Wednesday, April 18, 2012

An hilarious attempt to measure morality

This "philosopher" (below) is a chump who seems to know nothing of prior work in his field.  He has attempted to reinvent the wheel and predictably come up with a very poor product.  As someone who has written for the academic journals on both the philosophy and psychology of morality,  perhaps I should put up a few notes on his work.

The best known attempt to measure moral development is of course that by Kohlberg  -- which took the Piagetian approach of watching  how children's moral ideas develop.  Kohlberg's two "highest" levels of moral development were not however based on observation but rather on Kohlbeg's own liberal ideas.  As such they are just an expression of opinion and  are not in any way authoriative.

Then of course we have the work of Haidt, which is much more empirical and in many ways persuasive.  I have recently discussed Haidt at length however so will go no further at this point other than to say that Haidt must be regarded as the leading authority in his field, albeit with some things yet to learn.

In the work of Steare (below), however, we see a reversion to the Kohlberg approach of "science" by opinion.  And he seems to think that he has nothing to learn from research that others have done in the field.  That double arrogance has led him into one large and very risible mistake.  He appears blissfully unaware that the questions he asks are close to identical with the questions that psychologists use to detect lying  (i.e. "lie scales" or "social desirability scales) so any correspondence of his conclusions  to reality is purely coincidental.  His arrogance has led him into naivety.  He is a clown trying to make sense out of self-serving  statements that are unlikely to be true.

So it is no surprise that he found that older women were more moral.  In my studies too  I have found that older women were more prone to  to "faking good" (i.e. have high lie scale scores).
In the battle for the moral high ground, it seems we have a winner at last.  A leading philosopher has claimed that women are more moral than men.

Professor Roger Steare developed the ‘Moral DNA’ test four years ago to measure both a person’s morality and the changes in their value systems when they enter the workplace.

Professor Steare said the results show that your gender and age are most likely to influence your morality – with women and the over-thirties proving the ‘most moral’.

Those taking the test are asked to rate a series of statements about their personal and work life – for example, whether their colleagues or family would say they were ‘honest’ or ‘competent’.

They then have to evaluate assertions about themselves, such as ‘I always honour people’s trust in me’ and ‘I am good at exercising self-control’. Those taking part then receive a report naming them as one of six personality types – Philosopher, Judge, Angel, Teacher, Enforcer or Guardian.

And he revealed that as we get older, we also appear to become more moral.  ‘What stood out from the answers was that obedience decreased with age, while reason increased – a logical occurrence as we make the transition from youth to experience,’ he added.


It is time we burst this “bubbling”

Freedom of movement in Britain?

Is it fair that the vast majority of supporters, who behave well, should have their freedom to travel to a popular leisure activity curtailed because of the risk that there will be disorder caused by a small number of troublemakers? That’s the question posed by the rise of the ‘bubble’ match.

‘Bubble’ football matches are the culmination of years of growing restrictions on football fans who follow their team to away matches. Bubble matches are ‘kettling’ on wheels. Travelling fans must be transported on licensed coaches and under police escort, from a designated pick-up point to a designated drop-off point. No independent travel is allowed to the match by car, train or any other means of transport. Fans often must pick up their tickets on route, for example at a motorway service-station at a halfway point. Their freedom of movement is suspended.

Only last weekend, bubble restrictions were imposed on Portsmouth supporters travelling to Southampton for the local derby between two neighbouring teams from England’s south coast. Even if you lived a long distance from the point of departure - including in Southampton itself - as a Portsmouth fan, you were required to leave from the specified Portsmouth departure point in order to go to the match. This is a condition of ticket sales. Fans were met by the police in Southampton, and escorted to and from the ground through what the police call ‘the sterile area’. The Pompey (Portsmouth) Supporters Trust vice-chair, Ken Malley, spoke out against these restrictions: ‘We are against bubble matches because of the human rights issues and because it gives the idea that all football fans have to be controlled.’

Through research and freedom of information (FoI) requests, the Manifesto Club - the civil liberties group I have written a report for - has identified at least 48 bubble matches that have taken place, involving at least 14 major clubs in England and Wales. In spite of loud protests from supporters’ clubs – and declining trouble at football matches – these extreme travel restrictions are still being considered and implemented.

The impact of bubble matches

In order to impose restrictions on travelling supporters, a number of clubs issue vouchers rather than tickets. The vouchers are then exchanged for tickets at a designated point on route to the stadium, often a motorway service-station. The ‘voucher for ticket’ exchange is policed, and travel beyond the point of exchange is also controlled, with coaches and minibuses, but usually not private cars, permitted to travel on to the stadium.  

Unsurprisingly, a significant number of fans are put off going to bubble matches, and ticket revenue for the clubs is reduced. At one of the restricted matches, for example, Bristol City took 200 fans to Swansea rather than the usual 2,000, a 90 per cent reduction in support for their team on the day.

The extreme measures involved in bubble matches cause considerable disruption for fans. This is not surprising, because the whole system is designed for the convenience of the authorities – the police and the clubs – rather than for the supporters.

Clubs’ restrictions on visiting fans may make matches cheaper to police. This will happen if the risk category, into which all matches are graded, is lowered because of the tighter controls imposed. Clubs may therefore be tempted to opt for bubble matches, despite their unpopularity, since the savings can be close to £20,000 for a Championship-level fixture.

Of course, authorities claim that these restrictions make visiting supporters feel safer. However, a perverse result of the bubble restrictions is that football supporters can be more exposed to troublemakers, because they are travelling in a convoy of readily identifiable vehicles. Supporters travelling independently by car or train can usually move unobtrusively in and around the stadium, with the application of a minimum amount of common sense and caution. When this is effectively banned, supporters are wholly reliant on police security.

The ‘bubble’ group is unlikely to endear itself to opposing supporters. Indeed, these high-security measures can ratchet up fear and distrust. The sight of kettled supporters being escorted to and from the ground can lead to the very taunting and abuse which the authorities would presumably like to see reduced.

Criminalising football fans

It has become commonplace for travelling football supporters to be regarded with suspicion at best, and as alien and dangerous at worst. Pat-down body searches before entering the ground have been added to bag searches as common practice. Filming of supporters by the police has also become routine. The number of stewards at matches has been growing, as have reports and incidents of their heavy-handed behaviour. Some grounds have introduced webcams for stewards to film spectators at matches, and the practice looks likely to spread.

The bubble match is merely the most extreme example of restrictions on away fans’ freedom of movement. A more common form of restriction comes in the application of the Traffic Commissioner’s Guidelines, under which police can advise coach companies on the route they should take and the time they should arrive in the host town or city.

Although travel restrictions are not as severe as in bubble matches – independent travel is not banned entirely – these guidelines can still lead to extreme restrictions on coach-travelling fans.

One recent case affected Carlisle supporters, travelling for a match in Preston on 26 December 2011. The head of Carlisle United Supporters Club, Kate Rowley, had arranged through her brother (a parish priest in Preston) to stop at the Blessed Sacrament Club prior to the game for food and drink. Food was purchased in readiness for their visit. However, their plans were thwarted when Lancashire Police imposed restrictions on their travel, which meant that coach parties were prohibited from stopping.
Arrests in decline – bubble matches are not necessary

These extreme travel restrictions occur at a time when violent or disorderly incidents in and around football grounds have declined markedly. In the season 2010-11, total attendance at professional matches in England and Wales was more than 37million, representing by far the largest spectator events in Britain. The total number of arrests in that season was 3,089, which represents less than 0.01 per cent of all spectators, or one arrest for every 12,249 people. This was a record low according to the Home Office.

Although bubble matches affect clubs with a history of crowd disorder, all current indications are that football-related violence is at an historic low. It is highly questionable, therefore, whether these extreme travel restrictions are necessary and proportionate.

Bubble match restrictions do not target the minority of troublemakers. Instead, they punish all away fans, and hope to deter the violent minority by doing so. This is surely wrong in principle. Under Britain’s common law, people are treated as innocent until proven guilty, not the other way around. People are held accountable for their own actions, not punished for the actions of others.

We call on football clubs, the police and local authorities to reject and end the extreme and discriminatory practice of bubble matches. Instead, police and football authorities should concentrate on tackling troublemakers and incidents of disorder directly, with the co-operation of football clubs and supporters’ organisations.


Islam’s Affinity with Force and Fraud

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion was a literary hoax and forgery of disreputable antecedents. It claimed to be the records of a conference of Jews to mastermind the subjugation of the world. Occasionally, in the mainstream media, one hears the Protocols being pooh-poohed. Infrequently, a scholar of Islam and Judaism will appear as a guest to discuss the fabrication of the Protocols and the horrendous crimes it inspired.

The sordid literary genealogy of the work is a series of mongrel plagiarisms and adaptations, appropriated for political reasons by antisemitic writers and the Tsarist secret police. Dialogue in Hell Between Machiavelli and Montesquieu, an 1864 political satire by French writer Maurice Joly (parts of which were plagiarized from Eugene Sue’s Les Mystères du Peuple (1856), was the chief source the Protocols, and intended to excoriate Napoleon III.

Dialogue and narrative were freely lifted from Joly’s work and only slightly altered to appear in a chapter of Biarritz, an 1868 novel by the antisemitic German novelist Hermann Goedsche. This chapter contained not only plagiarized portions of Joly’s work, but also a scene from Alexander Dumas père’s novel, The Queen’s Necklace (1848, in which none of the conspirators were Jewish). The specific chapter that deals with the conspiracy of Jewish elders, "The Jewish Cemetery in Prague and the Council of Representatives of the Twelve Tribes of Israel,” which also involved Freemasons as co-conspirators, was translated into Russian in 1872 and appeared as a pamphlet.

Philip Graves, a correspondent for the London Times, first exposed the Protocols as a hoax in a series of articles in 1921. Other investigators subsequently built on his work and helped to thoroughly repudiate the Protocols. Herman Bernstein, an American writer, journalist, and diplomat, in the same year published History of a Lie, which also repudiated the Protocols. Nevertheless, Henry Ford underwrote the publication of the Protocols from 1920 to 1922, until ordered to cease by the courts and to publish an apology. Ford saw the Protocols as an alliance between Jews and Bolsheviks. He claimed to have been duped by his underlings.

Still, even before 1921, opposing forces found the Protocols useful as an expression and tool of antisemitism. Monarchists and White Russians before and after the 1905 and 1917 Russian Revolutions cited the work to blame everything on the Jews. In 1903 the Protocols were serialized in a St. Petersburg newspaper, but in 1905 declared a fraud by the Tsar’s chief minister, Pyotr Stolypin.

This was a major indictment of Pyotr Rachkovsky, the former head of the Tsar’s secret police, the Okhrana, and the purported author of the book-length version of the Protocols, called The Jewish Programme to Conquer the World, published in 1903. Radio Islam, however, claims that Sergyei Nilus published the book in 1905, although another site claims they appeared in a chapter of another book written by Nilus, a mystic. The true origins of the book-length version of the Protocols remain as murky and offensive as the bottom of a cesspool.

Yet, even for all the scholarly debunking that occurred beforehand, and whatever their bizarre pedigree, the Protocols remain a force to contend with. Adolf Hitler made the Protocols required reading for all German students. The twenty-four sections of the Protocols served as a justification for the Holocaust. Like the purity of the Aryan race (or of any race, for that matter), the Protocols were fictive in origin and exposed as a collective lie and a heinous defamation. The Protocols plot was the mother of all conspiracy theories, and has had a tenacious longevity. It is the Nosferatu of schizoid politics; demonstrate its bogus origins, drive a stake through its heart with evidence, and it is back haunting the darkness.

Witness the continued belief in anthropological global warming. It has been repudiated and proven to be a fraud manufactured and manipulated by power-lusters determined to reduce man to subsistence level or worse. Yet countless people still believe in it, regardless of the evidence. Laws remain on the books to force men to give up their cars, their food, their “carbon footprints.” Obama has subsidized several solar power companies (which have gone bankrupt despite taxpayer subsidies), he has vetoed new oil pipelines and oil exploration development, and allowed the EPA to condemn coal mining to extinction. All in the name of a fairy tale in which juggled numbers, bewildering graphs, and dramatic but misleading photography substitute for caricatures of bearded Jews rubbing their hands together in avarice.

The Protocols are a kind of Hansel and Gretel fairy tale in which the wicked witch gobbles up the children and cackles in triumph. Yes, a fairy tale. Not a very nice one to read to children.

But it is read to and by countless Muslim children in Gaza, the West Bank, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and anywhere else where Islam reigns.

Islam – not “militant” Islam, not “extremist” Islam – but just plain Islam uses the Protocols as the keystone in its agenda. Just as environmentalists believe in Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and Al Gore’s hockey sticks and Hollywood-produced slide show.

Why? Because the Protocols fit the racism and bigotry of Islam. Because facts, evidence and reason are the enemies of Islam. Because Islam has an agenda, part of which is to extinguish Jews from existence, in addition to subjugating all non-Muslims to Sharia law in a host of caliphates governed by a global caliphate.

But, except on anti-jihadist websites, one never hears about how real is the Islamic agenda of conquest, or, as a few other articles have called it, The Protocols of the Elders of Islam.

Much more HERE

Australia: Left-wing critique of US alliance is a little hit and myth

More media distortions and reinventions of history

The Australian-American Alliance is a constant feature of national politics since at least the Pacific War and certainly since the formalisation of the ANZUS Treaty in 1951. Even so, it remains central to the contemporary political debate.

On the ABC TV Four Corners program last night, Major-General John Cantwell reflected on the challenges he faced when commanding forces in Afghanistan. The retired general wondered how he could tell individual soldiers and their families that serving alongside NATO forces in Afghanistan was worth it in view of the potential sacrifice involved. However, he acknowledged that "at the highest level of strategy" the Australian-American alliance, and the mutual obligations that go with it, are of importance to Australia.

In yesterday's Australian, Sydney University historian James Curran described the tension that developed between the then-new Whitlam Labor government and the Nixon administration in 1973 and early 1974. This led the Americans to query the value of the alliance and to consider the re-location of US intelligence-gathering installations located in Australia.

These were the darkest years of the alliance and reflected the fact that many, but by no means all, senior Labor Party figures either queried the value of, or were opposed to, the alliance. Nowadays no one in the Labor caucus would fit this description, and opposition to the alliance finds expression within sections of the Greens and among some leftist groups.

As a general rule, Australians do not have to check the calendar to learn that it's getting close to Anzac Day. ABC TV and/or radio invariably obliges with a documentary overwhelmingly critical of Australia's involvement in one or more military commitments. This fits with the familiar left-wing line that Australia has fought other people's wars.

Certainly this was the case with the Vietnam War documentary All the Way, which aired on ABC1 last Thursday. Presenter and co-writer Paul Ham concluded the documentary in the language of the other-people's-wars brigade. According to Ham: "In the end we lost what we hoped for. America retreated across the Pacific and Australia faced an uncertain future in Asia. The Vietnam War dragged us screaming and kicking to an obvious reality that we are part of Asia and that we can only rely on ourselves for our security. And yet we fight on in new wars with old allies - still in the dark, still trusting our friends." The reference was to Afghanistan.

All the Way was based on Paul Ham's Vietnam: The Australian War, published in 2007. Like the documentary, Ham's book contains valuable information along with some valid criticisms about how the US military fought the war and how the Australian Coalition government at the time failed to adequately explain the conflict.

However there is a significant difference in content and tone between the book and the film, perhaps explained by the fact that ABC staffer and documentary maker Anne Delaney directed and co-wrote All the Way.

All the Way runs familiar criticisms of Liberal Party founder Robert Menzies. According to the documentary, Menzies "claimed the double red/yellow peril was on our doorstep". Yet Menzies never referred to the "yellow peril".

In fact, Australia's military commitments during the time of the Menzies government supported some Asian governments against some Asian communist or extreme nationalist regimes or movements - namely in the Korean War, the Malayan Emergency, Indonesia's Confrontation of Malaysia and Vietnam.

All the Way also claimed that the Americans forced "conscription on Canberra" because the US wanted more American troops in Vietnam. This is mythology. Conscription for overseas services was introduced in November 1964, well before Australia decided to send combat forces to South Vietnam. Also, as Peter Edwards makes clear in the 1992 official history Crises and Commitments, the prime reason for conscription was to help Britain defend Malaysia against an attack from Indonesia, and to help defend Papua New Guinea.

Moreover, as Craig Stockings points out in his edited collection Anzac's Dirty Dozen (2012), the commitment was entered into "not out of any misguided loyalty or foreign coercion, but as a consequence of cold self-interest".

In 1965, Australia was genuinely worried about the military designs of the nationalist Sukarno regime in Indonesia. Menzies and others believed that if Australia supported the US in Vietnam, then the US was more likely to support Australia against Indonesian militarism in the region.

Successive Australian leaders - with the exception of Whitlam in the early 1970s - have embraced the US alliance because they believed it in Australia's national interest. This was the case in Vietnam. It remains the case concerning Afghanistan.

There were many Vietnamese who supported the US and Australia at the time. Just as there are many Afghans who support NATO's involvement today.

But you would never know this from viewing the Ham/Delaney documentary All the Way, or many like it.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCHAUSTRALIAN POLITICSDISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL  and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine).   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site  here.


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