Philosophy@Utah State

Home » Actual philosophical discussion! » Moral psychology and religion

Moral psychology and religion

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 101 other followers

Old Main, USU

T-shirts


You need a Philosophy T-shirt! For more information, please click here.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

* Interested in presenting a paper at an UNDERGRADUATE PHILOSOPHY CONFERENCE or publishing in an UNDERGRADUATE PHILOSOPHY JOURNAL? You should consider it! To see what options are available, both in state and out of state, click here.

PHILOSOPHY BOWLING RESULTS

• Is the world eternal? YES
• Do humans have contra-causal free will (i.e., can humans do otherwise)? NO
• Is beauty in the eye of the beholder? YES
• Do humans have souls? YES
• Are there natural rights? YES
• Is it morally permissible to eat meat? NO
• Is the unexamined life worth living? NO
• Is truth subjectivity? YES
• Is virtue necessary for happiness? YES
• Can a computer have a mind? YES
• Can humans know reality as it is in itself? YES
• Is hell other people? YES
• Can art be created accidentally? NO
• Can we change the past? NO
• Are numbers real? NO
• Is it always better to know the truth? YES

Blog Stats

  • 194,081 hits

This is an interesting essay by Jonathan Haidt, a psychologist, examining the natural (psychological, biological) foundations for morality, and the differences we find among “conservatives,” “liberals,” and the “religious.” He himself is a liberal atheist, but he ends up arguing that religious conservatives have something going on that leads to a broader view of morality, something that liberal atheists should explore and understand.

Overall, I find his general view compelling. In another article, in the NYT, he describes his view of morality as being like a rider on an elephant. The elephant represents a long history of evolved, nonsystematic moral intuitions, and the rider represents our systematic thought about morality. The rider has some control over the beast, but it’s far from complete. So we find ourselves with a mass of moral sentiments and intuitions that often cannot be straightened out into a set of moral principles. Moreover, of course, our sentiments differ from individual to individual. Some of us are drawn more to the sentiment that “each to his own, so long as no harm is being done” while others are drawn to sentiments encouraging order and uniformity. And, Haidt suggests, we need this plurality for a stable society.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: