Sunday, 18 December 2016
Taking the Moral High Ground to Win People Over
I don't think taking the moral high ground is ever a good idea, at least not demonstrating it to the person you wish would change their ways. Think whatever you want in the privacy of your own mind though.
I tend to find that it acts in a way that is counter-productive to its aims. Like, if a kid from a working class comprehensive school is eating a processed ham sandwich and a kid from a grammar school comes along and makes him feel bad for not knowing all the reasons why that ham is harmful. Regardless of the facts, it's the use of the moral high ground which makes the working class kid cling to his ham butty even more, because it's part of his identity, although he probably wouldn't see it like that at the time. He loves ham butties and this educated know-it-all is attacking something he loves.
You don't make people change their habits for the better by assuming the moral high ground and expecting them to then see the reason in your arguments. Both sides must feel like they are on the same level and facts about health should be discussed as facts about health, divorced completely from morality and moral judgments.