[ExI] Jonathan Haidt

spike spike66 at att.net
Sat Apr 18 17:26:22 UTC 2009

Excellent PJ thanks.  I have been a fan of this idea since I first heard of
it about a year ago.  This is exactly what I have been thinking about with
regards to our endless and pointless debates about the general
eastern/western values.  We go on about how two cultures view the other as
filled with abomination.  Haidt's theory offers an explanation for why it is
that way.

Numbering the five moral impulses:

1) Harm/care. It is wrong to hurt people; it is good to relieve suffering.

2) Fairness/reciprocity. Justice and fairness are good; people have certain
rights that need to be upheld in social interactions.

3) In-group loyalty. People should be true to their group and be wary of
threats from the outside. Allegiance, loyalty and patriotism are virtues;
betrayal is bad.

4) Authority/respect. People should respect social hierarchy; social order
is necessary for human life.

5) Purity/sanctity. The body and certain aspects of life are sacred.
Cleanliness and health, as well as their derivatives of chastity and piety,
are all good. Pollution, contamination and the associated character traits
of lust and greed are all bad.

In general, the notion is that western society is approximately evenly
divided into two groups.  The western liberal or left would rank moral
impulses 1 and 2 higher than the other three, while the western
conservatives rank all five about evenly.  

In very general in my view, the eastern traditionalist view ranks 3, 4 and 5
well above 1 and 2.  It looks to me as though it would make the eastern
traditionalist the moral counterpart of the western liberal, and would make
the western conservative into a moderate between the other two.  If that is
the case, then I am puzzled why there apparently is more enmity between the
western conservative and the eastern traditionalist than between the western
liberal and the eastern traditionalist.

Why?  How?  Do explain, without using the names of any particular religion
or creed, but rather seeing this as a cultural and sociological phenom.



> -----Original Message-----
> From: extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org 
> [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of PJ Manney
> Sent: Saturday, April 18, 2009 9:06 AM
> To: ExI chat list
> Subject: [ExI] Jonathan Haidt
> Sometimes, you need to get a larger perspective to see that 
> context is everything.  Maybe Haidt's book should be require 
> reading before anyone is allowed to post again.
> PJ
> http://www.miller-mccune.com/culture_society/morals-authority-
> 1099.print
> Morals Authority

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