We love stories, and the stories we love the most tend to support our cherished norms and morals. But our most popular stories also tend to have many gaping plot holes. These are acts which characters could have done instead of what they did do, to better achieve their goals. Not all such holes undermine the morals of these stories, but many do.
If you make the rule "will dismiss any arguments that are even vaguely for eugenics", your time and attention doesn't get attacked by bad actors/ideologues trying to creep up on eugenicist policies via rationalizations. Any loss of value from productive disagreement might be counterbalanced by the gain in personal resources.
To bring this closer to home: suppose a group of people at your university have discovered a compound called KowPis that will make people have powerful spiritual experiences but also cause a really bad toxic reaction in a lot of people. They are trying to lobby for it to be added to the food served in the cafeteria you eat at everyday.
You really don't want this to happen because you don't care about seeing God or whatever it is they claim, and the downsides seem pretty bad. However you see KowPis junkies publishing poorly researched essays arguing that there are no downsides. You see such essays being circulated around. You're not great at figuring out which ones are right or wrong because you're not in the field and it's absurdly complicated. It scares you to hell that these people might convince everyone that there's nothing wrong with the compound and put it in your food. Your best friend Bryan has become a KowPis evangelizer, coming up with clever enough rationalizations to fool the average man, like he did for blackmail. You know deep down it stems from his irrational latent theism, but none of you bring it up because it's considered ad hom.
What do you do? It's eating up all your time to pore over paper after paper on KowPis's effects on health in a subject you have no interest in or talent for. You have to do it anyway because you know only rational argument will save you and many others like you. It seems incredibly unfair that someone can threaten your livelihood if you don't spend time researching their subject. It seems incredibly unfair that you might find perfect refutations, do a checkmate, but still have no one listen to you (like it has happened many times before), and have your frickin' food poisoned.
Or... you can choose to look at these misinformation-mongers for what they are, or rather most of them are, and commit to responding like you would to violence. You can value your time and attention and personal research goals. You don't reason with someone committed to fighting you. If a crowd of such people try to attack, you're not going to stop to reason with some of them because they seem more rational than the rest. It seems fair to blanket-ban all of them.
To bring this closer to home: suppose a group of people at your university have discovered a compound called KowPis that will make people have powerful spiritual experiences but also cause a really bad toxic reaction in a lot of people. They are trying to lobby for it to be added to the food served in the cafetria you eat at everyday.
The same polls show that 80% of us loathe our government, and for good reason.
It is composed of professional liars, sociopaths who have cheated us for generations and lied us into bankruptcy and irrelevance.
Pay attention: the polls accurately mirror our opinions of our fall and their opinions of their rise.
Great points, not sure if the plot hole analogy is necessary. It feels like the effect you are explaining is related to the point that stereotypes are not bad if you have enough of them. or the beware the single narrative problem.
I think what you are explaining a problem in the class of problems: 'cognitive shortcuts are as problematic as they are useful'
Please shoot me down if I am generalizing too far.
Polls like this cannot show that "Chinese are delighted with their government for excellent reasons"
They can show that there exists a shockingly high number of Chinese willing to answer such a poll in the negative for a place that runs political "re-education" camps. 22% of the populace are ether suicidal or stupid dose not = "excellent reasons" it equals non-sequitur.
So you are being called a "commie, dupe, wumao, propagandist and worse" for the conclusions you draw not the data you gather and present.
Quite a story, thanks. Yes, I can see people thinking the grenade toss with the off-hand through a narrow slit from 30 feet when faced with imminent death, serious blood loss, an abdominal wound and a mangled, dangling right arm, *followed* by further attack upon the enemy (3 destroyed bunkers and 4 wounds having apparently been insufficient), a bit much for a work of fiction.
That's closely related to why we support some norms and not others. A difficult but important question.
You might like https://www.nytimes.com/200...
One other question around coordination might be, "Why do we coordinate around some stories, or some story universes, and not others?"
I think lots of skilled wielders of low-complexity-blame-template will resist change. It works for then and they know what they're doing. It reminds me of the webcomic Troubadour from Oglaf (just replace "song" with any other catchy thing like low-complexity-blame-templates):
Peasant [interrupting performance, face full of fresh bee-stings]: STOP EVERYTHING! Your song "Stick Your Dick in a Beehive" is full of glaring factual errors.
Troubadour: No no, if you want to dispute a song you need to do it in song form. That's just how it works.
Peasant: [out of tune] Beehive song is stuuuu-pid Beehive song is wroooong...
Troubadour: Your song is terrible!
[Audience laughs. Peasant runs away crying]
Troubadour: But seriously, big round of applause for that guy. My next song is called "My Lover's Dick is All Stung Up So I'm Gonna Fuck The Minstrel"
Yes, that post describes the same blame template.
"For example, murderers are blamed even when their act makes a better world overall --"
That depends on a lot of things. War is the most glaringly obvious counterexample.
IIRC, the soldiers and authorities responsible for Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombings were honored in terrific ways in spite of being responsible for the most effective mass murders in history. Seeing as it is not difficult to argue that they did not necessarily make the world a better place yet were still not blamed for their actions (instead they were praised), you claim seems to apply only to a restricted number of cases. That is (from a naivistic perspective of power): as long as murder serves to upkeep and enforce existing power structures, it will be defended.
Blame X if X interacts with Y on dimension D, Y suffers on D, no one should suffer on D, and X “could have” interacted so as to reduce that suffering more.
The Copenhagen Interpretation of Ethics
Yes, in US MSM, there seems to be a blame template of the form "says positive thing re Chinese government".