In such a pluralistic society, there are differences of opinion and health is no exception. Moral imagination can be the solution – an ability to imagine the moral attitudes and emotional status of the other. This includes trying to become a time in the moral mood of the other, in order to develop an understanding of our differences; an attempt to imagine the pain or bewilderment of another; or to try to imagine the goals, aspirations or internal moral conflicts and self-feelings of another. Differences of opinion are pervasive and moral differences in health are frequent. The development of a moral imagination and the will to retain judgment and imagine the difficult situation of another could be a solution to moral disagreements. Moral disagreements, as with other decisions, require appropriate judgment. Proper judgment requires as much information as possible, which is accurately interpreted. Listening and trying to collect data from the primary source, as historians do, is important. The main source or patient, who is a “good historian,” is our most fundamental asset. Many differences of opinion can be resolved with appropriate and accurate data.
As a leadership coach, I spend a lot of time working with my clients and helping them deal with communication disorders – and really a lot of disagreements are a communication breakdown. Hallsson (2019) has an alternative vision that implies that partisan disagreements do not provide unexpected information about promise or disputes. He cites empirical evidence that more capable supporters have more extreme beliefs, and suggests that this shows that the more we are able, the more vulnerable we are to bias. This means that capable maquisards on both sides are unreliable. Disagreement should not give these supporters a reason to reconcile, but they should not be confident. I think Hallsson does not characterize empirical evidence and its significance. The polarization it points to is not the result of strengthening our ability to coollaller through sophistication, but of the ability to identify real problems with assertions to which we are misplaced, without subjecting our own opinions to scrutiny (see Levy 2019 for discussion). Hallsson also overplays the evidence: the phenomenon is real, but not so powerful that real expertise cannot flood it. Where are the truly sophisticated Holocaust deniers he seems to be predicting? The consensus of climate scientists shows that if the problems are empirically mobile, disputes can be resolved despite our prejudices. Some of the issues on which supporters are divided are difficult. For example, Vavova cites the question of whether the death penalty is an effective deterrent.
The answer to this question includes a large number of factors, data from several legal systems and difficulties in controlling confounds. But this type of difficulty does not prevent us from justifying a great deal of confidence in other areas: climate change is just as a partisan conflict, as (if not more) difficult, and yet a party (only) is entitled to a great confidence in its convictions. Other profound disagreements may not be particularly difficult. Conservatives and Liberals remain deeply divided over the acceptance of homosexuality (Brenan 2018), but the issue really doesn`t seem so difficult.