The Righteous Mind : Why Good People Are Divided By Politics And Religion

1183 Words Nov 20th, 2015 5 Pages
A Review of The Righteous Mind
The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt strives to offer evidence for why people take different viewpoints on politics and religion. In a more broad sense, he looks at morality itself. By closely examining human behavior, Haidt provides the reader with self-gathered evidence to defend his reasoning behind the formation of morality.
Part One of The Righteous Mind is centered around the metaphor, “The mind is divided, like a rider on an elephant, and the rider’s job is to serve the elephant” (1). He begins by asking where morality comes from. The nativist view elects that morality it native to our minds, either on our “God-inscribed hearts, or in our evolved moral emotions” (5). Haidt goes further to suggest another theory, the rational perspective, which he ultimately rejects. He concludes that morality is an innate aspect of our lives, yet is also developed as we age (16). Next, Haidt examines intuitions and reasoning. No matter where morality comes from, the majority of all humans have a gut feeling about right and wrong. They can almost instantly come to a decision, but when it comes to defending it, they often struggle. Haidt uses another metaphor to explain this behavior. Our minds are like a rider on an elephant. The elephant is our unconscious decisions, it strongly influences our decisions, while the rider, our conscious thoughts, fights to gain control (45-46). (I really appreciated…

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