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The moral roots of liberals and conservatives - Jonathan Haidt

Updated: Dec 11, 2020


If you are interested in a better understanding of why people lean left or right Jonathan Haidt has some great insight on why. This video is a good condensed form of his book The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion.

He brings up the 5 foundations of morality: harm, fairness, authority, ingroup/loyalty, and purity.

Depending on how you land on importance of each of these shows which political party you lean towards.

Liberals have a higher level of importance on harm and fairness while not caring as much about authority, ingroup, and purity.

Conservatives do still have a high importance on harm and care but just not as high while putting more endorsement on the other three.

One thing he has later changed or didn't bring up in this that is in his book is the difference between equality and equity. Will make later post about that.

At 10:34 a case is made on why ingroup, authority, and purity are morals.

Having a "free ride" is brought up. In his book he talks about how two major things a society is made to do is stop free riders and stop bullies. Will find a note for this later.

At 12:46 religion is brought up. As a way to help communities have the same sense of morals and cooperate.

14:05 brings up that liberals want change to help the weak and oppressed while conservatives want to keep order because it is so hard to maintain.

Quote by Edmund Burke"The restraints on men, as well as their liberties, are to be reckoned among their rights."

14:58 there is a balance brought on by liberals and conservatives. One pushes for change while the other tries to hold onto what has worked.

Quote by Sent-ts'an "If you want the truth to stand clear before you, never be for or against. The struggle between "for" and "against" is the mind's worst disease."


The reason I share this is so I can better understand others. It isn't always easy to jump into someone's shoes and see what they see or even feel what they feel. It is important though because we live in different realities. How am I going to tell someone they are wrong when their view has carried them this far? There is merit to other's views and it is our job to understand that first before we try to tell them that their view is wrong.

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