Jonathan Haidt — The Psychology Behind Morality

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Jonathan Haidt — The Psychology Behind Morality

The surprising psychology behind morality is at the heart of social psychologist Jonathan Haidt’s research. “When it comes to moral judgments," he says, "we think we are scientists discovering the truth, but actually we are lawyers arguing for positions we arrived at by other means.” He explains “liberal” and “conservative” not narrowly or necessarily as political affiliations, but as personality types — ways of moving through the world. His own self-described “conservative-hating, religion-hating, secular liberal instincts” have been challenged by his own studies.


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Comments [1]

İsa Kocher from DeBruce NY

I was deeply disappointed by the crudely moralistic tone towards liberals leftists and progressives and the idea of tolerance taken by this so called scientists who apparently has taken on the idea that his morality allows him to characterize others as immoral when we don't choose to tolerate injustice.

I was deeply insulted by the deeply distorted, grossly unfair moralism thrown at Occupy. They are a group who showed their moral heroısm when brutally assaulted pepper sprayed maced beaten arrested and jailed and they refused to answer in kind. The courts have since awarded a half a million dollars to a faction of Occupied because of the unprecedented unwarranted brutality. As an anthropologist what gives him the right publicly to demean denigrate and abuse a movement he could have spent no more than a few minutes observing (not as participant observer but as a non-participant critic.I am an anthropologist having graduated from two top departments of anthropology.)

His description of Liberals Leftists and Progressives in the USA was a parody. The Twentieth Century's grandest most memorable most significant human achievements, Social Security, The Eurppean Communıty, unıversal suffrage and the end of apartheid in places like the USA and South Africa, the UN Convention on Human Rights, moon exploration, the Internet, the discovery of galaxies, the proof of the origins of the unıverse, velcro, the ending again of slavery, child labor laws, universal health care everywhere but the USA, conservation and public parks, the GI Bıll, the defeat of smallpox, etc are all liberal achievements with nothing comparable from the right in any century.

Liberalism created the USA. Liberalism preserved the USA. Progressives gave us labor laws, compensation for disabilities, rural electrification, unıversal suffrage and the end to apardheid, and voting rights.

I understand loyalty respect for authority and sexual responsibility, but it is the conservatives who assault our families deny living wages deny medical care to chıldren and education. The USA has the worst medıcal care and some of the worst educatıon ın the advanced world while making huge 20% 30% profit margins. A half a dozen popes have said evolution accords with Roman Catholıc theology. the current pope says ıgnoring global warming and wealth distribution injustices are moral defects, sin. Yet Santorum, Justice Scalia, etc. defy their own popes publicly.

Your expert is just plaın wrong. Much like the so called scıence of Sıgmund Freud, reflecting mostly his own problems. Not reflecting the world of morality.

The UN Declaration on Human Rights was written by jurists and moral theologians from Asia Africa Latin America primarily. Lining your own pockets and expressing disgust and intolerance towards others is not a left - right issue. That is against the Ten Commandments as much as ıt is against any other religious tradition. The rıght wags fingers at them while exploiting the poor.

Jun. 15 2014 10:38 AM

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