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← Civility in American Politics: How to Get (Some of) it Back

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Jump to comment 1 by AtheistEgbert

Haidt brilliantly explains how our intuitive and emotional moral systems are used to make political choices. His analysis reminds me of George Lakoff's [see his Moral Politics and The Political Mind] metaphor of describing the political right as patriarchal and the political left as matriarchal.

The important point is, ordinary people are not making rational choices and decisions when it comes to choosing their political leaders. Their intuitive and emotional moral systems are manipulated into a kind of group mentality by their leaders and the media, which is damaging to democracy.

The parallels between political thought and religious thought has to be obvious to many of us. Haidt seems to downplay the possibility of reason solving these problems, and so turns to civility.

This thinking about civility solving our problems reminds me of accommodationism, and seems to me another kind of conservative sentiment.

Again, I have to disagree with this accommodationist sentiment, and promote reason instead. What Haidt has not considered is that people who are trained academically to think rationally, scientifically and sceptically begin to take this into their unconscious and it becomes intuitive. Then their intuitive moral systems work rather well. There is no need for such gloomy pessimism.

For me, more reason in politics is the solution.

Tue, 27 Mar 2012 08:54:27 UTC | #930708