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I really wanted to like the ideas presented here. For context, I'm an old-school liberal (not woke) atheist and I think a lot about how to be a "good" person although some of my Christians friends ask why I bother since I don't believe in heaven or hell.

I found this discussion frustratingly one-sided. The professor clearly blames conservatives more than liberals for the lack of tolerance in our society, and up until a few years ago I would have agreed wholeheartedly. However, I see the lack of tolerance clearly at BOTH extremes. Persuasion "owes" its subscribers honesty and nuance, not facile tropes.

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I had the same reaction: I wanted to honestly evaluate his ideas about morality, but the examples he chose just kept getting in the way. It felt like he was very out-of-touch as to what the hot-button issues are right now, like he was fighting the battles of 2005.

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Apr 5, 2022·edited Apr 5, 2022

Along with others here, I am unimpressed with the level of discussion in the podcast (I stopped after about 15 minutes, on the assumption that it was unlikely to improve).

The really, really, insanely obvious fact to which the interviewee seems studiously oblivious is that people get angry when they are reviled. Conservatives aren't anti-BLM because they feel they should do something about police brutality against blacks but don't want to; they're anti-BLM because they don't like being told that they don't want to stop police brutality against blacks. They get angry about mask-wearing because they don't like being told on-sight by strangers that they're anti-science and indifferent to the health of their grandparents.

I'm sure the guy is way smarter than this, probably way smarter than I am. He had to work hard at not seeing something so obvious.

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I bailed at about the same point. What astonishes me is that the prof claims knowledge of the reasons why people do what they do, and then claims that his evaluation of intent is important in his assessment of their actions. I found this later on while skimming the text: "My moral reactions to other people depend on not just what they're doing, but why they're doing it; I care if a person only gives me correct change because he's afraid of the police or something." How does he know, unless told, that the person is so motivated? Likewise, with regard to conservatives, or perhaps one should say, supporters of Donald Trump, the prof seems to assume that one and all are motivated by the irritable sense of entitlement evident in Trump himself. To reduce the complex motivations of millions of people (including the many who saw in Trump a way to flip the bird at those, like the prof, who look down on them) is insulting nonsense. Frankly, I bailed because I couldn't imagine anyone who thought in such shallow terms was worth listening to.

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Sing it, sister.

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This guy lost my with his bad arguments about masks. The whole masks are just a minor inconvenience for the greater good thing and anyone not on board is just a bad person argument lacks any effort to understand. He’s a philosopher? Wow? Masks suck! At the beginning of the pandemic I had to wear masks while hiking in mountain parks? That was obviously crazy with what we know know. Listen I am not anti masks in all cases. But guys like this are not acknowledging that masks suck to wear and get to a point of being inhumane. They diminish human experience. He’s a bad philosopher.

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