The Edge of Moral Reasons: Why Liberals and Conservatives can´t get along

Why is it that liberals and conservatives cannot get along? We´re all human after all, aren´t we? Well…yes. But as you know, there are people who speak different languages which might lead to not being able to understand each other. Turns out, (far) right and left wing supporters may have the same problem – even if they all speak plain English.

One guest lecturer of MAPP´s fourth onsite was Stern School of Business´ Jonathan Haidt. Among other most interesting topics, he conducts research on moral reasoning. What he found has a lot to say on the state of current U.S. politics: Haidt has identified a kind of moral taxonomy, a set of five dimensions that all our moral judgments are based on (see diagram below). The problem is: conservatives tend to use all five dimensions to just about the same amount when making moral judgments. Liberals tend to use only two of them – the other are seen as not relevant. The result: liberals perceive conservatives as being uptight, while the latter perceive the aforementioned to be ‘morally loose’.

Both sides are literally ‘worlds apart’ – and building bridges is a tough task when the differences are engraved deep into your mind…

If you´d like to know more about your personal moral reasoning, please vitit Jonathan Haidt´s site www.yourmorals.org.

Haidt - Moral Judgment

Source for diagram

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