3 of 3
3
Babies are bigots
Posted: 29 November 2012 12:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
Jr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  93
Joined  2012-10-26
TimB - 28 November 2012 09:53 AM
FredW - 28 November 2012 04:45 AM

The reason I like Jonathan Haidt is that he try to describe what is really going on.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Haidt
http://people.virginia.edu/~jdh6n/
http://www.moralfoundations.org/
http://righteousmind.com/

...Haidt has the best explanation but I have not found anything better.

Sam Harris is critical but I find Haidt to have better argument than Harris.

Hope nobody get me wrong now. I don’t dispute that some people
are narrow minded or them have deep seated prejudice or stubborn
bad views on others.

What I say is that the word bigot is used for to make these people demonized.
Sure we should make effort to make all those narrow minded open minded instead.
I don’t trust it helps to name them bigots. That would only teach them to shut up
and they still would have those narrow prejudiced views and feel for revenge on
those that gave them bad names.

Sure, I don’t advocate, as a rule, telling someone they are a bigot.

Regarding (re:) Haidt, I think that his work may have some value in our promoting understanding of morals, and in understanding cultural differences, with respect to morality.  It may even have value in helping us come to some conclusions re: what we should do to resolve some of the associated difficulties that arise.

However, I think that we should take research and its interpretations and conclusions, with a grain of salt, when that research relies heavily on abstract concepts as variables.  Haidt uses self developed constructs of morality as some of his primary variables in his research.  Such is the nature of a lot of social science research.  That does not mean it has no value or is necessarily invalid.  But it does mean, IMO, that it is more suspect than research that relies purely on actual observable variables rather than abstract constructs.

The reason I link to Haidt is that he do suggest that
much of moral is intuitive and then culturally interpreted
and expressed within the cultural framework.

If I knew even better research than what Haidt do
then for sure I would point to that one.

Should I take that you know so many better research result
that you found it too much to even start referring to.
Just one link would be cool to read smile

And big warning. To even think that biology at all
has anything of significance can make you seen
as a bigot in the eyes of the politically correct
so that is a risk maybe too bad to even consider???

Trust me if anybody knows these things better than
Haidt or Boyer or Atran or Pinker or Bloom or
any of the other Evolutionary Psychologists
then I for sure want to know about them and read them.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 November 2012 03:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2799
Joined  2011-11-04
FredW - 29 November 2012 12:36 AM

The reason I link to Haidt is that he do suggest that
much of moral is intuitive and then culturally interpreted
and expressed within the cultural framework.

If I knew even better research than what Haidt do
then for sure I would point to that one.

Should I take that you know so many better research result
that you found it too much to even start referring to.
Just one link would be cool to read smile

And big warning. To even think that biology at all
has anything of significance can make you seen
as a bigot in the eyes of the politically correct
so that is a risk maybe too bad to even consider???

Trust me if anybody knows these things better than
Haidt or Boyer or Atran or Pinker or Bloom or
any of the other Evolutionary Psychologists
then I for sure want to know about them and read them.

Here is an article that I think you may enjoy. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/09/magazine/09babies-t.html?pagewanted=all
I think that Social Psychology is fun and interesting.  (Though my area of expertise is in the application of behavior analytic principles, which focuses on individuals). I tend to agree with Haidt in the small amount of exposure that I have had to his ideas.

Also, I know that all behavior is, ultimately, biologically based.  As long as we don’t go overboard with the notion that we are pre-programmed, in the womb, to do all of the behavior that we actually do, then I think we’re on the right track.  Part of our biology is the capacity for learning as a product of experiences, after we are born.  I am more concerned with what we can do with regards to the latter.  But gaining insight (or at least, insightful ideas) about the extent to which our behavior is pre-programmed vs. learned can be helpful.

 Signature 

“Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb… We are bound to others, past and present… And by each crime and every kindness… We birth our future.”  Sonmi, 2144.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 November 2012 11:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2799
Joined  2011-11-04
FredW - 29 November 2012 12:36 AM

...And big warning. To even think that biology at all
has anything of significance can make you seen
as a bigot in the eyes of the politically correct
so that is a risk maybe too bad to even consider??? ..

Fred,

Haidt thinks that all of us are, by nature, cheaters, liars, and hypocrites.  So if I were you, I wouldn’t overly worry about what a “politically correct” person thinks, as they are a cheater, liar, and hypocrite, to some extent, as well.

 Signature 

“Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb… We are bound to others, past and present… And by each crime and every kindness… We birth our future.”  Sonmi, 2144.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 30 November 2012 12:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2799
Joined  2011-11-04

I should have posted the link that I provided to Fred at the beginning of this thread.  Paul Bloom is the author of the article and is the husband of Karyn Wynn, who was featured on the 60 Minutes episode that prompted me to start this thread. I highly recommend the article.  Here it is again:


http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/09/magazine/09babies-t.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

 Signature 

“Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb… We are bound to others, past and present… And by each crime and every kindness… We birth our future.”  Sonmi, 2144.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 30 November 2012 03:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
Jr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  93
Joined  2012-10-26

Thanks Tim!

Sadly Paul Bloom seems to have failed to get his book of 2010
to have the impact he maybe anticipated. I did not even know of it smile

“How Pleasure Works”
I found this page saying this

Pleasure is anything but straightforward.
Our desires, attractions, and tastes take us
beyond the symmetry of a beautiful face,
the sugar and fat in food, or the prettiness of a painting.

In How Pleasure Works, Yale University psychologist Paul Bloom
draws on groundbreaking research to unveil the deeper workings
of why we desire what we desire.

Refuting the longstanding explanation of pleasure
as a simple sensory response, Bloom shows us
that pleasure is grounded in our beliefs about
the deeper nature or essence of a given thing.

This is why we want the real Rolex and not the knockoff,
the real Picasso and not the fake,
the twin we have fallen in love with and not her identical sister.

Critics say it is too much of speculation and not enough science
http://books.wwnorton.com/books/detail.aspx?ID=12061
http://bigthink.com/Picture-This/essential-reading-paul-bloom-on-how-pleasure-works

As you know this is a subject that get much criticism.
Essentialism is almost as bad as racism as I get it.
The post.modernists wants noting to be essential?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essentialism

The essentialist view on gender, sexuality, race, ethncity,
or other group characteristics is that they are fixed traits,
discounting variation among group members as secondary.

Contemporary proponents of identity politics, including feminism,
gay rights, and/or racial equality activists, generally
take constructionist viewpoints,[citation needed].

For example, they agree with Simone de Beauvoir
that “one is not born, but becomes a woman”.[25]

As ‘essence’ may imply permanence, some argue
that essentialist thinking tends towards political conservatism
and therefore opposes social change.

Essentialist claims have provided useful rallying-points for radical politics,
including feminist, anti-racist, and anti-colonial struggles.
...

In social thought, metaphysical essentialism
is often conflated with biological reductionism.

Most sociologists, for example, employ a distinction
between biological sex and gender role.

Similar distinctions across disciplines generally
fall under the division of “nature versus nurture”.

However, this has been contested by Monique Wittig,
who argued that even biological sex is not an essence,
and that the body’s physiology is “caught up” in
processes of social construction

So no wonder I had not even heard of that book by Paul Bloom
for two years and had you not give us this link I had not known.

The self censoring is that good that even the mention of essential
trigger the Warning and people ignore that book and never tell about it.

Unless it is so bad that one use it for to stand outside the Publisher
demanding them to burn it and take back all that been sold already. smile

Paul Bloom has to be aware of this strong anti-essentialism so
I get very surprised he does not explain why he use the term at all?

[ Edited: 30 November 2012 04:11 AM by FredW ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 30 November 2012 03:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2799
Joined  2011-11-04

Fred, I suspect that you are making too much of “forces of anti-essentialism”.  Paul Bloom’s book was probably just not as well marketed and publicized as others’.
And charges of “too much speculation and not enough science” can be leveled at any similar work, regardless of whether it includes an essentialist perspective or not.

 Signature 

“Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb… We are bound to others, past and present… And by each crime and every kindness… We birth our future.”  Sonmi, 2144.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 December 2012 11:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
Jr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  93
Joined  2012-10-26

Yes maybe so. Competition is fierce and people play games and not read books smile
Oops the most young read Harry Potter and Hobit something smile I have no idea.

But this essentialism is very hated at least since 1970 or earlier?

I remember that Feminist activists talked bad about essentialism
already some 40 years ago? Show how little I know it may be
some 60 years ago smile

So does that not make you curious on why on earth did he chose that title.

I trust it is a sequel to his idea that we are born dualists.
Now he wants us to consider if we maybe are even more
of born essentialists?

I want to believe him but I want good citation and link to good research
that support it and the sad thing is that very few care at all.

Atheists love to tell believers that there are no god. Okay they say
There are no evidence for a God.
So why are the atheists not interested in the belief in essentialism?

Yes I know the Postmodern activists just love to dismiss it but AFAIK
they only have assertions and not good arguments for their view.

That is why I want to know if Bloom has good evidence for his view.

Two years are a very long time for me. Why have not enough atheists
refer to his book often enough that I notice it. And I am active for hours
each day and I like Paul Bloom very much. One of my fave researcher.
Jonathan Haidt being the one I like best even if I don’t agree with every
nuances he had. But there is nobody else that try to solve what he do research on?

That is what I feel so disappoint about is that atheist seems to lack curiosity.
They seems to already know everything there is to know.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 December 2012 01:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2799
Joined  2011-11-04

I could ironically ask, “what is the essence of essentialism?” Meaning, it has various definitions and people who use the term in discussions may be speaking past each other without knowing it.

If you’re asking why atheists aren’t interested in evidence that humans are born with certain inherent characteristics, I would say some atheists simply aren’t interested in that area of science.  Indeed there are probably some atheists who have little interest in science altogether.

I can tell you why a scientifically minded secular humanist might be biased towards believing that humans or born as blank slates. (BTW, I think you have heard of Stephen Pinker.)  Because if humans truly were born as blank slates, the goals of humanism might be more easily accomplished.

Alas, it has never been true that humans are born as absolutely blank slates.  I’m not sure that any reasonable researcher in human behavior ever believed that.  But the belief that humans are born predominately as blank slates, has been popular for long periods of time.  However, the mounting evidence, I think, has reached a tipping point, and there is acceptance of the idea that, more than we previously suspected, much of our characteristics and pre-dispositions are inherent.

So scientifically minded secular humanists, who are interested in furthering the goals of humanism, must overcome biases that interfere with doing so. It helps to understand what is really going on, in the actualization of human behavior.  It is not helpful to cling to notions, that might make things simpler, if they were true, but are not.

I (and most reasonable people in the fields of human sciences) have known for a long time that human behavior is comprised by that which we are born “pre-programmed” to do, and that which we learn (by virtue of being pre-programmed to learn through experiences).  The evolutionary psychologists, to the extent that they can provide compelling arguments and evidence, help us to see that more than we suspected is pre-programmed.  This is critical to know and helpful to know for the secular humanist who is interested if furthering the goals of humanism.

Atheists aren’t neccesarily humanists, or vice-a-versa.  So your disappointment with atheists (who are just people who don’t believe in god) might more accurately be directed toward humanists who aren’t interested in knowledge that could be helpful in more accurately understanding human behavior.

 Signature 

“Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb… We are bound to others, past and present… And by each crime and every kindness… We birth our future.”  Sonmi, 2144.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 December 2012 12:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
Jr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  93
Joined  2012-10-26

Thanks Tim!
Yes I bought that book by Steven Pinker.
Here is one guy speaking back
http://skepticink.com/incredulous/2012/12/01/science-denialism-at-a-skeptic-conference/

Science denialism at a skeptic conference
...
The denialism brought to Skepticon was to the field of evolutionary psychology,
a thriving social science with roots going back to Charles Darwin himself.

The critic was internet pundit and self-described feminist and skeptic Rebecca Watson.
Watson is known for her blog website, as co-host of a popular skeptic podcast, and
for speaking at secular and skeptic conferences. But Watson holds no scientific training
or experience. The charge of science denialism is a serious one, and I will support the claim
with a preponderance of evidence.
...

If my prediction is right he get treated as enemy and
they try to ridicule him as much as possible.

I am very pessimistic. They have locked themselves
into this position and the only way out is to make all
others to shut up until they find some face saving way
out of it. And that is something they have no motivation
to do.

So I trust he underestimate their determination to win at all cost.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 December 2012 11:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2799
Joined  2011-11-04
FredW - 04 December 2012 12:42 AM

...Here is one guy speaking back
http://skepticink.com/incredulous/2012/12/01/science-denialism-at-a-skeptic-conference/

Science denialism at a skeptic conference
...
The denialism brought to Skepticon was to the field of evolutionary psychology,
a thriving social science with roots going back to Charles Darwin himself.

The critic was internet pundit and self-described feminist and skeptic Rebecca Watson.
Watson is known for her blog website, as co-host of a popular skeptic podcast, and
for speaking at secular and skeptic conferences. But Watson holds no scientific training
or experience. The charge of science denialism is a serious one, and I will support the claim
with a preponderance of evidence.
...

If my prediction is right he get treated as enemy and
they try to ridicule him as much as possible.

I am very pessimistic. They have locked themselves
into this position and the only way out is to make all
others to shut up until they find some face saving way
out of it. And that is something they have no motivation
to do.

So I trust he underestimate their determination to win at all cost.

In my view, Rebecca Watson was attacking junk science, overgeneralization of what good science suggests, and presenting hypotheses as established theory without valid evidence.  This is very appropriate.  It does not undermine the field of Evolutionary Psychology any more than do Evolutionary Psychologists who themselves engage in this sort of junk science.

 Signature 

“Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb… We are bound to others, past and present… And by each crime and every kindness… We birth our future.”  Sonmi, 2144.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 December 2012 11:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  14
Joined  2012-03-10

It is my undhrstanding that DNA determines a “predeispostion” towards the development of personalities. 
It is my understanding that “nurture”, the social enviorment,  especially the family also plays a significant factor in the developement of personallity.  It is my understanding that while a person may have a predesposition to be a liberal, if that person is raised in a family of conservatives that will at least modify to some degree the genetic predespostion of the person. 

The problem that I have is in trying to determine degree that nature(DNA)and nurture(family and the larger social-cultural enviorment)influence each other.  Which is more of a factor. 

I have heard of examples of people who were raised in a conservative family and community become liberals. I would assume that the reverse is also the case. 

There is also the question of how “freewill” enters into the equaltion.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 December 2012 01:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2799
Joined  2011-11-04
IDBC - 05 December 2012 11:40 AM

It is my undhrstanding that DNA determines a “predeispostion” towards the development of personalities. 
It is my understanding that “nurture”, the social enviorment,  especially the family also plays a significant factor in the developement of personallity.  It is my understanding that while a person may have a predesposition to be a liberal, if that person is raised in a family of conservatives that will at least modify to some degree the genetic predespostion of the person. 

The problem that I have is in trying to determine degree that nature(DNA)and nurture(family and the larger social-cultural enviorment)influence each other.  Which is more of a factor. 

I have heard of examples of people who were raised in a conservative family and community become liberals. I would assume that the reverse is also the case… 

TimB:  IDBC,My understanding is that your understanding, is right on, in regards to the above.

[ Edited: 05 December 2012 01:27 PM by TimB ]
 Signature 

“Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb… We are bound to others, past and present… And by each crime and every kindness… We birth our future.”  Sonmi, 2144.

Profile
 
 
   
3 of 3
3