The Righteous Mind Quotes

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The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt
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“Morality binds and blinds. It binds us into ideological teams that fight each other as though the fate of the world depended on our side winning each battle. It blinds us to the fact that each team is composed of good people who have something important to say.”
Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
“If you think that moral reasoning is something we do to figure out the truth, you’ll be constantly frustrated by how foolish, biased, and illogical people become when they disagree with you.”
Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
“Anyone who values truth should stop worshipping reason.”
Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
“The human mind is a story processor, not a logic processor.”
Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
“[W]hen a group of people make something sacred, the members of the cult lose the ability to think clearly about it. Morality binds and blinds.”
Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
“Intuitions come first, strategic reasoning second.”
Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
“We should not expect individuals to produce good, open-minded, truth-seeking reasoning, particularly when self-interest or reputational concerns are in play. But if you put individuals together in the right way, such that some individuals can use their reasoning powers to disconfirm the claims of others, and all individuals feel some common bond or shared fate that allows them to interact civilly, you can create a group that ends up producing good reasoning as an emergent property of the social system. This is why it's so important to have intellectual and ideological diversity within any group or institution whose goal is to find truth (such as an intelligence agency or a community of scientists) or to produce good public policy (such as a legislature or advisory board).”
Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
“If you grow up in a WEIRD society, you become so well educated in the ethic of autonomy that you can detect oppression and inequality even where the apparent victims see nothing wrong.”
Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
“People bind themselves into political teams that share moral narratives. Once they accept a particular narrative, they become blind to alternative moral worlds.”
Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion
“Our moral thinking is much more like a politician searching for votes than a scientist searching for truth.”
Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion
“The social intuitionist model offers an explanation of why moral and political arguments are so frustrating: because moral reasons are the tail wagged by the intuitive dog. A dog’s tail wags to communicate. You can’t make a dog happy by forcibly wagging its tail. And you can’t change people’s minds by utterly refuting their arguments.”
Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion
“Understanding the simple fact that morality differs around the world, and even within societies, is the first step toward understanding your righteous mind.”
Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
“The "omnivore's dilemma" (a term coined by Paul Rozin) is that omnivores must seek out and explore new potential foods while remaining wary of them until they are proven safe. Omnivores therefore go through life with two competing motives: neophilia (an attraction to new things) and neophobia (a fear of new things). People vary in terms of which motive is stronger, and this variation will come back to help us in later chapters: Liberals score higher on measures of neophilia (also known as "openness to experience"), not just for new foods but also for new people, music, and ideas. Conservatives are higher on neophobia; they prefer to stick with what's tried and true, and they care a lot more about guarding borders, boundaries, and traditions.”
Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
“People who devote their lives to studying something often come to believe that the object of their fascination is the key to understanding everything.”
Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
“science is a smorgasbord, and google will guide you to the study that's right for you.”
Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
“Groups create supernatural beings not to explain the universe but to order their societies.”
Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
“If you really want to change someone’s mind on a moral or political matter, you’ll need to see things from that person’s angle as well as your own. And if you do truly see it the other person’s way—deeply and intuitively—you might even find your own mind opening in response. Empathy is an antidote to righteousness, although it’s very difficult to empathize across a moral divide.”
Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion
“The very ritual practices that the New Atheists dismiss as costly, inefficient and irrational turn out to be a solution to one of the hardest problems humans face: cooperation without kinship”
Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
“...human beings are 90 percent chimp and 10 percent bee.”
Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
“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.”
Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
“Reasoning can take you wherever you want to go.”
Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
“I have striven not to laugh at human actions, not to weep at them, not to hate them, but to understand them.”
Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion
“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.”
Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
“Do people believe in human rights because such rights actually exist, like mathematical truths, sitting on a cosmic shelf next to the Pythagorean theorem just waiting to be discovered by Platonic reasoners? Or do people feel revulsion and sympathy when they read accounts of torture, and then invent a story about universal rights to help justify their feelings?”
Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion
“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) into offspring (of which they have few).”
Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
“Creating gods who can see everything, and who hate cheaters and oath breakers, turns out to be a good way to reduce cheating and oath breaking.”
Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
“If you think that moral reasoning is something we do to figure out the truth, you’ll be constantly frustrated by how foolish, biased, and illogical people become when they disagree with you. But if you think about moral reasoning as a skill we humans evolved to further our social agendas—to justify our own actions and to defend the teams we belong to—then things will make a lot more sense.”
Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion
“The mind is divided, like a rider on an elephant, and the rider's job is to serve the elephant.”
Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
“The social psychologist Tom Gilovich studies the cognitive mechanisms of strange beliefs. His simple formulation is that when we want to believe something, we ask ourselves, “Can I believe it?”28 Then (as Kuhn and Perkins found), we search for supporting evidence, and if we find even a single piece of pseudo-evidence, we can stop thinking. We now have permission to believe. We have a justification, in case anyone asks. In contrast, when we don’t want to believe something, we ask ourselves, “Must I believe it?” Then we search for contrary evidence, and if we find a single reason to doubt the claim, we can dismiss it.”
Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion
“You can’t make a dog happy by forcibly wagging its tail. And you can’t change people’s minds by utterly refuting their arguments.”
Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion

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