The Righteous Mind. Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion 


We tend to avoid testing our inner morality. Yet, if we did expose ourselves to these tests what would we find about the nature of human nature? 

The author begins his exploration into human morality by putting forth leading philosophical dogmas as to what creates our moral compass: is it inborn, societal, or due to self reflection? Perhaps none of the above suffice. 

The consistent metaphor throughout the book is the elephant and the rider: our automatic processes vs. our ability to take a step back and internalize an incident or concept with logic and strategy. In both religion and politics, it is the dance between the elephant and the rider which need continuous fine tuning. This metaphor may also be alluding to the subconscious and conscious mind, in which the former directs orders in an invisible manner to the latter. It is when we prime our subconscious mind to exclude thoughts and ideas we wish not to engage with that our actions become limited in scope. It is in this light that the author focuses on the fact that moral matrices may blind us when they bind us to people only similar to ourselves. This makes it inherently challenging for us to consider that something beyond our scope of comprehension may contain not only beauty, but truth. 

Categories: cognitive psychology, Philosophical BooksTags: ,

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