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Humanities Project

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BC: "We're all stuck here for a while, so let's try to work it out" Jonathan Haidt

FC: Quotes from The Righteous Mind Jonathan Haidt Created by Nicholas Dafnis

1: Many societies therefore develop moral concepts such as sanctity and sin, purity and pollution, elevation and degradation. | In such societies, the personal liberty of secular Western nations looks like libertinism, hedonism, and a celebration of humanity's baser instincts. (Jonathan Haidt 100)

2: We all recognize the portrait of boyhood. The male mind appears to be innately tribal-that is, structured in advance of experience so that boys and men enjoy doing the sorts of things that lead to group cohesion and success in conflicts between groups (including warfare). (Jonathan Haidt 139)

3: Throughout their lives, citizens enjoy bonding, team building, and moments of self-transcendence with groups of fellow citizens who may be different from them radically but with whom they feel deep similarity and interdependence. (Jonathan Haidt 242)

4: Within the first second of seeing, hearing or meeting another person, the elephant has already begun to lean toward or away, and that lean influences what you think and do next. Intuitions come first. (Jonathan Haidt 59)

5: But these findings suggest that by six months of age, infants are watching how people behave toward other people, and they are developing a preference for those who are nice rather than those who are mean. (Jonathan Haidt 64)

6: Religions are moral exoskeletons. | If you live in a religious community, you are enmeshed in a set of norms, relationships, and institutions that work primarily on the elephant to influence your behavior. (Jonathan Haidt 269)

7: Why do people so readily treat objects (flags and crosses), places (Mecca, a battlefield related to the birth of your nation), people (saints, heroes), and principles (liberty, fraternity, equality) as though they were of infinite value? | Whatever its origins, the psychology of sacredness helps bind individuals into moral communities. (Jonathan Haidt 149)

8: In the ancient world, temples often served an important commercial function: oaths were sworn and contracts signed before the deity, with explicit threats of supernatural punishment for abrogation. (Jonathan Haidt 266)

9: That's essentially what happened, Boehm suggests, as our ancestors developed better weapons for hunting and butchering beginning around five hundred thousand years ago, when the archaeological record begins to show a flowering of tool and weapon types. (Jonathan Haidt 171)

10: I look at my students differently. I still see them as individuals competing with each other for grades, honors, and romantic partners. (Jonathan Haidt 233)

11: But I have a new appreciation for the zeal with which they throw themselves into extracurricular activities, most of which turn them into team players. (Jonathan Haidt 233)

12: Rationalists such as Kohlberg and Turiel portrayed children as little scientists who use logic and experimentation to figure out the truth for themselves. (Jonathan Haidt 75)

13: And if you want your kids to learn about the social world, let them play with other kids and resolve disputes: don't lecture them about the Ten Commandments. (Jonathan Haidt 9)

14: On a small island or in a small town, you typically don't need to lock your bicycle, but in a big city in the same country, if you only lock the bike frame, your wheels may get stolen. | Being small, isolated, or morally homogeneous are examples of environmental conditions that increase the moral capital of a community. (Jonathan Haidt 292)

15: We humans all have the same five taste receptors, but we don't all like the same foods... | It's the same for moral judgments. (Jonathan Haidt 113)

16: Many animals are social: they live in groups, flocks or herds. But only a few animals have crossed the threshold and become ultrasocial. (Jonathan Haidt 202)

17: This process has been described as "self-domestication." The ancestors of dogs, cats, and pigs got less aggressive as they were domesticated and shaped for partnership with human beings. (Jonathan Haidt 211)

18: People describe nature in spiritual terms- as both Emerson and Darwin did- precisely because nature can trigger the hive switch and shut down the self, making you feel that you are simply a part of a whole. (Jonathan Haidt 228)

19: McNeil studied accounts of men in battle and found that men risk their lives not so much for their country or their ideals as for their comrades-in-arms. (Jonathan Haidt 222)

20: Contrasting emotion with cognition is therefore as pointless as contrasting rain with weather, or cars with vehicles. Jonathan Haidt 45)

21: "Can we all get along?" Rodney King May 1, 1992

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  • Title: Humanities Project
  • For John Abbott
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