Jonathan Haidt - The Moral Roots of Liberals and Conservatives

If you've kept up at all with the various cultural wars in this country, you're painfully aware of the various stereotypes that liberals and conservatives hold with regard to each other: conservatives are gun-totin' Jesus/Ronald Regan-worshipping, science-denying Chick-fil-A-loving racist, homophobic, chauvinist rednecks; and liberals are bleeding-heart politically-correct latte-sipping tree-hugging taxing-and-spending, welfare-promoting Prius-driving hippies... or something along  those lines.

Each ideology makes sense to its adherents because they share certain assumptions, values, attitudes, beliefs and worldviews that help to structure and organize their understanding of various issues in a coherent manner. The same is true of detractors, except that they share a different set of those conditions, which seem unintelligible to the first group.

Of course, we could continue to insult each other and show our sense of moral superiority and dominance till we're blue in the face, but if what we care about is bridging the divide and finding common ground so we could solve the various problems that afflict society and the world, then one of the best ways to do so, or so argues Jonathan Haidt in the following fascinating TEDTalk, is to begin to understand the moral dimensions on which each of these two major political ideologies is predicated.




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