Many of us are guided by very strong and absolute morals. If some one’s morals differ from ours , we treat him or her less moral or even immoral .Such an attitude creates tremendous communication barriers, even damaging misunderstandings. This book “The Righteous Mind . Why Good people are divided by Politics and Religion “ is a seminal book which contributes significantly to our understanding about ourselves and others. It tells us why we hold certain moral beliefs and why many people disagree with us , even if they are good.
I must state at the outset that Jonathan Haidth has written this great book with great care and clarity and I have very deep regards and respect for his integrity , indepth research and his communication ability. He has been on the faculty of the
of Virginia since 1995
and is currently a visiting Professor
of business ethics at ’s Stern School of Business. It is a book on
moral psychology.The book is full of
brilliant insights.First published in The United States of America in 2012 , it was republished in
2013 by Penguin Books in 2013 and has 500 pages. New York University
His first principle is :”Intuitions come first , strategic reasoning second.”In other words , we first make a decision based on our intuitions , then make post hoc arguments /reasoning to dismiss other people.(Inspired by David Hume).
Another insight is derived from Glaucon , Plato’s brother , who says that people are only virtuous because they fear the consequences of getting caught—especially the damage to their reputations.
The second principle of moral psychology is:”There is more to morality than harm and fairness”.The six moral foundations of politics are Care, fairness, loyalty,authority,sanctity and liberty.Be suspicious of moral monists.Beware of any one who insists that there is one true morality for all people , times and places—particularly if that morality is founded upon a single moral foundation.You don’t need to use all six foundations , and there may be certain organizations or subcultures that can thrive with just one.
There is a total difference between moral relativism and moral pluralism .He quotes Isaiah
number of human values is finite.If aman
pursues one of these values ,I who do not ,am able to understand why he pursues it .Hence the possibility of
The third principle of moral psychology is:”Morality binds and blinds”.We are 90 percent Chimp(Selfish) and 10 percent bee (selfless).We are Homo Duplex.We have been told for 50 years now (By Richard Dawkins Selfish Gene , and others) that human beings are fundamentally selfish.But it is not true.We may spend most of our waking hours advancing our own interests , but we all have the capacity to transcend self interest and become simply a part of a whole.Though it is difficult but not impossible to connect with those who live in other moral , religious and political matrices.
It is a brilliant book based on latest research .I highly recommend you to read it ---to understand your self , to understand others , and to bring about unity in the world.