The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
ISBN: 0307455777
EAN13: 9780307455772
Language: English
Release Date: Feb 12, 2013
Pages: 528
Dimensions: 1.1" H x 7.9" L x 5.1" W
Weight: 0.5 lbs.
Format: Paperback

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion

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Book Overview

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Why can't our political leaders work together as threats loom and problems mount? Why do people so readily assume the worst about the motives of their fellow citizens? In The Righteous Mind, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt explores the origins of our divisions and points the way forward to mutual understanding.

His starting point is moral intuition--the nearly instantaneous perceptions we all have about other people and the things they do. These intuitions feel like self-evident truths, making us righteously certain that those who see things differently are wrong. Haidt shows us how these intuitions differ across cultures, including the cultures of the political left and right. He blends his own research findings with those of anthropologists, historians, and other psychologists to draw a map of the moral domain, and he explains why conservatives can navigate that map more skillfully than can liberals. He then examines the origins of morality, overturning the view that evolution made us fundamentally selfish creatures. But rather than arguing that we are innately altruistic, he makes a more subtle claim--that we are fundamentally groupish. It is our groupishness, he explains, that leads to our greatest joys, our religious divisions, and our political affiliations. In a stunning final chapter on ideology and civility, Haidt shows what each side is right about, and why we need the insights of liberals, conservatives, and libertarians to flourish as a nation.

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Book Reviews (10)

  |   10  reviews
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   Explanation of Traditional Politcs
The ideas in the book do not apply to our current national and global political reality. Our world is similar to feudal Europe where power and wealth is all that matters, and the assault of Islam on Europe is a political goal. Powerful groups are fighting to destroy traditional values.
   Really fascinating.
There are a lot of interesting claims in the book about morality. This book was a bit over my head in parts, and I am not smart enough to summarize it in any more detail. The difference between Conservatism and Orthodoxy was found in one of the final chapters and it was one of the most memorable chapters. 822.
   View changing
This book shows how our ethics and brains work together to make choices. It is well written.
   Good discussion of why good people can see things differently
This book can provide insights if you admit that people can disagree without being the bad guy. Blindspot, Why Smart People do Dumb Things and A Conflict of Visions are books I found helpful in understanding this subject.
   Perfect for our perplexing, divisivepolitical environment
It was enlightening and stimulating. It's important that we know why we feel what we feel and why others pursue a different set of interests. It's too apt to many political issues and eachother, in terms of black and white. A multileveled science shows the reader how intution, genetic coding and moral tastebuds lead to our identification of liberal or conservative and how to better understand your neighbor who falls in the opposite category. Haidt makes a perfect case for the efficacy of cooperation and compromise with a balance of science and stories.
   Mind-opening and path-breaking
There are other aspects to the psychology of our times besides morality, but this analysis is useful in re-examining the approach to morality in general. A vital, well-researched and articulate insight into the different moralities which shape personal and political thinking. Every person doing their best to live in and navigate the modern world should read this.
   Leads to interesting discussions
The book helped me. I had had questions for a long time. It was quick to read. I didn't want to put it down, because it held my attention. It made me think and it inspired some interesting conversations with my husband and friends. When I told my husband that it was a political book, he didn't like it but he enjoyed it. It doesn't feel partisan. How we make decisions is the root of it.
   If you've caught yourself wondering how those "damn liberals/conservatives" could even think such things, read this book.
I first heard about this book when two of my friends, an evangelical pastor and an atheist, were talking about it. What are they talking about? I had to read it for myself. Wow, that's awesome! I can't recommend it highly enough for an owneroperator of a human mind or conscience. It's difficult to explain how a research-oriented book can be well-written and take you on a tour of intellectual, social, and philosophical history without getting lost in the tall grass. Take some time to find out why those liberalsconservatives think such things. Make sure to get to the last few chapters.
   Made Me Re-think
Excellent reading. I would never have considered a lot of cultural and social factors. This book made me realize the value of a more diverse perspective for the survival of the human race and how my anti-religious viewpoints had incorporated sacred elements of their own. I am now open to considering the broader implications of a few of my liberal views which I would not allow to be challenged in my own mind. A few of my black and white viewpoints were moved back into the gray by this book.
   Cognitive Dissonance
This book was hard for me to read because I wanted to not like people I don't agree with. Do you know that those who do not agree with something are not the devil? In the future, I will refer to this in my work as a therapist and minister.