From Edge: ‘Re: What Makes People Republican? By Jonathan Haidt’

Full post here.

It’s good to be suspicious of the attempt by social scientists to theorize about politics (more theory into politics, more loaded questions).  Some profound silliness and interesting thoughts at the link:

‘Democrats use the language of universal entitlement, when they talk about state-supported preschool or childcare, or the language of individual autonomy, when they talk about choice or contraception, or the language of investment, when they talk about the long-term benefits of healthy and well-educated children. But none of these ways of talking about children really capture our everyday intuitions.  Of course, there isn’t a good alternative conservative language for these intuitions either. The Republican language of traditional religion also doesn’t get it, which is why the celebration of Sarah Palin’s unwed daughter’s pregnancy seemed so paradoxical.’

Points taken (most people have a box to put you in, though the people around you and their political beliefs can deeply shape your thinking and your life).  I don’t quite buy the moral equivalence.  As for Palin, I suspect part of her appeal is the fear and contempt she draws out in her political opponents.  To some, she is a representative for the Christian faith and Christian values in action;  a politician who believes in limited government and who fights corruption, but is villified by many, some of whom are quite illiberal and who attack her personally.  Of course, Palin is still a politician, regardless of her abilities.

And whence morality?  Still a matter of deep debate.

Related On This Site:   Some Tuesday Quotations From Leo StraussFrom Peter Berkowitz At Harvard: ‘The Reason Of Revelation: The Jewish Thought Of Leo Strauss’Franz De Waal At The NY Times 10/17/10: ‘Morals Without God?’

Using J.S. Mill, moving away from religion? Rationalism and Utilitarianism On The Rise?: From The Harvard Educational Review-A Review Of Martha Nussbaum’s ‘Cultivating Humanity: A Classical Defense of Reform in Liberal Education.’

Maybe if you’re defending religion, Nietzsche is a problematic reference: Dinesh D’Souza And Daniel Dennett at Tufts University: Nietzsche’s Prophesy…

Jesse Prinz Discusses “The Emotional Construction Of Morals” On Bloggingheads.Repost-Is Psychology A Science? From Richard Feynman’s ‘Cargo Cult Science’

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2 thoughts on “From Edge: ‘Re: What Makes People Republican? By Jonathan Haidt’

  1. Interesting site. You nailed regarding Palin’s appeal. She is not qualified to be president in my opinion and her nomination by the Republicans would bring the party down in flames. On the other hand, I am delighted by the way she tweaks the media and causes them to go insane.

  2. Frank, thanks for stopping by.

    I couldn’t believe McCain chose her, ‘maverick’ that he is. I think he just made a mistake. She didn’t have the experience or depth in my opinion, to be vice-president. As for the media, I’ve always thought most just go along with whoever’s in power, or public sentiment, or the cause du jour (though they can serve a vital role). Interesting times.

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