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The Conscience of a Liberal a Series Part IV

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I offer a commentary on moral discourse in which I explain that so much of moral discourse misses the big problem (as Johnathan Haidt misses the big point). The big point is that what people say they believe morally and how they act often do not jibe. And why do they not jibe? Because it is one thing to say what one's moral beliefs are but it is another thing to actually live by them. And Dostoevski explained why this is. The problem is, said Dostoevski, that most people most of the time do not act with self-interest; instead they act so that their willfulness must prevail.  So the big point is that until people can make their moral pronouncements match their actions, discussions of morality often end up being rationalizations. The problem is that most people live by their WILL more than by their self-interest. This is why so many religious moralizers are immoral in their private lives. This is a big problem in moral discourse---so much of it is intellectualizing and rationalization for willfulness. We need to know why people do not act in their self-interest and instead are just willful. And then we can understand morality. Until that time, all moral discourse will miss the mark, in my opinion. Until we know why willfulness is more powerful than self-interest to most people most of the time, we cannot get a grip on understanding morality. Willfulness is a reflection of the emotional brain and self-interest in a reflection of the higher intelligence brain function. Human beings still have big problems knowing how their emotional brain stops them from making effective us of their higher-brain functions. J D Holiday Psychologist Ph.D


“There is no attack on American culture more deadly and more historically dishonest than the secular effort to drive God out of America’s public life.”Newt Gingrich on hypocrisies in American politics

Jerry Pippin  hosted our morality segment.

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