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MSJ

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« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2018, 02:31:03 am »
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That's part of the problem though.  How can we identify when liberalism goes too far?  When group identity is more important than personal identity?  Where do we stand to get the proper perspective?  I think the answer has to be somewhere in the middle, but who can be in the middle and then judge?  They'd just be decried as too conservative.  That's the problem when everything is too polar, there is no middle to mitigate extremism on either side.  But it serves both sides to rip anyone in the middle to shreds because the polarity is the source of power.

I really like this explanation, on what I think is the entire problem with politics in the U.S..

I won't pretend to be smart enough to add anything significant enough other than my opinion. But, if I have ever stated that my views lie in the center (relative to the far right & left), I HAVE been viewed as having no real opinion. Which I find to be bullocks. Because, if I can look at an issue and see both sides does that mean that I have no real view on it? I do. It's only that I know the only way to reach a sensible solution is to meet somewhere in the middle. Hopefully, with a little more swinging your way. If not, we're left at a standstill. Exactly where politics stand today. No one willing to budge on their viewpoint, not willing to meet in the middle. It will be the downfall of us, I'm sure, if it doesn't change.
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BeardFisher-King

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« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2018, 02:51:44 am »
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That's part of the problem though.  How can we identify when liberalism goes too far?  When group identity is more important than personal identity?  Where do we stand to get the proper perspective?  I think the answer has to be somewhere in the middle, but who can be in the middle and then judge?  They'd just be decried as too conservative.  That's the problem when everything is too polar, there is no middle to mitigate extremism on either side.  But it serves both sides to rip anyone in the middle to shreds because the polarity is the source of power.

I really like this explanation, on what I think is the entire problem with politics in the U.S..

I won't pretend to be smart enough to add anything significant enough other than my opinion. But, if I have ever stated that my views lie in the center (relative to the far right & left), I HAVE been viewed as having no real opinion. Which I find to be bullocks. Because, if I can look at an issue and see both sides does that mean that I have no real view on it? I do. It's only that I know the only way to reach a sensible solution is to meet somewhere in the middle. Hopefully, with a little more swinging your way. If not, we're left at a standstill. Exactly where politics stand today. No one willing to budge on their viewpoint, not willing to meet in the middle. It will be the downfall of us, I'm sure, if it doesn't change.

I don't think our current politics are all that dire. Remember, the hardcore right thought America wouldn't survive the Obama presidency. Now the hardcore left thinks we won't survive the Trump presidency. All of it .... complete nonsense.

Centrists such as MSJ may not be politically influential at this moment, but it is that centrist, bridge-building impulse that holds a society together. The wise among the hardcore politicos recognize that truth, and they know that they need to attract the centrists, to be open to that bridge-building impulse.
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H

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« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2018, 12:15:30 pm »
I don't think our current politics are all that dire. Remember, the hardcore right thought America wouldn't survive the Obama presidency. Now the hardcore left thinks we won't survive the Trump presidency. All of it .... complete nonsense.

Centrists such as MSJ may not be politically influential at this moment, but it is that centrist, bridge-building impulse that holds a society together. The wise among the hardcore politicos recognize that truth, and they know that they need to attract the centrists, to be open to that bridge-building impulse.

Apocalypse, appropriately enough, is always just beyond the next perceptual horizon.  That really isn't anything new, recall how all-out nuclear war seemed just off the radar?  The list goes on throughout human history.  It's eschatology and I don't think there has ever been a time where humans didn't have a sense that the end could be near.  Because it is a fact that it always could be.

Heh no you are the smart one! <<insert appropriate emoji>>

Ha, no way, like 0% chance there.

But yes, I will look for your post coming at dawn from whatever direction the riders of Rohan came from to relieve Gandalf when he faced the Witch King. <<insert appropriate emoji>>

Well, it's an interesting point about Manicheanism you bring up, because on the one hand, our generally post-modern sensibilities point us toward the idea that it is absolutely false.  If all morality is relative, there is no light or dark, no good or bad, we only imagine opposites because of our perspective.  While this is logical, I don't really think this is how our brains work.  Not how our heuristics work.  Is it really the case that this is "new" though?  Hasn't it always been the case that people imagined themselves as the light against the darkness?

I don't really know that the issue is Manicheanism, per se, but rather, like we talked about earlier, with overwhelming polarization.  Maybe that is the same thing though.  The question then is why now?
I am a warrior of ages, Anasurimbor. . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury. -Cet'ingira

TaoHorror

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« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2018, 02:53:47 pm »
It could simply be a change in politics, which means a change in nothing, really. If it's "just" a fight for power, well that's good news as much/all of the crazy talk is just rhetoric - it's about winning elections and not about really doing anything ( harmful ). That said, there has been, what I think has been an awful mistake, change in direction in foreign policy.

What Trump has done is make a very clear line between political speech and policy and that may be a good thing. People crave that daily interaction ( reality tv, twitter ) and love him for it. But our bureaucracy has rightly ignored it and will only act on "properly communicated directives" before doing anything. Trump has fired Muller a thousand times, but has yet to fire him. Up til now, political and policy speech were woven into the same presentation - which confused the direction with lies. Now we have clearly what the President is doing ( executive orders, policies, bills ) and political speech ( twitter, rallies, tv interviews ). So the fight for power and what that power does have been segregated which makes it easier to understand what an administration is really up to.

Don't know how this "blue wave" is going to pan out for liberals/leftists/democrats as they still haven't wised up to what's going on with the Trump experience. They're baffled why so many would follow such a person, someone who perpetually lies and more so lies on purpose even when it's not necessary. Trumpians LOVE pissing off liberals. So Trump with all of his made up stuff is doing exactly what his base wants him to do - drive liberals off a cliff in a fit. The left will have to learn how to fight back before they can thwart Trump/Trumpians. Trumpians are all in politically and love partisanship and not just validate, but encourage their leaders to embrace propaganda. The Left has to understand this phenomena before they'll win elections. The view 80% of the country are victims of "the rich" won't cut it. The big lies the Left are riding on is running out of gas: the "middle/lower classes" are some poetically morally beautiful struggling people ( as opposed to individuals acting in their self interest ) and the "conspiracy" of the rich are out to get them ( as opposed to individuals acting in their self interest ). We saw this in the failure of the Obama Administration - they went after to help the poor in the great recession and missed the message of the middle class: us first. Alternative energy and infrastructure was the path demanded, but they went after health care. I think they did this as they were "tired of cleaning up after conservative administrations" as Clinton had to do and haven't had a good chance to impose their agenda. Well, they did and it came at a terrible cost to Democrats.
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sciborg2

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« Reply #19 on: November 01, 2018, 05:14:57 pm »
I don't think our current politics are all that dire. Remember, the hardcore right thought America wouldn't survive the Obama presidency. Now the hardcore left thinks we won't survive the Trump presidency. All of it .... complete nonsense.

Centrists such as MSJ may not be politically influential at this moment, but it is that centrist, bridge-building impulse that holds a society together. The wise among the hardcore politicos recognize that truth, and they know that they need to attract the centrists, to be open to that bridge-building impulse.

Apocalypse, appropriately enough, is always just beyond the next perceptual horizon.  That really isn't anything new, recall how all-out nuclear war seemed just off the radar?  The list goes on throughout human history.  It's eschatology and I don't think there has ever been a time where humans didn't have a sense that the end could be near.  Because it is a fact that it always could be.

Heh no you are the smart one! <<insert appropriate emoji>>

Ha, no way, like 0% chance there.

But yes, I will look for your post coming at dawn from whatever direction the riders of Rohan came from to relieve Gandalf when he faced the Witch King. <<insert appropriate emoji>>

Well, it's an interesting point about Manicheanism you bring up, because on the one hand, our generally post-modern sensibilities point us toward the idea that it is absolutely false.  If all morality is relative, there is no light or dark, no good or bad, we only imagine opposites because of our perspective.  While this is logical, I don't really think this is how our brains work.  Not how our heuristics work.  Is it really the case that this is "new" though?  Hasn't it always been the case that people imagined themselves as the light against the darkness?

I don't really know that the issue is Manicheanism, per se, but rather, like we talked about earlier, with overwhelming polarization.  Maybe that is the same thing though.  The question then is why now?

I look at the polarization as Manicheanism b/c what we have is appeals to the converted over argumentation and desire to convert. People either hit all the checks on the limit test or they are Evil, people slip up and do/say the wrong thing and they are Evil or at the least worthy of deep condemnation.

I suspect this has less to do with any real moral outrage, regardless of politics, and more about the feeling of self-righteousness. Of course as Bakker says people, if they recognize these defects, recognize them as belonging to others.

It's not even Trump, or the flip of his characteristics on the Left, as the problem extends to things like non-political hoaxes about floods and child kidnappers on WhatsApp in my motherland (India).

I don't necessarily think this is an inevitable alignment, even though some days I wonder if Social Media is our Great Filter, but for the time being it leaves things in a poor state as there are lots of problems like the death of the environment that aren't waiting around for the bread & circus to end.

H

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« Reply #20 on: November 01, 2018, 05:41:53 pm »
I look at the polarization as Manicheanism b/c what we have is appeals to the converted over argumentation and desire to convert. People either hit all the checks on the limit test or they are Evil, people slip up and do/say the wrong thing and they are Evil or at the least worthy of deep condemnation.

Is it really a desire to convert though?  I think it's beyond that.  These ideologies aren't comparable to religion in that sense.  Often, religious proponents are actually looking at saving someone from some (real or imagined) moral crisis if they are looking to convert them (although, of course, not always).  But I don't think any one on one political side is looking to save someone on the other.  They are looking to prove their opponent's view wrong, because then that means their view is right.  That seems to be the only way of doing so, because who can prove that liberal ideas are inherently "more correct" than conservative ones?  It simply can't be done systematically.  Because it is a valve judgement, not a factual debate.

I suspect this has less to do with any real moral outrage, regardless of politics, and more about the feeling of self-righteousness. Of course as Bakker says people, if they recognize these defects, recognize them as belonging to others.

Indeed, that is just classic psychological projection.  We all do it, every day.  This is partly why I think Bakker misses a lot by not actually considering psychology to a greater degree.  He thinks that humans are reducible to machines, essentially, but I don't think that is quite true.

It's not even Trump, or the flip of his characteristics on the Left, as the problem extends to things like non-political hoaxes about floods and child kidnappers on WhatsApp in my motherland (India).

I don't necessarily think this is an inevitable alignment, even though some days I wonder if Social Media is our Great Filter, but for the time being it leaves things in a poor state as there are lots of problems like the death of the environment that aren't waiting around for the bread & circus to end.

They do that here in the US too.  It's fear manufacturing and someone is reaping a benefit from it.  Be it psychological or practical.  It's largely a difference of the "world-as-it-is" and "world-as-it-should-be."  It isn't that simple though, because the "world-as-it-is" the world of facts, is not the "world-as-it-seems-to-us-psychologically."  So, we have this competition going on, between three different worlds that intersect in places, but no one wants to look there, because almost everyone is convinced that those three worlds are one and the same.
I am a warrior of ages, Anasurimbor. . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury. -Cet'ingira

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« Reply #21 on: November 01, 2018, 06:06:32 pm »
Don't know how this "blue wave" is going to pan out for liberals/leftists/democrats as they still haven't wised up to what's going on with the Trump experience. They're baffled why so many would follow such a person, someone who perpetually lies and more so lies on purpose even when it's not necessary. Trumpians LOVE pissing off liberals. So Trump with all of his made up stuff is doing exactly what his base wants him to do - drive liberals off a cliff in a fit.

Well, you are right, but see my above point to Sci, really.  There would seem to be multiple things at play here.  A lot of it is the fact that a great deal of people don't care if someone lies.  In fact, they expect it of politicians.  So when one obviously lies, it isn't a big deal, it's not contrary to anything really.  This is really a moral failing, more than anything.  But it's deeper, because it's also a revolt against facts.  Again, because people do inherently intuit that the world is not reducible to facts.  And so why should they care about just facts?
I am a warrior of ages, Anasurimbor. . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury. -Cet'ingira

TLEILAXU

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« Reply #22 on: November 01, 2018, 06:33:50 pm »
Don't know how this "blue wave" is going to pan out for liberals/leftists/democrats as they still haven't wised up to what's going on with the Trump experience. They're baffled why so many would follow such a person, someone who perpetually lies and more so lies on purpose even when it's not necessary. Trumpians LOVE pissing off liberals. So Trump with all of his made up stuff is doing exactly what his base wants him to do - drive liberals off a cliff in a fit.

Well, you are right, but see my above point to Sci, really.  There would seem to be multiple things at play here.  A lot of it is the fact that a great deal of people don't care if someone lies.  In fact, they expect it of politicians.  So when one obviously lies, it isn't a big deal, it's not contrary to anything really.  This is really a moral failing, more than anything.  But it's deeper, because it's also a revolt against facts.  Again, because people do inherently intuit that the world is not reducible to facts.  And so why should they care about just facts?
Social coherence simply weighs higher than facts in most humans, especially when those facts don't impact them directly. Climate change, evolution, GMOs, physics, Trump's lies etc. have a negligible if any impact on the average city dweller. Adhering to ingroup beliefs even if they clash with whatever facts is simply the shortest path.

sciborg2

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« Reply #23 on: November 01, 2018, 07:03:57 pm »
I look at the polarization as Manicheanism b/c what we have is appeals to the converted over argumentation and desire to convert. People either hit all the checks on the limit test or they are Evil, people slip up and do/say the wrong thing and they are Evil or at the least worthy of deep condemnation.

Is it really a desire to convert though?  I think it's beyond that.  These ideologies aren't comparable to religion in that sense.  Often, religious proponents are actually looking at saving someone from some (real or imagined) moral crisis if they are looking to convert them (although, of course, not always).  But I don't think any one on one political side is looking to save someone on the other.  They are looking to prove their opponent's view wrong, because then that means their view is right.  That seems to be the only way of doing so, because who can prove that liberal ideas are inherently "more correct" than conservative ones?  It simply can't be done systematically.  Because it is a valve judgement, not a factual debate.

I suspect this has less to do with any real moral outrage, regardless of politics, and more about the feeling of self-righteousness. Of course as Bakker says people, if they recognize these defects, recognize them as belonging to others.

Indeed, that is just classic psychological projection.  We all do it, every day.  This is partly why I think Bakker misses a lot by not actually considering psychology to a greater degree.  He thinks that humans are reducible to machines, essentially, but I don't think that is quite true.

It's not even Trump, or the flip of his characteristics on the Left, as the problem extends to things like non-political hoaxes about floods and child kidnappers on WhatsApp in my motherland (India).

I don't necessarily think this is an inevitable alignment, even though some days I wonder if Social Media is our Great Filter, but for the time being it leaves things in a poor state as there are lots of problems like the death of the environment that aren't waiting around for the bread & circus to end.

They do that here in the US too.  It's fear manufacturing and someone is reaping a benefit from it.  Be it psychological or practical.  It's largely a difference of the "world-as-it-is" and "world-as-it-should-be."  It isn't that simple though, because the "world-as-it-is" the world of facts, is not the "world-as-it-seems-to-us-psychologically."  So, we have this competition going on, between three different worlds that intersect in places, but no one wants to look there, because almost everyone is convinced that those three worlds are one and the same.

Sorry I was unclear - i mean argumentation and attempts at conversion are a good thing. It means you can see some humanity in the other side. For example I don't agree politically with most if not all of Edward Feser's views. However I can see where he has taken the time to show the value of Indian philosophy/theology while also honestly saying he thinks the Church is the true (only?) path to Salvation.

He wants the Hindu (and other believers) to be credited for being - in his view - partially correct, and he also sees every person on earth as potentially saved.

That's the Theist based Ground that even Liberalism is based on. There's a right way to believe, and everyone can be turned toward it. It's this kind of push toward transcendent values while recognizing at least the conditioning if not the valid argumentation of the other side. (Valid as in worth engagement, since neither side thinks the other is ultimately valid which is fine so long as the Ground is preserved.)

However with Manicheanism the Other is irredeemable/deplorable beyond hope, unless of course they do a moral 180 and prostrate themselves before their new "friends" on the Right/Left.  Gnosticism makes this worse, because now there is some kind of boogeyman that is an Anti-Semitic conspiracy or All White People are Racist mentality, and so not only are you in a battle of Platonic Good/Evil you have the "right" to abuse b/c you're Neo in the Matrix killing the too-far-gone sleepers.

Oh I also agree Bakker's attempts to have eliminativism and liberalism coincide is doomed to failure. Another reason Peterson at least brings us back to the correct Ground.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2018, 07:07:20 pm by sciborg2 »

TaoHorror

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« Reply #24 on: November 01, 2018, 07:07:19 pm »
Don't know how this "blue wave" is going to pan out for liberals/leftists/democrats as they still haven't wised up to what's going on with the Trump experience. They're baffled why so many would follow such a person, someone who perpetually lies and more so lies on purpose even when it's not necessary. Trumpians LOVE pissing off liberals. So Trump with all of his made up stuff is doing exactly what his base wants him to do - drive liberals off a cliff in a fit.

Well, you are right, but see my above point to Sci, really.  There would seem to be multiple things at play here.  A lot of it is the fact that a great deal of people don't care if someone lies.  In fact, they expect it of politicians.  So when one obviously lies, it isn't a big deal, it's not contrary to anything really.  This is really a moral failing, more than anything.  But it's deeper, because it's also a revolt against facts.  Again, because people do inherently intuit that the world is not reducible to facts.  And so why should they care about just facts?
Social coherence simply weighs higher than facts in most humans, especially when those facts don't impact them directly. Climate change, evolution, GMOs, physics, Trump's lies etc. have a negligible if any impact on the average city dweller. Adhering to ingroup beliefs even if they clash with whatever facts is simply the shortest path.

Yes, and this is not easy to go beyond understanding, but actually incorporating it into your every day psychology. For example, when Trump said Muslims were dancing on the rooftops in Jersey across the river during 911, that in itself was a lie, but many who agree with him think it true in the sense that they believe a plurality ( at least, if not a super majority ) of Muslims "enjoyed" 911 or at the very least, don't feel the event as deeply as "the rest of us". Pundits struggled with this concept, coming up with the awkward verbiage "truthiness". Forget the facts, the feelings about the world Trump exhibits make him "authentic". The facts not adding up is small not because they're inconvenient, but simply unnecessary to validate internal beliefs/prejudices/biases - I can't prove it, but I know it to be true. And it's muddier still as just because you present something you label "facts" doesn't mean you punctured through all of my protections from allowing you to manipulate me ( are you lying and they're not really facts, are you mistaken about the fact, was the source of your fact lying or make mistakes, are you including all relevant facts for which if comprehensive would draw a different picture and lastly, even if I concede the fact is accurate, do I agree with you on what that fact means and best course to proceed ). The irony is by protecting oneself from being manipulated by opposing views/people/facts, you're opening yourself up to being manipulated by in kind "allies".
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« Reply #25 on: November 01, 2018, 07:14:34 pm »
Social coherence simply weighs higher than facts in most humans, especially when those facts don't impact them directly. Climate change, evolution, GMOs, physics, Trump's lies etc. have a negligible if any impact on the average city dweller. Adhering to ingroup beliefs even if they clash with whatever facts is simply the shortest path.

I don't think it is necessarily as simple as just social coherence though.  I mean, that is certainly part of it, because it stands to reason that one of the roles of ideology itself is so that we can figure out, in general, who to trust.  That is, who shares our values and thus could be considered an ally in achieving them.  If we don't garner values from facts, then it stands to reason that we don't need facts to justify our values.  Our values, it is often assumed, are simply just self-evident.  Who cares about facts?  So, then why not just put "facts" to work for our values?  This is likely why, if you share values with someone telling lies, you are apt to not care that they are lying.  Because they share the aim of trying to achieve what you value.
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« Reply #26 on: November 01, 2018, 07:36:55 pm »
Sorry I was unclear - i mean argumentation and attempts at conversion are a good thing. It means you can see some humanity in the other side. For example I don't agree politically with most if not all of Edward Feser's views. However I can see where he has taken the time to show the value of Indian philosophy/theology while also honestly saying he thinks the Church is the true (only?) path to Salvation.

He wants the Hindu (and other believers) to be credited for being - in his view - partially correct, and he also sees every person on earth as potentially saved.

That's the Theist based Ground that even Liberalism is based on. There's a right way to believe, and everyone can be turned toward it. It's this kind of push toward transcendent values while recognizing at least the conditioning if not the valid argumentation of the other side. (Valid as in worth engagement, since neither side thinks the other is ultimately valid which is fine so long as the Ground is preserved.)

Well, that is one of the reasons why unbridled liberalism really isn't something to be aspired to.  I mean, despite what some far-left people think, conservatism isn't just some irrational feeling based on fear and stupidity.  We should be right to have some degree of apprehension as to what the hell we are doing to ourselves socially.  Because we don't know, as a fact, that every liberal agenda is bound to make for a successful society.  If you imagine that all of the "societal ground" we stand on is contemptible and dispensable, and so toss it, what are you left standing on?  So, you are right to question the moral erosion of common ground.

If you take the Harris line though, that we can simply ground ourselves in facts, you are going to arrive in a hellish place sooner or later, because we are not equipped to derive values in such a way.  Values need to be transcendent, or else we have no defense against nihilism.  Mainly because nihilism is a truth.  But it need not be The Truth.

However with Manicheanism the Other is irredeemable/deplorable beyond hope, unless of course they do a moral 180 and prostrate themselves before their new "friends" on the Right/Left.  Gnosticism makes this worse, because now there is some kind of boogeyman that is an Anti-Semitic conspiracy or All White People are Racist mentality, and so not only are you in a battle of Platonic Good/Evil you have the "right" to abuse b/c you're Neo in the Matrix killing the too-far-gone sleepers.

Oh I also agree Bakker's attempts to have eliminativism and liberalism coincide is doomed to failure. Another reason Peterson at least brings us back to the correct Ground.

Ah, I was missing where you were taking Manicheanism there.  I think there is a more pragmatic issue at hand though and it isn't so much Manicheanism itself, so much as it is the problem of psychological projection writ large.  Which means, again, something that Peterson points out, that the problem with the "other side" is actually the problem with ourselves.  So, if we imagine the other side "evil" it is because we project outwards the very potential evil inside ourselves, ascribing it to those we disagree with.  So, what then is "the problem?"  A failure, societally, to be fully psychologically "whole."

This is likely why neither "side" can bear to even consider issues from the other's point of view.  How could they, less they open the Pandora's Box of thoughts, feelings, and other unsavory psychological chimera that they have specifically and deliberately excised in constructing their persona?

Indeed, in a Jungian sense, this is the psychological Manicheanism of everyone's mind played out.
I am a warrior of ages, Anasurimbor. . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury. -Cet'ingira

sciborg2

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« Reply #27 on: November 01, 2018, 08:24:50 pm »
Well, that is one of the reasons why unbridled liberalism really isn't something to be aspired to.  I mean, despite what some far-left people think, conservatism isn't just some irrational feeling based on fear and stupidity.  We should be right to have some degree of apprehension as to what the hell we are doing to ourselves socially.  Because we don't know, as a fact, that every liberal agenda is bound to make for a successful society.  If you imagine that all of the "societal ground" we stand on is contemptible and dispensable, and so toss it, what are you left standing on?  So, you are right to question the moral erosion of common ground.

If you take the Harris line though, that we can simply ground ourselves in facts, you are going to arrive in a hellish place sooner or later, because we are not equipped to derive values in such a way.  Values need to be transcendent, or else we have no defense against nihilism.  Mainly because nihilism is a truth.  But it need not be The Truth.

I think we're on the same page here. Interlocutors must conceive of each other - to some degree - as rational animals who genuinely at least feel that their beliefs are justified. It's a challenge because so much of our media, and now our politics, tells stories that are Manichean or Gnostic. Even when conversion happens it's through some emotional event, rather than through rational argumentation (or that seed of Goodness was inside the villain all along).

The story we tell about the world, along with. the story we tell about ourselves, is then picked from the story telling mechanisms we've saved up. This is where I fear Peterson falters to an extent - he seems to recognize the problem but also seems inclined to exacerbate it.

Harris seems to think we can gain rights when someone has "no reason" to discriminate. This seems rather naive, but then the entire New Atheist project - along with its predecessor in academia - seems entirely faith based to me. Trying to cross the Is-Ought chasm leads to the kind of political "me first" tribalism that threatens us in at least the short-term time window.

So I'd say Peterson is flawed in the way we all are, but Harris is just twiddling around in some New Atheist fantasy land completely adrift from the way we interact with the world through our Myth-built interfaces (or to borrow from Robert Anton Wilson, our Reality Tunnels).

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Ah, I was missing where you were taking Manicheanism there.  I think there is a more pragmatic issue at hand though and it isn't so much Manicheanism itself, so much as it is the problem of psychological projection writ large.  Which means, again, something that Peterson points out, that the problem with the "other side" is actually the problem with ourselves.  So, if we imagine the other side "evil" it is because we project outwards the very potential evil inside ourselves, ascribing it to those we disagree with.  So, what then is "the problem?"  A failure, societally, to be fully psychologically "whole."

This is likely why neither "side" can bear to even consider issues from the other's point of view.  How could they, less they open the Pandora's Box of thoughts, feelings, and other unsavory psychological chimera that they have specifically and deliberately excised in constructing their persona?

Indeed, in a Jungian sense, this is the psychological Manicheanism of everyone's mind played out.

I see what you mean - I'd use Manicheanism as a short hand descriptor, a "what" but your stuff about psychological projection is the "why" & "how" of the problem.

The problem with hearing the other side is to risk becoming un-woke or a cuck...Hundred Heavens forbid...Admittedly this "danger" of blasphemy is something from the religious-based Ground we probably should've dropped...seems like we ditched the baby and kept the dirty bathwater. <<insert appropriate emoji>>
« Last Edit: November 01, 2018, 08:30:30 pm by sciborg2 »

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« Reply #28 on: November 01, 2018, 09:05:07 pm »
I think we're on the same page here. Interlocutors must conceive of each other - to some degree - as rational animals who genuinely at least feel that their beliefs are justified. It's a challenge because so much of our media, and now our politics, tells stories that are Manichean or Gnostic. Even when conversion happens it's through some emotional event, rather than through rational argumentation (or that seed of Goodness was inside the villain all along).

The story we tell about the world, along with. the story we tell about ourselves, is then picked from the story telling mechanisms we've saved up. This is where I fear Peterson falters to an extent - he seems to recognize the problem but also seems inclined to exacerbate it.

Well, I think we actually go wrong right at the point at which we attempt to ascribe rationality to others.  Because there-in, we make the value-judgement that rational explanation is preferable.  Maybe it often is preferable, but that is still bias.  We don't really arrive at transcendent values through rationality.  Again, that is the Harris pit-fall.  Rather than assume (and irrationally expect) rationality from everyone else, we can realize that we, ourselves, are not rational and so dispense with the idea that we can bludgeon the other side with facts (because we never chose anything based on facts anyway).

Peterson, as you point out, doesn't defuse this.  And I think you are very right on that.  But I think it's mainly because, one, he doesn't know how, I don't think anyone does.  And two, because I think his line of thinking is akin to: the story of the world is the story of our psychological development, writ large; if we tell ourselves better stories, we can act out better stories; if we act out better stories, the story of the world will be better.

He might be wrong, but I don't think his premise is all that fundamentally flawed.  That isn't to say he couldn't do a better job at things, because he, like anyone and everyone else, is flawed and makes mistakes.  At least though, from what I've seen, he is often willing to admit when he does.

Harris seems to think we can gain rights when someone has "no reason" to discriminate. This seems rather naive, but then the entire New Atheist project - along with its predecessor in academia - seems entirely faith based to me. Trying to cross the Is-Ought chasm leads to the kind of political "me first" tribalism that threatens us in at least the short-term time window.

So I'd say Peterson is flawed in the way we all are, but Harris is just twiddling around in some New Atheist fantasy land completely adrift from the way we interact with the world through our Myth-built interfaces (or to borrow from Robert Anton Wilson, our Reality Tunnels).

Yeah, Harris is basically in the intellectual wish-fulfilment bussiness.  Like, wouldn't it be great if we were supremely rational beings who could ponder something and then come up with the best possible course of action for everyone?  Yeah, but none of us are God and aren't likely to think ourselves to become Him.

I see what you mean - I'd use Manicheanism as a short hand descriptor, a "what" but your stuff about psychological projection is the "why" & "how" of the problem.

The problem with hearing the other side is to risk becoming un-woke or a cuck...Hundred Heavens forbid...Admittedly this "danger" of blasphemy is something from the religious-based Ground we probably should've dropped...seems like we ditched the baby and kept the dirty bathwater. <<insert appropriate emoji>>

Well, there is good reason to consider blasphemy, though.  If we state too long at the Devil, perhaps we consider his view too much and then become devils ourselves!  There is something to be said about what I coin (in my own deluded mind) as "dread knowledge."  That is, something that once known, actually makes your life worse.  I got this idea mainly from Bakker's use of The Inverse Fire.  But really, anything the pushes you toward the trap of nihilism fits the bill.  It isn't that it isn't true, because blasphemy isn't just untruth, it's something that strikes at The Ground.  If you do that too often, you'll have no where to stand.
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« Reply #29 on: November 02, 2018, 07:40:57 pm »
Well, I think we actually go wrong right at the point at which we attempt to ascribe rationality to others.  Because there-in, we make the value-judgement that rational explanation is preferable.  Maybe it often is preferable, but that is still bias.  We don't really arrive at transcendent values through rationality.  Again, that is the Harris pit-fall.  Rather than assume (and irrationally expect) rationality from everyone else, we can realize that we, ourselves, are not rational and so dispense with the idea that we can bludgeon the other side with facts (because we never chose anything based on facts anyway).

Peterson, as you point out, doesn't defuse this.  And I think you are very right on that.  But I think it's mainly because, one, he doesn't know how, I don't think anyone does.  And two, because I think his line of thinking is akin to: the story of the world is the story of our psychological development, writ large; if we tell ourselves better stories, we can act out better stories; if we act out better stories, the story of the world will be better.

He might be wrong, but I don't think his premise is all that fundamentally flawed.  That isn't to say he couldn't do a better job at things, because he, like anyone and everyone else, is flawed and makes mistakes.  At least though, from what I've seen, he is often willing to admit when he does.

I'd agree with you, there is more to us than just our comprehension of the rational. Perhaps better to say that we should always see our political opponents as persuadable. They are not incarnations of a view, but they may stridently hold a view that can, with persuasion, be changed.

Where I think the rational aspect of our nature comes into it is I'm not sure how one can deal with argumentation without recourse to reason and still maintain a healthy politic. Admittedly one can make an emotional appeal for compassion, and perhaps that appeal to humanity is more central to a good discourse than pure reason...or perhaps there needs to be balance.

I think this is central question, how to establish the proper Ground in a meta-political sense rather than any particular issues.

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Yeah, Harris is basically in the intellectual wish-fulfilment bussiness.  Like, wouldn't it be great if we were supremely rational beings who could ponder something and then come up with the best possible course of action for everyone?  Yeah, but none of us are God and aren't likely to think ourselves to become Him.

I'm not sure Harris is making an appeal to reason so much as attempting to enshrine his views - and his own mental ability - as the Highest Rational. But this leads to a variety of questions - he debases compatibilism but then tries to reinvent the wheel of that very concept, he talks about an "Obvious Good" without getting into the question of the Source, he dips his toes into immaterialism & Buddhism ego-death while trying to skirt around the metaphysical questions.

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Well, there is good reason to consider blasphemy, though.  If we state too long at the Devil, perhaps we consider his view too much and then become devils ourselves!  There is something to be said about what I coin (in my own deluded mind) as "dread knowledge."  That is, something that once known, actually makes your life worse.  I got this idea mainly from Bakker's use of The Inverse Fire.  But really, anything the pushes you toward the trap of nihilism fits the bill.  It isn't that it isn't true, because blasphemy isn't just untruth, it's something that strikes at The Ground.  If you do that too often, you'll have no where to stand.

But then everything Bakker has written on Three Pound Brain would be blasphemous? I'm not in complete disagreement with you, it's a complicated question - is everyone able to handle the nihilism inherent to a variety of world views?

Of course what is Nihilistic varies between people. If I was told God knows the future of my life and all my choices that seems pretty depressing but others would be elated to be convinced of such a thing.