Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Understanding those whose opinions differ from yours

First, take time to read this good article.

I'm already familiar with the Haidt study which found that "liberals just aren't as good as conservatives and libertarians at understanding how their opponents think."

I find that the hardest part of discussing politics or religion with liberals is that they generally can't or won't use reason or facts. Their arguments are rarely based on sound science or history. Instead, they're ruled by feelings and their concept that truth is relative -- not absolute. Conservatives (and moderates to a lesser extent), on the other hand, are better rooted in time-tested traditional attitudes and values and are cautious about change -- especially change for the mere sake of feeling good.

Because conservatives and moderates also have feelings, they can, as the Haidt study shows, understand and even be moved by the liberal perspective. But, because liberals generally are based primarily in feelings, they generally can't fathom the fact-based reasoning of conservatives.

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