Are Conservative Beliefs Immoral?

In Sunday's post I made mention of Dr. Lyle Rossiter and his contention that today's liberalism is akin to a mental illness. Prior to that I posted about how, according to psychologist Jonathon Haidt, conservatives are capable of thinking like liberals, but liberals aren't capable of thinking like conservatives.

Now Ace of Spades follows up with paper by that same Jonathan Haidt, and asks “How can some liberals hold such visceral and vitriolic hatred for us and our beliefs?” It boils down to this: conservatives tend to have a far stronger and broader moral framework than liberals.

In a 2007 paper, Jonathan Haidt and Jesse Graham, a couple of social justice researchers, managed to come up with an explanation. Brace yourselves: it turns out that our beliefs are immoral.

Well, at least as far as liberals are concerned. These researchers determined that "there are five psychological foundations of morality, which we label as harm/care, fairness/reciprocity, ingroup/loyalty, authority/respect, and purity/sanctity." Conservative morality is based on some combination of all five of these moral foundations. There may not be an exact 20% input from each one, but they are all present. Liberal morality is based on only the harm/care and fairness/reciprocity foundations.

Liberals are only concerned about harm/care and fairness/reciprocity. When we talk about patriotism, or respect for the country, or abortion, we are speaking from a set of morals and values that liberals simply do not see as being moral at all. In fact, liberals often believe that we have "non-moral motivations—such as selfishness, existential fear, or blind prejudice."

It doesn't surprise me, having had more than my share of run ins with more than a few modern liberals totally incapable of understanding my point of view and the beliefs that drive it. They have no concept of my morals and where they come from, nor do they wish to. Instead they blow them off, explaining them away as was done in the last sentence of the paragraph above - “selfishness, existential fear, or blind prejudice.” Such condemnations must save them from having to think about their own moral and intellectual shortcomings.

Oh, wait a second, I made a mistake. I almost ascribed 'thinking' to their beliefs when it has become evident over the years that modern liberalism isn't about thinking at all, but about “feeling”. One thing I learned a long time ago is that feelings can distort one's reasoning, and reason should be the driving force for what is right and wrong. But reason takes effort. Feeling takes none.

Need I say more?

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