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We evolved to be tribal, and politics is a competition among coalitions of tribes. When people feel that a group they value--be it racial, religious, regional, or ideological--is under attack, they rally to its defense, even at some cost to themselves. The great trick that humans developed at some point in the last few hundred thousand years is the ability to circle around a tree, rock, ancestor, flag, book, or god, and then treat that thing as sacred. People who worship the same idol can trust one another, work as a team, and prevail over less cohesive groups. So if you want to understand politics, and especially our divisive culture wars, you must follow the sacredness.
--Psychologist Jonathan Haidt in NYT
(quoted here from The Week)

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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
madman101
Apr. 3rd, 2012 02:10 am (UTC)
that is quite good, ad i might repost it - thx!

but people also glom around bullies and tyrants as well, paradoxically, and so perhaps false idols - fear based
liveonearth
Apr. 3rd, 2012 03:29 pm (UTC)
I agree. I think this psychologist is attempting to be a little bit diplomatic by not pointing out all the really sinister things people worship. We all need to admit what we hold sacred and form our tribes accordingly. When asked to list mine yesterday I said life, compassion, connection, and truth. I know those are very broad and slippery, but what values aren't?
madman101
Apr. 3rd, 2012 04:41 pm (UTC)
yes, that is so if the definition of "sacred" is subjective - which I believe it can be. But I feel that the definition is a sort of an arrival at truth through "compromise" or meditation between the person and the universe. whether or not the universe can be subjective - that's too challenging to ponder right now(!)

:D

my values may be similar. i'd bunch compassion and connection together as "empathy" and maybe add "brain"

it would be fun to think further on what my values are - maybe you might propose the question to "writers block"(!!!)
liveonearth
Apr. 3rd, 2012 08:12 pm (UTC)
I think I have to add beauty to my list of sacred things. And that is DEFINITELY subjective.
madman101
Apr. 4th, 2012 02:00 am (UTC)
apparently
;
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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