What fundamentally divides Liberal and Conservative?

Stephen Clarke talk to Philosopher’s Zone’s Alan Saunders about What fundamentally divides Liberal and Conservative? as a pretty consistent liberal i found the divide very agreeable.

here are some money quote

[C]onservatives think that there’s nothing wrong with being unable to articulate their concerns. They think that morality is typically a matter of an implicit knowledge that’s encapsulated in intuitions, and we might not be able to unpack that. But just because we can’t state what it is, doesn’t mean that there isn’t something there…Whereas a liberal is going to say, if you can’t explicate what the problem is, then it’s not a problem that ought to be taken seriously.

which lead to the conclusion

[Prominent moral psychologist, John Haidt] suggests that American conservatives have much more in common at least when it comes to moral reasoning, with the Islamic fundamentalist, than they would with an American liberal.

so in essence, liberals are willing to use reason to examine their moral intuition, whereas conservatives champion their inability to articulate the bases of their moral intuition. Understands that our moral intuition comes from two sources:(1) genetics that are selected to fit past environment. and (2) information digested since birth. We know that (1) is outdated, and unfit. and (2) is often propagated by those who benefit from the dissemination of those information. which means that conservatives are either living in the imaginary past or are pawns to somebody else (conservertive hacks)’s scheme.


4 thoughts on “What fundamentally divides Liberal and Conservative?

  1. As a consistent Conservative, I would be inclined to say the the primary difference between Conservatives and Liberals is simply that Liberals fail to understand that people who claim to hate us because our religion is different really mean that they hate us because our religion is different, Liberals honestly believe that if you give people a handout today those same people will feel inclined to do for themselves tomorrow, Liberals believe it is wrong to expect people to earn their own way in life. Conversely, Conservatives honestly believe it is better to take our self-professed enemies at their word, handups are better than handouts, and people will always do better when expected to earn their own way.
    In short, it seems to me that Conservatives are the ones with a firmer grip on reality, whiler Liberals live in some sort of psychotic fantasy land.

  2. my bad for not clarifying what are the definition of “liberal” and “conservative” intended by Clarke. I dont think can explain it properly in a span of an appropriate blog comment, but i will give it a try.

    Liberals will (except for core values like freedom) only take moral intuitions seriously if it can be articulated with reason, logic and evident.

    Conservatives are more incline to accept their moral intuition even if it cannot be articulated, because they believes that some moral intuition are tacit and cannot put into words. (i also think that this view infers that conservatives believes that rational analysis is not applicable to everything).

    Clarke is not using “liberal” and “conservative” as a short hand for US’s Democrats and Republicans. And there are indeed “liberal” and “conservative” in both parties.

    you comment on the difference of liberal and conservative doesn’t really apply to Clarke’s understanding of the two concept. Your comments are more akin to typical Republican critique of Democrats.

  3. “Liberals will (except for core values like freedom) only take moral intuitions seriously if it can be articulated with reason, logic and evident.”
    These would be the same “morals” that tell a Liberal that it is better to murder an innocent baby prior to birth rather than having the responsibility to prevent an unwanted pregnancy to begin with? Or maybe the same morals that convinced Obama to argue for leaving babies that survive the attempted abortions to die unattended in a broom closet while he was a state senator in Illinois? Maybe you are referring to the morals that allow the Democrats to include mandated “duty to die” education in the health care reform bill (Section 1233) until they got caught and had to modify it to not read mandated? Or the morals that led to Zeke Emanual’s complete life theory, the one that says children under three years old and elderly people over 50 aren’t worthy of the same health care that other people deserve? Or the same Zeke Emanual’s idea that people over 65 shouldn’t be guaranteed healthcare? Or maybe you meant the morals that allowed Obama to say that when “Grandma needs a pacemaker, what she needs is a painpill”? Would those be the morals you are talking about?

  4. Pingback: The Fundamental Gap between Conservatism and Liberalism | Ansel 的分享空間

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