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Putting aside the debates as to whether or not social psychology is less rigorous because it is a soft science, or whether or not it is really science at all, how closely do our political choices mirror our moral code (i.e., our belief system to determine right from wrong)? Granted, because psychology is less exacting than other scientific fields, causation is not as reliable. Also, people have many disagreements when it comes to politics and morality - disagreements that are widespread, strong, and persistent. But if our moral code is rational, won't our political choices be rational as well?

For the most part, political decisions are not based upon factual claims but, instead, emotions. (For proof, look no further than the adage "How do you know a politician is lying? His lips are moving.") Of course, we make decisions every day based on limited factual information. But if our political choices - choices that significantly and severely impact our lives - are typically based on emotion, and our morality is generally linked to our politics, could it be that our moral code is based primarily on emotion? What are the ramifications that the more important decisions affecting our lives are predominantly based upon emotion over reason? Is it any wonder that libertarians, with their unique moral-psychological profile, are outcasts because they generally reach their decisions in the reverse?

FTA: "When it comes to morality, libertarians are often typecast as immoral calculating rationalists who also have a somewhat unseemly hedonistic bent. Now new social science research shows that libertarians are quite moral, just not in the same way that conservatives and liberals are... So what did the study find to be the basis of libertarian moral thinking? It will not surprise Reason readers that the study found that libertarians show (1) stronger endorsement of individual liberty as their foremost guiding principle and correspondingly weaker endorsement of other moral principles, (2) a relatively cerebral as opposed to emotional intellectual style, and (3) lower interdependence and social relatedness."

The Science of Libertarian Morality. A new social psychology study explores the moral formation of the libertarian personality

(You can access the detailed report at Understanding Libertarian Morality: The Psychological Roots of an Individualist Ideology.)

DISCUSS!

Original posting by Braincrave Second Life staff on Nov 6, 2010 at http://www.braincrave.com/viewblog.php?id=373

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