Charity on September 21st, 2007

I only have one link worth clicking today because I am getting ready for She’s Right on Channel 17 this evening, so I haven’t been able to surf this morning.

I did read an interesting piece from the NY Times science section about morals, “Is ‘Do Unto Others’ Written Into Our Genes?

It also explains why conservatives “often have a better understanding of liberal views than liberals do of conservative attitudes.”

I have found this to be generally true. Conservatives, while they disagree with them, can at least understand liberal views, often, but there are many liberals who cannot even comprehend the conservative viewpoint.

Of course, this is a generalization, as is all of psychology.

Though rather long, it is an interesting read.

Have a great weekend!

5 Responses to “Links Worth Clicking Vol. 3”

  1. RHAnderson-scientist
    September 28th, 2007 at 4:34 pm

    IMO a gross generalization, not to mention wishful thinking. As both de Waal and Jost note, a concern for the common good, the espousal of specific moral values, and the development of a coherent system of morality in general, need not be based on any religiously ideological foundation.

    The plain fact is that many liberals understand all too well the basis for the kind of conservative viewpoints Haidt refers to. It’s just that they reject them. Those which are “faith based”, in the current parlance, are not considered by many liberals to be rational, nor perhaps relevant…a stance shared by the majority of the educated popuation of that evil bastion, Europe. Statistics clearly show that US liberals are much less likely to attend church regularly than conservatives. Conversely, only in the United States, among all of the advanced industrialized 1st world countries, is evolution questioned by a significant percentage of the population, (surely an indictment of the failure of science education in this country). Undeniably, these people comprise much of the GOP base: most of them attend church regularly, and most lablel themselves conservatives when polled. This is not to demean people for whom religious faith, however I might feel it misguided, is important, but merely to take note of a significant disconnect that may serve to inform as in regards the question at hand.

    What Haidt mistakenly attempts to label as a fundamental lack of understanding, clearly manifested by the intractable conflict resulting from the oil & water world-views of the Progressives vs the Moralists, and the 2 pathetic parties who pretend to represent them, is in reality a reflection of two non-congruent universes… reading Richard Dawkins will elucidate the point, one way or the other. RHAnderson-scientist

  2. The original post says:
    “It also explains why conservatives `often have a better understanding of liberal views than liberals do of conservative attitudes.’”

    I was curious about this remarkably silly statement, so I went over and read the article. You can save yourself the trouble: there is no evidence for this claim.

    It shouldn’t be surprising. After all, how many times do you hear Limbaugh, O’Reilly, Coulter, and their pals talk about the motivations of liberals? We hate America; we want to destroy marriage; we want to confiscate all private property; we want Osama bin Laden to win. Anyone who would make these kinds of claims, and really believe them, has absolutely no understanding of the values that motivate liberals.

  3. Oh yeah–I just forgot. Another ridiculous thing about this paper is the idea that disgust (or a sense of purity) is in any way linked to morality. I think a stronger, although still very weak, case can be made for submission to authority or loyalty to the group.
    I would point out, though, that these values are also values that are used as often to induce people to commit immoral acts–think of Watergate, abu Ghraib, or the Mafia–by turning off their own moral judgments, and that we reserve some of our highest praise for people who act morally in the face of pressure from peers or superiors.

  4. “Another ridiculous thing about this paper is the idea that disgust (or a sense of purity) is in any way linked to morality.”

    Considering that the point was that liberals do not assign a great deal of weight to that moral category, your response basically supports what the article was saying.

  5. He’s right that I don’t think it has anything to do with morality. Where he’s wrong is not presenting any evidence that disgust is a moral judgment at all. It’s as though someone who doesn’t like the color pink decides that every use of the color pink is immoral. YOu can certainly say that if you want, but it doesn’t coincide with any meaningful use of the word.