The Rationalist Delusion

Posted by Beetle B. on Sun 23 October 2016

So do good reasoning skills lead to more moral behavior (the atheist’s dream)? A study found that moral philosophers behave just like other philosophers. No metric could be found that distinguished them morally (as likely to cheat, etc).

Reasoning does not exist to help you discern the truth, but to help you convince yourself or others about things.

Any given individual may be poor at using reasoning to obtain the truth, but groups can do a good job, especially if there is diversity of opinion and the people feel they are part of the group. It makes it easy to point out other’s fallacies, and the recipients are more likely to accept the feedback.

If you want people to act more ethically:

  • Forget about ethics classes.
  • You can try to change the rider and the elephant. It is hard.
  • You can change the path of the rider/elephant by changing the environment. Small changes can have very substantial impacts.

tags : trm, morality, Haidt