“Less Emotional; More Reasoned”

The first time I encountered social psychologist Jonathan Haidt I had a kind of visceral dislike for him. I don’t even know why. However, I have since listened to more of his interviews and lectures and found some pearls there– the instinctive dislike I felt at first has largely faded.

Yes, he is way too enamored of the State (as are so many). He can’t even face the question of whether it is a legitimate human endeavor to govern others. It’s assumed, and he only concerns himself with how it is carried out. That’s a huge strike against him in my book.

Anyway, I was listening to this lecture/interview (from Skeptic.com) with him and got a laugh from this quote:

“Some people are less emotional, more reasoned. We call these people ‘libertarians’. There’s actually data on this– that libertarians are lower on emotion, higher on reasoning ability. They have worse relationships, they care about people less, but they are better able to just reason through a lot of data.”

If I felt any more emotion than I do, I think I would die. To believe I am less emotional than other people scares me. How do other people manage if they feel more emotions than I do? I can’t even imagine the horror!

Beyond that, I care about people a great deal. That’s why I don’t want them robbed, enslaved, molested, murdered, or governed. Isn’t it odd to believe that you “care more” if you’re OK with doing these things to people?

He slipped up on a few other things, not realizing that socialists and communists aren’t anarchists while consistent libertarians are, but I don’t really expect outsiders to get the details correct. All in all, it was an interesting lecture and interview. I found things to agree with and things to roll my eyes over.

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Kent McManigal

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