Bjorn's personal, non-professional blog.
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Michael Beckley on Political Polarization

Without a unifying national mission, Americans have sorted themselves into clans based on social class and culture. Consequently, the two major political parties are divided not just by policy preferences, but also by identity. Rural whites now overwhelmingly vote Republican while most minorities and urban whites vote Democrat. This crude tribalism leaves little room for compromise. If the partisan divide were merely about policy, the parties could split the difference. Now that American politics has become a clash of cultures, however, both parties view compromise with the other side as immoral and dangerous.

Michael Beckley, Unrivaled: Why America Will Remain the World's Sole Superpower

CinemaSins on Scott Pilgrim

The metaphor in this movie is a good one: our past relationships affect our current ones. We are guarded about not getting hurt, and we don't want our significant others comparing themselves to people we've dated in the past. The movie, as silly as it is, is about being happy that your significant other chose you, and those people in the past don't matter anymore, and you should stop measuring yourself against them. "Defeating evil exes" is not about "being better" than them, but to forget them.

Ideological Bias in Wikipedia

It exists. Read Wikipedia founder Larry Sanger's stance on it.

In short, Wikipedia has abandoned its policy of neutrality. It demonizes Trump, while failing to mention commonplace scandals involving Obama.

I decided to do a test: I read the article for Patriarchy in both the English Wikipedia and Spanish Wikipedia. The differences in neutrality are striking, and very disconcerting.

(The English article was much more radical!)

I also read the French article, and it was just as radical as the English article.

It's interesting to see how a traditionally neutral resource such as English Wikipedia inevitably joined the trends of the Anglosphere. It's also interesting to see how culturally independent the Spanish speaking world remains from perceived "progressive western culture", especially on neutral, distributed resources like Wikipedia.

Moral Relativism vs Moral Descriptivism

I don't call myself a moral relativist, but a moral descriptivist.

I like the term moral relativist, but that word carries connotations with ideas that I have no joy being related with. For instance, moral relativist has grown to mean the opposite of empiricism and logic, an extreme tool and ideology of the radical left.

I don't associate with either left or right, and to call myself a moral relativist would unfairly associate me with tendencies of the left.

I want to discuss what I like about the term moral relativist. I want to discuss what I would like the term to mean.

In a perfect world, a moral relativist is simply somebody who doesn't believe that objective morality exists. There isn't anything humanity as a whole should do, and humanity has no obligations to choose one line of reasoning over another.

In a perfect world, moral relativism is acceptance that there is no such thing as good, or evil. Although human nature may have an ingrained tendency to dislike murder, cheating, and theft, the universe makes no judgements whether said behavior is good or evil. A moral relativist is unblinkingly neutral, with a historian's eye, who looks at the Nazis not in terms of humanitarian monstrosity, but as a successful, then unsuccessful, political entity and culture.

Now, here are some things I dislike about the term moral relativist.

Now the term moral relativism implies a "scientific relativism" too. Today, somehow, moral relativism suggests ignoring scientific and empirical facts.

Somehow moral relativism has come to imply a support for radical gender theories, and marxist ideology.

Most importantly, moral relativism suggests that one is a terrible person, who is depressed, non-feeling person that has given up on the human race.

Because of all these reasons, I'll call myself something else, rather than a moral relativist. I'll call myself a moral descriptivist.

A moral descriptivist never worries about what is morally right: only about what individuals and societies think is morally right. Only the latter affects history and human behavior.

A moral descriptivist doesn't worry about changing their society's morals for the better: only about what has been the societal views on morality in the past and present, and based on this knowledge, predictions about views on morality in the future.

A moral descriptivist doesn't worry about how to label human behavior as good and evil: all human behavior is just that, human behavior, with no bias towards wonky concepts like good and evil. Much more important are the causes and motivations for human behavior, than overclassifying human behavior.

A moral descriptivist thrives off of knowledge of psychology, history, and human tendencies. A moral descriptivist understands how contrasting views on morality create different diverse cultures, as well as conflicts between these cultures. This knowledge is far more interesting to a moral descriptivist than pondering "ethics" or "moral dilemmas".

There's too much conflict in 2020 over what is "right" and what is "wrong". Statues are being brought down. Free speech is being threatened.

As a moral descriptivist, I watch as this unfolds, not taking sides or participating, but simply learning, and understanding.

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I hope you are having a wonderful day!