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Liberalism Is Anti-Science Magical Thinking


See the discussion of how Obama’s “Pollyannaish belief in historical predetermination seems to substitute for action” in the article Blinded by Banalities by Victor Davis Hanson at National Review online.

I believe that the thought process Obama demonstrates is characteristic of the three-foundation brain type.   It is dangerously disconnected from the realities of human nature and it rests at least partly on a premise (namely, that there is such a thing as the right side of history) that must for its very existence deny and defy what just might be THE fundamental principle of all of science: that there is no such thing as an ultimate purpose or goal toward which nature (or natural selection, or history) progresses.

My position on this has nothing to do with any sort of assumption on my part that moral truth is out there like rocks and trees, and everything to do with the empirical facts of human nature, the liberal brain, the thoughts that emanate from it, and the direct results of the policies implemented by it (e.g., the global altruism that Haidt described in When Compassion Leads To Sacrilege (transcript here) and the policies of good intentions that in the end cause more harm than good to their intended recipients for which there is mountains of evidence like that described by Barbara Oakley in her book Pathological Altruism, Jason Riley in his book Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed, Thomas Sowell in his article Fact Free Liberals and in many of his books and other articles, and many others).

Liberalism is based every bit as much – and arguably more so because it lacks self awareness that this is so – on anti-science magical thinking (1) as those it accuses of the same.


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(1) See Haidt’s discussion of “The Rationalist Delusion” starting on page 103 of The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion and in this video, my discussion of Thomas Sowell’s Unconstrained Vision and the rationalist delusion in this post, and my post on why liberalism is innately anti-science.

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Quotes I Like:

"The media tends to be liberal, um, as the academic world is, and Hollywood. So you cannot grow up in this country without being exposed to lots and lots of liberal ideas. But it wasn't until I was about 40 that I happened to pull a book off a shelf that said conservatism on it that I was ever exposed to conservative ideas. And I'm well educated. And I had never encountered conservative ideas. So, there's a real asymmetry in access to the other side’s ideas."

From an interview of Jonathan Haidt on On Being, with Krista Tippett Used in This Post.

Venn Diagram of Liberal and Conservative Moral Foundations

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An Interpretation of Jonathan Haidt’s Moral Foundations Theory

This sidebar lists a series of posts which together make up an essay relating Moral Foundations Theory to today's politics, and even a little history, as viewed through The Independent Whig's six-foundation moral lens.

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Venn Diagram of Liberal and Conservative Moral Foundations

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