On this episode, I discuss a paper by Professor Michael Huemer on why we are irrational about politics. Is it rational to be irrational about politics? Does the internet cause an echo chamber? Do our political groupings make logical sense? How can we improve our political discourse?
Understanding why we have a major divide in politics is a major first step towards improving political discourse.
The problem currently is identity politics. Disagreement is widespread, where many different people disagree about many different political issues. If you were to pick out two random people you can almost guarantee they will disagree in some way on some political issue.
People tend to hold strong political beliefs. They tend to be strongly convinced of the positions they hold.
Political issues are complex and it’s easy to miscalculate the correct position. Not all math problems have the same level of difficulty, much like the difficulty of political issues and disagreements.
People also use incorrect information when deciding their views, if everyone had the same factual knowledge in front of then many political disputes would likely go away.
Or it could be people are just irrational when it comes to politics, but could these irrationalities actually be rational? Bryan Caplan.
People do not perceive political issues as difficult.
People’s political beliefs tend to correlate strongly with their race, sex, and socioeconomic status, occupation, and personality traits. However, these don’t have anything to do with how we acquire knowledge. This type of information is evidence of a bias, not a miscalculation in the facts.
The issue this bias brings about is that these clustered political beliefs and positions get put into irrelevant groupings. From positions found in Republican, Democrat, Socialist, conservative, libertarian, and anarchist. We throw positions under one umbrella, where your position on one thing seems to predicate your position on others.
These issues become logically uncorrelated.
People have a self-interest bias, where people hold political beliefs based on if it would benefit themselves or the group they are in.
If you would like to know more about the episode listen to the podcast! Please subscribe and leave a review wherever you are listening! This way I can know how to improve the podcast.
Further reading: Humer