The following write up from our Sunday, July 1st meeting comes from Steve.

Our video this morning was prepared for us by Conrad.  Thank you, Conrad, for your work.  The video was of an interview by Bill Moyers of Jonathan Haidt  [].  Haidt does research on the psychology of morality -- especially, the differences between conservatives and liberals.

A few of Haidt's main points:

  • Haidt's research shows that liberal morality puts more emphasis on caring for others, whereas conservative morality puts more emphasis on loyalty, authority, sanctity.
  • In the United States, some Republicans see government help for the poor as unfair, because hard-earned money is taken from the rich and given to the lazy.
  • Haidt urges us to stop demonizing the other side.  People on the other side are usually not stupid or crazy.

Many interesting ideas came up in our discussion following the video, including:

  • Republicans might feel that the motivation to "get ahead" in the free market capitalistic system is undermined by "the welfare state".  How much socialism can be mixed with this capitalism before capitalism is actually, seriously undermined?
  • Many liberals might see the poor as not just lazy.  People can also be unlucky.  They can, for example, be born with significant disabilities.  Also, how many people are rich just because of inherited wealth or lucky guesses about the market?

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