[bigbangtango] Re: [Paleopsych] Morality

Buck, Ross ross.buck at uconn.edu
Fri Mar 25 15:31:55 UTC 2005

In my view, morality involves a dynamical system of social and moral
emotions that arise spontaneously and naturally over the course of
normal child development.  Social emotions include the four "twins"
pride/arrogance, guilt/shame, envy/jealousy, and pity/scorn.  A person
(P) who is proud/arrogant tends to pity/scorn others who respond with
envy/jealousy of P and guilt/shame in comparison with P.  Add
considerations of equity (P's success is deserved or not), and you get
the moral emotions of triumph, humiliation, admiration, resentment,
sympathy, and contempt.  

BTW I think that the root difference between liberals and conservatives
is that liberals tent to respond to the less fortunate with
sympathy/pity and conservatives respond to them with contempt/scorn.
(This suggests that conservatives are less psychologically secure than
liberals).  The whole panoply of liberal-conservative political
philosophy is essentially a rationalization for these feelings.  

Religion also is a rationalization (see Freud's "Future of an Illusion")
that if anything builds barriers between people who, left to their own
devices, might get along swimmingly.  Religion can undercut normal
moral-emotional development by carving the world into us and them.
Through religion, kids learn that moral rules apply to their own
community, and that those outside are not worthy of inclusion.  In fact,
attacking others can be seen as a sign of love and acceptance within
one's own community, as in blowing oneself up in a crowded market, or
flying an aircraft into a building.  

Cheers!  Ross

Ross Buck, Ph. D.
Professor of Communication Sciences
	and Psychology
Communication Sciences U-1085		
University of Connecticut				
Storrs, CT 06269-1085
fax  860-486-5422
Ross.buck at uconn.edu

Reference:  Buck, R. (2004).  The gratitude of exchange and the
gratitude of caring: A developmental-interactionist perspective of moral
emotion.  In R. A. Emmons and M. McCullough (Eds.), The Psychology of
Gratitude.  (100-122). New York: Oxford University Press.  

-----Original Message-----
From: paleopsych-bounces at paleopsych.org
[mailto:paleopsych-bounces at paleopsych.org] On Behalf Of G.
Sent: Thursday, March 24, 2005 10:37 PM
To: bigbangtango at yahoogroups.com; Paleopsych at paleopsych.org
Subject: Re: [bigbangtango] Re: [Paleopsych] Morality

I prefer:  "Morality and religion go hand in hand."  The other kind of 
morality you speak of  is something that our world needs to learn more 
about.  Any references?

Gerry Reinhart-Waller

Stephen Springette wrote:

> Gerry, you can also throw my quote into the mix:
> Morality that feels compassion for every being for which life is a 
> struggle
> is a very different kind of morality to the utilitarian morality
> in the greatest happiness principle, or the morality of evangelists 
> imposed
> by decree by an unforgiving deity.
> Stephen
> At 10:07 AM 3/25/05, G. Reinhart-Waller wrote:
> >Quote from Nietzsche:
> >
> >"Morality is the best of all devices for leading mankind by the
> >
> >Quote from me"
> >
> >"Religion is a basic form of morality".
> >
> >Best wishes,
> >Gerry Reinhart-Waller
> >
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