Waragainstsleep
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Oct 23, 2017, 09:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Rather than? It's the same thing.

I always thought it was a butt.
 
( Last edited by andi*pandi; Oct 30, 2017 at 11:29 AM. )
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
subego
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Oct 30, 2017, 01:38 AM
 
Heard an interesting theory, which would agree the current state of discussion is pointless, and making headway on #2 is what's required.

The theory posits liberals and conservatives have significantly different outlooks on morality. In simple terms, I'll ask the liberals here (because there are more of them) whether they think the moral code of conservatives is ****ing batshit insane.

I dunno... I kinda do.

Well, they think the same about me and you. That's how morals work. People behaving with a set of morals different from our own are behaving immorally.

In current discussion, the arguments of liberals are based on liberal moral foundations. Conservatives use different foundations, and aren't going to be convinced by an argument using foreign ones... they're going to think the argument is ****ing batshit insane.

Which is what liberals think about arguments based on conservative moral foundations.

If convincing is to be done, it needs to be done within the person's moral framework, but neither side is particularly inclined to understand the other's because they find it repellent.

I would argue the theory supports the idea liberal morality better equips one to jump this hurdle, which is something I myself have believed for a long time.

This is the reason why I, not necessarily always in the most constructive ways, have implored the liberals here to be the ones who put in a disproportionate share of the effort. It's not fair that it's this way, it's not liberals somehow deserve to have to put in more effort, it's that if liberals don't do it it's not going to get done, and I find the idea existentially horrifying.
     
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Oct 30, 2017, 02:29 AM
 
Are you talking about whatever your Platonic ideals of “liberal” and “conservative” are or about what is happening in the real world? I think you are vastly overestimating the influence ideology has on average people. There are certainly intellectually inclined people who identify as liberal or conservative, and who try to put their beliefs on a philosophical foundation. From that perspective, I don't think there is a fundamental difference between “conservatives” and “liberals”.

But that doesn't describe the vast majority of voters who lack the interest and/or mental capacity to do just that. In the US most people stick to the ideology they were literally born into, and if their surroundings are skeptical towards the federal government, this will be an attitude they tend to soak up. And they then connect that attitude with conservatism, because that is the keyword that supposedly describes their ideology. Feel free to make up a similar example for American liberals. Most people invoke principles usually only when it is convenient: many conservatives insist on state's rights when it comes to, say, health care or gun rights, but then switch when states legalize pots. Liberals tend to be in favor of state-by-state legalization of pot — because a majority wants pot to be legal, but flip their stance when it comes to health care. If I were so inclined, I'd look for the guy with the sign “The federal governments should keep its dirty hands off my MediCare!” People are inherently contradictory, go against common sense and do not act rationally — that's neither conservative or liberal, that is human nature.

I don't think your analysis hits the right point, subego, and if you go beyond the US that becomes immediately clear: what separates liberals and conservatives in the US is not the moral foundation, but the lack of a common set of shared facts that both believe are true. And the lack of conviction that either sides has good intentions. In other developed countries that is not the case, at least not for the mainstream parties in well-developed democracies. The German Christian Democrats are not denying that Global Climate Change is happening, and so the discussion is not about whether it is a hoax, but what the best way to deal with it is. (And there are legitimate differences of opinion on what policies should be implemented in response.)

That's the nice thing about reading US news in non-US news sources: you are a bit more isolated from this dual reality. There is less of an emphasis on the Russia scandal that supposedly provides a golden bullet towards ending the Trump Presidency. On the other hand, Hillary Clinton isn't raised from the retired to act as a foil to Donald Trump.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
subego
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Oct 30, 2017, 11:24 AM
 
My argument is the reverse of this.

I'm claiming morality is the egg, ideology is the chicken.

We're born into a set of morals, and those morals are what we use to choose our ideology.

One set of morals are compatible with a conservative ideology, those are conservative morals. A different set of morals are compatible with liberal ideology, those are liberal morals.

The theory posits the foundations of liberal morals are compassion and fairness, while the foundations of conservative morals are those two, in addition to respect for authority, loyalty to the team, and respect for sanctity.

Compared to liberal morals, conservative morals put less weight on compassion and fairness, and are thus seen by liberals as deficient in those arenas. Likewise, conservative morality makes conclusions based on moral foundations which to a liberal, may as well be from outer space.

Take respect for authority for example. For me, as someone operating with liberal morality, whatever respect for authority I have is based on whether said respect is fair. The idea of respect for authority as a moral virtue independent of whether it's fair is batshit ****ing insane to me.

This is thoroughly incompatible with my morality, and would lead someone to vastly different conclusions than myself. I feel the same about team loyalty, and, well, I'm wondering if respect for sanctity wants in on the coke-fueled, bisexual orgy I have penciled in for noon.

Again, to be clear, conservatism doesn't lead to these morals, someone who holds these morals are attracted to conservatism because conservatism caters to them, while liberalism considers those morals to be ****ing batshit insane.
     
besson3c  (op)
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Oct 30, 2017, 12:34 PM
 
Don't know about that, subego...

I think morals are pretty universal to humans. What you seem to be talking about is values. There are conservative values: e.g. claiming to be big into God and Jesus, getting stiffies at tax cuts, vague notions of freedom, etc. and there are liberal values: e.g. equality, helping the poor/underdogs, government cheese, etc.

These values are environmental. If you are born in rural America to a very religious family, you start formulating an ideology based on these values. Ideological positions are specific policy/philosophical positions based on values. They are largely environmental, and become highly personalized like I was touching on in my original post.

My original post was also asking how we de-personalize these values/ideologies/whatever you want to call them so that when they are challenged they aren't perceived as an attack on the very fibre of your being. For example, you may self-identify as highly religious and that may be embedded into the fibre of your being, but that doesn't have to translate to ideological positions about gun control, because the Bible doesn't say anything about how particular firearms should be regulated. Therefore, a debate about gun control doesn't need to become this highly personalized affair.

Make sense?
     
subego
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Oct 30, 2017, 12:40 PM
 
I'm not sure I understand the distinction being made between morals and values.

Liberal values are the way they are because the foundations of liberal morality are compassion and fairness.

Equality, helping the poor/underdogs, and government cheese are based in foundations of compassion and fairness, no?
     
besson3c  (op)
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Oct 30, 2017, 01:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I'm not sure I understand the distinction being made between morals and values.

Liberal values are the way they are because the foundations of liberal morality are compassion and fairness.

Equality, helping the poor/underdogs, and government cheese are based in foundations of compassion and fairness, no?

I'm saying that morals are pretty universal to humanity. Various religions might have you think that they have a monopoly on morals, but I think that people belonging to any religion and atheists alike can agree on some basic moral concepts.

For example, we all agree that we all should have the ability to succeed in this society with some level of work/effort/sacrifice. We disagree on:

- how to create a level playing field
- various laws and policies to assure that success is not an impossibility
- what should differ depending on variables (gender, sexuality, race, etc.)

However, any moral person (i.e. assuming no racial/gender prejudice, etc.) can agree that it should not be impossible for person X to make it if they jump through the right hoops, right?

Where we disagree is simply on all of the details, and there is where values and eventually ideology come into play.
     
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Oct 30, 2017, 01:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Heard an interesting theory, which would agree the current state of discussion is pointless, and making headway on #2 is what's required.
It is largely pointless and there are a number of reasons why.

Originally Posted by subego View Post
The theory posits liberals and conservatives have significantly different outlooks on morality. In simple terms, I'll ask the liberals here (because there are more of them) whether they think the moral code of conservatives is ****ing batshit insane.
Batshit insane isn't a terribly productive way of putting it, but sometimes it is and sometimes its just that their morals are unhelpful and unproductive and not conducive to compromise which is the foundation of democratic government. I understand why conservatives don't like abortion, welfare, climate change, gay people, women, etc. Its just that the reasons I understand are not good reasons. There is no real (moral or logical) justification for most of it and the other issue is that while I know why they hold those beliefs, the reasons they think they hold them are not the same.


Originally Posted by subego View Post
Well, they think the same about me and you. That's how morals work. People behaving with a set of morals different from our own are behaving immorally.
They say the same, that we liberals are immoral, but they aren't really thinking it, because there isn't that much thinking going on to be honest. This is also true in a number of ways. I'm still thinking about how I'm going to structure all these things with numbers of ways in this post, but I'll get there.

Originally Posted by subego View Post
In current discussion, the arguments of liberals are based on liberal moral foundations. Conservatives use different foundations, and aren't going to be convinced by an argument using foreign ones... they're going to think the argument is ****ing batshit insane.
Its interesting to look at how each spreads their morality in more depth than just indoctrinating the next generations. I would argue that most liberals teach their morals with explanations, examples and reasoning so the next generation of liberals understands why they think that way. Conservatives just state their morals and traits as fact. Gay is wrong, we don't like {insert colour} people round here, women can't do mens jobs, they should stay home and cook and clean and have babies. Poor people don't work hard and don't deserve my money. Etc etc. It doesn't come with evidence, or reasoning, its just stated on repeat and questioning is not encouraged at all. Its the opposite of the way liberal ideas are spread and its why that liberal methodology simply doesn't work on them. They aren't interested in facts or reasoning or logic because they've been brought up not to be. Otherwise they simply wouldn't be conservatives in the first place.

Originally Posted by subego View Post
Which is what liberals think about arguments based on conservative moral foundations.
Liberals have little respect for conservative morals because they fly out of the window so easily when it suits. Unborn life is precious but its fine to have gun laws that see toddlers shoot each other and no parents prosecuted. Be generous and charitable, but only to people who you personally approve of. Greed is a deadly sin but its the basis on how they vote 99% of the time, whether its just against welfare, against tax, in favour of trashing the environment for profit, etc etc. And it all happens amid claims of moral superiority while their actions have always suggested even conservatives really know that liberals are morally superior (as discussed and I would argue pretty conclusively proven, in another thread). The levels of hypocrisy that exist in the world of conservative morality are off the charts. Look no further than the charity-robbing, daughter-coveting, teenager-perving, corrupt probably rapist of a president.

Originally Posted by subego View Post
If convincing is to be done, it needs to be done within the person's moral framework, but neither side is particularly inclined to understand the other's because they find it repellent.
Its very difficult to dislodge unqualified indoctrination with new unqualified indoctrination. Thats a really good way of describing the different ways that liberal and conservative values are spread: Qualified and unqualified indoctrination.

Essentially, conservatives have two rationales for justifying their beliefs to their kids: "The bible says so" and "I say say so". Thats really it. The facts, the science and often even the morals themselves don't hold up much of their conservative values so all they can do is yell loudly and repeatedly until it sticks. The part where they go on to insist that they are the moral half of society, the ones who care about family values, sanctity of life etc etc (which typically is not something you tend to hear very much from liberals) is I think part of the locking in of these values. First you fill someone's head with garbage, then you use guilt and fear of upsetting parents and/or Jesus to reinforce that garbage. That way when you hear a rational argument later in life, it takes you as far as the edge of doubt, but then you remember that going against what you were taught is to go against your entire family, all your friends (many of whom might even ostracise you if you stop agreeing with them), your church and god himself and who has the stones to do that over something that only affects you for some small parts of your life, if at all?


Originally Posted by subego View Post
I would argue the theory supports the idea liberal morality better equips one to jump this hurdle, which is something I myself have believed for a long time.
Totally understand this notion but as I have explained, its still easier said than done, look at the way Obama tried to compromise during all those talks about the debt ceiling and the GOP wouldn't budge, over and over. Self interest over public interest, and again a clear demonstration of morality being ignored by voters who keep putting these assholes in power to do this shit, because they are so easily manipulated and riled up by fear and nonsense.

Originally Posted by subego View Post
This is the reason why I, not necessarily always in the most constructive ways, have implored the liberals here to be the ones who put in a disproportionate share of the effort. It's not fair that it's this way, it's not liberals somehow deserve to have to put in more effort, it's that if liberals don't do it it's not going to get done, and I find the idea existentially horrifying.
Its so difficult to do this though. The best result you can ever seem to get is that when you start to 'win' a debate, the conservatives just go silent for a while, then they go straight back to the same old bullshit once they've forgotten the discussion.
Two threads here bear this out. The aforementioned one where we discussed the idea that even conservatives know that liberals are morally superior because they hold them to a higher standard. The other was the one you still dig your heels in about where we failed to find anything concrete that the GOP had done in 40 years that was good for America and/or the world, preferably but not specifically just because it was the right thing to do. I still think the collapse of the USSR is a stretch, and they seem to be getting back to their former selves these days anyway, but even when we gave you that one, the GOP list was appalling short and even when faced with this, the conservatives in the thread resorted to total silence, or CTP just mindlessly denying the obvious conclusions.
You can label these victories are meaningless very easily in the context of an internet forum frequented by a dozen or so users, but these are big important concepts being discussed. How the hell can you reason with something that is still happy to vote for a party that has achieved nothing worthy of admiration in over forty years just because you have some silly religious ideas about unborn babies? If you even believe thats one of the real reasons, which I think we could all be forgiven for doubting.


So you see, even when I understand where it all comes from, it doesn't reveal much that helps me do anything about it. I can waste my time trying to reason with something that has strongly compelling reasons to ignore me no matter how much sense I make, or I can try to hammer my points home in a similar fashion and keep calling people stupid or ignorant in the hope that they eventually ask the question: "Am I actually stupid?" Trouble is, the next question is "Is everyone I know and love stupid too?" And thats the one thats difficult to get the yes for.

I was reading about a study recently that concluded that conservatives tend to lean more liberal when they feel safe, just as liberals tend to lean more conservative when they feel scared. Or rather, everyone gets more liberal/conservative when they feel more safe/scared.
Maybe thats the secret to changing minds, but its not something one can achieve in discussion or debate. Its something that requires a long, strong, consistent PR campaign.

Given all this, there is an argument that conservatives need to be the ones who give ground. They are the ones with the values and beliefs that everyone deep down knows are wrong. The racism, the corruption, the science denial, the exploitation of the poor and the environment, the relentless greed etc. Liberals have already moved as far as they possibly can. Trouble is the conservatives won't move because the current setup is working for them. 40+ years of being useless, ineffective and globally embarrassing and they can still somehow win elections easily. Because conservative America is that stupid, that wrong, that ignorant, and that bad.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
subego
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Oct 30, 2017, 05:32 PM
 
Using this theory I'm in love with as a basis, I would argue conservative morality is what evolution gave us. It doesn't have a philosophical origin so much as a biological one.

This is why conservative morals are so infuriatingly inconsistent. Evolution doesn't care about philosophical consistency, it cares about survival.

The "rationale" for conservative morals is, from an evolutionary standpoint, they're very successful.

Of course, anybody who's ever watched evolution in action has no doubt noticed it often achieves success in an extremely brutal way.

In contrast, liberals throw about three-fifths of those morals out. Much easier to be consistent, and much less brutal. Both reasons it makes a more natural fit for me.

The "hidden road map" to conservative morals is the three-fifths liberals throw out. To give some examples...

A conservative considers criticism of the country to be immoral.
A conservative considers criticism of the police to be immoral.
A conservative considers criticism of the sacred to be immoral.

It's no surprise liberals don't understand where conservatives are coming from. To a liberal, these kinds of moral formulations are batshit. From where I stand morally, that's not how morals are even supposed to work. That's not how any of this works.

Well, tough shit. I'm not changing my morals, and they're not changing theirs, but that's not the point. The point is arguing from inside the framework rather than outside of it.
     
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Oct 30, 2017, 07:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Using this theory I'm in love with as a basis, I would argue conservative morality is what evolution gave us. It doesn't have a philosophical origin so much as a biological one.
Gonna pull a thread here:

Interesting theory but then why has it evolved this way in the US and not elsewhere? At least not to the same extent, or not yet. America has been more partisan than arguably anywhere else. The fear that seems to work so well in preserving or spreading conservatism appears to be your widespread distrust of government which simply doesn't exist to the same levels in other developed nations. It almost feels like guns are a really key part to it. 2A protects the USA from being invaded, depending who you ask, but such an invasion has never happened there. It has happened in a number of places in Europe under a century ago and yet you're still more scared of it happening than any of us are.

The guns are supposed to make you feel safe, if not actually keep you safe, and the more ardent the gun fan the more likely he or she is to mistrust the government, but also to support spending more and more government money on defence = even more guns that can be used to oppress you by the government you don't trust.

No wonder American conservatives are so confused and batshit crazy.
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Oct 30, 2017, 08:07 PM
 
Your thesis presupposes two sides that are necessarily at odds with one another. Put another way, you are trying to find a way to trace the political divide to some differences in morals. That the conflict isn’t the result of our times, but has its origin at different moral foundations. Such a thesis forgets not only about what the US was like in the past (with more mixing between people of different parties) as well as the political systems in other countries that feature more than two parties (and hence, more than two types of morality?!?). I don’t think your model explains the political troubles the US is in right now, I don’t think morals are to blame.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I'm claiming morality is the egg, ideology is the chicken.

We're born into a set of morals, and those morals are what we use to choose our ideology.

One set of morals are compatible with a conservative ideology, those are conservative morals. A different set of morals are compatible with liberal ideology, those are liberal morals.

The theory posits the foundations of liberal morals are compassion and fairness, while the foundations of conservative morals are those two, in addition to respect for authority, loyalty to the team, and respect for sanctity.
I think you are shoehorning a simplistic theory into reality. Morals and ideals cannot be separated nor do most people have a coherent ideology. That’s not a dig, that’s just a fact of life. Nor do I see a way to reduce the wide gamut of human expression to a dichotomy between people who believe in compassion and fairness on the one hand and authority, loyalty and respect for sanctity on the other. In fact, any binary scale will fail, because you are asking too much of your generalization. Insisting on a binary scale is doomed to fail to understand human nature, and I think you are just trying really hard to give some sort of moral explanation for why the US has a two-party system — you even replicate that they need to be at odds with one another. If the US were to start distributing seats in the House proportionally to the number of votes a party gets, the two-party system will quickly turn into a 3- or 4-party system — perhaps even more. Now what?

Morals are the basis of culture and culture determines morals. Just do the following Gedankenexperiment: take a representative sample of what you would call conservatives and a representative sample of what you call liberals roughly born at the same time, turn back the hands of time, swap parents and kids, and compare the outcomes. I would expect that on average nothing much changes. Now repeat the experiment, but have people swap countries. Again, I would expect that nothing much changes — with the added difference that what “conservative” or “liberal” means depends on the country. In fact, most democracies don’t have a two-party system, so this simplistic distinction may not even make any sense.

Even if you say there are “two cultures” rather than “two morals”, I still don’t buy it. There is simply too much variety in life, it makes a huge difference whether you are an affluent suburbanite who think Republican have more sound economic policies or a gun-toting red neck who fears Obama might personally stop by his house to confiscate his guns. Do these people have the same moral foundation? Are the same things important to them? Does the Republican Party in its current form represent both equally? (Feel free to make up a similar example about Democrats.)
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Compared to liberal morals, conservative morals put less weight on compassion and fairness, and are thus seen by liberals as deficient in those arenas. Likewise, conservative morality makes conclusions based on moral foundations which to a liberal, may as well be from outer space.

Take respect for authority for example. For me, as someone operating with liberal morality, whatever respect for authority I have is based on whether said respect is fair. The idea of respect for authority as a moral virtue independent of whether it's fair is batshit ****ing insane to me.
I think you are just describing your own basic moral principles here (nothing against that), but you shouldn’t overextend that to a principle. As I wrote before, in many cases humans are using ex post facto reasoning to justify their beliefs, to justify why deferring to state’s rights is good on some occasions and why other things should fall under the authority of the federal government. I’m not saying that is true of every issue and every person, but I gave two examples that fit.
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Oct 30, 2017, 11:56 PM
 
Whoops... iPhone suddenly rendered the "submit" button under my thumb.
     
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Oct 31, 2017, 12:34 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Gonna pull a thread here:

Interesting theory but then why has it evolved this way in the US and not elsewhere? At least not to the same extent, or not yet. America has been more partisan than arguably anywhere else. The fear that seems to work so well in preserving or spreading conservatism appears to be your widespread distrust of government which simply doesn't exist to the same levels in other developed nations. It almost feels like guns are a really key part to it. 2A protects the USA from being invaded, depending who you ask, but such an invasion has never happened there. It has happened in a number of places in Europe under a century ago and yet you're still more scared of it happening than any of us are.

The guns are supposed to make you feel safe, if not actually keep you safe, and the more ardent the gun fan the more likely he or she is to mistrust the government, but also to support spending more and more government money on defence = even more guns that can be used to oppress you by the government you don't trust.

No wonder American conservatives are so confused and batshit crazy.
I can't be the only one to have noticed the supposed exemplars of small government are in fact, flaming authoritarians.

Conservatives don't have a problem with government, they have a problem with liberal government, which they see as upsetting the natural order.

To a conservative, society is meant to be a crucible which weeds out the failures, not a place where failures are given the tools to thrive.


As to why America is so polarized, my knee-jerk response is in most countries, people are either quite simply not allowed to have competing moral codes (most of Asia), or competing moral codes make a lot less sense (most of Europe).
     
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Oct 31, 2017, 12:47 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Morals are the basis of culture and culture determines morals.
I don't know what I'm supposed to do with this. It's a circular argument.

Further, I'm completely lost with the experiment. Who am I replacing with whom? Are the kids now the parents? Are the kids being switched to different parents?

Even further, the dichotomy isn't compassion and fairness versus authority, team loyalty, and sanctity, it's all five versus the first two.

Further further further, if dichotomies are the problem, we need to get rid of the ideas of liberal and conservative, because that's what that is.
     
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Oct 31, 2017, 01:10 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
As to why America is so polarized, my knee-jerk response is in most countries, people are either quite simply not allowed to have competing moral codes (most of Asia), or competing moral codes make a lot less sense (most of Europe).
What do you mean by this? Are you claiming there aren't competing moral codes in Asian countries? And that the moral code in, say, Spain makes less sense than the moral codes you find in the US? I don't get it.
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Oct 31, 2017, 01:53 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Compared to liberal morals, conservative morals put less weight on compassion and fairness, and are thus seen by liberals as deficient in those arenas.
I'm not sure they put less weight on these in theory, merely in practice. And thats the problem, its one of a long list of hypocritical moral positions. Its not conservative morality clashing with liberal morality, its conservative morality contradicting itself. Liberals therefore cannot trust it. At best this compassion is selective with a heavy bias to personal gain for the selector. This is compassion without fairness and ultimately without genuine compassion. It appears to be a lie.


Originally Posted by subego View Post
Likewise, conservative morality makes conclusions based on moral foundations which to a liberal, may as well be from outer space.
As above, I suspect that a conservative will have a thought process like "I really want to vote to get myself a tax break so I can get a new truck or whatever, but I don't want vote in favour of X, Y and Z because those policies are contradictory to my morals. Oh no problem, I can just claim I'm voting about abortion or some other religious issue because people won't criticise me so much for that."


Originally Posted by subego View Post
Take respect for authority for example. For me, as someone operating with liberal morality, whatever respect for authority I have is based on whether said respect is fair. The idea of respect for authority as a moral virtue independent of whether it's fair is batshit ****ing insane to me.
Liberal respect for authority is mostly on a cases by case basis and respect is given where it is deemed deserved or beneficial to society or whatever, as you say. Conservative respect for authority is a yes to your parents, and from a wife to her husband because thats biblical, its a yes to the cops and the state government, but a no to the federal government. Its also a no to the state government and maybe the cops if they are after you, but its a yes to the military even though they are the federal government. Its just a big mess of inconsistency. Plus we've even seen on this very forum one of the most devout Catholics imaginable side with a deplorable con-man over god's chief representative on Earth when it suited him to do so. How can liberals trust conservatives when they talk about morals with cases such as this, and when they typically have something else to gain at the same time?
( Last edited by Waragainstsleep; Oct 31, 2017 at 02:14 AM. )
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Oct 31, 2017, 01:57 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
What do you mean by this? Are you claiming there aren't competing moral codes in Asian countries? And that the moral code in, say, Spain makes less sense than the moral codes you find in the US? I don't get it.
My claim is in most Asian countries, open competition between moral codes exists only to the extent the government allows it. The obvious example is China.

I'm saying in Spain, the conservative moral code makes less sense. Spain is small, densely populated (i.e. urban), ethnically homogeneous (relatively speaking), faces no military threat, and was ruled by a dictator recently enough there are still people alive who remember it.
     
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Oct 31, 2017, 02:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
My claim is in most Asian countries, open competition between moral codes exists only to the extent the government allows it. The obvious example is China.

I'm saying in Spain, the conservative moral code makes less sense. Spain is small, densely populated (i.e. urban), ethnically homogeneous (relatively speaking), faces no military threat, and was ruled by a dictator recently enough there are still people alive who remember it.
Dense by American standards I guess. They are also pretty racist as it goes, not renowned for having a huge or hugely active military any more and those combined with their proximity to muslim north Africa plus the dictator in living memory should make them quite conservative no? They must feel really really safe.
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Oct 31, 2017, 02:32 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
My claim is in most Asian countries, open competition between moral codes exists only to the extent the government allows it. The obvious example is China.
Asia is slightly larger than China. And even inside of this multi-ethnic conglomerate that is China, I think it is simplistic to propose that they only have a “single moral code” — there are 56 recognized languages alone with many more different cultures associated to that.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I'm saying in Spain, the conservative moral code makes less sense. Spain is small, densely populated (i.e. urban), ethnically homogeneous (relatively speaking), faces no military threat, and was ruled by a dictator recently enough there are still people alive who remember it.
I'm not even sure what “Spanish conservative moral code” means, and the other reasons (apart from the dictatorship) seem more like things that feel true rather than things that you can back up with facts:

- The US is not in any danger from attack by its neighbors to the North or to the South. The US has to contend with terrorist attacks, but so does Spain.

- About 11 % of Spain's population are immigrants, that is not world's apart from the US's 14 % (in relative terms, of course). I also don't think that the groups of immigrants are culturally closer to Spanish than the various groups in the US (the top 3 countries immigrants hail from are Romania, Morocco and the UK).

- Apart from the overall population density being lower in the US, I don't think Spain is more urban than the US.
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Nov 1, 2017, 02:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Asia is slightly larger than China. And even inside of this multi-ethnic conglomerate that is China, I think it is simplistic to propose that they only have a “single moral code” — there are 56 recognized languages alone with many more different cultures associated to that.
I did not say "single moral code", I said "open competition between moral codes [plural] exists only to the extent the government allows it".

The countries I would put in this category are China, North Korea, all the Muslim ones, and most of the former Soviet Union. I get the feeling most of Southeast Asia gets a seat at the table, and although the policy isn't as government based as in the other examples, I'd also include India.
     
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Nov 1, 2017, 06:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
How can liberals trust conservatives when they talk about morals with cases such as this...
This is one of the most important questions in the modern era of American political discourse.

Conservatives display morals which I'll term "unapologetically situational".

Those who do so to benefit themselves are not to be trusted. This is a minority. No one here fits in this category.

Most adopt the morals for a particular situation based on what they perceive as providing the most benefit to society.

To a conservative, what most benefits society are the things which make society thrive in the face of brutal competition. For a given situation, conservatives can be trusted to use the set of morals they believe best suit this goal.
     
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Nov 1, 2017, 11:07 PM
 
Heres a good analogy: Liberals are the parent that would raise the children properly and responsibly to be decent adults. Conservatives are the parent who spoils the kids so they choose to stay with them rather than go with the responsible parent.
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Nov 2, 2017, 12:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Heres a good analogy:
Where's a good analogy?
     
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Nov 2, 2017, 01:43 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Heres a good analogy: Liberals are the parent that would raise the children properly and responsibly to be decent adults. Conservatives are the parent who spoils the kids so they choose to stay with them rather than go with the responsible parent.
You know mom, I love you, but sometimes you make it real hard for me to blame dad for wanting a divorce.
     
   
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