Economic issues are just as much moral issues as social issues.
Moral matrices bind people together and blind them to the coherence, or even existence, of other matrices. This makes it very difficult for people to consider the possibility that there might really be more than one form of moral truth, or more than one valid framework for judging people or running a society.
In accounts of men in battle, there is an incredible adrenaline rush from group-versus-group conflict. The fervor and passion of partisans is clearly rewarding; and if it’s rewarding, it involves dopamine; and if it involves dopamine, then it is potentially addictive.
Societies that exclude the exoskeleton of religion should reflect carefully to what will happen to them over several generations. We don’t really know, because the first atheistic societies have only emerged in Europe in the last few decades. They are the least efficient societies ever known at turning resources (of which they have a lot)...
It really is a fact that liberals are much higher than conservatives on a major personality trait called ‘openness to experience.’ People who are high on openness to experience just crave novelty, variety, diversity, new ideas, travel. People low on it like things that are familiar, that are safe and dependable.
When you hear someone criticize a policy on the other side, that’s fine. But when you start hearing motive-mongering and demonization, stand up to it just as you would if it were something that was racist or sexist. If we avoid the demonization, disagreements can be positive.
Love and work are to people what water and sunshine are to plants.
Those who think money can’t buy happiness just don’t know where to shop … People would be happier and healthier if they took more time off and spent it with their family and friends, yet America has long been heading in the opposite direction. People would be happier if they reduced their commuting time, even...
The emotion of disgust evolved initially to optimize responses to the omnivore’s dilemma. Individuals who had a properly calibrated sense of disgust were able to consume more calories than their overly disgustable cousins while consuming fewer dangerous microbes than their insufficiently disgustable cousins.
Let me say it diplomatically: Most religions are tribal to some degree.
Everyone cares about fairness, but there are two major kinds. On the left, fairness often implies equality, but on the right it means proportionality —people should be rewarded in proportion to what they contribute, even if that guarantees unequal outcomes.
I think Republicans need to take income inequality more seriously. Not because I favor equality of outcomes. I do not. I think the Right is correct to stress merit and earned rewards, not handouts and forced equality. But I think what Republicans are blind to is that power corrupts.
The big breakthrough for me was, once I stopped disliking conservatives and could actually see what they were right about, they showed me a lot of things that liberals were wrong about. But at the same time, I think there are some things that liberals are right about that conservatives have trouble seeing.
The most important thing to realize is we’re not blank slates at birth. We don’t start off with nothing in our heads, and then get imprinted entirely by our environment. There’s something in our heads on the day we’re born, and then we grow up and make choices.
Anyone who values truth should stop worshipping reason.
Intuitions come first, strategic reasoning second.