Why facebook discussions never end

We discuss various topics like politics, religion, etc over Facebook. In India, we tend to discuss(read fight) continuously, without having an outcome. Every popular Facebook statuses have two sides to comments. One who is supporting the views and the other one against the view. You could rarely see someone saying that they understand the other side of view. But why?

We will discuss this based on evolution, psychology, and statistics. Moral codes are not constant. It keeps on changing based on the time frame, locality, etc.

Moral codes differ because they adjust themselves to historical and environmental conditions. If we divide economic history into three stages – hunting, agriculture, industry – we may expect that the moral code of one stage will be changed in the next.

– From “The lessons of history” book by Will and Ariel Durant

During the hunting age, people were killing tigers for survival but now it is against our ethical code. But these are assumptions unless it is supported by data. For the data part, I left it for the audience. As a reference, one can go through “Factfulness – Ten reasons we’re wrong about the world” book by Hans Rosling to understand how moral codes change over a time period based on education, finance, etc.

So, we understood how moral codes differ based on time frame and locality. Does that mean, in 2021 same region will have some moral code? The answer is “No”. Two people from Kolkata can have different moral codes on the same date. But why? Let us analyze, how a child develops a moral code.

If I put water into two identical glasses and ask a three-year-old kid whether both glasses hold the same amount of water, the kid will agree that both hold the same amount of water. Then if I pour one glasses of content into a tall skinny glass, the kid will say the skinny glass has more water. They do not understand that the total volume of water is conserved when it moves from glass to other glass. It is pointless for adults to explain the conservation of volume to kids. But when they reach a certain age, they figure it out by themselves by playing around with glasses. Morality is also the same. No matter how you explain, everyone has their own understanding of morality based on their experiences. Refer –

Taking turns in a game is like pouring water back and forth between glasses. No matter how often you do it with three year olds, they are just not ready to get the concept of fairness, any more than they can understand the conversation of volume. But once they have reached five or six, then playing games, having arguments, and working things out together will help them learn about fairness far more effectively than any sermon from adults.

From “The Righteous Mind” book by Jonathon Haidt.

But what it has to do with Facebook posts? Facebook posts are mostly political or religion-based, where opinion varies from person to person. In mathematics, we can say two plus two equals four, and everyone would agree to that. But for moral codes, everyone has their own perspective.

Our brains respond to social incentives. When we prove our point in public, we feel that our intelligence has its own. Brain, in return, induces happy hormones due to which we feel good. Our brain does not digest that our belief is wrong. It tries to find a loophole in the system(in Facebook posts or comments) so that it wins at the end. It is easy to get a loophole because most of the Facebook statuses are not based on a universal axiom(eg. 2 + 2 = 4) which everyone agrees to. Thus disagreements tend to continue until someone is busy with some priority work.


NOTE: We can be wrong in our view. It is completely alright if you hold a different opinion. Our aim is not to teach you. Our aim is to trigger some questions in your mind. If you have several questions in your mind after reading this, then we will think that our goal is achieved. If you have questions in your mind, you can buy books, search in google, read journals to have a piece of better knowledge. You can tweet me at @Koutuhal2 if you have a different opinion.

Spread the love

Leave a Reply