1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion

Discussion in 'Speaker's Corner' started by Herojuana, Nov 20, 2018.

  1. Herojuana

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Nov 24, 2007

    Posts: 1,261

    Location: Lancashire

    I thought i'd open up a thread for this book, which seems an important one for the time.
    It could help us become less polarised and have more productive debates with people with different perspectives in good faith.

    The book is called:
    "The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion" by Jonathan Haidt


    [​IMG]


    In The Righteous Mind, psychologist Jonathan Haidt answers some of the most compelling questions about human relationships:

    Why can it sometimes feel as though half the population is living in a different moral universe?

    Why do ideas such as 'fairness' and 'freedom' mean such different things to different people?

    Why is it so hard to see things from another viewpoint?

    Why do we come to blows over politics and religion?


    Jonathan Haidt reveals that we often find it hard to get along because our minds are hardwired to be moralistic, judgemental and self-righteous. He explores how morality evolved to enable us to form communities, and how moral values are not just about justice and equality - for some people authority, sanctity or loyalty matter more. Morality binds and blinds, but, using his own research, Haidt proves it is possible to liberate ourselves from the disputes that divide good people.

    'A landmark contribution to humanity's understanding of itself' The New York Times

    'A truly seminal book' David Goodhart, Prospect

    'A tour de force - brave, brilliant, and eloquent. It will challenge the way you think about liberals and conservatives, atheism and religion, good and evil' Paul Bloom, author of How Pleasure Works

    'Compelling . . . a fluid combination of erudition and entertainment' Ian Birrell, Observer

    'Lucid and thought-provoking ... deserves to be widely read' Jenni Russell, Sunday Times

    Jonathan Haidt is a social and cultural psychologist. He has been on the faculty of the University of Virginia since 1995 and is currently a visiting professor of business ethics at New York University's Stern School of Business. He is the co-editor of Flourishing: Positive Psychology and the Life Well Lived, and is the author of The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom.
     
  2. kedge

    Mobster

    Joined: Sep 5, 2010

    Posts: 3,675

    That's his opinion on the matter, if morals are hardwired then why is good and bad taught from an early age?
     
  3. JeditOjanen

    Mobster

    Joined: Feb 7, 2011

    Posts: 4,123

    Broad strokes and fine detail. Self-preservation, for example, is absolutely hardwired, but we still have to teach our kids not to play in the road.
     
  4. kedge

    Mobster

    Joined: Sep 5, 2010

    Posts: 3,675

    I see, but I'm not convinced morals are hardwired because they are modifiable patterns of behaviour. Morals come from teachings of previous generations, the same can be said for written laws. I think Jonathan Haidt is perhaps talking about evolutionary (changeable) morals, principles, standards of behaviour, conduct of right or wrong - good or bad, morals don't appear to be hardwired, definitely not a permanent feature anyway, it appears to be something that has to be applied in thought and conduct on a regular day to day basis. Once learned is not necessarily something fixed or hardwired for always, someone's morals can change in the blink of an eye.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2018
  5. Avenged7Fold

    Capodecina

    Joined: Sep 12, 2012

    Posts: 11,619

    Location: Surrey

    Specific morals are not hardwired into us but the idea of having and expressing morals are, it is how we form communities with social structures. Being able to express and therefore teach and share morals is what allows these communities to develop. Being able to share and change these flexible morals makes it so that a group of people can eventually live in a community where everyone is in rough agreement in what is okay and not okay. It allows people to live with trust that your neighbour wont come by in the night and beat your head in with a rock so he can steal a bit of food, it lets you be able to exchange goods with someone without fearing you will be stabbed in the back the second you walk away and should you stray from the path of righteousness, the concept of morals remind you that there will be repercussions from everyone else in the community that follow them, should you be caught straying from the path.

    The concept of shared morals is what allows you to develop the social constructs of hierarchy, law and order and many other things that gives us structure.
     
  6. kedge

    Mobster

    Joined: Sep 5, 2010

    Posts: 3,675

    Without an ultimate authority it's arbitrary philosophy.
     
  7. BowdonUK

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jan 17, 2016

    Posts: 2,135

    It would probably take a book sized reply to answer all those questions.

    I don't think morals have changed. I think the dynamics of society as changed.

    Todays society promotes low-iq thinking, conflict, a lack of empathy, and a general insecurity. Only when we accept that is the reality can we work on changing it. It won't take much effort as I think most people are unhappy.
     
  8. Amp34

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jul 25, 2005

    Posts: 28,594

    Location: Canada

    Morals have certainly changed, how much depends on the time span being looked at.

    As an example since the 60s what we consider as right and wrong has changed quite substantially when we consider LGBT rights, racism and discrimination.

    Arguably one of the reasons we are so divided today is the change in morality over the last few decades. Its a “fight” between the progressives (generally young) and conservatives (generally older).
     
  9. kedge

    Mobster

    Joined: Sep 5, 2010

    Posts: 3,675

    Inevitability, people want different things, culture clash, it's never going to change, history clearly shows that the future will be a rinse and repeat of the same past things into the present, and over and over again and again it continues, the misery of it all will never cease under human leadership. It will be the same thing next year and the next year after that etc. No true equality, no true fairness for all the people all the time, dog eat dog is the same old same old.
     
  10. BowdonUK

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jan 17, 2016

    Posts: 2,135

    I think there is a lot of insecurity in todays society. Insecurity breeds and unaccepting mentality.
     
  11. kedge

    Mobster

    Joined: Sep 5, 2010

    Posts: 3,675

    I guess that is understandable from many different perspectives, like the increase in violence and crime in this world.
     
  12. StriderX

    Capodecina

    Joined: Mar 18, 2008

    Posts: 18,688

  13. BowdonUK

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jan 17, 2016

    Posts: 2,135

    The figures in the report are distorted because of the population shifts. If there is a rapid increase in population then it would distort crime downward, unless the incoming people were committing the exact same amount of crime percentage. In countries where people have migrated from then the crime figures appear to increase. Criminals tend not to cross borders on mass.

    Also taking a world figure to relate to one particular country is never going to be accurate. It doesn't prove anything.
     
  14. kedge

    Mobster

    Joined: Sep 5, 2010

    Posts: 3,675

    There is a broad range of crime types, crime is often hidden and different types of offence occur in different circumstances and at different frequencies. This means crime can never be measured entirely by any single source (office for national statistics England and wales) year ending June 2018. 14% increase in police recorded homicide offences - 30% increase in police recorded public order - 22% increase in police recorded robbery offences - 0.8 percentage point increase in the proportion of adults who experienced sexual assaults in the year ending March 2018 (to 2.7%). These are the latest data available - 8% increase in overall theft offences - 7% increase in vehicle offences recorded by the police - 2% increase in burglary offences recorded by the police - 12% increase in police recorded offences involving a knife or sharp instrument. News reports continue to show world wide troubles week in week out.
     
  15. StriderX

    Capodecina

    Joined: Mar 18, 2008

    Posts: 18,688

    But if those same people aren't committing crimes in their own country to keep the crime levels nominal, how the hell does that compute when they come here?
     
  16. BowdonUK

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jan 17, 2016

    Posts: 2,135

    Because of the population increase or decrease. All the stats are comparing crimes per 100,000 people. So lets say UK had 50,000 people committing crime. If the population increased by another 100,000 then in percentage terms crime would be shown to drop, even though the same actual amount of crime is being committed. So countries that are migrant destinations will see their per 100,000 crime drop, while countries with 'good' people are migrating away from will see their percentage terms their crime would appear to increase.

    Eventually we'll have a time were most parts of the world will be the wild west, that eventually start seeping in to the first world countries, which is what we're seeing now.
     
  17. Amp34

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jul 25, 2005

    Posts: 28,594

    Location: Canada

    A quick glance at the paper shows it's mapping crime on each continent, with (to use an example) the murder rate only going up in central America.

    Unless everyone is emigrating from Central America you argument seem to make no sense.
     
  18. StriderX

    Capodecina

    Joined: Mar 18, 2008

    Posts: 18,688

    It's far more likely that anyone shifting from such places are genuinely in need of escape from it and instead of demonizing them, you know maybe use some of that hearty christian "love" (really just deep-seated hatred masked by a pitiful facade) and help them out.
     
  19. kedge

    Mobster

    Joined: Sep 5, 2010

    Posts: 3,675

    The same can be said for the world leaders and their minions.
     
  20. jpod

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jun 16, 2011

    Posts: 1,632

    Location: Cheshire

    This is an interesting thread. I have not read the book but I will watch his Ted vids and have a read.

    What I do know is (1) politics are religion are both man made.

    (2) Morals change over time and by geographical region, you would expect a variation or natural distribution in any case.

    (3) We must have innate hard wired moral capacity in relation to altruism because modern man is ~150,000 years old. This does not count ancient man - who also must have got along with one another. We must have got along for the benefit of all most of the time in order to be reading this on a screen in the 21st century.

    (4) Science can tell us what is best for mans well-being thank you very much.

    (5) For any recent religion to claim it is the source of morality is the ultimate-conceit since they are late to the party and the source of exceptional human suffering past and present. Religion often adds nothing and it is reassuring that the religious also do good and bad.

    (6) Basics like the golden rule predate our current main stream religions worldwide.

    (7) Mans default would be no religion until he made one up.

    (8) Had man gone with schools of philosophy, rational thought, rather than self-serving faith religions I will leave it to the reader to decide if mankind would be having a better time of it past and present.