Persuasion and Morals

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Scott Adams has always been kind of a fan of persuasion, hypnosis, and psychology in general. Ever since he’s been talking about Trump, He’s gone in full obsessed fanboy mode. I’m not as obsessed as him yet, but I’m certainly interested. This stuff is fascinating. Of course, that is probably one of the worst things in life to get taught by only one person, so I’ve been reading a lot about those subjects through other authors too, to avoid the echo chamber effect.

Recently, I’ve started thinking about taking an official hypnosis class. Not the flashy “make you believe that you are a chicken” hypnosis, but the more everyday kind of hypnosis. When I mentioned that to my girlfriend, her instant reaction was “As long as you don’t use it on me.”

This seemed like a given. What kind of monster would use hypnosis to manipulate his own girlfriend? But then I started thinking. I have no idea what I would learn in those classes. If it’s the same kind of stuff as Scott learned in his, that is more persuasion than actual hypnosis from what I’ve understood, it also seems like the kind of stuff that you start using all the time without even noticing it. if it’s little words and body language tricks that allow you to make people like you a little more, make them believe you and listen to you a little more, etc. then that means that I would not be able to “refrain” from using it on her. If it’s some kind of passive skill, then you can’t really turn it off right?

So, is it accurate to describe hypnosis and persuasion as “manipulation” and say that they are immoral, or are they just a more efficient method of communication?