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

Bipedal Primate's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by Bipedal Primate

Comment 5 by Achamian :

I'm always skeptical whenever I hear this yin/yang balance metaphor expanded to politics. I don't buy this notion that both sides always have something to offer and if we can just come to the center and compromise, that's the best outcome. Maybe it's the only politically feasible outcome, but that doesn't mean the ethical zenith is in the middle. This is especially apparent with civil rights and equality for gays, women, and ethnic minorities. Compromising with bigotry (often religious) on these issues will cause societal stagnation and decay.

There seems to be this implied argument that because these moral intuitions have evolved in our species, that they are all valid and good for our well-being. This is a naturalistic fallacy if I've ever seen one. I agree with the comment 1 that we should be applying evidentiary reasoning to politics.

I think yin/yang works pretty well for politics, where left/right coincides with tender minded/tough minded, matriarchy/patriarchy and safety for the group vs. freedom for the individual, but it doesn't automatically have to mean that the ethical zenith has to be in the exact middle, just somewhere in between. And maybe not in an exact spot on an axis, either, but more of an area on a map.

Tue, 27 Mar 2012 21:29:49 UTC | #930822