The Definition of Self-Righteousness
Topic: The Role of Self-righteousness
Jonathan Haidt: Self-righteousness refers to our general tendency to give ourselves the benefit of the doubt, combined with our extraordinary ability as reasoning creatures to employ reason only to reach the conclusions we want to reach. That’s the general rule about reasoning. Thinking is for doing. We employ our reasoning to reach the conclusions we want to reach.
So if we’re mad at someone, we very easily find reasons why they’re wrong and we’re right. So this is just part of the nature of who we are.
I think this helps us to understand a lot about our current political situation, about the nastiness of our political divides, and why it is that it’s just so hard for us to see that there is wisdom on both sides of almost any long standing question.
This is the most important lesson I learned in writing “The Happiness Hypothesis”, is that if you’re a liberal, you’re not going to learn much by reading more liberal writing. Pick up some conservative magazines. Pick up some conservative thinkers. There’s revelation after revelation. There’s a lot of good ideas over there and, of course, vice versa.
But my point is we only seek out conclusion. We only seek out evidence that supports the conclusion we want to reach, and therefore we deprive ourselves of most of the interesting ideas in the world.
Recorded on May 9, 2008.
Because thinking is for doing, we search for evidence that supports our opinions, not the other way around.
While legalizaiton has benefits, a new study suggests it may have one big drawback.
- A new study finds that rates of marijuana use and addiction have gone up in states that have recently legalized the drug.
- The problem was most severe for those over age of 26, with cases of addiction rising by a third.
- The findings complicate the debate around legalization.
A new paper suggests that the mysterious X17 subatomic particle is indicative of a fifth force of nature.
- In 2016, observations from Hungarian researchers suggested the existence of an unknown type of subatomic particle.
- Subsequent analyses suggested that this particle was a new type of boson, the existence of which could help explain dark matter and other phenomena in the universe.
- A new paper from the same team of researchers is currently awaiting peer review.
The bill would effectively legalize marijuana at the federal level, while allowing states to draft their own laws.
- The bill aims to decriminalize marijuana and expunge federal convictions, among other provisions.
- To become law, it still has to pass through the Republican-controlled Senate.
- A majority of Americans support legalizing recreational marijuana, according to a recent Pew survey.