Philosophy, Society

When morality gets in the way of justice

This TED Talk tries to explain the different views that political conservatives and liberals have on issues of justice and morality. Jonathan Haidt thinks that humans have five innate psychological systems that are the foundations of their moral views.

  1. Harm/care
  2. Fairness/reciprocity
  3. Ingroup/loyalty
  4. Authority/respect
  5. Purity/sanctity

Liberals have moral intuitions primarily based upon the first two foundations, and therefore misunderstand the moral motivations of conservatives, who generally rely upon all five foundations.

This explains why conservatives emphasize stability and order (and thus promote tradition and institutions like the state, family, and church) while liberals are usually more progressive and promote individual freedom even if this means radical change and may threaten society as we know it.