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Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion (recommended book)

He had me at "Good."
As in, good people are divided.  
As in, this is not yet another book about how "we" are right and "they" are wrong.

The goal of The Righteous Mind is to "change the way a diverse group of readers—liberal and conservative, secular and religious—think about morality, politics, religion, and each other.”  

He does this through:
  • a history of moral philosophy and moral psychology
  • personal anecdotes, especially about his time in India
  • thought-provoking (sometimes shocking) examples
  • the occasional flash of laugh-out-loud humor
  • an explanation of conservative and progressive views on the six key "moral foundations"
    • Care/Harm 
    • Liberty/Oppression 
    • Fairness/Cheating 
    • Loyalty/Betrayal 
    • Authority/Subversion 
    • Sanctity/Degradation
According to Jonathan Haidt, “morality binds and blinds."  It binds us into teams, and "blinds us to the fact that each team is composed of good people who have something to say.” 

If you want to understand: 
  • the (non-obvious) ways your background affects your views; and
  • how to"disagree more constructively” 
Read This Book.

For another useful perspective, read the article "Accept Them as They Are" by Rick Hanson: "Accepting people does not mean agreeing with them... You may not like it, you may not prefer it, you may feel sad or angry about it, but at a deeper level, you are at peace with it."


related posts:

Building Narratives of Inclusion: Mitigating Implicit and Explicit Bias in Our Own Stories

Mountains and Molehills: Introduction to the Enneagram

What (Arche)Type of Teacher Are You?