Two Liberals and a Social Justice Warrior Walk into a Safe Space…

“Safe spaces, trigger warnings, and microaggressions are intellectually defunct tools for real world policy applications. They’re not capable of addressing or solving real world problems in any real way.”

By Matt Johnson, The Systems Scientist

You’ve heard the old joke, right? “Two liberals and a social justice warrior walk into a safe space…” No? Me either. This is because this issue is neither old nor is it a joke.

If Sam Harris, author of The End of Faith, The Moral Landscape, Free Will and many other books, and Jonathan Haidt, author of The Happiness Hypothesis and The Righteous Mind, are concerned with safe spaces, trigger warnings, and microaggressions, then as a scientist interested in policy and research, I’d better pay attention and take these issues seriously as well. Why?

It potentially could, if not already, affect my opportunity to apply important and sound science policy to urban environments. Safe spaces, trigger warnings, and microaggressions are intellectually defunct tools for real world policy applications. They’re not capable of addressing or solving real world problems in any real way. In addition, this kind of thinking could also affect science policy, in general, in some really profound and devistating ways.

This is what I got out of this conversation, but I expect each reader will gain something a little bit different. So without further ado, here are Sam Harris and Jonathan Haidt on Harris’ “Waking Up podcast, titled ‘Evolving Minds: A Conversation with Jonathan Haidt’, published on the 9th of March,” 2016.

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