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Ch. 4: Vote for Me (Here's Why) 
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Post Ch. 4: Vote for Me (Here's Why)
Ch. 4: Vote for Me (Here's Why)



Tue Dec 10, 2019 3:28 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 4: Vote for Me (Here's Why)
I think this chapter is when Haidt's ideas are really starting to come into focus.

This was a bit of a surprise. Haidt suggests that "worship" of reason is "one of the most long-lived delusions in Western history."

Quote:
It’s the idea that reasoning is our most noble attribute, one that makes us like the gods (for Plato) or that brings us beyond the “delusion” of believing in gods (for the New Atheists).

I believe Ant was making this case for a long time and mostly to deaf ears. I still want to make a counterargument, but not sure how I would put it. :lol:

And then this:

Quote:
. . . each individual reasoner is really good at one thing: finding evidence to support the position he or she already holds, usually for intuitive reasons. We should not expect individuals to produce good, open-minded, truth-seeking reasoning, particularly when self-interest or reputational concerns are in play. But if you put individuals together in the right way, such that some individuals can use their reasoning powers to disconfirm the claims of others, and all individuals feel some common bond or shared fate that allows them to interact civilly, you can create a group that ends up producing good reasoning as an emergent property of the social system.


This is sort of the takeaway in Haidt's other book, The Happiness Hypothesis. Money and fame don't make us happy (although lacking money would be a hindrance). Haidt argues that much of our happiness comes from social relationships, being part of a community. This makes sense from an evolutionary psychology perspective, since we evolved under conditions in which humans lived in small groups.

As such, in the modern world, when we are socially isolated, we are more unhappy and selfish than when we are part of a group. So what does that say about individualistic societies? Have we moved too far along this course? Should we try to become more sociocentric?


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Mon Jan 20, 2020 10:35 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 4: Vote for Me (Here's Why)
geo wrote:
I think this chapter is when Haidt's ideas are really starting to come into focus.

And I think the structure of his argument is very logical and clear and builds up as he goes along. He's a good teacher.
Quote:
This was a bit of a surprise. Haidt suggests that "worship" of reason is "one of the most long-lived delusions in Western history."
I believe Ant was making this case for a long time and mostly to deaf ears. I still want to make a counterargument, but not sure how I would put it. :lol:

Blaise Pascal wasn't on board with supreme reason: “The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of... We know the truth not only by the reason, but by the heart." Religion also typically claims a power beyond reason, which would be faith. Perhaps since science has remade the world, and the method of science is associated with reason, what Haidt says is true. But it's hard for me to completely accept the generalization.

Quote:
And then this:

Quote:
. . . each individual reasoner is really good at one thing: finding evidence to support the position he or she already holds, usually for intuitive reasons. We should not expect individuals to produce good, open-minded, truth-seeking reasoning, particularly when self-interest or reputational concerns are in play. But if you put individuals together in the right way, such that some individuals can use their reasoning powers to disconfirm the claims of others, and all individuals feel some common bond or shared fate that allows them to interact civilly, you can create a group that ends up producing good reasoning as an emergent property of the social system.


This is sort of the takeaway in Haidt's other book, The Happiness Hypothesis. Money and fame don't make us happy (although lacking money would be a hindrance). Haidt argues that much of our happiness comes from social relationships, being part of a community. This makes sense from an evolutionary psychology perspective, since we evolved under conditions in which humans lived in small groups.

As such, in the modern world, when we are socially isolated, we are more unhappy and selfish than when we are part of a group. So what does that say about individualistic societies? Have we moved too far along this course? Should we try to become more sociocentric?

So in this book, he adds to the value of our groupish nature in claiming that not only will we be happier, but our political discourse will become more reasoned only through sitting down with well-intentioned people and hashing out our views. This reminds me of the intent behind Better Angels, which you might have heard of. It's a red-blue reconciliation movement. I read an article about it that confirmed that meetings of reds and blues result in civil discussion. However, there is such significant self-selection (i.e., these are folks willing to come to the table) that the writer wondered if the movement can have a wide effect.

My impression of sociocentric cultures is that homogeneity is needed first. Then, maybe, there can be more consensus on values and norms. Looking at our fractious origins (as Woodard did), I'm not sure we'll ever be like that. It seems we used our Constitution and our e pluribus unum ethos to keep civil agreement intact. Whether that might now be failing us is worrying people more and more.

Can you guess what public figure I was thinking of when I came to this passage"
Quote:
I'm not saying we should all stop reasoning and go with our gut feelings. Gut feelings are sometimes better guides than reasoning for making consumer choices and interpersonal judgments, but they are often disastrous as a basis for public policy, science, and law. Rather, what I'm saying is that we must be wary of any individual's ability to reason.



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geo
Tue Jan 21, 2020 6:18 pm
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