Friar Bijou wrote:
That's why liberals do so poorly when asked predict conservative answers to moral/ethical questions. In fact, they do worse in direct proportion to how strongly they identify themselves as liberal (see research by Jonathan Haidt on the subject if you're curious).
1. Study finds that liberals think conservatives are racist/homophobic/etc
2. Study finds that conservatives claim
to not be racist/homophobic/etc
3. Study finds that liberals don't *really* know about conservatives
Not quite. Basically, a liberal professor attempted to define ranges of moral foundations that could be attributed based on liberal/conservative identities, so as to explain why liberals and conservatives could take such different positions on things. Basically, we was trying to figure out why liberal ideas, which he strongly agreed with, didn't just automatically "win". What he found was that he could identify 6 different definable moral foundations, and through large scale surveys (like 130,000 people), found they did indeed align (somewhat) with self identified conservatives and liberals. And they even lined up as he expected them to.
But then he found something else that threw him
But Haidt’s second major discovery is far more consequential: the concept of “the conservative advantage.” Based on painstaking cross-cultural social-psychological experimentation, Haidt establishes that the moral foundations of liberals and conservatives are not just different, they are dramatically unequal. The liberal moral matrix rests essentially entirely on the left-most foundations; the conservative moral foundation—though slanted to the right—rests upon all six.
This is a stunning finding with enormous implications. The first is that conservatives can relate to the moral thinking of liberals, but the converse is not true at all. Haidt, who is liberal himself, elegantly explains how and why conservatives will view liberals as merely misguided while liberals tend to view conservatives as incomprehensible, insane, immoral, etc.
The article I linked earlier was an attempt to explain why this is the case. Obviously, it can't be that liberals and conservatives simply have brains that work differently (I suppose it's possible, but that seems unlikely), but rather the environments they develop their positions in are different. Liberals are less likely to be exposed to conservative ideas. I'm not talking about conservative positions
, but the actual philosophy behind them. They are most likely to have learned about conservative positions and the reasoning behind them, not from actually talking to conservatives, but from other liberals. Which, btw, leads to the incredibly amusing cases where they do run into a conservative who attempts to explain why he holds the positions he does, and they don't believe him (sound familiar?).
The point being that liberals tend to view conservative positions poorly because they've been told to by other liberals. Who in turn were told to by other liberals. Etc, etc, etc. This narrow viewpoint is so strongly established that it's hard for liberals to even contemplate the possibility of something different, which can be clearly seen in the study itself, where the answers liberals gave about what they thought conservative answers were bore little resemblance to the actual answers given by conservatives themselves. Meanwhile, conservatives were spot on with their understanding of liberals.
Haidt himself was attempting to understand specifically why John Kerry didn't win the election back in 2004. In his world, everyone he knew hated Bush, hated conservatives, hated the war, and knew that Kerry represented everything in opposition to those things (and more). What he learned was that his circle of knowledge, and that of those with the same socio-political alignment as he, was only half of the picture. It wasn't conservatives who were narrow minded and not seeing the big picture, but himself and his fellow liberals.
I'm sure this will not result in a single liberal actually taking the time to attempt to understand conservative viewpoints, but unlike the author of the linked article...
Sadly, “The Righteous Mind” proves irrefutably that trying to explain to liberals that their solutions might undermine vital institutions is fruitless. They cannot and will not relate, or even concede that such concerns fall into the realm of moral reasoning.
... I feel like I have to try. Heck. Why not? You guys already think I'm some kind of insane mindless bigot, right? I'll hold out the hope that maybe a light bulb will go off in someone's mind. Just one may be an accomplishment. Maybe. Edited, Aug 26th 2015 4:06pm by gbaji