Political Bent: Born this Way?

Orginally posted by @FloridaYankee

This is a very interesting topic to me and I think Florida and @lessright are on to something here.

We have long been told babies are a blank slate. It appears they are not so blank. It also ties in with the concepts of American Nations quite nicely, I think.

I’m sure others will have some thoughts. And very strong opinions. Please be civil and follow the rules of etiquette.

If we think it necessary, I will ask a moderator to give us a more moderated debate.

More on the topic:

Recent psychological research tells us the answer is somewhere in the middle. Yes, babies come into the world predisposed with a set of moral intuitions – morality can’t be entirely self-constructed. But what babies consider right and wrong and which moral intuitions they value, develops from experience. As social psychologist Jonathan Haidt puts it: “We’re born to be righteous, but we have to learn what, exactly, people like us should be righteous about.”

Whether you end up on the right or the left of the political spectrum turns out to be just as heritable as most other traits: Genetics explains between one-third and one-half of the variability among people in their political attitudes. Being raised in a liberal or conservative household accounts for much less.

Interesting. Thanks for posting.

Step 3: People Construct Life Narratives

The human mind is a story processor, not a logic processor.

So much for The Myth of “logic” and “reasonable”.

From the Reason article:

Could it be that the same theories apply to other things? Racism? Homosexuality?

Innate does not mean “hard-wired” or unmalleable. To say that a trait or ability is innate just means it was “organized in advance of experience.” The genes guide the construction of the brain in the uterus, but that’s only the first draft, so to speak. The draft gets revised by childhood experiences.

Predisposed, then reinforced?

What does this have to do with incompatible cultures and such things as illegal immigration?

i can see this being genetic at some level, since it is based on personality (and intelligence) which also is

I like this a lot:

Innate does not mean “hard-wired” or unmalleable. To say that a trait or ability is innate just means it was “organized in advance of experience.”

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Not sure I agree much with the genetic aspect. Political leanings largely come from predispositions formed through one’s upbringing, social connections and experiences. Also there are many people who are apolitical or are in the middle on political issues.

Thank you for participating. I would be careful about claiming “which also is”…

It doesn’t seem to be so cut and dried.

Thank you for participating.

Did you read the articles?

the research suggests in part that the genes that shape aspects personality (more social) and seek novelty may be more influenced by points of view.

so although no “liberal gene” per se, genes are at play.

thats my take

it’s good news really because there’s hope that leftists can someday see the light of reality

problem there is, leftism is popular. talk shows, college age, media movies etc leftism reigns. so that jeopardizes ones popularity, and that will be a deterrent to openly realizing leftism is such a farce

It’s not fair (moral foundation) to onesider this.

Good stuff.

Notice that even as babies, when they witnessed two people being equally told to do something but only one did it all and yet they both got an equal reward…that this was wrong. Lib adults could learn something from babies. :sunglasses:

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I’m glad I don’t have an infantile worldview.

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Political ideology I believe is linked to personality, and develops similarly. Nature through nurture, temperament, and epigenetics.

Being a fan of Haidt’s work, I’m down with this. We have some innate motives for righteousness, but what we see as righteous or how we achieve that is highly influenced by our experiences.


I actually thought what is in that article was so quite some time ago while noticing the innate personalities of newborn pets, each one unique and clearly born that way. Probably about 35 years ago it was, and I started watching for and observing the same phenomenon in humans. We are each born with personality traits that make it more likely we will lean one way or the other. In this case I think, nature is stronger than nurture for the most part.

Edit to add; I was completely uninterested in politics at that time, but I’ve always been a keen observer of human nature. For me, I think it was a kind of survival thing (as well as a personality trait :slight_smile: ) from hanging out with dangerous people.

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They are. You switch me and you as newborns, you are the liberal and I am conservative.

World view is not genetic. Lol.

Otherwise we can mutate the con gene to liberal.


You didn’t read the report.

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I wouldn’t be surprised that we genetically have a predisposition to favor either feelings/emotion or reason, to varying degrees from person to person.

Right off the bat we see that (in general) between men and women.

That doesn’t mean we’re pigeon-holed into that bent though.

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