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Mar 17: Can Elephants and Donkeys agree on anything?
Mar 16th, 2012 by Sam

First half hour:

Can’t we all get along? Can’t liberals persuade conservatives with facts, logic, the merit of our agreements? Can’t conservatives convince liberals of the superior morality of their position?

Well, according to Jonathan Haidt, psychologist at the University of Virginia and author of “The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion,” we will never persuade each other because our believes are intuitive and irrational…

Joshua Rothman is columnist for the Boston Globe’s Sunday Ideas section who had a chance to catch up with Haidt on his book tour.

PLUS…

Second half hour:

New Hampshire State Rep Seth Cohn says he’ll introduce a bill to bar left-handed people from marrying each other.

In a tongue-in-cheek proposal to a gay marriage repeal bill, Rep. Cohn plans to offer the ban-on-lefty marriages amendment Wednesday, when the gay marriage repeal bill is debated. LOVE IT!

Seth will tell us all about it!

Call in: 617 237 1234!

Photo: (Greg Klee/Globe Staff)

Jul 31: Libs and Cons; Immigration and Morality
Jul 31st, 2010 by Sam

2010-07-31-samantha-clemens.Mp3

Newsflash!!! Libs and cons view immigration differently!!! We libs are certain that for us, it is a moral issue. Not only is it immoral to let people die of thirst in the desert, it is immoral to not provide healthcare, separate families, withhold a better living standard to people who just out of bad luck were born into a poorer country.

But, is it POSSIBLE that conservatives have their own moral view? That it isn’t just naked self-interest?

We’re going to look at some cutting edge research on the science of morality; studies that have been done globally on the moral intuitions of people and how that effects their stances on immigration and a whole lot of other things.

These guys got together to talk all about it…

Jonathan Haidt has a theory, the Moral Foundations Theory, where he proposes that liberals and conservatives view the world differently:

Moral Foundations Theory was created to understand why morality varies so much across cultures yet still shows so many similarities and recurrent themes. In brief, the theory proposes that five innate and universally available psychological systems are the foundations of “intuitive ethics.” Each culture then constructs virtues, narratives, and institutions on top of these foundations, thereby creating the unique moralities we see around the world, and conflicting within nations too. The foundations are:

1) Harm/care, related to our long evolution as mammals with attachment systems and an ability to feel (and dislike) the pain of others. This foundation underlies virtues of kindness, gentleness, and nurturance.
2) Fairness/reciprocity, related to the evolutionary process of reciprocal altruism. This foundation generates ideas of justice, rights, and autonomy. [Note: In our original conception, Fairness included concerns about equality, which are more strongly endorsed by political liberals. However, as we reformulate the theory in 2010 based on new data, we are likely to include several forms of fairness, and to emphasize proportionality, which is more strongly endorsed by conservatives]
3) Ingroup/loyalty, related to our long history as tribal creatures able to form shifting coalitions. This foundation underlies virtues of patriotism and self-sacrifice for the group. It is active anytime people feel that it’s “one for all, and all for one.”
4) Authority/respect, shaped by our long primate history of hierarchical social interactions. This foundation underlies virtues of leadership and followership, including deference to legitimate authority and respect for traditions.
5) Purity/sanctity, shaped by the psychology of disgust and contamination. This foundation underlies religious notions of striving to live in an elevated, less carnal, more noble way. It underlies the widespread idea that the body is a temple which can be desecrated by immoral activities and contaminants (an idea not unique to religious traditions)

Take the morality quiz to see where you fall…

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