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View Full Version : Interesting talk on morality from a scientist


JonIrenicus
02-02-2009, 05:00 AM
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-796498851331651085&ei=Fa6GSc3vKqmyqAOO8bjyCg&q=beyond+belief+candles+in+the+dark&hl=en&dur=3


has some political tendencies as well.

bjkeefe
02-02-2009, 05:11 AM
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-796498851331651085&ei=Fa6GSc3vKqmyqAOO8bjyCg&q=beyond+belief+candles+in+the+dark&hl=en&dur=3


has some political tendencies as well.

Have you seen Haidt's diavlogs here? If not, you'll probably like them, if I'm remembering that talk correctly (saw most of Beyond Belief a while ago).

JonIrenicus
02-02-2009, 08:40 PM
Have you seen Haidt's diavlogs here? If not, you'll probably like them, if I'm remembering that talk correctly (saw most of Beyond Belief a while ago).

just checked them out, they were even better flushed out due to greater time.

I think I am getting closer as to why people can see the same things so differently than I do. I am less ethically broken ! ! !

bjkeefe
02-03-2009, 02:13 AM
just checked them out, they were even better flushed out due to greater time.

I think I am getting closer as to why people can see the same things so differently than I do. I am less ethically broken ! ! !

Yes, I thought Haidt's ideas were good food for thought, too. I think he tends to overgeneralize at times, and oversimplify at others, but articulated some core principles that clarified vague notions I have long held, and it was nice to hear that there is at least some statistical basis to them.

Starwatcher162536
03-11-2009, 12:35 AM
I don't know, I am by no means an expert, but I have looked at some of Haidt's work. To me, his terms are not defined rigorously enough, also, the parameter(s) he uses to convert English phrasings into "points" seems arbitrary.

Why should "Slightly agree" be worth 50% of "Mostly agree"? Why should "Mostly Agree" be only worth 50% of "Strongly agree? To set it up that way assumes that the relationship between the magnitude of emotional response and some stimuli is linear. Who proved that? For all we know it could be a logarithmic relationship.

Also, most of the "behavioral evolution" seems like very tenuous conjecture.

aarrghhhhh! The vagueness of this field even prevents me from making a cogent criticism. arrrgghhh!

P.S.
I should at least say, In Haidt's defense, I have always been hard on the social sciences. Perhaps its my Physics/Engineering background.

Edit:
Also, I am suspicious of any study that holds up Liberals as morally superior to conservatives.

bjkeefe
03-11-2009, 12:58 AM
Also, I am suspicious of any study that holds up Liberals as morally superior to conservatives.

Funny. One of the things that bother me about Haidt's work is that it seems tuned to make conservatives look slightly better.

Actually, maybe that impression is more what I've picked up from hearing him talk about it.

AemJeff
03-11-2009, 10:59 AM
Why should "Slightly agree" be worth 50% of "Mostly agree"? Why should "Mostly Agree" be only worth 50% of "Strongly agree? To set it up that way assumes that the relationship between the magnitude of emotional response and some stimuli is linear. Who proved that? For all we know it could be a logarithmic relationship.
...

But isn't that one of the basic, inescapable tasks in this sort of endeavor? You have to choose how you're going to map some arbitrary choices to something quantifiable. Quibbling about those choices is an entirely valid critique, I'm not saying it isn't, but there's nothing unique, in that respect, here.

Edit:
Also, I am suspicious of any study that holds up Liberals as morally superior to conservatives.

Or moderates, or graduates of midwest farm colleges, or short people...

cragger
03-11-2009, 06:52 PM
Also, I am suspicious of any study that holds up Liberals as morally superior to conservatives.

I don't think he is saying anything about superiority, just trying to explain differences. Given that these "moral parameters" as he describes them are basically wired-in emotional tendencies the idea, that any set is morally superior to another doesn't come into play really. It may well be that any given initial emotional "moral" response is however more, or less, useful or productive in a particular case. It is likely that recognizing one's initial emotive mindset and trying to step back and apply reason to many situations in the modern world will open up possibilities to achieving better outcomes than reflexively applying one's initial emotive moral impression.

Recognition of our own and other people's internal tendencies is also useful for those who want to achieve understanding and cooperation rather than continually fighting over whose gut level reactions are "right or wrong". Haidt's model is obviously somewhat simplified, but that is exactly what models are - attempts to highlight significant features of some complex system in order to make them understandable and useful.

claymisher
03-13-2009, 05:07 AM
I
Also, I am suspicious of any study that holds up Liberals as morally superior to conservatives.

Hey man, the truth hurts. In his studies people self-identify, so you can't blame him for how it all shakes out.

I'm a Haidt fan. I think he's on to something. Sure, I'm a liberal. I don't care about in-group crap, I can't take authority seriously, and I'm all for impurity. But a lot of people care about the last three. My hope is us liberal types can convince the others that the in-group includes everybody, that you should only trust an authority to the extent and in the domain that it's earned your trust, and that you should keep pure the things that need to be pure (the air you breath and the food you eat). Then we'll all be happy. Given the progress we've made in the 100 years on race, gender, and sexual orientation, I think we're doing okay. Now if only it wasn't getting so hot in here ...

JonIrenicus
03-14-2009, 04:28 AM
Here are my results from his questionnaire.


http://img15.imageshack.us/img15/4750/surveyresultsgraphlibco.png


I'm in green. Not sure I am an absolute ZERO on purity, but I am not big into that, but its true I have almost no social conservative sympathies.


But I like to take the view that I am less broken !!!


ahem. But yeah, to get another take on my general world view and its more utilitarian nature, check out one of the FINEST episodes in star trek tv history.

"In the Pale Moonlight"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jC2aU6v6WxE&feature=channel_page
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ShsTn5kMK8&feature=channel_page
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mohx58HFUAY&feature=channel_page
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BIZpoxh_Vc&feature=channel_page
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qKcJF4fOPs&NR=1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKGiiZnpWT8&feature=channel_page


The backdrop is that the federation is in a war with the Dominion, and they are losing. While it takes decades to bring the typical humanoid to bare in terms of knowledge and skill to man their fleets, a Gem'Hedar soldier takes weeks from its test tubes to form a fighting force. Things look grim and Sisko is desperately looking for a way to bring in the Romulans as allies instead of neutral observers.

It is one of if not THE finest episode of ds9 ever, if not all of star trek. I LOVED this episode because the choices were not clean cut, not cotton candy choices, action or inaction had negative consequences, but Sisko does not freeze up, he makes his choices, and the episode plays out.

And Garrak is my moral clarion bring it all together at the end.

claymisher
03-14-2009, 05:02 PM
I'm a garden-variety liberal:

http://img.skitch.com/20090314-8pka2b7qu5n475hncgdgajq73x.jpg