[ExI] Jonathan Haidt

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Sun Apr 19 03:05:15 UTC 2009

2009/4/19 spike <spike66 at att.net>:
> 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.

The Western liberal's attitude towards Eastern traditionalists is
softened by 2, while the conservative's attitude is hardened by 3.

Stathis Papaioannou

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list