Author Topic: Why are people conservtive or liberal?  (Read 81 times)

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Offline SirJohn

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Why are people conservtive or liberal?
« on: April 07, 2017, 07:51:02 pm »
I was watching this video regarding the morality and values of small l liberals vs small c conservatives by Jonathan Haidt. It's quite interesting in how Haidt shows how certain types of people, based on the value they place in certain things, become conservative or liberal, and about how you can define them. Basically, open people become liberals and closed people become conservatives. Haidt divides our moral foundations into five categories. Liberals speak for the weak and oppressed. They want change and justice, even at the risk of chaos. Conservatives speak for institutions and traditions. They want order, even at some cost to those at the bottom.

Haidt puts our sense of morality into five distinct categories.

Harm/care
Fairness/reciprocity
Ingroup/loyalty
Authority/respect
Purity/sanctity

They had some 30,000 people answer their questions about what they care about. Liberals not only prioritize the first two, they basically place virtually no importance whatever on the others. Conservatives, on the other hand, embrace all five, and it's the same in every country and society. So the argument, at base, is not about the first two, but about the next three. I thought the video was quite entertaining and enlightening. Haidt is a very good speaker.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SOQduoLgRw

"When liberals insist that only fascists will defend borders then voters will hire fascists to do the job liberals won't do." David Frum

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Offline bcsapper

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Re: Why are people conservtive or liberal?
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2017, 10:39:22 am »
I was watching this video regarding the morality and values of small l liberals vs small c conservatives by Jonathan Haidt. It's quite interesting in how Haidt shows how certain types of people, based on the value they place in certain things, become conservative or liberal, and about how you can define them. Basically, open people become liberals and closed people become conservatives. Haidt divides our moral foundations into five categories. Liberals speak for the weak and oppressed. They want change and justice, even at the risk of chaos. Conservatives speak for institutions and traditions. They want order, even at some cost to those at the bottom.

Haidt puts our sense of morality into five distinct categories.

Harm/care
Fairness/reciprocity
Ingroup/loyalty
Authority/respect
Purity/sanctity

They had some 30,000 people answer their questions about what they care about. Liberals not only prioritize the first two, they basically place virtually no importance whatever on the others. Conservatives, on the other hand, embrace all five, and it's the same in every country and society. So the argument, at base, is not about the first two, but about the next three. I thought the video was quite entertaining and enlightening. Haidt is a very good speaker.


I think people are conservative and liberal, depending on the issue at hand.  I certainly am.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2017, 01:45:16 pm by bcsapper »
Time for bed said Zebedee...

Offline kimmy

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Re: Why are people conservtive or liberal?
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2017, 01:15:05 pm »
Harm/care
Fairness/reciprocity
Ingroup/loyalty
Authority/respect
Purity/sanctity


That was an interesting video, and quite thought-provoking.


On "purity/sanctity"... I simply don't see any inherent value in it.  He mentions purity of food as a member of this category... for me, beyond standards of safety (ie, the water that comes from your tap shouldn't contain lead, the meat that comes from the store shouldn't contain bacteria, and so on...) I don't see any value in "purity" at all. (I would personally file food regulations under "harm/care", because it's a matter of safety and security, not a moral issue.)

On "authority/respect"... I still believe in these as important things in society... the rule of law is of paramount importance.  Unfortunately, my trust in our institutions has been badly shaken in recent years. Whether it be our law enforcement personnel or our political institutions or our business and financial system, none of it works as great as I thought it did when I was younger.  I think this, more than any of these other areas, is where my views have shifted over the years.

On "ingroup/loyalty"... I understand what he's saying, I've long believed that our natural instinct to form "tribes" in one form or another is one of the most significant forces in human behavior and shapes everything we do. I think it's a factor in the way we do politics. I think mainstream Christianity in the US is more tribal than moral or philosophical right now... it manifests as an Us vs Everybody Else attitude rather than a What Would Jesus Do philosophy. Next week I will be donning my Oilers jersey and cheering loudly in local establishments alongside other Oilers fans who I've never even met.  Bitter jealous Canucks fans will no doubt be heckling us.

But I view this as a hard-wired instinct we have, not something that has inherent value.

 -k

Offline SirJohn

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Re: Why are people conservtive or liberal?
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2017, 04:40:55 pm »
But it helps us understand some of the reasons behind the dogmatic stands left and right take on certain issues.  If the Left, for the most part, places little or no value on three of the five, but only really values the first two, they aren't going to either understand or have the same motivations as conservatives who embrace all five of these. I admit that I'm not much into the purity thing, too. I imagine that one is where social conservatives come in. Likewise if liberals are eager for change and new things and novelties while the right embrace tradition and the familiar, that shows why they are so often and so predictably on opposite sides of the fence in many discussions like, for example, immigration. Affection for the military is a little bit harm/care - but only a little since most can't see a likely danger out there, but I think it's also strongly ingroup/loyalty, which would show why the Right is generally much more supportive of the military than the Left. Also, in terms of 'law and order' the Left tends to care more about the 'oppressed' while the right sides with 'order'. Thus you have liberals, including an awful lot of whites, supporting BLM, while virtually no conservatives do. You can even carry this to foreign policy, where the liberals support 'the oppressed' Palestinians and change, even if that means chaos,  while conservatives largely support Israel.
"When liberals insist that only fascists will defend borders then voters will hire fascists to do the job liberals won't do." David Frum

Offline kimmy

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Re: Why are people conservtive or liberal?
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2017, 11:22:48 am »
Likewise if liberals are eager for change and new things and novelties while the right embrace tradition and the familiar, that shows why they are so often and so predictably on opposite sides of the fence in many discussions like, for example, immigration.

I don't actually delight in new things or change for the sake of change. I don't oppose traditions for the sake of opposing tradition, I oppose traditions that are at odds with my sense of fairness. A lot of our traditions have intrinsic value. A lot of our traditions build a sense of unity and community. I don't want to destroy those things.  But when traditions and fairness are at odds, tradition has to yield.

 -k

Offline SirJohn

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Re: Why are people conservtive or liberal?
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2017, 05:04:15 pm »
I don't actually delight in new things or change for the sake of change. I don't oppose traditions for the sake of opposing tradition, I oppose traditions that are at odds with my sense of fairness. A lot of our traditions have intrinsic value. A lot of our traditions build a sense of unity and community. I don't want to destroy those things.  But when traditions and fairness are at odds, tradition has to yield.

 -k

You are also not a liberal, as far as I can determine. You are sort of centrist. The point remains that in discussions about things like immigration the Left is predictably in favour and the Right is predictably opposed. The same for support of the military and law and order issues. That doesn't mean every liberal and every conservative will march in lockstep in total opposition on every issue, of course. For example, I'm a law and order guy, but I freely acknowledge there are serious issues with the way police are trained around use of force issues.

Haidt does suggest in another video that if you know what values the other side has then you can be better at trying to convince them of the validity of your argument. He uses the example of an attempt to legalize gay marriage in Massachusetts. The first time it was tried the referendum failed. The second time it passed, and in large measure because those in favour of gay marriage completely changed how they presented their case in line with conservative views on social morality.
"When liberals insist that only fascists will defend borders then voters will hire fascists to do the job liberals won't do." David Frum

Offline John Mark Taylor

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Re: Why are people conservtive or liberal?
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2017, 06:45:12 pm »
I'm a pretty closed person (an extreme introvert - though I have a very public position), yet on many of the issues, I'm more liberal than conservative.  I don't fit many things I guess though lol.

Offline SirJohn

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Re: Why are people conservtive or liberal?
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2017, 11:38:39 am »
I'm a pretty closed person (an extreme introvert - though I have a very public position), yet on many of the issues, I'm more liberal than conservative.  I don't fit many things I guess though lol.

I don't think being an introvert/extrovert is necessarily related to Haidt's open and closed social value type.
"When liberals insist that only fascists will defend borders then voters will hire fascists to do the job liberals won't do." David Frum

Offline John Mark Taylor

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Re: Why are people conservtive or liberal?
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2017, 02:57:14 pm »
I don't think being an introvert/extrovert is necessarily related to Haidt's open and closed social value type.

You're right - I probably misinterpreted it.