Jonathan Haidt – morality, emotion and politics: “Morality binds people together into teams that seek victory, not truth, and it closes hearts and minds.”
Taking the moral high ground is considered noble. Being morally sound is an admirable trait. But who determines if your moral stance is correct? Ultimately you do…don’t you? I mean, as this week’s guest points out, even the Nazi’s thought they were morally just in their beliefs. Hmmm, not so clear cut now is it? Think about issues such as abortion, gun control, the death penalty, religion. Morality becomes murky water when you start discussing the difficult issues. And if you’ve followed this show at all, you know that when there is murky water, there’s Jon and I, drinking it up with an enormous straw. Bring on the expert.
This week’s guest is Dr. Jonathan Haidt. Dr. Haidt is a professor at New York University Stern School of Business. For 16 years he taught psychology at the University of Virginia. His research focuses on the psychological bases of morality across different cultures and political ideologies. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992. He was awarded the Templeton Prize in Positive Psychology in 2001. In his new book, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion, Haidt explains how morality plays a large role in the current political stalemate that grips America. Learn more about his drive for a more productive and civil politics on his website www.CivilPolitics.org. Explore your own morals at www.yourmorals.org.