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“How our hard-wiring makes democracy hopeless”

Da neuroscience truth from Huffpo. In case you thought you SHOULD have rights.

In case you wondered what your moral and intellectual superiors in neuroscience were up to: Maybe you pay them to undermine your freedom:

In other words, say goodnight to the dream that education, journalism, scientific evidence, media literacy or reason can provide the tools and information that people need in order to make good decisions. It turns out that in the public realm, a lack of information isn’t the real problem. The hurdle is how our minds work, no matter how smart we think we are. We want to believe we’re rational, but reason turns out to be the ex post facto way we rationalize what our emotions already want to believe.

If this guy were correct, no one ever achieved anything by their own effort, right?

Democracy isn’t hopeless. It bounces from one hope to the next.

By the way, isn’t it well time to retire this crap about “hard wiring”? The human brain is wetware and you can be pretty sure ideas are not “hardwired.”

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11 Responses to “How our hard-wiring makes democracy hopeless”

  1. News, this is little more than yet another expression of the self-refuting, self-referential incoherence of evolutionary materialism. It is also reflective of its inherent amorality, and such is indeed a danger to liberty and justice. KF

    PS: Cf my 101 here on on details behind my comment.

  2. t is also reflective of its inherent amorality, and such is indeed a danger to liberty and justice.

    Paranoia strikes deep. You should try visiting very secular countries like Norway and Sweden. Lots of liberty and justice there. And Denmark. Holland. The UK.

    Have you compared the countries with the highest levels of agnosticism with the best educated countries and the ones with the lowest murder rates? Not to mention universal heath care.

  3. try visiting very secular countries like Norway and Sweden. Lots of liberty and justice there. And Denmark. Holland

    You cite very small homogeneous countries. Not very typical and there is no evidence except for the Dutch that they created their own wealth but took advantage through their freedom and the world wide wealth being created around them.

    The Dutch were the original capitalist, and capitalism is the source of modern wealth.

    UK

    Maybe some of our UK friends would like to comment but I am sure there will be a difference of opinion. There is certainly a lot of diversity there from what little I know and some fairly high crime rates.

    Have you compared the countries with the highest levels of agnosticism with the best educated countries and the ones with the lowest murder rates?

    These countries wealth was built up while they were religious not because they abandoned it. Part of their wealth is based on low reproductive rates and no need to defend themselves. The correlation may be wealth leads to agnosticism, not agnosticism leads to wealth and low murder rates. We have no information on the long term affects of agnosticism/atheism. We have information on the combination of religion and liberty leading to wealth.

  4. Anecdotal evidence yes, but I know a family that moved to the US from Sweden to find the religious freedom they were being denied there. (And they weren’t radicals of any sort.) I think it’s only the secular folks that feel “free” in Europe–free from religion, that is.

    (And Sweden has one of the highest rape rates in the world, at 63.5 per 100,000 people? Wow.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R.....ics#Sweden
    What are they doing wrong over there in paradise?)

  5. I agree people make profound conclusions and its hard to persuade them out of it. Religion is the great case. somebody’s wrong. So are the smarter people in the true religion. As a Evangelical smartness is only a minor addition to us. not the origin of our intelligence.
    Again we think with our souls and there is no wiring of brains affecting our thoughts except for the common organ called the memory. In fact the memory is the origin, I say, of all human complaints about thinking right. From depression to retardation to being drunk.

    Yes wealth is a result of industry and intelligence and so it was the historic Protestant nations that won. The true faith at work. Then cruising on this.
    Democracy works where people are good and smart.
    It works here but historic and present immigration has always been the threat to right and just answers in government.

  6. Now let me see if I got this straight. We want to believe we’re rational, but reason turns out to be the ex post facto way we rationalize what our emotions already want to believe. That presumably includes everyone, including those who wrote the article. They want to believe they are rational, but they are really rationalizing what they want to believe. And they are publishing this in the (vain) hope that they can persuade those whose emotions already are inclined against them to reconsider, based on evidence that turns out to be their (the writers’) own rationalizations, and not any actual reasons.

    I would hope that their position is a bit more nuanced than this.

  7. PG: You got the problem dead right: self-referential incoherence with special pleading for their own case. Sadly. KF

    PS: Jerad, could you kindly explain to us how evolutionary materialism — a worldview — has in its foundations an IS that can ground OUGHT beyond “might and manipulation make ‘right’ . . . “? (Which includes grounding basic rights, justice, morality etc.) If you cannot, know this is not a new problem, cf. Plato’s warning in The Laws Bk X, 2350 years ago — with Alcibiades as exhibit no 1 on amoral behaviour. There has been a lot of sad history sine on the point.

  8. PPS: Jerad, just for your further pondering, observe this from Wm B Provine, at the well known U Tenn Darwin Day address of 1998:

    Naturalistic evolution has clear consequences that Charles Darwin understood perfectly. 1) No gods worth having exist; 2) no life after death exists; 3) no ultimate foundation for ethics exists; 4) no ultimate meaning in life exists; and 5) human free will is nonexistent . . . .

    The first 4 implications are so obvious to modern naturalistic evolutionists that I will spend little time defending them. Human free will, however, is another matter. Even evolutionists have trouble swallowing that implication. I will argue that humans are locally determined systems that make choices. They have, however, no free will . . .

    I suggest to you that the implications of the evolutionary materialistic worldview that undermine responsible freedom [= free will] and thus entail both a breakdown of the credibility of the knowing and reasoning human mind and ethical subjectivism or relativism, are precisely the same ones that relate to the absence of a grounding IS that can bear the weight of OUGHT, i.e. the worldview is inherently amoral.

    This of course gives an open door to nihilism, once the impact of the history of 1,000+ years of influence of the Judaeo-Christian worldview in our civilisation increasingly fades and as the sort of ruthlessly slanderous conspiracy theorist agit-prop that is still hosted by you know who, as is documented here, progresses more and more in its insidious way. KF

  9. Jerad, could you kindly explain to us how evolutionary materialism — a worldview — has in its foundations an IS that can ground OUGHT beyond “might and manipulation make ‘right’ . . . “? (Which includes grounding basic rights, justice, morality etc.) If you cannot, know this is not a new problem, cf. Plato’s warning in The Laws Bk X, 2350 years ago — with Alcibiades as exhibit no 1 on amoral behaviour. There has been a lot of sad history sine on the point.

    Hey, guess what? If the atheists are right and there is no God(s) then all your scripture and objective morality came from the heads of men!! :-) But, for you that can’t possibly be the case. Not that you’ve already made up your mind or anything. Heaven forbid!!

  10. I suggest to you that the implications of the evolutionary materialistic worldview that undermine responsible freedom [= free will] and thus entail both a breakdown of the credibility of the knowing and reasoning human mind and ethical subjectivism or relativism, are precisely the same ones that relate to the absence of a grounding IS that can bear the weight of OUGHT, i.e. the worldview is inherently amoral.

    Well, in the era of Darwin, the last 150 years, for most people their lives are much better. They’re living longer, they have more leisure time, crime rates have been dropping. We haven’t had a major war in over 65 years. The average person is now educated to a level far above what was common in the time of Jefferson and Washington. There’ve been some despots, there always are. But it seems like the international community is learning to deal with its conflicts less violently than ever before. I’m pretty optimistic actually. Except for climate change and the lack of new antibiotics. And I do hope no fundamentalist group gets a hold of a nuclear weapon. That would be scary.

  11. Jerad,

    Who said anything about scripture (apart from you, in a context that is loaded, given recent conspiracy stories)?

    Let us start from something basic: it is self-evidently, objectively wrong to kidnap, torture rape and murder a little child. So, any reasonable worldview must have in it a foundational IS that grounds OUGHT, the significance of ought being manifest through cases like this.

    Not so hard.

    Or, maybe, given your:

    If the atheists are right and there is no God(s) then all your scripture and objective morality came from the heads of men!! :-) But, for you that can’t possibly be the case. Not that you’ve already made up your mind or anything.

    . . . it is not so easy.

    As for everything has got better since the days of Darwin, that is not the case. You have missed the pivots and thus the trend drivers.

    The pivot that began the turnaround was the rise of modern liberty and democracy, which had a lot more to do with the Reformation than its detractors are usually willing to acknowledge. Then, the next wave traces to the industrial revolution from 1750 or so on, though the really widespread benefits trace to the accessibility of cheap steel, chemicals, electricity and oil.

    And I guess since it is 20+ years since the Iron Curtain fell, you are overlooking the living memory consequences of the first major explicitly atheistical system of government and the dynamics let loose by its atheistical ideologies from St Petersburg/Leningrad to Cuba and Grenada. Grim and exceedingly bloody, in short. The worst tyrannies in human history bar none.

    KF

    PS: Nor have I forgotten Nazism and Prussianism before it. We too often forget Heine’s grimly prophetic warning from 1832, and its fulfillments in the rape of Belgium [inter alia] and in the continent-wide disaster a generation later. Notice, the warning on turning one’s back as a civilisation, on the voice of the gospel after 1,000+ years:

    Christianity — and that is its greatest merit — has somewhat mitigated that brutal German love of war, but it could not destroy it. Should that subduing talisman, the cross, be shattered [--> the Swastika, visually, is a twisted, broken cross . . .], the frenzied madness of the ancient warriors, that insane Berserk rage of which Nordic bards have spoken and sung so often, will once more burst into flame. …

    The old stone gods will then rise from long ruins and rub the dust of a thousand years from their eyes, and Thor will leap to life with his giant hammer and smash the Gothic cathedrals. …

    … Do not smile at my advice — the advice of a dreamer who warns you against Kantians, Fichteans, and philosophers of nature. Do not smile at the visionary who anticipates the same revolution in the realm of the visible as has taken place in the spiritual. Thought precedes action as lightning precedes thunder. German thunder … comes rolling somewhat slowly, but … its crash … will be unlike anything before in the history of the world. …

    At that uproar the eagles of the air will drop dead [--> cf. air warfare, symbol of the USA], and lions in farthest Africa [--> the lion is a key symbol of Britain, cf. also the North African campaigns] will draw in their tails and slink away. … A play will be performed in Germany which will make the French Revolution look like an innocent idyll. [Heinrich Heine, Religion and Philosophy in Germany, 1831. His context was the consequences of a culture turning its back on God and locking him out from the domain of knowledge, thence the consequences.]

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