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  #1  
Old 10-25-2008, 10:16 AM
Bloggingheads Bloggingheads is offline
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Default Science Saturday: Confronting the Right Wing

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  #2  
Old 10-25-2008, 11:49 AM
SkepticDoc SkepticDoc is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Confronting the Right Wing

I will vote for George!
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  #3  
Old 10-25-2008, 02:11 PM
thprop thprop is offline
 
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Default John's commercial for Obama

I'm Barack Obama and I approve this message.
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  #4  
Old 10-25-2008, 12:27 PM
fedorovingtonboop fedorovingtonboop is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Confronting the Right Wing

John, why would you say the patriotism is categorically bad? Why would it ever be a bad thing to be proud and grateful for the men and women who sacrificed their comfort and lives in the Rev. War, WWI, WWII, Civil War, etc so that you can sit there on your webcam and play on the internet? Absurd.
These people were fighting against tribalism for you.
Furthermore, being liberal, I can still recognize that there's something unique about where we live. The U.S. is the birthplace of so many culturally influential things like the internet (and many of its major websites), many scientific discoveries, etc. It's not really a bad thing to be proud that our forefathers set up better rules than what many many other countries have (i.e. Africa, Middle East.) Being "against patriotism" is such a coffeehouse cliche....no nuance at all and shamefully dismissive, arrogant and ungrateful. It shows absolutely no respect for those who came before us. (Hey, wasn't "respect" on Haidt's list?) Everyone's aware of the potential for destructiveness caused by nationalism but to write it off totally is just worthless. For example, I hate religion but I can recognize its use for others and its presence as an evolutionary crutch or byproduct.
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  #5  
Old 10-25-2008, 01:49 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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Default Re: patriotism

The problem of patriotism is dependent on the meaning you give to it and whether it becomes an overriding principle placed above other more universal principles. So the issue is about each of us having a better understanding of what patriotism entails and how high it is in our moral hierarchy of principles.

Patriotism is tribalism. It is ingroup loyalty. It is 'us vs them'. If you believe in these concepts, then you wouldn't challenge the idea of patriotism. But, if you recognize that although tribalism and the other definitions are part of our innate make up, but that it can lead to actions that we morally reject, then you have to question, at least, how much 'patriotism' is acceptable and how far you are willing to go to defend it. I think this is the dilemma that John was referring to in the diavlog.
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  #6  
Old 10-25-2008, 03:18 PM
DoctorMoney DoctorMoney is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Confronting the Right Wing

Quote:
Originally Posted by fedorovingtonboop View Post
John, why would you say the patriotism is categorically bad? Why would it ever be a bad thing to be proud and grateful for the men and women who sacrificed their comfort and lives in the Rev. War, WWI, WWII, Civil War, etc so that you can sit there on your webcam and play on the internet? Absurd.
If our boys hadn't fought off the Nazis, you'd be talking on a Webernkamera. And ya wouldn't be playing on them intertubes, you'd be fillin' em -- with skulls!
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  #7  
Old 10-25-2008, 03:32 PM
Ray Ray is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Confronting the Right Wing

Quote:
Originally Posted by fedorovingtonboop View Post
Why would it ever be a bad thing to be proud and grateful for the men and women who sacrificed their comfort and lives in the Rev. War, WWI, WWII, Civil War, etc
Why do you think that's patriotism?

To me, the way the people use the word 'patriotism' today corresponds with the term 'loyalist' as used during the Revolutionary War. Back then a 'patriot' was a traitor to the crown and held no allegiance to any nation. The Patriots of the American Revolution held fast to principles, not to states.

In the truest American sense, patriotism is the opposite of blind, arbitrary loyalty. My family fought against Britain in that war, and because we came from Rhode Island, the thirteenth stripe on the flag represents us. That's my family's blood--and the blood of people we killed--in the red of that stripe.

And I'd burn that flag in heartbeat, if I felt it necessary to communicate my point. I'm a patriot of the values, not of the symbols or even the attempt to realize those values in a nation.
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  #8  
Old 10-25-2008, 03:59 PM
bkjazfan bkjazfan is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Confronting the Right Wing

These bloggingheads seem to have a condescending attitude toward religion and patriotism. I guess the many thousands of people who go to churches in South Los Angeles where I live are mentally challenged. Also, the large proportion of males in my family who served in the military were wasting their time.

John
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  #9  
Old 10-25-2008, 04:35 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Confronting the Right Wing

Quote:
Originally Posted by bkjazfan View Post
These bloggingheads seem to have a condescending attitude toward religion and patriotism. I guess the many thousands of people who go to churches in South Los Angeles where I live are mentally challenged. Also, the large proportion of males in my family who served in the military were wasting their time.

John
John,

I don't think that was the intention. At least for me, the reaction that I have when someone talks about "patriotism" has more to do with a particular view of patriotism which has become pervasive in recent years in this country. It's more about being called "anti-patriotic" if one criticizes certain actions taken, for example, by the current government. Many people will say it's anti-patriotic to criticize the war or to criticize aspects of American culture. Loving your country and being proud of its history, its people, and its accomplishments is part of being human, and it's not a bad thing. But if you use the word "patriotism" to defend nationalism above other values, or to justify supremacy or imperialism or extreme interventionism or lack of self-criticism, then many of us would have a problem with it.

Those who serve in the military are carrying out orders. If there is criticism against war, it's about those who decided to go to war or maintain it, and not about those who are sent to fight. Radical pacifism may differ and assign responsibility to all the involved, but I don't think that view was represented in this diavlog.

In terms of religion, the majority of nonreligious people just want to be left alone, meaning they want their right to not being religious respected, and not having religion imposed on them. That idea was covered when 'tolerance' was discussed.

When religion becomes a threat or violates other principles, then there is a more adversarial stance. The issues of separation of church and state, teaching creationism in science/ schools, and pro-choice/ pro-life are obviously among the conflictual items for which there is disagreement.

Why did you take the diavloggers's comments as dismissal or condemnation of religion or patriotism? Do you take my comments as expressed here, as being dismissive or harshly critical? It's always important to know how the 'other side', so to speak, hears what we say. Sometimes, inadvertently, the choice of words is wrong or one may not see an angle that makes it look very different in someone else's eyes. I'm really interested in having your feedback.
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  #10  
Old 10-26-2008, 06:15 AM
JIM3CH JIM3CH is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Confronting the Right Wing

I agree with bkjazfan to some extent. Although I love to listen to John and George I do take umbrage at their incessant, sometimes vitriolic, hatred of religion. I can understand one being put off by proselytising, but to be against religion in any form, which they both frequently admit, seems to me to be woefully wrong minded.

Patriotism, like any of the isms, can be taken to extremes. There is a fine line between patriotism, nationalism, and racism; but that doesn’t mean that it’s bad to wear a flag pin, or to be proud of America’s positive contributions to the world community. I attribute John Horgan’s cynical view of patriotism to the fact that he is, in part, a “60’s throw back”…, or in other words a geriatric hippie.
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  #11  
Old 10-26-2008, 11:02 AM
bkjazfan bkjazfan is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Confronting the Right Wing

Ocean,

Well, from watching this and other diavlogs by John and George is where I got the impression of their condescending attitudes toward religion. Granted, their stance on patriotism is a little fuzzy and I probably spoke out of turn.

I am touchy on the military issue since I did serve and found it to be a good experience. Also, in the early 90's when I was having severe mental and personal problems the VA Hospital was the primary helping hand in getting me off the streets and aiding me in the rehabiliatation process.

Thank you for your response,

John
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  #12  
Old 10-26-2008, 11:07 AM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Confronting the Right Wing

Quote:
Originally Posted by bkjazfan View Post
Ocean,

Well, from watching this and other diavlogs by John and George is where I got the impression of their condescending attitudes toward religion. Granted, their stance on patriotism is a little fuzzy and I probably spoke out of turn.

I am touchy on the military issue since I did serve and found it to be a good experience. Also, in the early 90's when I was having severe mental and personal problems the VA Hospital was the primary helping hand in getting me off the streets and aiding me in the rehabiliatation process.

Thank you for your response,

John
You are welcome and thank you for following up.
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  #13  
Old 10-25-2008, 04:49 PM
fedorovingtonboop fedorovingtonboop is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Confronting the Right Wing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
Why do you think that's patriotism?
Um...because that's a pretty typical and very reasonable definition of patriotism, perhaps? (Pride) I'm not really sure if you're disagreeing with me or just asking....
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  #14  
Old 10-25-2008, 09:12 PM
Ray Ray is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Confronting the Right Wing

Quote:
Originally Posted by fedorovingtonboop View Post
Um...because that's a pretty typical and very reasonable definition of patriotism, perhaps? (Pride) I'm not really sure if you're disagreeing with me or just asking....

I'm disagreeing with you.

Patriotism in the U.S. is extremely complicated, because our founding act was, quite literally, treasonous, anti-patriotic.

And this discussion is primarily about patriotism in an American context.

The definition you're using--pride in the traditions and accomplishments of people who belong to the same nation as you--fits the word 'loyalist', which remains a slur in the U.S. to the present day.
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  #15  
Old 10-25-2008, 09:33 PM
fedorovingtonboop fedorovingtonboop is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Confronting the Right Wing

uh...what? when people use the word "patriotism" today they do not in any way mean "traitor." I get it that you've studied history but you're adding something that doesn't need to be added.....kinda like claiming that "redneck" is still offensive because it used to be a more direct slur...it ain't offensive and neither is "patriotic." it's just generally pride in one's country - it's in the dictionary and the way i used it is by far the most often used and definitely appropriate.
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  #16  
Old 10-25-2008, 11:56 PM
Ray Ray is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Confronting the Right Wing

Quote:
Originally Posted by fedorovingtonboop View Post
uh...what? when people use the word "patriotism" today they do not in any way mean "traitor."
Jesus.

That's not what I'm saying, so quit playing obtuse.

The word 'patriot' in American parlance does not have to do necessarily with nationalism or national pride.

It can also mean "someone who places adherence to an ideal above allegiance to his country".

The point is that there is a tradition of American Patriotism that runs directly counter to the commonplace notion of patriotism.

Let try another example to see if we can get this through your knobby skull.

There's a famous toast written by crazy American sailor Stephen Decatur: "Our country. In her intercourse with other nations may she always be right. But our country, right or wrong."

That's the patriotism you're thinking of, the kind you've been imprinted with to the extent that it's now exceedingly difficult to get across to you the idea that words can have more than one meaning.

But they can! And one of the other meanings of the word 'patriotism', especially in the American context, values republicanism (among other things) above national pride or fealty.

I know it will be hard for you to work your way through this complex reality of polysemic words, but it'll be worth it in the end. Good luck!
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  #17  
Old 10-26-2008, 03:50 AM
fedorovingtonboop fedorovingtonboop is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Confronting the Right Wing

wow, such condescension from someone with so little to offer. anyway, this is what you said:

"The definition you're using--pride in the traditions and accomplishments of people who belong to the same nation as you--fits the word 'loyalist', which remains a slur in the U.S. to the present day."

and then I responded by saying it's definitely not a slur. who could see what else you could possibly be saying there.
this argument you started should make no sense, even to you, because I never said "this is the only definition of patriotism." in fact, you just made up the definition of loyalist (which is hardly relevant since no one uses that word) as far as M-W.com is concerned. all i did was give an example why one would be reasonable in being patriotic. i understand you'd like to find a use for your knowledge but it's really of no use in relation to what i said and isn't, at all, the core of what i was saying to John. here's the MW def. of patriotism:
"love for or devotion to one's country"
most importantly, since you (so generously) pointed out that words can have more than one meaning(wow!), why did you even bother to make an argument in the first place? not only was that not the most relevant part of the initial post, I'm pretty sure my definition should be covered under
"...words can have more than one meaning."
my examples of things to be patriotic about are pretty much the most generic examples of things to be patriotic about. they are actions that show that the people that did them place ideals over anything else. an example of a person placing ideals over their nation could be a conscientious objector. fine, no one cares. my point is that you're trying to show off by bringing in over-educated nuance where it isn't needed. why would you bother to argue that being proud of soldiers is not an example of being patriotic? and as i've said before, these were just broad examples that i don't really care about because i was trying to argue-->(main point, watch close that it's ok to be patriotic....even though my definition easily fits in to the way the word is used today, not in the 18th century, i don''t care about the many possible definitions of patriotism. i appreciate your irrelevant argument, though, it's been a fun exercise. "redneck" didn't always mean "hillbilly"....and no one cares.
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  #18  
Old 10-25-2008, 08:53 PM
Tara Davis Tara Davis is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Confronting the Right Wing

Quote:
Originally Posted by fedorovingtonboop View Post
John, why would you say the patriotism is categorically bad? Why would it ever be a bad thing to be proud and grateful for the men and women who sacrificed their comfort and lives in the Rev. War, WWI, WWII, Civil War, etc so that you can sit there on your webcam and play on the internet? Absurd.
These people were fighting against tribalism for you.
Furthermore, being liberal, I can still recognize that there's something unique about where we live.
Speaking as a libertarian (who is often mistaken for being conservative), I find that it is entirely possible to be an American "exceptionalist" without being a nationalist.

America, to me, represents a structure which is in place to preserve capitalism and civil liberty. Possibly the best such structure anywhere in the world right now. I love my rights, therefore I love America. But I only love America as the best-available means to an end. Being tribalist about America doesn't even make sense. "American" doesn't describe a race, or even a common culture. Put a Freeper in a room with a Kossite and tell me they have any sense of shared culture whatsoever.
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  #19  
Old 10-25-2008, 09:07 PM
fedorovingtonboop fedorovingtonboop is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Confronting the Right Wing

are you agreeing, disagreeing or just saying?
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  #20  
Old 10-25-2008, 12:36 PM
thprop thprop is offline
 
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Default Your Brain on Cubs

John speaks of the irrationality of being a Mets fan. Even worse are Cub fans - and we hate the Mets. 1969 is too painful to talk about. So why do people continue to support this team? Steve Goodman was the consummate Cub fan. He died in 1984 - having already penned "A Dying Cub Fans Last Request". But the people who pack Wrigley Field still sing Goodman's "Go, Cubs Go!" after the game. This year, the Cubs failed us again - but we will be there again next year - and the year after that and the year after that and.....

Rational people may question this behavior. Science has studied it. The results are in "Your Brain on Cubs:
Inside the Heads of Players and Fans"
edited by Dan Gordon.

Brief summary -
A group of today’s leading science writers and neuroscientists explore here the ways that our brain functions when we participate in sports as fans, athletes, and coaches, taking baseball as the quintessential sport for all three perspectives.
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  #21  
Old 10-25-2008, 02:20 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Confronting the Right Wing

Excellent diavlog! Very thought provoking in many topics.

When John and George are talking about Haidt's findings they mention the position of 'conforming to non-conformism'. This is the problem of being anti- something. Should we be dogmatic about being non-dogmatic?

In my opinion these are the 'traps' of language. The general idea is to be dynamic, to seek change, to improve. That requires questioning what is established, avoiding blind rigid adherence to one perspective, keeping an open mind and looking for alternative solutions. If we want to call these non-conformism, it's fine. But we shouldn't conclude that we have to 'reject' everything that is established. After revising certain principles, we may decide it's OK to keep them, at least for the time being. Rebellion has to be rational and not a blind reflex. And that doesn't make it conformism.

A similar fallacy appears with the concept of 'tolerance'. Tolerance should be reciprocal, not just tolerance of the other. Perhaps one could argue that it's better to start by being tolerant, since it wouldn't be uncommon that the other side will follow by reciprocating. But, that isn't always the case. In such situation the idea of tolerance has to be supplemented by the idea of placing some boundaries, or protections to our position. Ultimately, the problem will always reside on where the 'power' resides. If the power resides with the more tolerant side, it's easier to maintain diversity. If the power resides in the non-tolerant side, then the risk of totalitarianism is greater.

People seem to forget or, perhaps ignore, some of the most fundamental principles of democracy and 'freedom'. Religious fundamentalism, or any other dogmatic ideology, or position of intolerance are anti-democratic and certainly anti-American. That is, in case we want to maintain the basic principles in which the country was founded. I'm always surprised that this is not more openly denounced.

And a final comment on Woodward's "The War Within", what the heck were they talking about?
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  #22  
Old 10-25-2008, 03:13 PM
Bloggin' Noggin Bloggin' Noggin is offline
 
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Default Tolerance is not the same as Relativism

I loved it that John dismissed Haidt as "Pop psychology" -- that's exactly what he's doing.
Haidt takes popular confusions about liberalism (e.g. that it's based on relativism) along with ephemeral social facts (the recent polarization of America along secular vs. religious lines) and produces an eternal psychological theory to explain why these things have always been so (even though they haven't always been so).

I wish John hadn't then followed Haidt in confusing liberal tolerance with moral relativism. Tolerance is NOT NOT NOT the view that every view is right!!!!! It is the view that evidence and argument should be the main means of "suppressing" wrong views, and that force can be used against such views or rather the practical application of such views) in only very limited circumstances -- where there is strong evidence that a non-consenting party will be harmed. There is NO CONTRADICTION -- NO WAY, NO HOW -- between saying that and saying that liberalism really is the correct moral view.
LIberalism does not compel the liberal to believe that theocrats are equally right. Nor does it compel the liberal state to do nothing to prevent the theocrats from taking power. It can't prevent theocratic views from being expressed (except where they would be an incitement to riot), and it's true that the theocrats wouldn't reciprocate if they were in power. But if the theocrats (or other illiberal types) are attempting to use force to compel others to accept their beliefs, then the liberal can COMPLETELY CONSISTENTLY use state power to interfere with such a violation of the rights of others.
Liberal toleration simply demands that beliefs should be exposed to a (fair) marketplace of ideas, and I see no reason why it should have to except itself from that. Liberals have always felt (I think rightly) that liberalism survives very well in the marketplace of ideas. So what is the supposed inconsistency of liberalism? How is tolerance supposed to undermine itself again?
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  #23  
Old 10-25-2008, 07:20 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Tolerance is not the same as Relativism

BN:

Good to see you back. Good response. I'll just address one bit:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bloggin' Noggin View Post
So what is the supposed inconsistency of liberalism? How is tolerance supposed to undermine itself again?
I believe tolerance can, in principle, be taken too far, and that this can, in principle, have the effect of undermining itself. For example, if a group of people move into an area, and they have fundamentally different ideas about what is the right way to conduct society, and they make demands that society accommodate them, this can cause serious problems. You might have that group gaining a disproportionate amount of clout, with the result that tolerating that group leads to that group imposing a less tolerant approach on everyone. You might provoke resentment among those not in that group, with the result that toleration of that group leads to an increased intolerance of them.

I think it's also possible that tolerating "everything" can, in the extreme, leads to a certain amount of intellectual mushiness.

So, that's how I think it's possible for tolerance to undermine itself.
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  #24  
Old 10-25-2008, 10:08 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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Default Re: Tolerance is not the same as Relativism

I posted this before:

Quote:
A similar fallacy appears with the concept of 'tolerance'. Tolerance should be reciprocal, not just tolerance of the other. Perhaps one could argue that it's better to start by being tolerant, since it wouldn't be uncommon that the other side will follow by reciprocating. But, that isn't always the case. In such situation the idea of tolerance has to be supplemented by the idea of placing some boundaries, or protections to our position. Ultimately, the problem will always reside on where the 'power' resides. If the power resides with the more tolerant side, it's easier to maintain diversity. If the power resides in the non-tolerant side, then the risk of totalitarianism is greater.
Is that what you are talking about?
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  #25  
Old 10-25-2008, 10:21 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Tolerance is not the same as Relativism

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ocean View Post
I posted this before: [...]

Is that what you are talking about?
It catches some of the same spirit, yes.
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  #26  
Old 10-26-2008, 12:37 AM
Bloggin' Noggin Bloggin' Noggin is offline
 
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Default Re: Tolerance is not the same as Relativism

Hi Brendan,
I'm not really clear how your reply applies to the way I intended to use the word "tolerance". What I meant to do was to define tolerance as the refusal to use coercion to change people's minds, even when their views are wrong (or when we think they are wrong). Liberal tolerance (as opposed to mushy relativist "tolerance", which not really tolerance at all) allows the use of force to prevent actions harmful to others (including violations of their liberty). This seems to be an entirely consistent standard, something that the liberal can perfectly well apply to himself. If illiberal types try to coerce others into sharing their views, the liberal can stop them quite consistently, without stepping over the line and trying to coerce them into changing their beliefs. Their intolerance in no way requires that he step over his own line and try to force them to share his views on the matter at hand.
The tolerant person does not say "everybody is right" (someone who says that doesn't think there's really anything to tolerate). He's the person who refuses to use coercive means to get others to agree with the "right" views and who refuses to allow others to use such coercive means. Such a person rests his case on evidence and argument and the marketplace of ideas -- his case for everything, including his case for tolerance. And such a person also defends the marketplace of ideas from those who would try to bring coercion into it.
He is willing to use coercion to prevent others from forcing their views on other people, but that doesn't violate the principle of toleration. And there is no contradiction or inconsistency in that.
Tolerance is not the refusal to use any coercion ever for any purpose; it is just a strict limitation on the legitimate function of coercion. At a minimum it requires some better reason for coercing someone than that his belief is wrong. The tolerant person will tolerate those who believe that this is a legitimate reason for coercion -- up to the point where this person actually starts coercing someone else on this basis. But that doesn't mean that he doesn't try to change this illiberal person's mind by evidence and argument. Toleration is NOT the "polite" attempt to shut down debate; it's what creates the space for rational debate.

Last edited by Bloggin' Noggin; 10-26-2008 at 12:48 AM..
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  #27  
Old 10-26-2008, 01:53 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Tolerance is not the same as Relativism

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bloggin' Noggin View Post
Hi Brendan,
I'm not really clear how your reply applies to the way I intended to use the word "tolerance". What I meant to do was to define tolerance as the refusal to use coercion to change people's minds, even when their views are wrong (or when we think they are wrong). [...]
Okay, I see the distinction. Curses. Foiled by polysemy again.

(Thanks for the new word, Ray!)
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  #28  
Old 10-27-2008, 03:48 PM
Me&theboys Me&theboys is offline
 
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Default Re: Tolerance is not the same as Relativism

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bloggin' Noggin View Post
I wish John hadn't then followed Haidt in confusing liberal tolerance with moral relativism. Tolerance is NOT NOT NOT the view that every view is right!!!!! It is the view that evidence and argument should be the main means of "suppressing" wrong views, and that force can be used against such views or rather the practical application of such views) in only very limited circumstances -- where there is strong evidence that a non-consenting party will be harmed. There is NO CONTRADICTION -- NO WAY, NO HOW -- between saying that and saying that liberalism really is the correct moral view.
LIberalism does not compel the liberal to believe that theocrats are equally right. Nor does it compel the liberal state to do nothing to prevent the theocrats from taking power. It can't prevent theocratic views from being expressed (except where they would be an incitement to riot), and it's true that the theocrats wouldn't reciprocate if they were in power. But if the theocrats (or other illiberal types) are attempting to use force to compel others to accept their beliefs, then the liberal can COMPLETELY CONSISTENTLY use state power to interfere with such a violation of the rights of others.
Liberal toleration simply demands that beliefs should be exposed to a (fair) marketplace of ideas, and I see no reason why it should have to except itself from that. Liberals have always felt (I think rightly) that liberalism survives very well in the marketplace of ideas. So what is the supposed inconsistency of liberalism? How is tolerance supposed to undermine itself again?
A few thoughts: The use of the words ‘tolerance” and “suppressing” and “wrong” in the same (almost) sentence just doesn’t SOUND tolerant. Would you accept the same statement if the word “countering” replaced “suppressing” and if the phrase “views one believes to be wrong” replaced the word “wrong”? “Suppressing” and “wrong” just leave little room for the possibility of recognizing that one is mistaken, and it seems to me that a strong reason for being tolerant is the recognition that humans (including one’s self) have been known to be mistaken. Also, the idea of suppression seems to contradict the idea that “liberal tolerance demands that beliefs should be exposed to a fair marketplace of ideas”. Suppressed ideas don’t get exposed to ANY marketplace, and ideas labeled in advance as wrong are less likely to get exposed to a FAIR marketplace. Subconscious biases pretty much preclude the possibility of ideas getting exposed to a truly fair marketplace of ideas. Witness the anger expressed on this board and elsewhere in the world to data (not opinions) that contradict one’s world view. It is the rare person indeed who spends as much time looking for the fallibility of their own arguments as they do looking for the fallibility of opposing arguments.
Also, liberalism and iliberalism are two points on a continuum, and any individual’s specific views may occupy different points on the continuum depending on the issue at hand. Given this, I’d be interested in how you would revise your above description about tolerance to describe tolerance on an individual level versus a “state” level. It is far easier to divide states into liberal versus iliberal than to apply the same division to people and specific behaviors or ideas. In my experience, tolerance becomes more difficult for people to maintain at greater levels of specificity and lower levels of abstraction.
Lastly, can you clarify the meaning of the term “harmed” in your first paragraph and are you tolerant of differing views of what constitutes harm and thus the use of force? Again, I am talking about harm at the level of the individual, rather than the state or abstract level. The liberal state versus the theocratic state is too stark and abstract a contrast to be a useful in exploring the idea of tolerance as I understand Haidt to use the term.
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Old 10-25-2008, 04:14 PM
themightypuck themightypuck is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Confronting the Right Wing

Even in a Prius, a two hour commute doesn't seem very green
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  #30  
Old 10-25-2008, 04:39 PM
claymisher claymisher is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Confronting the Right Wing

This episodes was kind of a bummer, because thanks to BH I'm a big Haidt fan, and John and George knew less about his research than they would have learned by simply watching either of the episodes he's done. "Pop psychology" is a pretty severe condemnation to make when you don't know anything about the subject.
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Old 10-25-2008, 05:40 PM
BeachFrontView BeachFrontView is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Confronting the Right Wing

Science Saturday fucking rocks.
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  #32  
Old 10-25-2008, 05:54 PM
jeffpeterson jeffpeterson is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Confronting the Right Wing

It's obscurantist to hold that there are too many people on the planet, and anybody who imagines otherwise needs to work through Julian Simon's magnum opus The Ultimate Resource 2. The title refers to human ingenuity, and the book marshals a wealth of data to show that historically, population increases result in improved living standards as people generate new and better ways to employ natural resources. So why are Malthusians and other doomsayers constantly getting a hearing? For the same reason that crime stories lead the local news, not because the opinion has merit. Voicing it is almost as great an offense against reason as suggesting that a person who uses the word "blessing" has no place in a scientific discussion. Behold the tolerance of the Enlightened!
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  #33  
Old 10-25-2008, 06:04 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Confronting the Right Wing

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffpeterson View Post
It's obscurantist to hold that there are too many people on the planet, and anybody who imagines otherwise needs to work through Julian Simon's magnum opus The Ultimate Resource 2. The title refers to human ingenuity, and the book marshals a wealth of data to show that historically, population increases result in improved living standards as people generate new and better ways to employ natural resources. So why are Malthusians and other doomsayers constantly getting a hearing? For the same reason that crime stories lead the local news, not because the opinion has merit. Voicing it is almost as great an offense against reason as suggesting that a person who uses the word "blessing" has no place in a scientific discussion. Behold the tolerance of the Enlightened!
By the same argument, since my glass of lemonade has not overflowed up until now, I can fit an infinite amount of lemonade in my glass. I'd be careful of accusing others of an "offense against reason," if I were you.
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  #34  
Old 10-25-2008, 06:47 PM
fedorovingtonboop fedorovingtonboop is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Confronting the Right Wing

"blessing" really doesn't have a place in a scientific discussion, obviously, because the user is making a religious reference...which is worthless in a discussion like that.
as far as population goes, what about the 5 out of 7 billion people who are poor as hell? how are their living standards? that's my definition of "too many people." not to mention the ridiculous amount of pollution being put out...

Last edited by fedorovingtonboop; 10-25-2008 at 06:59 PM..
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  #35  
Old 10-25-2008, 10:13 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Confronting the Right Wing

To summarize aemjeff and fedorovingtonboop comments. Your argument about historical data is inapplicable because as far as we know we haven't had 6-7 billion people in this planet before. We have been pushing the limits for a while.
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  #36  
Old 10-25-2008, 06:36 PM
a Duoist a Duoist is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Confronting the Right Wing

The "two world-views" which inform liberal vs conservative are bio-psychological in origin. We humans have both psychologies (the improvabilist and fallibilst) within us, but one usually predominates. Both psychologies, by the way, are very 'tribal.' If humans who are liberals do not believe they are just as tribal as conservative humans, they are not paying attention to their herding behavior. Communalism is, by its nature, tribal.
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Old 10-25-2008, 10:19 PM
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Confronting the Right Wing

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Originally Posted by a Duoist View Post
The "two world-views" which inform liberal vs conservative are bio-psychological in origin. We humans have both psychologies (the improvabilist and fallibilst) within us, but one usually predominates. Both psychologies, by the way, are very 'tribal.' If humans who are liberals do not believe they are just as tribal as conservative humans, they are not paying attention to their herding behavior. Communalism is, by its nature, tribal.
Agree. I don't think we have escaped tribalism. Being aware of it and moderating it is the best we can aspire to achieve for now. The circle that includes those that we consider part of our group can widen to include all people in this planet, all forms of life (animal, plants), nature, etc. And then we have other planets, and so on. I'm not sure whether we can in practice, ever do away with dualism. And I'm not qualified to go beyond this idea.
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  #38  
Old 10-25-2008, 11:54 PM
Simon Willard Simon Willard is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Confronting the Right Wing

Balderdash. There aren't two world views at all. Each of us is complex and multi-dimensional. We are born with a desire to look for simplification, so we have a tendency to try to collapse our many dimensions of comlexity onto a single dimension (lib/con). This is amplified in the US by the very sensible two-party tradition (sensible because it forces majority rule). But we should not let this simplification obscure our understanding of human nature.
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Old 10-25-2008, 11:55 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Confronting the Right Wing

Wait a minute, Simon. Either you're with us or you're against us.

;^)
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  #40  
Old 10-25-2008, 11:58 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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Default Re: Science Saturday: Confronting the Right Wing

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Wait a minute, Simon. Either you're with us or you're against us.

;^)
And which one exactly is the axis of evil?
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