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8
18
Your biology is bad My biology is good
Debate Score:26
Arguments:27
Total Votes:27
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 Your biology is bad (7)
 
 My biology is good (13)

Debate Creator

DarthPrime(58) pic



If my biology determines my politics, how can you judge my political beliefs?

Your biology is bad

Side Score: 8
VS.

My biology is good

Side Score: 18
1 point

Your fundamental political biases may be largely influenced by the genes that predispose your personality (although I'm sure there is also evidence that suggests environment plays a role). But your political beliefs can still be wrong with respect to your biases. Say for example you have a certain goal derived from a bias, like say you want people to have easier access to healthcare, except the policy you support would do the exact opposite. So you can be wrong in your political beliefs. Except when it comes down to arguing for our fundamental biases.

Side: Your biology is bad
Conservanazi(709) Clarified
1 point

Your fundamental political biases may be largely influenced by the genes that predispose your personality (although I'm sure there is also evidence that suggests environment plays a role).

As with psychology generally, environment is by far the greater factor. Indeed, the OP is a textbook example of a question springboarded from a false positive.

We can see the effects of environment on political beliefs in real time. When mothers caught in poverty give their children up for adoption and the children are lucky enough to be taken in by a middle class family, then assuming no further contact is made with the mother it is almost invariable that the child will grow up with the values of the adoptive family rather than the biological one.

Side: Your biology is bad
1 point

Generally speaking one's political views are formed by the hand that rocks the cradle.

Tribal voting is the norm in most democratic societies with children adopting the political persuasion of their parents, just as they do with their religious beliefs.

Providing people don't try to force their political views onto others through violence and intimidation the open exchange of views serves to foster a healthy and well balanced society in which everyone is free to express their political and religious dogma.

Side: Your biology is bad
2 points

I didn't bother to read you sources, but here's what I think of the question:

I think it would be wrong for people to judge you for your beliefs (you can see my debate titled "Can having a certain belief be morally right or wrong?" for more detail), because you can't help it.

People can still judge whether those beliefs are right/wrong, and I think it's okay for them to try and convince you that you are wrong, so long as they don't blame you for what you couldn't help.

(Also, I'm sure the environment you grow up in plays a part in determining your beliefs too, but the question is still the same)

Side: My biology is good
2 points

So what about folks like me who have gone through most of the political spectrum?

I buy that there are structural aspects of the brain that may support tendencies toward particular attitudes, that support particular mental capabilities that lead to thinking about things like risk, income, and social relationships according to different levels of complexity.

However, there is a lot more to what we think and believe in than that.

Culture plays a part.

So does life experience.

So does what side of the bread your butter is on.

Side: My biology is good
DarthPrime(58) Disputed
1 point

But you aren't a slice of bread, nor do you have butter on you. Am I wrong?

Side: Your biology is bad
marcusmoon(586) Clarified
1 point

But you aren't a slice of bread, nor do you have butter on you. Am I wrong?

"...what side of the bread your butter is on" is a metaphor for self-interest.

Consider:

People tend to support policies they perceive as supporting what is good for them, personally, and tend to be against policies they perceive as being detrimental to their personal good or individual goals.

It is primarily in the realm of policies they do not perceive to have any significant impact on themselves that biological predispositions are likely to play a significant role in political beliefs.

This explains why people tend to be more liberal when we are young, and become more conservative as we get older. (Bear in mind, this is a VERY broad generalization.)

- Younger people have less personal capital and fewer financial resources. As a result, they are more likely to be in favor of higher taxes for people with a higher income than theirs, and more likely to support socialism and the welfare state. Because of their lower personal capital (education, skills, experience) and resulting lower incomes, they are likely to favor higher taxes for others. Because of their related dearth of financial assets, they are more likely to favor a socialist safety net that may benefit them in the form of various types of aid that would be paid for by somebody else.

- Older people are more likely to have more personal capital and greater financial resources. As a result, they are more likely to be in favor of lower taxes for people with a higher incomes (like theirs) and less likely to support socialism and the welfare state, which is far less likely to be of any benefit to them, personally.

It is true, however, that some of the lifelong trend toward conservatism may be related to changing biology. People become more risk averse as we age, regardless of the type of risk, whether social, political, financial, or physical. That tends to drive more toward conservatism and resistance to change.

Even so, we can see that self interest does play a part when considering the voting behavior of union members in the last two presidential elections.

Many union members voted Democrat for years, but then switched to voting for Trump in 2016. While they perceived that Democrat policies were likely to benefit them, they voted for Democratic candidates. For example, because Obama extended unemployment insurance benefits indefinitely, it was in their interest to vote for him in 2012.

However, during the Obama years, the recession caused mass unemployment among union workers. This was exacerbated by regulations that gutted industries like coal and car manufacture, and by decades of trade policies (NAFTA, etc.) that specifically disadvantaged US manufacturing and trucking industries, which disproportionately disadvantaged union workers. When Trump announced policy intentions that the workers perceived as likely to reverse these trends, an unexpected number voted with their self-interest, and for Trump.

Side: Your biology is bad
1 point

@marcusmoon

I agree--this is why Psychology is a (very) "soft science", more toward Philosophy on many fronts though they try to push it under the banner of science. Richard Feynman warned about such abuses many years ago, as people understood the power of Physics and by extension anything associated as "similar" to it. This is what is now often coined "concept creep" in action.

Side: My biology is good
2 points

MathFan,

this is why Psychology is a (very) "soft science", more toward Philosophy on many fronts though they try to push it under the banner of science.

Yeah. After a couple psych classes, and several education classes that were heavily based in psychology (developmental psych, special ed, etc.), I came to the conclusion that psychology is a mix of metaphor, pseudoscience/junk science, actual science, mysticism, and common sense.

Clearly, Freud's work is based on no science whatsoever, but is merely metaphoric discussion of anecdotal observations.

Jung's work is more appropriate to an English literature class or mysticism than anything even remotely associated with science.

Many of the "scientific" studies had small sample sizes, and often only published.included selected results or runs of the experiment, like the infamous Milgram experiment.

There is no denying that Maslow's hierarchy of needs is common sense. It is not groundbreaking--the first time I read it, my reaction was, "Duh, of course air is a higher priority than love, and of course without both of them you cannot achieve your full potential." The obviousness is what makes it common sense.

Psychiatry is predominantly trial and error.

Carl Rogers' work is not scientific, but it is common sense that talking to kind people who empathize will make people feel better.

The one bright spot in psychology is conditioning studies. Both Pavlov and Skinner used scientific principles, and produced dependably repeatable results.

Side: My biology is good