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Righteous and unrighteous

A very wise guy said on Twitter a few hours ago –

The desire to carve up the world into people-like-us (righteous) and people-like-them (unrighteous) is utterly pervasive. Nobody escapes it.

Yes. (Or almost yes. I wonder if it holds for psychopaths? They simply don’t care about righteous/unrighteous, so they wouldn’t carve up the world that way, would they? For them it’s just Self and everything else.) Yes, but – that desire isn’t always salient. It’s far from always salient. It depends.

It’s a bit like that shift I mentioned the other day, about walking the Pebble Beach golf course – from a distance I think of everyone as caricature Plutocrats, because after all – it’s Pebble Beach. It costs $500 to play a round on that course. But then someone stops to greet Cooper and talks about his Chocolate at home, and poof goes the caricature Plutocrat. Life is like that. We have little shifts like that all the time. If that guy had stopped to tell me what he thought of Obama, the “people-like-us (righteous) and people-like-them (unrighteous)” carvation would have come into play. If he’d stopped to ask me if I’d found Jesus, it would have come into play more sharply. If he’d stopped to tell me I’m a fucking feminist cunt, it would have come into play more sharply still.

The very wise guy who made the Twitter observation is a dedicated FTB hater, and the very wise tweet came immediately after one citing Richard Carrier, so that was pretty clearly another “you FTBullies are just as horrible as everyone else” snipe. Well it’s not quite that simple.

Comments

  1. A Hermit says

    There are two kinds of people in the world; those who divide everyone into two kinds, and those who don’t…

  2. says

    Heh. That too. Because – it’s not that simple.

    It’s something we do, and do very readily, yes, but it’s not something we do all the time or in every situation or about every subject – etc etc etc. Which I’m sure very wise guy knows perfectly well, but he’s so keen on his righteous hatred of FTB that – oh it’s too recursive, I can’t even say it. He keeps doing the very thing he keeps sniping at FTB for doing. In tweet 1 he says he hates vindictiveness, in tweet 2 he pursues his rabid vendetta against FTB. Rinse, repeat.

    Meanwhile Thunderfoot has released another “god damn fucking feminism!!!” video.

  3. postman says

    Be careful Ms Benson. As I’m fairly confident that he he didn’t name his video exactly that, there will shortly be a moron here claiming that you are slandering and oppressing him or worse. Does anyone want to take that bet? I’m short of cash lately.

  4. stewart says

    There was a nice one floating around Facebook I saw a couple of months ago – “There are two types of people in this world: Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data.”

  5. Anthony K says

    That’s just the Fundamental attribution error. Somebody must have given the haters a book on cognitive biases for the holidays. Good on them for trying to finally understand how people tick, even though it’s kind of skepticism 101.

  6. anon1152 says

    “He keeps doing the very thing he keeps sniping at FTB for doing.”

    I wish more people recognized when they were doing that.

    I read Confucius’s Analects recently, and I admit, I found most of it quite cryptic, but one thing I took away from it was the importance of self-criticism. I try to be self-critical… but I don’t always succeed.

    Perhaps this very medium–the internet, blogs, twitter, etc–makes self-criticism harder. If so, that’s a depressing thought.

  7. stewart says

    I have a similar situation, but not quite identical to yours. I do try to be self-critical, but, because I’m perfect, I invariably fail.

  8. says

    Anthony K:

    That’s just the Fundamental attribution error. Somebody must have given the haters a book on cognitive biases for the holidays. Good on them for trying to finally understand how people tick, even though it’s kind of skepticism 101.

    Stangroom generally knows what he’s talking about. The problem is, he doesn’t seem to fully appreciate that human psychology applies to him as well. Cranking Godwin up to 11 for a minute, reading Stangroom on these matters is a bit like reading a meticulously researched book on medical ethics by Josef Mengele.

  9. says

    It just TICKS ME OFF when these little buggers won’t stay in their pigeonholes. I’ve got this former friend who’s been a complete jerk to me personally, because I left the church he belonged to. And then, at great personal sacrifice, he goes to the Congo for several years, opens a clinic in a jungle village, and does eye surgery and medical treatment for the Congolese…for free. I mean, I know that he was also a missionary, which contravenes some of the good he did, but there are probably hundreds of people who are alive and dozens who can see because of his work.

    A**hole.

    :^)

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