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Slammin’ Sam

 
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23 May 2018 04:26
 
hannahtoo - 22 May 2018 02:40 PM

So, I forgave the bad behavior of my husband’s sister, but not his sister-in-law.  Now that I think of it, it is very inconsistent, except that I appear more loyal to my hub’s blood relatives.

Now go a step further and ask “why?”.  What is it that inspires the loyalty?  I understand what you are saying, but the motives vary.  The in-law is just not close enough to your adopted tribe?  I guess women have to adopt other tribes more than men culturally - changing your name (not so much anymore) and giving your children your husband’s name (again, not so much anymore, but still common).

 
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23 May 2018 05:10
 
EN - 21 May 2018 11:20 AM

Like I said, tribalism is here to stay until we evolve out of it.  We won’t think ourselves out of it.  We might as well think ourselves out of arms or legs.  It’s part of who we are.


We might self-doubt our way out of it though, if we could learn to embrace healthy self-doubt.

At least I’d like to think we could. It’s really just learning to apply the principles of science/sound critical thinking even to our own personal cognition—investing in the methods rather than conclusions (isms and such ... Home Teams/tribes).

 
 
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23 May 2018 06:14
 
EN - 23 May 2018 04:26 AM
hannahtoo - 22 May 2018 02:40 PM

So, I forgave the bad behavior of my husband’s sister, but not his sister-in-law.  Now that I think of it, it is very inconsistent, except that I appear more loyal to my hub’s blood relatives.

Now go a step further and ask “why?”.  What is it that inspires the loyalty?  I understand what you are saying, but the motives vary.  The in-law is just not close enough to your adopted tribe?  I guess women have to adopt other tribes more than men culturally - changing your name (not so much anymore) and giving your children your husband’s name (again, not so much anymore, but still common).

Probably the main reason is that I have always felt close to my husband’s brother, but never felt that way toward his sister’s husband (I had just never gotten to know him).  Also, we continued to socialize with his brother and his sister, but lost touch with their ex-spouses.  Again, I realize that, to an outside observer, the two women’s infidelities would have looked much the same.  That’s a rational assessment.  But in my heart, I had very different reactions to the two situations.  It kinda bugs me, which is why I bring it up in the context of this thread.

 
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23 May 2018 06:48
 
SkepticX - 23 May 2018 05:10 AM
EN - 21 May 2018 11:20 AM

Like I said, tribalism is here to stay until we evolve out of it.  We won’t think ourselves out of it.  We might as well think ourselves out of arms or legs.  It’s part of who we are.


We might self-doubt our way out of it though, if we could learn to embrace healthy self-doubt.

At least I’d like to think we could. It’s really just learning to apply the principles of science/sound critical thinking even to our own personal cognition—investing in the methods rather than conclusions (isms and such ... Home Teams/tribes).

But that’s the point of the OP - we can’t totally rid ourselves of tribal bias even with rational thinking.  We don’t even always know it’s there.

 
nonverbal
 
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23 May 2018 07:40
 
EN - 23 May 2018 06:48 AM
SkepticX - 23 May 2018 05:10 AM
EN - 21 May 2018 11:20 AM

Like I said, tribalism is here to stay until we evolve out of it.  We won’t think ourselves out of it.  We might as well think ourselves out of arms or legs.  It’s part of who we are.


We might self-doubt our way out of it though, if we could learn to embrace healthy self-doubt.

At least I’d like to think we could. It’s really just learning to apply the principles of science/sound critical thinking even to our own personal cognition—investing in the methods rather than conclusions (isms and such ... Home Teams/tribes).

But that’s the point of the OP - we can’t totally rid ourselves of tribal bias even with rational thinking.  We don’t even always know it’s there.

I think it’s a workable goal, though. We so often don’t know it’s there on a higher level, yet we do know on a deeper level that tribal feeling/thinking prevails in our heads. Once we know it tends to prevail, we can search it out rather than fear it. We can nurture it when it’s healthy to do so, and push it aside when it tends to be less than healthy or productive. I think the key is to be willing to stare it down, so to speak.

 
 
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23 May 2018 09:05
 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher - 23 May 2018 03:43 AM

I don’t know that phrase.  Does it mean “agree”?

Thought you might be interested in this.  It’s a passage from The End of Faith highlighted on my Kindle copy, followed by my note at the time:

“All pretentions to theological knowledge should now be seen from the perspective of a man who was just beginning his day on the one hundredth floor of the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11, 2001, only to find his meandering thoughts—of family, and friends, of errands run and unrun, of coffee in need of sweetener—inexplicably usurped by a choice of terrible starkness and simplicity: being burned alive by jet fuel or leaping one thousand feet to the concrete below. In fact, we should take the perspective of thousands of such men, women and children who were robbed of life, far sooner than they imagined possible, in absolute terror and confusion.”

The motivational and emotional gravamen at last.  At the end of the day his “rational” rejection of religion is as emotional as the attachment to religion by its most devoted adherents.  Perhaps this is why the arguments are so weak and strained.  They amount to outrage deploying a defunct and unworkable epistemology to insure religion is intrinsically worthless and always in the wrong, particularly Islam..

Harris more or less admits his reasons for writing The End of Faith.  I forget where, but I think he said he started writing it the the day after September 11.  The thing is, I saw the TV coverage too.  I wept when that guy jumped.  I was outraged because I identified with the victims as Americans.  In time, this passed.  I came to see 9-11 as just another horror in the parade of horrors that is human violence.  I came to realize that roughly 1500 innocent people died in Central Africa from a regional war over Congo’s resources the day before 9-11, the day of 9-11, and the day after 9-11, just as they had every day for years before and everyday for years after.  Those lives came to mean as much to me as the victims of 9-11, as under any de-tribalized “rational compassion” (a la Bloom) they would.  In any case, I thought I’d share this in light of your link.  Not everyone is so tribal to think that killing innocent people to achieve a justified end is thus justified, for some of us have figured out the connection between why we think we’re justified in the first place and the consequent killing of innocent people in something like “collateral damage”—to wit, what sense does it make to trade in innocent lives for the sake of ‘self-preservation’ and call oneself moral while doing it?  I don’t have the answer to the problem of terrorism or the question of “collateral damage,” but I prefer Peaceful Tomorrow’s response to 9-11 to Sam’s apparent insouciance over killing innocent people just to preserve his own tribally outraged a**.

Yes, +1 shows agreement.  (I appreciated all of your post #4, and particularly agreed with the part I ‘quoted’ in my post #5.)

Thanks for the quote and your note.  In regards to Harris’ quote, in addition to seeing from the perspective of a victim in the World Trade Centre on September 11, we are obligated to see from the perspective of ALL innocent victims of violence, and that these lives cannot be dismissed as necessary ‘collateral damage’.  It seems clear to me that it is tribal thinking to value American/(Western) lives more highly than others.

[Note:  Although the majority of victims of 9-11 were American, the victims also included those of other nationalities who lost their lives on that horrible day.]

You say eloquently much of what I feel and think as well.  I expect some of us are forever changed.  The pain and loss of 9-11 have brought close to home the horrors of violence and war.  It should increase our awareness and empathy for all such victims.  I also don’t have the answers, but share the hopes and goals that include “To acknowledge our fellowship with all people affected by violence and war, recognizing that the resulting deaths are overwhelmingly civilian”.

[ Edited: 23 May 2018 09:09 by Jan_CAN]
 
 
sojourner
 
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23 May 2018 09:51
 
burt - 22 May 2018 09:55 PM
NL. - 22 May 2018 06:54 PM

The thing is, to say that humans all ultimately share the same values is to say that humans all ultimately share the same nature, and I lean towards the idea that Harris does in fact believe this but doesn’t officially state it for fear of coming off as too ‘woo’. But realistically, that is the logical link that is missing in his argument, to my mind. If all consciousness and sentience is ultimately equivalent, then we can make universal statements about what is good and bad for it. If it is a pell-mell array of mutually incompatible psyches, then no amount of reason crosses the bridge from facts to values.

The crux of things. I think that all humans are ultimately alike in at least two ways (outside of being genetically human). 1. (The metaphysical argument) Identity of consciousness. If you take consciousness not as individual self-consciousness but as the awareness that allows a self to be self-conscious then it follows that consciousness is simple (i.e., unitary, with no internal distinctions). So at that level, there is no difference between different individuals consciousness. Then, by the identity of indiscernibles, all consciousnesses are the same although the self-consciousnesses differ. 2. (The psychological argument) I think that every human mind and self is determined and maintained by the same underlying dynamical processes so although individual selves differ the underlying processes that support those selves are the same.


This is pretty much my working hypotheses about the world as well. That’s not to say that the exact same path is right for everyone, just as no one diet or exercise program will be right for everyone - but there are at least some parameters we can discuss there. There may not be a diet or exercise program that is right for everyone, but there are clearly an almost infinite number of such programs that are wrong for everyone (eating a diet of rocks, and so on,) and (relatively speaking) a pretty limited subset to tweak when it comes to tailoring things to individuals.

 
 
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23 May 2018 10:09
 
hannahtoo - 23 May 2018 06:14 AM

Probably the main reason is that I have always felt close to my husband’s brother, but never felt that way toward his sister’s husband (I had just never gotten to know him).  Also, we continued to socialize with his brother and his sister, but lost touch with their ex-spouses.  Again, I realize that, to an outside observer, the two women’s infidelities would have looked much the same.  That’s a rational assessment.  But in my heart, I had very different reactions to the two situations.  It kinda bugs me, which is why I bring it up in the context of this thread.


Do you think it had anything to do with personality though? Thinking of various women in my family or who are dating (or previously dated) family members, if I got a phone call tomorrow that one of them had cheated on their husband / boyfriend, my reaction would range from panic on their behalf (like “There is no way they would do that if something wasn’t horribly horribly wrong. They’re probably dying of cancer and having some kind of mental breakdown”) to “Christ on a cracker, can we not leave you alone for five minutes without you wandering off and doing some weird impulsive thing?! While I am severely annoyed, relatively speaking, I’m at least relieved that you didn’t put your own or anyone else’s life in danger this time. In the grand scheme of things we’ve been through worse,” to “What a thoughtless b*, she doesn’t think about anyone but herself”.


I think a lot depends on your perception of the person and their perceived motivations. For the majority of women in my family, my first reaction would be worry - the idea that something must be really wrong. For a few, it would be part of a pattern of behavior where, again, I’ve already seen worse. There are only a couple who have fallen into the thoughtless b* category and they were girlfriends, not wives. One of them didn’t just cheat but did it with all kinds of other crazy drama and nasty behavior; the other was just consistently kinda rude and pushy.

 
 
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23 May 2018 13:52
 
NL. - 23 May 2018 10:09 AM
hannahtoo - 23 May 2018 06:14 AM

Probably the main reason is that I have always felt close to my husband’s brother, but never felt that way toward his sister’s husband (I had just never gotten to know him).  Also, we continued to socialize with his brother and his sister, but lost touch with their ex-spouses.  Again, I realize that, to an outside observer, the two women’s infidelities would have looked much the same.  That’s a rational assessment.  But in my heart, I had very different reactions to the two situations.  It kinda bugs me, which is why I bring it up in the context of this thread.


Do you think it had anything to do with personality though? Thinking of various women in my family or who are dating (or previously dated) family members, if I got a phone call tomorrow that one of them had cheated on their husband / boyfriend, my reaction would range from panic on their behalf (like “There is no way they would do that if something wasn’t horribly horribly wrong. They’re probably dying of cancer and having some kind of mental breakdown”) to “Christ on a cracker, can we not leave you alone for five minutes without you wandering off and doing some weird impulsive thing?! While I am severely annoyed, relatively speaking, I’m at least relieved that you didn’t put your own or anyone else’s life in danger this time. In the grand scheme of things we’ve been through worse,” to “What a thoughtless b*, she doesn’t think about anyone but herself”.


I think a lot depends on your perception of the person and their perceived motivations. For the majority of women in my family, my first reaction would be worry - the idea that something must be really wrong. For a few, it would be part of a pattern of behavior where, again, I’ve already seen worse. There are only a couple who have fallen into the thoughtless b* category and they were girlfriends, not wives. One of them didn’t just cheat but did it with all kinds of other crazy drama and nasty behavior; the other was just consistently kinda rude and pushy.

Well, my take-home lesson from it all was that even nice people can make very big, hurtful mistakes.

 
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23 May 2018 13:58
 
nonverbal - 23 May 2018 07:40 AM
EN - 23 May 2018 06:48 AM
SkepticX - 23 May 2018 05:10 AM
EN - 21 May 2018 11:20 AM

Like I said, tribalism is here to stay until we evolve out of it.  We won’t think ourselves out of it.  We might as well think ourselves out of arms or legs.  It’s part of who we are.


We might self-doubt our way out of it though, if we could learn to embrace healthy self-doubt.

At least I’d like to think we could. It’s really just learning to apply the principles of science/sound critical thinking even to our own personal cognition—investing in the methods rather than conclusions (isms and such ... Home Teams/tribes).

But that’s the point of the OP - we can’t totally rid ourselves of tribal bias even with rational thinking.  We don’t even always know it’s there.

I think it’s a workable goal, though. We so often don’t know it’s there on a higher level, yet we do know on a deeper level that tribal feeling/thinking prevails in our heads. Once we know it tends to prevail, we can search it out rather than fear it. We can nurture it when it’s healthy to do so, and push it aside when it tends to be less than healthy or productive. I think the key is to be willing to stare it down, so to speak.

Perhaps, for those of us attempting to be more fair and rational, the warning sign of tribal thinking is when we find ourselves assigning attributes to a group, rather than seeing people as individuals.  Like, Jews are cheapskates, or poor whites are ignorant, or Muslims hate the West, or Evangelical Christians are hypocrites.  Implying that my social group is generous, well-informed, peaceful, and morally superior.

[ Edited: 23 May 2018 14:01 by hannahtoo]
 
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23 May 2018 15:34
 

I would be willing to bet that a lot of people when reading that article found themselves feeling defensive for Sam Harris or praising the writer.  In order to experience the feeling that satiates what we already think.  The idea we have to choose between the two is completely unnecessary and yet quite habitually practiced when we feel as though there’s no room for any other options.  That somehow embracing something means the automatic exclusion of something else.  I hardly think so given that we have the capacity to find positive and negative takeaways from just about everything and when we fail to recognize the proper time and place for tribalism we’re screwed.  After all, we’re just human animals attempting to be civilized.

 
 
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23 May 2018 17:41
 
EN - 23 May 2018 06:48 AM
SkepticX - 23 May 2018 05:10 AM
EN - 21 May 2018 11:20 AM

Like I said, tribalism is here to stay until we evolve out of it.  We won’t think ourselves out of it.  We might as well think ourselves out of arms or legs.  It’s part of who we are.

We might self-doubt our way out of it though, if we could learn to embrace healthy self-doubt.

At least I’d like to think we could. It’s really just learning to apply the principles of science/sound critical thinking even to our own personal cognition—investing in the methods rather than conclusions (isms and such ... Home Teams/tribes).

But that’s the point of the OP - we can’t totally rid ourselves of tribal bias even with rational thinking.  We don’t even always know it’s there.


And you think healthy self-doubt suggests otherwise?

What you just said, essentially, is here’s another reason to embrace healthy self-doubt.

 
 
Jb8989
 
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24 May 2018 10:45
 

Maybe the only way to be truly non-tribal is to be highly skeptical of group status quo. It’s probably exhausting and not really practical, but if your intentions are non tribal, and you actually actively value equality and fairness, then who cares if you favor your pride? It’s natural social behavior.

Ralationship-wise, loyalty is just a byproduct of love, happiness and comfort. Loyalty to something negative is either behaviorally reckless or a technical bias. Complacency is dysfunctional loyalty.

[ Edited: 24 May 2018 10:53 by Jb8989]
 
 
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24 May 2018 11:21
 
hannahtoo - 23 May 2018 01:58 PM
nonverbal - 23 May 2018 07:40 AM
EN - 23 May 2018 06:48 AM
SkepticX - 23 May 2018 05:10 AM
EN - 21 May 2018 11:20 AM

Like I said, tribalism is here to stay until we evolve out of it.  We won’t think ourselves out of it.  We might as well think ourselves out of arms or legs.  It’s part of who we are.


We might self-doubt our way out of it though, if we could learn to embrace healthy self-doubt.

At least I’d like to think we could. It’s really just learning to apply the principles of science/sound critical thinking even to our own personal cognition—investing in the methods rather than conclusions (isms and such ... Home Teams/tribes).

But that’s the point of the OP - we can’t totally rid ourselves of tribal bias even with rational thinking.  We don’t even always know it’s there.

I think it’s a workable goal, though. We so often don’t know it’s there on a higher level, yet we do know on a deeper level that tribal feeling/thinking prevails in our heads. Once we know it tends to prevail, we can search it out rather than fear it. We can nurture it when it’s healthy to do so, and push it aside when it tends to be less than healthy or productive. I think the key is to be willing to stare it down, so to speak.

Perhaps, for those of us attempting to be more fair and rational, the warning sign of tribal thinking is when we find ourselves assigning attributes to a group, rather than seeing people as individuals.  Like, Jews are cheapskates, or poor whites are ignorant, or Muslims hate the West, or Evangelical Christians are hypocrites.  Implying that my social group is generous, well-informed, peaceful, and morally superior.

Yes, that would be a useful and productive warning sign.

Also, people can nastily slip under a (metaphorical) limbo bar that inadvertently directs us to be the morality newbies we humans are when compared with other species. On the other hand, we’re entirely free to recognize that we’re all terribly incompetent—insane, even!?!—when it comes to evaluation that can set up a default attitude that encourages misplaced morality, i.e., honor-style judgement that can tend to lead to unproductive punishment. It can certainly require an unnatural calmness after some driver seems to be trying their best to involve you in an accident!

 
 
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24 May 2018 11:25
 
SkepticX - 23 May 2018 05:41 PM
EN - 23 May 2018 06:48 AM
SkepticX - 23 May 2018 05:10 AM
EN - 21 May 2018 11:20 AM

Like I said, tribalism is here to stay until we evolve out of it.  We won’t think ourselves out of it.  We might as well think ourselves out of arms or legs.  It’s part of who we are.

We might self-doubt our way out of it though, if we could learn to embrace healthy self-doubt.

At least I’d like to think we could. It’s really just learning to apply the principles of science/sound critical thinking even to our own personal cognition—investing in the methods rather than conclusions (isms and such ... Home Teams/tribes).

But that’s the point of the OP - we can’t totally rid ourselves of tribal bias even with rational thinking.  We don’t even always know it’s there.


And you think healthy self-doubt suggests otherwise?

What you just said, essentially, is here’s another reason to embrace healthy self-doubt.

I’m all in favor of healthy self-doubt.  It just seems in short supply.

 
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