Moral Foundations Theory

Serious discussions on politics, religion, and the like.
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Re: Moral Foundations Theory

Post by JustinReilly »

Razmoudah wrote:And that is again symptomatic of what is going wrong with American Society today, everything seems to be viewed as only having absolutist extremes as valid answers, with no middle ground being acknowledged, let alone considered.
Yes. You've pinpointed the problem I've had with this entire conversation. My list?

1. Common fucking sense
2. All the other things
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Re: Moral Foundations Theory

Post by yomikoma »

Can you define "common sense"? In my experience it means "things I've forgotten that I learned" and the contents of it vary widely between people.
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Re: Moral Foundations Theory

Post by Drachefly »

I recently ran into a use of these six foundations that highlighted something I think is missing from them: Truth - people should know the truth. I think you can value this in a way at least as distinct from the others as, say, Liberty is from Caring.
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Re: Moral Foundations Theory

Post by DanielH »

I value Truth, but I think it might just be that it is the only application of Sanctity to my way of thinking. In any case, the original list was known to be potentially incomplete and expandable.
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Re: Moral Foundations Theory

Post by Drachefly »

Funny how people don't treat it that way. Like, 'conservatives use all 6 moral foundations, while liberals use only 3. . . . . SO SUCK IT, LIBERAL!!!!!'
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Re: Moral Foundations Theory

Post by marr »

Or from the other perspective, liberals use the *real* moral foundations, while conservatives have a bunch of parasitical ones indoctrinated by *evil forces*.

In practice, few people have clearly defined foundations or priorities, their moral instincts vary by the emotional tone of the last music they heard and whether they missed lunch, and most moral reasoning is rationalisation after the fact. Best you can do is constantly examine your own foundations, and make sure none of them are alien to you personally.
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Re: Moral Foundations Theory

Post by Killjoy »

Is it a moral or intellectual failure to divide people into "us" and "them" (or two pigeon-holes in general) and then try to demonize the other side as "immoral" and "stupid"?

Anyway... here's my ordering.


Authority (which barely registers, as I have ZERO regard for "because I said so" as a reason to do anything and have a strong distrust of power; my regard for "the rules" is entirely a matter of how they can serve as a framework/support for the other 5.)
Likes his women like he likes his coffee... a little sweet, a little spicy, a little strong, a little earthy, a little smokey, totally honest, and maybe a little offended by being compared to a beverage.
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Re: Moral Foundations Theory

Post by cleveresttitle »

JustinReilly wrote:1. Common fucking sense
In my experience, if someone's only explanation for a belief is "common sense", the belief is almost invariably either uncommon or nonsensical.
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Re: Moral Foundations Theory

Post by McKathlin »

Here's my ordering. My definitions of the moral foundations are informed by referencing

1. Care
I see care as the virtue that all other virtues exist to serve.

2. Proportionality/Fairness
This is important to me. One person shouldn't be treated better or worse than another person for nonsense reasons. Those who harm others ought to face justice; it's not pleasant, but it's what they deserve. I side with care more than fairness because I'd rather see a malefactor redeemed than destroyed.

3. Liberty
This one ranks close to proportionality/fairness for me. I see the two as aligned because freedom to act is most meaningful when it is tied to responsibility to accept the fully-understood consequences of the action. And yet, the two are in tension because our world doesn't mete out consequences justly or predictably. Some who work hard remain poor. Some are rich due to privilege rather than merit or effort. But I wouldn't call for correcting circumstantial unfairness through excessive taxation or other heavy-handed measures, because I see freedom to struggle, to earn through one's own efforts, to voluntarily give, etc. as a virtue in itself. I'd like to see the world made more just in a way that treads lightly on personal liberty.

4. Sanctity
Fair warning: my opinion here is going to tick some people off. There are some things (porn, casual sex, recreational drug use, etc.) that I see as harmful to the human psyche and to society at large, even though other people will explain them away as harmless when done safely. This ranks below liberty for me because I recognize that people are free to do what they want as long as they're not harming others. On that same token, I'm free to explain why I think those things are a bad idea. And others are free to listen, or not.

5. Authority
I appreciate the merit of following leadership and laws, so that things run smoothly, work gets done, and people don't accidentally run into each other and get hurt. I'm aware of the danger of committing cruel, unjust, or oppressive acts in the name of obedience. As such, I hold leaders to high standards, and I have the most respect for leaders and laws that hold up morally when rigorously questioned.

6. Loyalty
I'm wary of the dark side of loyalty, where "If you're my friend, you'll hate all the same people I hate. You'll join me in throwing our rivals under the bus." That strikes me as ugly. But loyalty does have its place. I recognize the need make sure that my family is safe and well-cared-for before I reach out to care for strangers. I don't think I value the lives of my own race or nationality above those of other human beings around the world; in any case, I strive to have compassion for everyone. I suppose my loyalty is to the human family; I see them as more deserving of human care than any other species is.

Whoever mentioned Truth as a possible moral foundation, that's a good call. Truth is important enough to me that I'm relieved that I didn't have to rank it with the others.
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Re: Moral Foundations Theory

Post by Nepene »

trevel wrote:
Nepene wrote:In order of my relative importances.

1. Authority.
2. Proportionality.
3. Liberty.
4. Loyalty.
5. Sancity.
6. Care.

For 1, lots of people know stuff better than me, following their lead is generally the best way to live a happy and safe life. Identifying who is good to follow and who is bad is important.
What I find interesting is, that's pretty much the opposite of how I would define "authority". You're CHOOSING who to follow, who to listen to. Yes, it's important to listen to people who know better than you, but Authority means Obeying the Authorities, not taking their advice into account.

"God says it, I believe it, that settles it" is a good statement of authoritarian 'virtue'. "It's important to consult with experts" is not, IMO.
Blind any value isn't good. You have to choose which authority is valid just as you have to choose which freedoms are important.

Christians would generally be annoyed if you said their trust in authority meant they had to obey satan say. With less important authorities hierarchies are important and roles. Your boss at work can tell you how to fry fries, not how to clean your bedroom. If your boss tells you to do an illegal thing and the police tell you to do a legal thing you obey the police. All moralities have nuances.

Even with God there are nuances. The bible is not a reliable guide for deep frying fries. You should generally focus more on listening to pros than the bible on that.

Caricatures of morals are not good.
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