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Moral Psychology

We mention on our opening page that we want to make policies for everyone.

The main problem with the current political elite in this country isn’t that they are “Labour” or “Conservative”, or “UKIP”. No. It is that they are all “like-minded”. Labour has their own shibboleths, as do the Conservatives, as does the League Against Animal Cruelty. Jonathan Haidt writes:

“that politics, like religion, binds people together “to pursue moral ideals and defend sacred values.” The value that liberals revere is defending the oppressed. But their devotion to victims blinds them to other concerns. They alienate with “a thin and tolerant morality that gives most Americans vertigo.” And they often commit “sacrilege,” making it easy for opponents “to mobilize moralistic outrage.” For example, they trounce authority by backing abortion without parental consent.”

When it comes to morality, everyone thinks they are right. So what separates us as moral arbiters, and what unites us as moral thinkers?

When you look at moral psychology by professors such as Jonathan Haidt, he explains that once you engage people’s sense of teamwork, because they share the same moral values, you then shut down thinking completely. People start to filter for “sameness” rather than “difference”, and this actually prevents policies being made that will benefit everyone. You only then make policies that benefit you and people like you.

The NPP would like to offer you a choice: you can take either the blue pill, and stay comfortable within your delusions, or you can take the red pill and learn some moral psychology, for the benefit of all.

Let’s assume you take the red pill. You’re here to learn, right? So let’s start at the beginning. What is morality and where does it come from?
The worst idea in all of psychology is that the mind is a blank slate at birth. We know that babies come into the world already knowing so much about their environment and mother and so on. Evolution has made it easy for them to learn some things, and difficult to learn others.

Our righteous minds were “designed” to:

  • Unite us into teams
  • Divide us against other teams, and
  • Blind us to the truth

Could you get behind this as a policy that transcends all partisan ideals?

Click Here for a link to a TED talk on the moral roots of liberalism and conservatism.

haidt