Sep 26, 2018

Bloom on cruelty & dehumanization

On EconTalk (a):

Bloom: The dehumanizing view is a very optimistic view because it says that so much of the badness that we do is based on a mistake, "I'm just not recognizing the humanity..."

Roberts: So you can seek re-education. You need a sensitivity session.

Paul Bloom: "I need a sensitivity session. I need to see some slides. I need to talk to them."

Roberts: Yep. Once you talk to them, you won't hate them any more.

Bloom: "Once I talk to them it will all be worked out."

And I think that's one of the biggest mistakes we make about morality... the reality is that fully appreciating someone's humanity opens up so many positive things – you can't be human without it; you can't have a decent relationship. It's the foundation of love, and friendship. But it carries with it so many terrible risks... really knowing somebody opens up the possibility for love; but it also opens up the possibility for hatred.