I am very curious about where these people have the confidence to easily stand on the moral high ground and put on a look like “You are immoral, so how can I spray you and call you and I are right”?
First, let us explain what it means to “stand on the moral high ground.”
The psychological meaning of this situation is actually that someone believes that he has the right to use the tool of morality to evaluate others. “Standing on a high place” usually means that a person has power, and it is the tool of “morality” that gives this person a sense of power. Professor Rodney B. Hall of the School of International Relations at the University of Macau once said that morality, like money and the army, is a source of a sense of power.
In fact, the matter of morality itself is determined by those who stand in the direction of power.
People with power can control the direction of public opinion. From their own perspective, they will never say that they are immoral or unjust. As a result, those with power are “just” and “moral.”
In real life, the phenomenon that “the powerful have the right to interpret morals” is also common. For example, what my mother said is always right. She just picks the flowers on the roadside to appreciate the beauty of nature, and if you pick the flowers on the roadside, you have no social ethics.
Since morality is determined by those who have the upper hand in power, when we have the upper hand in the moral system that we identify with, we are equivalent to “borrowing” power from the powerful through the tool of morality. After borrowing power, he began to use it to “criticize” others.
And the act of criticizing itself is also a manifestation of those in power putting pressure on those not in power. When we moral criticize others, morality becomes the reason and tool of our criticism. Through this action, our sense of power is strengthened and consolidated.
In this Lin Xiaozhai incident, because our moral system believes that “seamlessly changing boyfriends” is a manifestation of disloyalty and immorality, so many people applauded the incident of “insulting Lin Xiaozhai” and even followed Go scolding.
In our cultural environment, people who “think that feelings should have a window of time” stand in the upper hand of morality, they think they have the power to criticize and punish others; “people who have no window of time” stand under morality. Wind direction is easy to be criticized and punished.
People are keen to stand on the high ground of morality, not because of how interesting moral criticism itself is, but because the sense of power generated in the process is addictive.
The famous German political economist and sociologist Max Weber gave a definition of power: power is the possibility that an actor in a social relationship can execute his own will regardless of others Objections, and ignore the basis of this possibility.
When you have power in a social relationship, you have supreme influence over others in the relationship. When you are the boss, you can influence the establishment and abolition of all company decisions and the leaving and leaving of every employee; when you are a genius in a certain field, all scholars in this field will only look forward to you; when your martial arts are invincible At that time, you can take the life of anyone and get away with it.
Under the influence of a high sense of power, people will become more confident, more independent, and gain stronger self-control. At the same time, a high sense of power can also enhance an individual’s sense of self-efficacy, giving people a stronger belief in “I can complete tasks and achieve goals”.
Happy? It sounds pretty happy.
Not only in the political and professional fields, power relations actually exist in every corner of our lives. When a person stands on a moral high ground to criticize others, he is taking advantage of his strength to enjoy the pleasure of high power.
Look at the people who rant on Twitter. Does everyone look happy and full of energy?
Standing on the moral high ground, lonely but not alone
The beauty of moral criticism is that, in addition to giving people an overwhelming sense of power, it also does not make people feel lonely, and even gives people a sense of belonging.
It stands to reason that a high sense of power means loneliness, and a series of studies can prove this. People with a high sense of power don’t like to pay attention to and listen to other people’s opinions, let alone their emotions, and are less willing to think about problems from the perspective of others. They are also indifferent to other people’s suffering and find it hard to empathize.
Does it sound annoying? Usually, once a person is annoying, no one wants to stay with him and becomes lonely.
However, a study published in 2015 found that the opposite is true. A sense of power can weaken loneliness.
In Experiment 1 of the study, the researchers used the Power Sense Scale and the R-UCLA Loneliness Scale and found that the higher the score on the Power Sense Scale, the lower the score on the Loneliness Scale. Negative correlation
In Experiment 2, the researchers activated the subjects’ temporary sense of power through situational recall, role-playing, etc., and then conducted a survey of loneliness among the subjects, and found that the subjects who initiated the high-power sense had significantly less loneliness than those Participants who were initiated with a low sense of power.
These two experiments show that both the idiosyncratic sense of power (measured by the Power Sense Scale) or the situational sense of power (inspired by the use of the initiation experiment) will weaken the sense of loneliness.
In addition, two other experiments of the study also verified the mediating role of belonging between high and low power and loneliness. The researcher asked part of the subjects to act as the boss and the other part to act as the employees to activate the subjects’ sense of high and low power, and then asked the subjects to fill in the sense of belonging and loneliness scale.
It turns out that people with a high sense of power have a lower need for belonging and therefore are less likely to feel lonely; people with a low sense of power have the opposite.
But it should be noted that what we are discussing here has always been the “sense of power”, not necessarily the people who actually have power. People who actually have power are not always affected by the sense of power; those who do not really have power may gain a high sense of power by “standing on the moral high ground”. How many people who like to spray people on Weibo really have high power?
Borrow the famous spit made by the old lady played by Maggie Smith in “Downton Abbey”:
Does it ever get cold on the moral high ground?