Does the harm principle of ethics have universal merit? What is the principle’s counterargument? The harm principle, introduced by John Stuart Mill in 1859, states that the only way that anyone should exercise power in a civilized society is to prevent harm. This is the basis for ethics in the secular West. However, taking the rest of the world into consideration opens up a different perspective. This is put forth by Jonathan Haidt in his book The Righteous Mind. Read more to learn about differing views regarding the harm principle.
What are the six moral foundations? How can our view of morality expand in order to understand others better? Everyone is accustomed to a certain moral framework, and it can be hard to accept that another morality is moral or even possible. Also, people respond to the six moral foundations in different ways. These factors contribute to the difficulty we have in understanding each other. Gaining insight into how moral foundations work can help us empathize with others. Read more to learn about the six moral foundations.
Why do different societies have different moral codes? Why is a certain behavior “good“ here—but “bad“ over there? Jonathan Haidt, in his book The Righteous Mind, argues that morality is culture-dependent—that different societies have different moral codes. Studying people in Philadelphia and Brazil, he found that even groups within societies have different moralities from one another. Read more to learn why different societies have different moral codes.
What are charity scams? How did the character Asha get involved in charity scams in the book Behind the Beautiful Forevers? Charity scams are when a charity fundraiser diverts the majority of the money collected from donors for personal use. In Behind the Beautiful Forevers, Asha used her nonprofit as a vehicle for government officials to divert funds meant for a school education program. She planned to make money from her share of the stolen funds. Read on to discover how the desire to escape poverty drove Asha to participate in charity scams.
What is the connection between empathy and morality? Do the moral philosophies of Bentham and Kant go far enough? In his book The Righteous Mind, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt asserts that popular Western theories about morality fail to fully grasp the connection between empathy and morality. He points to the moral philosophies of Jeremy Bentham and Immanuel Kant in particular. Read more to learn about the treatment of empathy and morality in Western philosophy.
What are the advantages of conservatism when it comes to moral psychology? What do conservatives understand and leverage that liberals do not? There are certain advantages of conservatism over liberalism in regard to understanding moral psychology. Conservatives tap into all six moral foundations, while liberals focus on only two or three. This means that conservatives have the power to persuade more people. Read more to learn about the advantages of conservatism in the realm of moral psychology.
Why is it so hard for us to get along? How can we understand each other better? The Righteous Mind, a book by social psychologist Jonathan Haidt, attempts to answer those questions and help us understand why hostile groups have different conceptions of what it means to be “right.” Liberals and conservatives lack a common language, and reason-based arguments about morality are ineffective. This leads to political polarization. Read on to learn more about The Righteous Mind.
Why is Abdul in legal limbo in the book Behind the Beautiful Forevers? How did Abdul get out of jail? Abdul got out of jail after a judge ruled that he was not a flight risk and could live at home until his trial. Abdul waited for months and never got any clarity on when his trial would begin. He has been condemned to the legal limbo of awaiting trial forever. Read on to discover why Abdul is stuck in legal limbo.
When was the last time you experienced civility in politics? How can it be achieved? When we find ourselves at odds with someone politically, it is likely that we have different moral matrices. To find common ground—or at least achieve respectful interaction—we would do well to identify which of the six moral foundations are at the heart of the issue. This can help us practice empathy, which in turn can help us achieve civility in politics. Read more to learn the key to finding civility in politics these days.
How is police brutality in India relevant to the book Behind the Beautiful Forever? Is the use of excessive force by the police prohibited under Indian law? In the book, Abdul and his father were victims of police brutality. Abdul was arrested after a neighbor accused him of attempted murder, and he was tortured by the police who knew he was innocent. Police brutality in India is prevalent, despite its prohibition by the country’s Civil Rights Act. Read on to learn more about how Abdul in Behind the Beautiful Forevers became a victim of police brutality in India.