Science

Steven Pinker: Rationality Saves Lives

The Harvard linguist says Enlightenment reasoning is central to both material and moral progress.

|

HD Download

In his bestselling books The Better Angels of Our Nature and Enlightenment Now, the Harvard linguist Steven Pinker made the surprisingly controversial case that humanity has been getting richer and less violent over the past two centuries.

In Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, and Why It Matters, he argues that our ability to reason and think critically is central to human flourishing and undergirds our phenomenal material and moral progress since the Enlightenment. Pinker explains how cognitive defects such as the sunk-cost fallacy and myside bias cloud our thinking and contribute to intensely polarized, tribalistic worldviews, resulting in such phenomena as QAnon and what he calls "universities' suffocating left-wing monoculture."

Not afraid to shy away from controversy, Pinker insists that public policy should be largely driven by facts, not emotion, even in heart-wrenching cases such as the police killing of George Floyd. He tells Reason's Nick Gillespie that if the goal is to save the largest number of lives, including black lives, then basing policy on "a viral video is probably not the way to go." A more effective approach, he argues, "is to look at how many people are killed by police and compare it to how many people are killed from gang warfare and street crime. If you hobbled the police, you might actually increase the number of people of all races who were killed, which is in fact exactly what happened."

Reason talked with Pinker about Rationality, social progress, and why, despite the negativity, fear, and anger in the world, he's optimistic about the future.

NEXT: Why Millennials and Gen Z Hate Boomers, and What To Do About It.

HD Download

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Not afraid to shy away from controversy, Pinker insists that public policy should be largely driven by facts, not emotion, even in heart-wrenching cases such as the police killing of George Floyd.

    Like when American progressives decided "rationally" that segregating blacks from whites was going to be good for blacks and whites? Like when Germans decided that economic data showed that Jews were unreasonably successful and needed to have their supposedly ill-gotten gains taken away from them?

    Pinker is posing a false dichotomy. Public policy should not be driven either by facts or by emotions; public policy should be driven by the principles of individual liberty and individual responsibility.

    1. In fact, "public policy" is incompatible with individualism. It assumes top-down central planning.

      As an example, look at how foreign policy makes such huge swings after elections. There is no need for government to decide how much foreign aide goes to whom, or which countries citizens are allowed to travel to. For that matter, embassies and ambassadors are inimical to individual choices. If foreign politicians want American largesse and favors and tourism dollars, let them advertise just like Disney does, or ski resorts, or Waikiki hotels. Make them market how poor and deserving they are, show how efficiently they use donations.

      "Public policy" is just another cover for central planning robbery.

      1. Seriously I don’t know why more people haven’t tried this, I work two shifts, 2 hours in the day and 2 in the evening…FiG And i get surly a check of $12600 what’s awesome is I m working from home so I get more time with my kids.

        Try it, you won’t regret it........VISIT HERE

      2. “Public policy” is just another cover for central planning robbery.

        No, not necessarily. "Public policy" can also mean ensuring that government stays very limited.

        1. I made over $700 per day using my mobile in part time. I recently got my 5th paycheck of $19632 and all i was doing is to copy and paste work online. this home work makes me able to generate more cash daily easily.SEv simple to do work and regular income from this are just superb. Here what i am doing.

          Try now.................. VISIT HERE

      3. If a state government oppresses individuals and the federal government sets a public policy to protect the individuals from the state government, then that public policy protects individualism.

        1. The problem is, no matter how rational a system is developed, we will run into a point where rational argument cannot weigh alternatives against each other.

          Image we want to have a meal, there are all sorts of different options out there, and lots of ways to score them. We could go with three separate properties of price, quality, and time. While rational objectiveness can rank the options of a `Steakhouse Restaurant` `Fast Food Hamburger` and `Homemade Pasta` against a specific metric.

          $Cost Preference: Pasta > Hamburger > Steak (Cheaper is better)
          Quality Preference: Steak > Pasta > Hamburger
          Time Cost Preference: Hamburger > Steak > Pasta

          There is no weight for it to objectively combine the three different preference metrics. We can make a function that would combine them, but the choice of how we rank the preferences will determine the outcome, not the objectiveness of the individual ranks. And no matter what weights you personally give it, others will have different preference weights.

          Now where I can agree is that we should be using Objective Reality to at least attempt to understand what these tradeoffs are, even if it cannot tell us which is the correct course of action. If we set a goal to achieve some objective, we should attempt to come up with a measure of how successful we are being at it.
          What we should not do, is assume that intentions are always the same as the outcomes. Or the inverse that outcomes came from specific intentions.

          In general it'd be ideal if we could address the problems at the lowest reasonable level, and only bump them up to a higher level of coordination when the problem warrants. Don't try at set speed limits at a national level, but which side of the road we drive on makes more sense to address at a national level.

      4. A very interesting topic has been raised. We all want to be free and easy to communicate with others. If you want to find new friends and stay in touch, you can pay attention to this resource https://callmechat.com Look for a new experience together!

    2. Public policy should not be driven either by facts or by emotions; public policy should be driven by the principles of individual liberty and individual responsibility.

      Should not be driven by facts? Are you daft? Of COURSE public policy should be driven by facts. Otherwise, by what authority do any of us have to claim that the Soviet Union "didn't work"? The argument against socialism and in favor of liberal democracy is largely based on empirical evidence, i.e., facts.

      1. Otherwise, by what authority do any of us have to claim that the Soviet Union “didn’t work”? The argument against socialism and in favor of liberal democracy is largely based on empirical evidence, i.e., facts.

        No, the argument against socialism is not based on "empirical evidence" or whether "it works". Socialist countries have experienced rapid economic growth at times (e.g., USSR) and have had a higher standard of living than much of the rest of the world (e.g. GDR). A libertarian society might well end up being a less prosperous society in the long run, for example if people choose to consume and produce less and return to a more pastoral, more relaxed lifestyle.

        If you believe that "facts matter" and that whether a "society works" matters, you are already assuming that there are collective objectives for society and that the objective of public policy is to impose rules on individuals to achieve those objectives.

        In a free society, public policy should only be based on guaranteeing natural rights and individual liberties. In a free society, facts matter to individuals and to courts, not to public policy.

        1. The USSR never had rapid economic growth. What they had was a lot of lies and bloated military production - which was needed only because Stalin helped Hitler build the force needed to begin WWII, and after that to conquer and suppress many smaller nations. The Tsarist economy was only partly free market and certainly wasn't rich, but it was a lot better than the Communists have ever admitted. It's been described as a Sweden-sized modern industrial economy embedded in a huge and quite backwards agricultural economy. The later Tsars never had widespread famine like the Soviets had in the 1920's, 1930's, and 1941-45, nor did they need to buy large quantities of food from abroad as the Soviets did starting in the 1970's. The industrial sector was often held back by Tsarist bureaucracy and over-regulation but it produced a few things superior to anywhere else in the world, for instance Faberge eggs, more military equipment than Germany (until idiots appointed to military command solely because of birth or political connections lost most of it in WWI combat), and more aircraft than any one of the western allies (France, Great Britain, etc.)

          But most of that was lost in the Bolshevik revolution and forced collectivism. Millions starved in the cities until the Red Army was sufficiently formed to rob the farmers of their food, then millions starved in the countryside - on top of the millions that were outright murdered. Industrial production dropped to a small fraction of the pre-war levels, due to the removal of the people who knew how to run them and the substitution of Party ideologues and politicians.

          The best growth the Soviets could manage through the 1920's and 1930's was a slow recovery from the devastation. Possibly they recovered to the level of the pre-WWI Czarist economy by 1940, but it's hard to tell because Soviet statistics were always mostly lies. Then Stalin's stupidity about his partner in crimes against humanity, Hitler, allowed the Nazi invasion to devastate the country again. Then there was another long slow recovery. Even to the very end of the USSR, after a lifetime of "growth" under Communist rule the Soviet economy still couldn't keep bread or toilet paper on the store shelves. The only rapid growth that ever showed in anything but bogus statistics was in the production of tanks and artillery - which since 1945 have been used only to keep conquered nations suppressed.

          Remember, this was the nation with by far the most natural resources. It could have matched or exceeded the US economy, but Communism happened.

          And DON'T think that the Communists brought equality - it might not have made things more unequal than the Tsarist system of privileged nobility and poor serfs, but Communism not only allowed but created huge inequality between the Nomenklatura and the workers. IMO, this is much worse than American inequality: An American CEO might be 1,000 times richer than the lowest employees on paper, but will run out of ways to enjoy all that money, while the lowest paid American worker is much better off than the average Soviet subject. An American welfare family is better off physically than even Soviet doctors and engineers ever were.

      2. The Soviet Union worked extremely well in pursuit of the evil goals of its rulers. They succeeded in racking up the second-highest body count of any criminal regime in history.

        -jcr

    3. Racism was and is more driven by magical thinking, tribalism, and religious superstition than by bona fide non-reductive, falsifiable empirical science.

      Yes, Phrenology attempted to predict human characteristics by skull indices, however, much as Chiropractic did with the spine as the cause of diseases, it reduced all of it's analysis to one part of the human being, ignoring evidence from other parts. This is what makes Phrenology and Chiropractic into pseudosciences.

      Same by orders of magnitude with Eugenics reducing good and bad character traits to complete physical phenotypes. This also runs contrary to Darwinian Evolution, which holds that the ultimate survival trait for either individual organisms or species is not phenotypes like strength or intelligence, but adaptability. It also runs contrary to Genetics, which finds common genotypes in different phenotypes.

      Recall also the scene from 12 Years A Slave where the Master cited The Holy Bible as justification for his actions:
      https://youtu.be/MPg1JXt3ncs

      Nazi Germany used similar agitprop for the Holocaust, citing Christian and Muslim Anti-Semitic memes and embossing coins and belt buckles with the slogan "Gott Mitt Uns" ("God Is With Us.")

      Finally, the priciples of individual rights and responsibility have their foundation in the observable fact that only individual entities and human beings exist, whereas "Society" and "The Collective" have no existence outside of the individuals of which these groups are comprised.

      1. Well said. Racism is almost by definition irrational (if you define it as unreasonable discrimination or bigotry based on race). One of the worst messages to come from the woke/CRT/whatever you call it stuff is that racism is somehow advantageous to whites. I would argue that it is not so in general (though, for example, you could probably say slavery is advantageous to the slave owners), and that the argument supports the case of actual white supremacists.

        1. Racism is almost by definition irrational (if you define it as unreasonable discrimination or bigotry based on race).

          The term "racism" has a well-defined meaning:

          Racism is the belief that groups of humans possess different behavioral traits corresponding to inherited attributes and can be divided based on the superiority of one race over another.

          Whether we can divide human populations into groups with inherited collections of traits is an empirical question; it is certainly not "by definition" irrational.

          Those group differences only matter to you if you cling to a collectivist, utilitarian ideology like progressivism. And progressives deny even the possibility of racial differences because that's the way they try to dissociate themselves from their past support of eugenics and segregation. "Pseudo-science made us do it." as opposed to "Collectivist, utilitarian ideologies are intrinsically morally wrong."

          To libertarians, Christians, and similar ideologies and moral systems, the question of group differences simply doesn't matter; that is the only morally defensible stance. For example, the fact that German Americans have lower average IQs and have lower average incomes than Chinese Americans simply has no bearing on transactions between individual Americans or moral or legal judgments about individuals.

      2. Racism was and is more driven by magical thinking, tribalism, and religious superstition than by bona fide non-reductive, falsifiable empirical science.

        That is absolutely false. Racism and eugenics, both in the US and in Europe, were promoted by mainstream academics and intellectuals and rooted in Darwinism. These ideas (and terms) simply didn't exist before the 19th century. Mainstream Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Buddhism were strongly opposed to these policies as a fundamental violation of human dignity and natural rights.

        Same by orders of magnitude with Eugenics reducing good and bad character traits to complete physical phenotypes.

        You don't understand what eugenics is. Eugenics is "is a set of beliefs and practices that aim to improve the genetic quality of a human population". The problem with eugenics isn't its efficacy, it is that it is a fundamental violation of natural rights.

        1. @NOYB2

          Unless you assert that racism did not exist before 1859, when Darwin first published his findings, it is obviously false that racism was rooted in Darwinism. To name just one example, John C. Calhoun used racism to justify race-based slavery as a "positive good" in February of 1837. That was before Darwin had even published "The Voyage of the Beagle," let alone "The Origin of the Species."

          There has historically not been a particularly strong correlation between religion and anti-racism. There have certainly been many religious figures who oppose racism as a violation of the Golden Rule, but there have been many others who have supported it.

          1. To name just one example, John C. Calhoun used racism to justify race-based slavery as a “positive good” in February of 1837.

            Calhoun didn't view blacks as genetically inferior, he viewed them as culturally and socially inferior, a condition that could be remedied through education and cultural assimilation. Furthermore, he believed that Southern slaves were generally better off than the poor in Northern slums. We generally reject these views today, but they are not racist.

            There has historically not been a particularly strong correlation between religion and anti-racism.

            That is again absolutely false. From the very beginning, Christianity emphasized unity and equality: There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

            What Christianity did not oppose for most of its history was slavery, because slavery was simply a universal human social arrangement. Europeans, Africans, or Asians found it in no way remarkable. And Africans enslaved Europeans by the millions, far more than the few hundred thousand that were brought to North America.

            1. So we're all equally Originally Sinful pieces of shit and that is what is supposed to make us equal in dignity?

              And Christianity just went along with the brutal, bloody flow of human history and that is somehow supposed to be better than everything else on the menu?

              Sorry, that is weak sauce as far as worldviews go.

              1. Sorry, that is weak sauce as far as worldviews go.

                I'm not advocating a "world view". I'm no a Christian. I'm simply stating a fact: historically, racism was not driven by "magical thinking, tribalism, and religious superstition"; racism was the result of a misuse of science by progressives and was widely supported by intellectual leaders and scientists in the US and Europe.

                And Christianity just went along with the brutal, bloody flow of human history and that is somehow supposed to be better than everything else on the menu?

                Christianity was the primary driver behind the abolition of slavey and, more generally, the creation of safe, peaceful, liberal, rational societies. Yes, that is objectively better than "everything else on the menu". But Christianity is in decline and it's not coming back.

        2. Except for the simple fact that Darwin was not a racist in his personal dealings with people and did not support slavery or Eugenics. (His reference to "race" in the subtitle of On The Origins of Species was a reference to what we now call species.)

          Moreover, many jurisdictions had both laws agqinst teaching Evolution and laws mandating Eugenics existing together and enforced from the same law books. North Carolina, in particular, didn't get rid of Eugenics laws until 1973.

          Also, racism has occured under every one of the living religions you cited and those religions were used by racists as agitprop, so, obviously religion is, at best, not a bulwark against racism and, at worst, encourages passivity and aquiesence to racism.

      3. Recall also the scene from 12 Years A Slave where the Master cited The Holy Bible as justification for his actions

        People cite the Bible to justify all sorts of atrocities; that doesn't show anything. Furthermore, you are referencing a quote from a 21st century progressive movie, not Christian theology.

        Here are the relationships between Christianity and these issues.

        Slavery was not abolished by atheists, progressives, or Muslims, it was abolished by Christians based on the realization that slavery was incompatible with human dignity and natural rights.

        Racism is concerned with differences in human abilities between races. Christianity is not concerned with differences in ability or races, but by individual moral choices "In every nation [God] accepts those who fear him and do what is right."

        Eugenics is government policy aimed at improving the population through intervention in procreation. Christianity teaches that eugenics is evil (Chesterton: Eugenics and Other Evils) and that the people eugenicists consider "undesirable" are deserving of full lives, love, and dignity, like all others.

        Your problem is the typical problem of progressives: you simply can't face the fact that vile policies like eugenics, racism, and segregation were not the product of religious nuts and country hicks, but actually were at the core of progressivism and technocracy.

        (And in case you're wondering, I'm a gay atheist. But I'd rather live in a Christian nation than a progressive nation; the Christians are usually far less murderous and authoritarian.)

        1. For your information, I am not a Progressive, but a small-'l' libertarian Pansexual Atheist who goes for the gusto and suports a Secular Constitutional Republic with Equal Individual Rights for All and Limited Government over anybody's damn Theocracy. The lesser of evils is still evil.

          And it's not Either/Or, but Both/And.

          Eugenics is both inefficacious AND a violation of Individual Rights. Slavery is both less productive AND a violation of Individual Rights. Racism is both immoral AND stupid and uneconomical.

          Also, Racism, Eugenics, and Slavery were and are supported by both Religious Nuts and country hicks AND Progressive/Socialist Social Engineers.

          If we humans don't destroy ourselves and out world, modern consensual genetic engineering with CRISPR, automated production with Mecha-Electronics and Artificial Intelligence, and bodies that can change appearances like chameleons will render all of these horrors a bad and distant memory.

          1. Oh, and 12 Years A Slave was non-fiction and the Master's citation of religous scripture to justify slavery was pretty standard throughout the slaveholding states of the U.S. and slaveholders worldwide.

            1. the Master’s citation of religous scripture to justify slavery was pretty standard throughout the slaveholding states of the U.S. and slaveholders worldwide.

              They did. And abolitionists also used Christianity to oppose slavery ("[slavery] is pronounced to be sinful and odious, in the sight of God and man"). Slavery was a universal human institution until, in the 17th century, its legitimacy was questioned within Christianity. Christians who opposed slavery won the debate and that's why slavery has been abolished in the West.

              The Enlightenment, classical liberalism, and modern democracy were not accomplishments of atheists, they were the accomplishments of Christians and Christian societies.

              The first modern atheist states were socialist and fascist, and history shows you how well that went.

          2. Also, Racism, Eugenics, and Slavery were and are supported by both Religious Nuts and country hicks AND Progressive/Socialist Social Engineers.

            Well, looks like we're making progress: instead of blaming "religious nuts" for eugenics, racism, and slavery, you now treat them on equal footing with progressives/socialists.

            But I'm sorry, you're still wrong. Slavery was a universal human institution; Christianity coexisted with it for most of its history, but eventually became the key driver in its abolition.

            As for eugenics and racism, they are the result of progressivism and "scientism"; mainstream Christianity was staunchly opposed to both of them. That's just a historical fact.

            For your information, I am not a Progressive, but a small-‘l’ libertarian Pansexual Atheist who goes for the gusto and suports a Secular Constitutional Republic with Equal Individual Rights for All and Limited Government over anybody’s damn Theocracy.

            You're historically ignorant, and your form of "libertarianism" is indistinguishable in practice from utopian communism. And it's people like you who have destroyed the libertarian movement.

      4. the ultimate survival trait for either individual organisms or species is not phenotypes like strength or intelligence, but adaptability.

        Not exactly. Survivability depends on how the organism fits the conditions in which it finds itself, and if those conditions aren't changing very rapidly, then adaptability isn't very important. The organisms around the deep-sea vents aren't very adaptable at all; they die if you move them away from the vent, but they've persisted for millennia.

        -jcr

        1. What I said.

    4. I got $97450 up to now this year working on the online and I’m a full time student. I’AM profited. It’s really simple to know and I’m in order that cheerful that I got some answers regarding it. Here what I do…… Visit Here

    5. Just because you call some action rational doesn't make it so.

      1. Exactly. Reality is the final arbiter in any conflict over what is rational.

  2. Yada, yada, yada...

  3. The Scottish Enlightenment definitely did and never gets enough credit from libertarians for freeing millions.

    However contrary to Pinker's wishful thinking, the continental Enlightenment gave us the cancerous, deadly "isms" of the 20th Century.

    And anyone who thinks the last 35 years are a trend, instead of an aberration, is fooling themselves.

    1. +1

      Smith, Reid, and Stewart >>>> Rousseau, and Voltaire

      The difference is as obvious as the comparison between Jefferson and Robespierre. And as far as out founders are concerned he was probably one most sympathetic to the Continental version. But even he knew their limitations and so ended being the one who had to step in and save Thomas Paine from them.

      1. Voltaire was a defender of individualism and free markets.

        1. As was Bastiat and Condorcet. While Bastiat was a believer in a God, he also held that plunder only stops when it is made more difficult and painful than labor, and that without that, neither religion nor morality can stop plunder.

        2. Voltaire was also a ferocious racist, who was cool with slavery because he believed that blacks came from a different animal. And because of their different origins, blacks did not share the natural humanity of whites.
          Voltaire often invoked racial differences as a means to attack religious orthodoxy for saying blacks had the same ancestors.

          TBQH, that's just the tip of the iceberg of Voltaire's fuckery. Most of his libertarianism was really just the defense of his own libertinism.

  4. Didn’t we do this yesterday?

  5. Our solar system consists of our star, the Sun, and everything bound to it by gravity – the planets Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune; dwarf planets such as Pluto; dozens of moons; and millions of asteroids, comets, and meteoroids.
    https://officialkmspico.org/

  6. "Not afraid to shy away from controversy, Pinker insists that public policy should be largely driven by facts, not emotion, even in heart-wrenching cases such as the police killing of George Floyd."

    Seems like Gillespie previously thought public policies should be based upon emotion and left wing lies repeated by BLM and Antifa rioters, the news media and Democrats.

    1. lol yeah I was reading this and thought, is there anyone I should listen to, advocating something OTHER than we should use intelligence and reason to decide problems and issues? It's controversial to say "facts not emotions"? I guess it probably is on campuses, but it shouldn't be on reason.com, and the fact that it is ANYWHERE, is sad, sad, sad, fucking sad.

  7. 'Islamist Extremism': Stabbing Death of Conservative British MP Deemed 'Terrorist Incident'
    https://townhall.com/tipsheet/spencerbrown/2021/10/15/we-now-know-who-stabbed-a-conservative-member-of-british-parliament-to-death-n2597542

    So much for the strategy Biden deployed in Afghanistan to promote diplomacy and reduce Islamic terrorism.

  8. Something something, cunning linguist...

  9. A counter to Mr. Pinker on his reliance on facts instead of emotion.

    It’s Time to Give Up on Facts
    Or at least to temporarily lay them down in favor of a more useful weapon: emotions.

    1. When I was in the atheist forums, the atheists told me they used reason and rationality. When I went to the believers’ forums, they assured me they used reason and rationality.

      The progressives in their forums made the same claim. So, too, did the conservatives in their forums.

      Yet, with all that reason and rationality, the other guy was always wrong and disliked. And, oddly, their own respective understandings or belief systems were always right.

      As the discord reigned, they all remained quite proud of their reason and rationality. I was, too, so I shot the motherfuckers.

      1. Yes, lots of people use reason and rationality for lots of different purposes, and they often contradict each other. They contradict each other because they have different values, objectives, and premises.

        Why does that stir violent impulses in you?

        1. Well, it all started when my mother was potty training me…..Oh wait. You were talking to Reshuflex. My bad.

        2. “Why does that stir violent impulses in you?”

          Well, the easy reply could be that I’m employing Pinker’s “higher-order” rationality to act irrationally.

          Except my comment was figurative. It was meant to reveal, as were the other examples, the paradox of ( putative) reason often leading to unreason.

          1. It was meant to reveal, as were the other examples, the paradox of ( putative) reason often leading to unreason.

            And the resolution to that "paradox" is that all these people who reach different conclusions actually start with different values, objectives, and premises, in addition to having incomplete information and making mistakes.

            Pinker is wrong to attribute human thriving and progress to rationality; rationality is a tool, but whether you apply that tool for good or for evil depends on your values.

            Fascists and socialists acted rationally; it was their values that are unacceptable.

            1. Argumentum Ad Bacculum (Appeal To Force) is a logical fallacy. Taking a club or a gun to somebody's head establishes nothing as true (though it is justified if done in self-defense or retaliation for initiated force.)

              Hence, there is nothing rational about Fascism or Socialism, either in means or ends.

              1. Socialism achieves economic equality of outcome better than any other economic system (albeit at a steep cost).

                So, if equality of outcome is someone's primary value, in what way is it irrational for them to prefer socialism?

  10. A more effective approach, he argues, "is to look at how many people are killed by police and compare it to how many people are killed from gang warfare and street crime. If you hobbled the police, you might actually increase the number of people of all races who were killed, which is in fact exactly what happened."

    Cancel this motherfucker now.

  11. She has been over weight but last month she started to take these r new supplements and she has lost 40 pounds so far.

    Take a look at the site here………. http://www.FitApp1.com

  12. Morality is, simply put, the human attempt to define right and wrong, or good and bad.

    Moral relativism is in short the belief that right and wrong aren’t absolute but merely whatever someone thinks they are.

    In this way moral relativists deny reality by denying logic and science whenever it suits them to instead claim that whatever they believe defines what is right.

    Moral relativism is pure ideology and does not exist outside the realm of theory. It isn’t itself satanism, but is a required prerequisite to get there.

    Moral absolutism maintains that right and wrong doesn’t change It necessarily exists in practical application throughout all aspects of society. Fortunately our architects rely upon absolute principles of physics and strength of materials.

    Logic and science are necessary tools for moral absolutists to define right from wrong. There is a right way to live just like there’s a right way to build a bridge and it doesn’t change simply because you want it to.

    Moral relativism is the ideology that results in perpetual conflict and hatred. If everyone discerned what is right using logic and science then everyone would come to the same morally absolute conclusion.

    Hypocrites claim to rationally value logic and science until it determines what they don’t want it to. Then they’re all moral relativism.

    Is rationality demonstrated by employing logic and science to demonstrate the truth, or by the bigoted claim that truth is whatever you believe it is?

    There can be no rational argument with someone who believes the right answer is whatever they believe it is.

    1. The thing is there are two types of morality. Subjective morality deals with actions that only affect an individual. Objective morality deals with actions between individuals. Subjective morality is relative. Objective morality is not.

      1. I get that you’re trying to simplify an entirely obfuscated field, but I’ve found nothing close to your claims online.

        Those words are used to describe aspects of morality but not like you have.

    2. Logic and science are necessary tools for moral absolutists to define right from wrong.

      As far as science is concerned, human beings are just mammals, and for mammals, natural behavior patterns include infanticide, theft, slavery, polygamy, homosexuality, murder, bestiality, and prostitution, among others. So, if you want to use science as the basis of your morality, you can go to hell.

      Moral absolutism maintains that right and wrong doesn’t change

      Most people agree that there are moral absolutes, but people just don't agree on what they are.

      Hypocrites claim to rationally value logic and science

      Hypocrites are people like you, who try to justify their own warped morality with science.

      There can be no rational argument with someone who believes the right answer is whatever they believe it is.

      That's literally what you do: you believe that the right answer is what you believe it is.

      1. I’ve always said, and acted accordingly, that logic and science demonstrate truth/reality. You have never refuted anything I’ve said.

        What has natural mammalian behaviour got to do with the scientific method?

        Someone is going to have to refute something I say in order for me to demonstrate that I value and accept truth even when it contradicts me. If you think you have, prove it by citing a link and a description. Something you have never done before.

        1. What has natural mammalian behaviour got to do with the scientific method?

          The study of mammalian behavior is a proper application of the scientific method; the determination of absolute moral values is not.

          Logic and science are necessary tools for moral absolutists to define right from wrong.

          They may be necessary, but they are not sufficient. Science can tell you (for example) that infanticide is common among mammals, but it can't tell you whether it is morally right.

          1. Morality is mammalian behaviour is it not?

            Science and logic are the best tools humanity has to discern reality and truth. They are responsible for all our answers to date.

            What do you employ to believe that logic and science cannot determine morality?

            1. Morality is mammalian behaviour is it not?

              Morality isn't a "behavior", it's a system or collection of ideas of right and wrong conduct; it only exists in humans since other species don't have systems or ideas.

              What do you employ to believe that logic and science cannot determine morality?

              I employ logic and science to determine that morality is not within the subject domain of logic and science. Science can tell you whether certain behaviors are conducive to survival of the species and/or to what degree they are cultural universals. It can't tell you whether such behaviors are morality right.

              Science and logic are the best tools humanity has to discern reality and truth. They are responsible for all our answers to date.

              Well, give it a try: derive "Thou shalt not commit adultery." from science and logic.

              1. There’s nothing mysterious about ethics and morality that science and logic can’t determine.

                Adultery is when a married person has sex with someone other than their spouse.

                Marriage is a contract between two people and also their community. It is the basis of trust upon which the relationship strengthens and is conveyed to both the community and their offspring.

                Adultery breaks that contract and through betrayal destroys that trust leading to hatred, jealousy and all the negative behaviour that goes with those emotions.

                Adultery leads to bad consequences and is therefore wrong.

                It’s as simple as that. No mystery. Just logic and science.

                1. Where is the "science" in your analysis? Where have each of the dozen assumptions that you make in your analysis been verified using the scientific method?

                  Furthermore, your premise that "X leads to bad consequences and therefore X is [morally] wrong" is simple utilitarianism. I consider utilitarianism to be morally unacceptable.

                  1. Psychology is the study of mammalian behaviour is it not?

                    What don’t you like about utilitarian behaviour besides it leading to bad consequences?

                    1. Psychology is the study of mammalian behaviour is it not?

                      It is. But your analysis of adultery is devoid of actual psychology (or anthropology or biology for that matter).

                      What don’t you like about utilitarian behaviour besides it leading to bad consequences?

                      Utilitarian behavior is incompatible with basic values that I hold. It is also incompatible with Christianity.

                    2. Recognizing that emotions like betrayal, jealousy and hatred result in unwanted behaviour is psychology.

                      Again you’re desperately trying to avoid recognizing that you’re incompatible with totalitarianism because embracing it would lead to bad consequences.

                      Or does your moral code lead to bad consequences and you’re incompatible with totalitarianism because it would lead to good consequences? Bad from your twisted perspective.

              2. Morality is what social species do that enables them to be social. Things such as fairness, reciprocity, empathy, mutualism, common social norms, etc. Many mammal have these traits such as Chimps, Bonobos, Gorillas, Dolphins, Wolves, Humans, etc.

                In the case of adultery, empathy and social norms would be the (or part of the) source of why we think its wrong.

                1. Adultery is widely practiced among mammals, including many primates. In fact, among bonobos, promiscuous sex is used to improve social cohesion, enhance empathy, etc. Furthermore, adultery is widely practiced among humans, quite openly in some societies.

                  The point is that Misek's statement that prohibitions against adultery as a moral absolute follow from science and logic is wrong.

                  1. I used the word we, as in Humans. Adultery among other animals varies a lot. Bonobos don't have a concept of adultery for the most part as there is not this kind of similar pair bonding at all that is comparable to humans (many species do monogamous pair bond for life and rates of cheating vary a lot from nearly none to lots of cheating and if caught these species norms dictate how tolerated the behavior is). In other words there is no social norm in Bonobo society that prohibits this kind of behavior. So it is not morality wrong to them.

                    Lets look at Wolves. In a wolf pack only the alpha male is allowed to mate with the alpha female they are monogamous pair bonded. If a lower ranking male tries to mate with the alpha female, she will resist but furthermore other members of the pack will attack this lesser male. Wish I could recall the doc or book I read about this but it was documented in a pack that a lesser male over and over tried to mate with the alpha female and after some time the members of the pack drove the male off. Ostracism. Which was also used in pre-modern human societies where this is how deviant members are "punished". As there is no formal rule of law no one has a right to imprison, etc anyone. People who don't agree with the group as a whole are free to leave or if the group is unhappy with an individual they can turn their backs to that person and simply not engage in trade, cooperation ,etc.

                    So back to the Wolf pack after a time the lesser male came back to the pack and challenged the Alpha, he won and he then mated with the alpha female. The pack accepted him back as he followed the social norms of the pack. He acted immorally and the pack punished him, he then acted within the "rules/laws" of wolves and got what he wanted when acting morally according to wolves.

                    My point is often the whole concept of morality being imposed as strict set of rules or assumptions (non aggression principle, the needs of the many out weigh the needs of the few or whatever) is a top down imposed view not based on how morality among social species works in the real world.

                    This understanding is because of science. How we created laws and rules should heavily be based on the realities of social species behavior as these traits (empathy, fairness, etc) evolved to allow the furtherance of our species and these understandings are innate to the vast majority of people.

    3. Moral relativism is pure ideology and does not exist outside the realm of theory. It isn’t itself satanism, but is a required prerequisite to get there.

      No, it's not. Satanists are just Christians who want to be the bad guys. They don't have to be moral relativists to make that choice.

      -jcr

      1. Satanists believe there is no right and wrong. You do whatever you want.

        Moral relativists believe right and wrong are whatever you want them to be. What’s right benefits you.

        Christians believe right and wrong are absolute, divine. It doesn’t change between people or cultures. Right benefits everyone.

        1. "Satanists believe there is no right and wrong."

          But enlightened atheists and other rational thinkers know that satan only exists except in the silly minds who also believe in god(s).

          1. And in the small minds that deny what they cannot refute.

        2. Christians believe right and wrong are absolute, divine. It doesn’t change between people or cultures.

          Almost all religions and political ideologies believe that. The only philosophy or political ideologies that postulate "cultural relativism" that I know of are neo-Marxism and postmodernism.

          Right benefits everyone.

          That is a collectivist belief. I know of nothing in the Bible or Christian dogma that says "that which benefits everyone is morally right". Can you point to particular passages?

          In actual fact, Christianity explicitly prohibits some acts that would "benefit everyone".

          1. Can you identify any tenet of Christianity that disadvantages anyone?

            What specific tenet prohibits that which benefits everyone?

            1. What specific tenet prohibits that which benefits everyone?

              The Ten Commandments, for example. For example, they don't say "thou shalt not steal except when it benefits everyone", they say "thou shalt not steal". That is, the redistribution of someone's property for the benefit of others ought to be a voluntary act of charity; furthermore, charity isn't for the benefit of "everyone", it is for the benefit of the recipient.

              Christianity is not concerned with designing ideal societies; Christianity is concerned with the salvation and moral behavior of individuals.

              Now you go: where does the Bible or Christian dogma say that "[That is morally] Right [which] benefits everyone"?

              1. Charity is for everyone who needs it. There have been unscrupulous and immoral peoples in history who claim to need charity only to advance their selfish interests.

                When people put the needs of others ahead of their own selfish desires, they improve spiritually and all society benefits.

                1. 1 Peter 2:13-17

                  For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men.

                2. Philippians 2:3-4
                  Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

                  1. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

                    It says "others" (as in "some people other than you"), not "all of society".

                    Throughout most of Christian history, "all of society" was meaningless.

                    1. You’re desperate.

                      Others excludes no one in society and is certainly not simply “concerned with the salvation and moral behavior of individuals.” As you erroneously suggested.

                    2. Others excludes no one in society and is certainly not simply “concerned with the salvation and moral behavior of individuals.” As you erroneously suggested.

                      I did not say that Christianity was "simply" concerned with the salvation and moral behavior of individuals. I said that you are incorrect when you equate right actions in Christianity as those "benefit everyone". But that is only one of many errors in your analysis of morality in terms of what you call "logic and science".

                      In fact, Christianity and Judaism are clear: you cannot violate the Ten Commandments even if the violation "benefits everyone"; the only exemption to the Ten Commandments is a limited one for saving a life. The Ten Commandments represent absolute, unchanging values in Christianity, independent of utility or benefits in specific situations. If you cannot accept that, then you are not a Christian.

                    3. I said that in Christianity morality is absolute, inalienable. That it benefits everyone everywhere.

                      I never said it could be violated for any reason. That’s your misunderstanding.

                3. Charity is for everyone who needs it.

                  Everybody is a potential recipient of charity, but each act of charity is an individual act.

                  When people put the needs of others ahead of their own selfish desires, they improve spiritually and all society benefits.

                  That may or may not be so. But Christian theology doesn't say "do X so that 'all society benefits'".

                  1. Christianity does say do x so others benefit.

                    That’s exactly what that passage said.

                    “Philippians 2:3-4
                    Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”

                    The interests of others means the benefit of others.

  13. The cops didn't kill Goerge Floyd he ODed on fentanyl. Opioids paralyze your diaphragm that's why he was saying he couldn't breath not because they were on top of him. Their negligence was in not giving him Narcan.

  14. "Rationality" is what Communists think they are doing.

    Heck, going back further, it was was the French Revolutionaries thought they were doing. The whole "Cult of Reason" thing, trying to remove all religion from France and replacing it with a more "rational" philosophy

    1. Yes, and the Steven Pinkers of this world are saying "Robespierre/communists/fascists thought they were acting rationally, but they were simply wrong; we are smarter than that today".

      The actual situation is that government based on rationality is always going to lead to disaster. Government should be based neither on rational decision making or irrational decision making, it should be based on preserving liberty and natural rights.

      1. Operation on reason and logic is how the governmental system of a free society protects Individual Rights.

        A government cannot protect the Individual Right to Life without protecting the right to produce and exchange values for the fulfillment of the requirements of life. Hence, defending the Right to Life logically requires defending the Right to Liberty. And since man's efforts at survival cannot help him unless he can keep, use, and enjoy the products of his effort, the Right to Property is logically entailed in the Right to Liberty. Every other Individual Right derives from these three rights to Life, Liberty, and Property. All Individual Rights are a single, logical, rational, coherant whole and they rise and fall together.

        And since individuals live among each other and their actions can adversely affect each others rights, it logically follows that a government cannot protect one persons Individual Rights without equally protecting those same rights for all persons. Hence, protecting Individual Rights logically requires Equal Justice Before Tbe Law.

        And when limiting one person from acting to the violation of the rights of others, a government must act rationally based upon evidence and rules of evidence. It cannot search, seize, arrest, indict, try, convict, and imprison based upon mere whim of a random citizen, legislator, executive, enforcer, judge, jury, or warden. There has to he rational justification or warrant, if you will, for all of these things. All persons, especially those with authority are bound equally to rational rules and evidence and checks and balances to keep anyone from having unlimited power by whim.

        Never say that Reason and Logic are the enemies of a free society. They are the only friends a free society has against a human past, present, and future that all militate against it.

        1. Never say that Reason and Logic are the enemies of a free society.

          I didn't say that they were the "enemies". Nor did I say that government shouldn't employ reason and logic in its operation. What I said is that they can't be the basis of government.

          The basis of government is values. Socialists have as their basic value equality of outcome; libertarians have as their basic value individual liberty; and conservatives have as their basic value a particular form of social order.

          All three groups employ reason and logic in order to achieve their ends; it's their values that differ.

  15. Nice Blog, keep it up for more information like this. buy wine online

  16. Content aside, I would have thought a linguist might understand the value of a decent microphone.

  17. He's dead on. Society must be rooted in logic, fact , reason, and objectivity. For a society to function we all have to be working from the same fundamental operating system. 2+2 must equal 4. Emotion has it's place , but it's secondary to order. It must take place within rational boundaries , as it relates to social function. To think society wouldn't be a complete disaster if emotion was prioritized above reason, is itself a failure to think rationally. That would be like gravity shutting off and each person floating off in their own direction, unable to make sense of anyone else or relate to them. Black lives matter and the far left of the university often present in this manner , and despite being outright eviscerated by logic, still gain an zombie-like following due purely to emotional appeal. We should all be working toward further enlightenment and leave behind expired garbage like anger, spite, and violence, which is the natural progression we've been headed anyways.

    1. That’s not very woke of you.

      That kind of talk is verboten. It’ll get you canceled, censored banned and deplatformed.

      Our fragile fascist state can’t stand the scrutiny of logic and science.

      You’re talking about revolution.

  18. I am making a good salary online from home .I’ve made 97,999 dollar’s so for the last 7 months working online and I’m a full time student .DEc I’m using an 0nline business opportunity. I’m just so happy that I found out abOut it.

    For more detail … http://thefreedomjobnetwork.unaux.com/

  19. What’s the idea behind erasing this article from the list of latest?

  20. Thanks for sharing valuable information

Please to post comments