Moral Tastes: A Rainbow of Flavors

Hi everyone, Professor Cox here again. So, in chapter six, Haidt introduces the metaphor of moral “taste buds,” explaining that all cultures have a set of moral “flavors,” which guide their structure. He explains that usually two variations arise, a “welfare” based or a “rights” based mode of operation.  But, he points out, all cultures have a mix of these flavors. He cautions that philosophies which attempt to reduce morality to a “single principle” are limiting, and don’t encompass the nuance and multitudinous nature of our moral reasoning (132).

 

As a teacher of writing here at UMD, I feel privileged to be exposed to the moral tastes of my students. Through our classroom discussion, reading and writing, individual perspectives are always revealed in unique and surprising ways. Writing is a practice of refining your thinking, taking ideas from the outside and relating them to your own experience and values. Students in first year writing courses are asked to think critically, investigate ideas through writing and propose arguments based on their own reasoning. I find that when we make arguments and assertions we are almost always making underlying assumptions about what is right, what is moral even if we don’t state it directly. In rhetorical terms we might call this reasoning that uses enthymeme. In other words, we lean towards our favorite moral tastes. As an instructor, I have my own leanings in moral taste. One of the strengths for me personally with this book was that Haidt actually really helped me to sort of “see how the other half lives.”

 

Another quick example came for me on pages 136-138, where Haidt presents a graph (fig. 6.1). The graph shows how people usually tend to move in one direction or the other, being “systemizers” or “empathizers.”  I’ll admit, I think I’m an empathizer. I frequently look for the emotional or sympathetic component of the information I take in. I am grateful that I have all sorts of students in my classes who are very different than I am and I get to learn about why they see things the way that they do. Some are more systematic and others are sympathetic but in very different variations from one another. Haidt gave me some essential clues to better understanding the thoughts and morals of people I might encounter. I feel better prepared now to remember that our moral reasoning is not only complex but is also rooted in multiple places like experience, brain chemistry, culture and genetics.

 

So, my questions to you dear readers are these: when you read something—an article, a book, a Facebook posting, how do you decipher the “moral tastes” of the author and their argument? What clues are you given in the text and how do you decide what the underlying moral foundations of the argument are? Haidt explicitly tells us about his own bias but many things we read and encounter do not.  Once you’ve deciphered the moral component, how do you use that to inform how you will respond to the text? Think of something you read recently; can you identify what the strongest moral tastes were in the piece? Do you understand the text differently thinking about it through the lens of moral reasoning? What if it goes against your own favorite moral tastes?

 

If you haven’t read something besides this book recently (it is summer vacation after all), take a quick look at this very short video where pundits, historians and writers are discussing “Net Neutrality” and tell me, what do you think about the underlying moral reasoning they are discussing? Do they lean more towards the sympathetic or the systemizing foundation? How can you tell?

 

81 thoughts on “Moral Tastes: A Rainbow of Flavors

  1. Paige Teves says:

    Recently I came across a blog where women talk about feminism, women’s rights and current events directed towards women in negative or positive ways. One particular post caught my eye about if women should or shouldn’t take the last name of the man they are marrying. Knowing there would be a lot of conflicting ideas, I scrolled through the comments and came across a few very angry women. A few things mentioned were: how it’s not right to change the names we have had our whole lives to a man’s name, we should not have to “belong” to a man when we marry them, and woman change their names after marriage to only to please society. After reading chapter six I went back to this blog and tried to find the drive these people had to write these comments. These woman strongly feel that there is injustice between the sexes, and it would be morally wrong for a woman to even think of taking their husbands last name because it just shows the “power” men have over women. I put “power” in quotations because I disagree with these women. I’ve most likely had different experiences with this than they have because I am looking forward to changing my name after marriage. My last name is my father’s last name, and when people hear my name they do not think of him. I am my own person, I have accomplished many things with the name I have, and my life wouldn’t be any different if I was named after my mother or even if I chose my own last name. When I change my last name to my husband’s, I won’t see it as being “owned” by the man I love. I see it as a new beginning and the start of my own family. My life experiences and the way I was brought up has a big part in the way I feel about this topic. My emotions towards it are more positive and empathetic than the women on the feminist blog. Some people could say my opinion is one of a systemizer’s because it’s sort of a routine that people have been doing for years– marry a man and take his last name. I see it as an empathizer’s opinion because I’m emotionally connected to my opinion, and I would want people to make their decision based on their feelings towards it, too.

    • acox1umassd says:

      Paige, thank you for your thoughtful response. This is a complex issue and as you note, there are a lot of differing moral stances on the topic. I appreciate that you were able to map your own reasoning so carefully here. Nice work!

    • Shannon Brown says:

      I agree with this whole heartedly! I understand why some women would feel as though taking a man’s last name is making them sound like the man is taking control and owning them, but personally, I see it as a symbolic way to start a new beginning with someone I love. It’s like making a “team name” so to speak. By taking a man’s last name, a woman is agreeing to a partnership with this man, to work as a team and take on whatever the work has in store for them together.

    • Lily F says:

      It’s interesting to see different opinions about this. I think it’s impossible to come to one conclusion about what everyone should do, and that it is a bit of a pointless argument, because everyone has such different opinions. My personal opinion is that it is up to the individual to decide whether or not to take the last name of the person they marry, and that the feminists who tell women they can’t take a man’s last name have a flawed way of thinking, because feminism is about women making their own informed choices and feeling confident in those choices, regardless of whether their choices or behavior are traditionally feminine or not. Also, i think that a man should be able to take on a different last name after marriage if he chooses to. I think this whole dilemma (if you can call it that) will only get more complex in the future because we are moving toward a future where marriage is not only for one man and one woman. There are many couples who do not fit into “traditional” hetero relationships, so it may no longer be a question of “is that woman being oppressed by her own choice!? … does she know that she’s being oppressed!?” but more of a recognition that changing one’s name after marriage is completely symbolic and represents that the choice made by the individual or by the couple in question is unique and may simply be a display of loyalty and love that is mutually felt by the couple.

      • Taylor B says:

        I agree with your point on how there really is not a conclusion about what people should do, this brings up another point on how this can relate to every other topic that can ever be up for discussion, who is the one to say what is morally the “right” or “wrong” idea to follow. who decides or better yet who should decide and are they the people that are actually deciding or is society making that decision for us?

  2. Krystal Cabral says:

    “Taste buds of the Righteous mind” is one of my favorite chapters in the book because it made me open my mind to the reality that an individual’s morals are driven by a person’s intuition and empathy. Recently I read an article on a father that walked in on a man sexually abusing his son. After reading the story I felt disgusted and had sympathy for the father. This relates to Haidt’s idea of modularity, in that all humans have these cognitive modules, but depending on how they react to the 5 moral foundations, they can be triggered in different scenarios. The Care/Harm foundation triggered a module in my brain after reading how this child had been mistreated. As I continued to read the story it also questioned my morals. The father proceeded to brutally beat the man, almost to the point of death. Initially my intuition told me that it is not right to hurt another human physically, but than my conscious reasoning found evidence that made it morally acceptable.

    • Daniel Sullivan says:

      In reply to Krystal, I think that is a great topic to talk about. Hearing you talk about that makes me think of the phrase ,” An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth”. Some people may think that is to cruel and harsh but some others may think that is the right way to be. It just depends on what and how the person will do and react to the situation at hand as talked about with the 5 moral foundations in the book.

  3. Hunter Germaine says:

    Hello this is Hunter Germaine, and I would like to answer, to the best of my knowledge, the question Professor Cox has posed in the second to last paragraph, “when you read something—an article, a book, a Facebook posting, how do you decipher the ‘moral tastes’ of the author and their argument?”

    First off, I would like to inform readers that I believe that on the graph presented on page 137 of the book, I fall more in the upper middle quadrant area. I tend to use other people’s emotions to respond appropriately and morally but also use rules underlying the system. (pg. 136 -137) So when I read something, such as a book or Facebook posting, I tend to try and understand the author’s emotional attachment to their statement or comment made yet I want reasoning to back up statements. For example: A friend of mine makes a Facebook status about a recent movie they just saw. I too have seen this movie and I quiet enjoyed the movie a lot. My friend on the other hand is going off and saying how the movie is horrible. Now based of the initial posting, I am slightly offended by their hateful remarks. They did not initially provide any reasoning for this movie to be so bad. So I have gathered they are just aggravated at the movie without any reasoning. I proceeded to question their remark about the movie, by first stating that I loved the movie and providing reasoning as to why. In this case, the movie happened to be an adaptation of a beloved comic book series of mine. So my reasoning was mainly emotional attachment to the original version of the movie remake. After stating how I disagreed with my friend they proceeded to explain their reasoning. Now in the end, I still disagreed, but I felt that after properly explaining their view with reason, made their opinion morally acceptable to me. All I wanted was to see why this person was different from me.

    This is just one way to look at “moral tastes”. Is through the graph presented on page 137, but also Jonathan Haidt mentions that their are five taste receptors in this chapter. And they can be found on the chart on page 146 (figure 6.2). The five are care/harm, fairness/cheating, loyalty/betrayal, authority/subversion, and sanctity/degradation. Each one is triggered by a specific event. In the Facebook example above, for me my loyalty taste bud was triggered. According to the chart, this is triggered by “threat or challenge to the group”. Since I loved this movie and the original comic book version of it as well, I belong to a group of others who appreciate the movie as well. When my friend made his initial post, targeting my group without reasoning to do so, I felt threatened and had to defend. It was morally right to me to do so. Another example is if you see cyber bullying online. You see a friend being attacked by someone else in hurtful and damaging ways. Most likely your care taste bud will be triggered, and you will respond with defending your friend. Now I know that in the book it specifically says “children”. Now I assume, most college students don’t have kids, and I also feel this should and can be applied to any one who you deem is close to you.

    So overall when I read something, whether it be online or in a book, I use two ways to decide if it is morally just. One is to see the emotions of the author and see their reasoning behind their views, and the other is from the five moral taste buds that are triggered in certain events. I hope that this answers the question posed by Professor Cox in his initial blog. I feel this is what is true to me, and I do have to give thank to the author Jonathan Haidt, for helping me to discover my own moral thinking process.

    • acox1umassd says:

      Hi Hunter, thanks for your great posting! I appreciate how you use your own experience here to map some of the ways decisions are made, and how moral reasoning works in your own life. Nice work!

    • Caroline Twomey says:

      I completely agree with Hunter on this subject. It is important to use the emotions of the author of a reading to get a full understanding of what their morals truly are, and to show that despite having different opinions, it is necessary to understand our differences and to use them to learn from each other as people. I also notice that Hunter is using Facebook as a way to explain an experience in terms of discovering events that could trigger the five moral taste buds. While it is true that many controversies can erupt on Facebook, I also notice that tumblr. is another website with intense and varying opinions of morality and what is right and just. On tumblr., a blogging website, many users tend to explain scenarios of what they feel are injustices or wrongs committed throughout the world in an attempt to make positive social changes based on their beliefs. The emotions they describe, along with their reasonings as to why they feel the way they do, prove to be useful tools when deciphering that author’s moral code. While the opinion may or may not vary from my own, I find it a helpful step in finding a common ground and solution to the way society may handle certain things.

      Another point Hunter brings up is the five moral taste recepters that Haidt talked about on pages 136-137. These can also be applied to my tumblr. example, in which a user will be making a point about social justice. Most likely they are acting on behalf of their loyalty/betrayal bud, as they feel their particular group is being wronged by society overall, and they want to defend themselves and others like them. This is a natural response, as they feel attacked and unrepresented, thus triggering their emotional behavior. If their reasoning and evidence of social inequality is sound, I deem them morally just, even if I disagree with their opinion, for they have a right to make themselves safe and happy.

      I too, use Hunter’s method of deciding moral justice by comparing emotions in responses and by seeing which taste buds were triggered in the events described.

    • Adam Anderson says:

      My reply is pertaining to your Facebook post example.

      Your example about a friend disliking a movie happens to me often, but not always movies, it could be about a TV series. The dislike of movies or TV series always occurs with a certain group of my friends. To me, they seem like they are trying to find faults in the show as if it is their goal. Then, because they can find these small plot holes they decide it just is not a good show anymore and will not finish it. Sometimes when I watch these same shows or movies i notice them too, but they do not deter me from loving the show. My situation is different from yours where as my friends initially have reasons, but to me it appears they are trying to find fault and can never seem to learn how to enjoy something. Instead they would pick apart the movie or shows plot, character, development, or other aspects of a story. I will always be perplexed as to why they cannot just enjoy the show or movie for what it is.

  4. mike courtney says:

    i believe that the moral taste buds are different for countries with different beliefs than us and that is why people are divided.

    • acox1umassd says:

      Ah, interesting Mike. So, Haidt talks about this as well. Can you maybe share a little more of your thoughts on that point? It’s an interesting one!

      • Denisha Woodberry says:

        To piggy back off of Mike’s thought, what may be socially or morally acceptable in our country may not be socially acceptable in another country (and vise versa). For example, there’s an article I just read about a man who beat his wife to death all because she made the wrong dinner. Obviously (in our country/ in our moral beliefs) it is wrong to beat a woman, but in his defense it wasnt wrong:
        “‘Defense attorney Julie Clark admitted Hussain beat his wife — but argued that he is guilty of only manslaughter because he didn’t intend to kill her. In Pakistan, Clark said, beating one’s wife is customary.
        ‘“HE COMES FROM A CULTURE WHERE HE THINKS THIS IS APPROPRIATE CONDUCT, WHERE HE CAN HIT HIS WIFE … HE CULTURALLY BELIEVED HE HAD THE RIGHT TO HIT HIS WIFE AND DISCIPLINE HIS WIFE.”’
        – Defense Attorney Julie Clark
        “He comes from a culture where he thinks this is appropriate conduct, where he can hit his wife,” Clark said in her opening statements at the Brooklyn Supreme Court bench trial. “He culturally believed he had the right to hit his wife and discipline his wife.’” (http://nypost.com/2014/05/21/man-charged-with-killing-wife-after-she-made-him-the-wrong-dinner/)

        I agree with Mike that “moral taste buds are different for countries with different beliefs…”

      • I wanted to expand a bit upon what Mike had said. I agree with him completely, and have had personal experience with this. My family is all of hispanic descent, and I am the first generation to be born and raised in America. Therefore I have experienced this division between cultures and their morals first hand. For example, in hispanic countries religion is valued noticeably higher than here in America. The religious practices are considered highly important and are part of everyday life. Here everything is more secular. This obviously causes divisions on a variety of levels due to the different morals and values that people hold. A lot of what is ok in America, would not be as widely accepted in other countries. Each country values different things, and they consider themselves to be “right”.

      • Taylor B says:

        adding on to mikes comment, different cultures do drastically different things. Coming from two drastically different families, my moms side and my dads side there have been many times where my parents would have different view points on things, like say their child working for example, in my moms culture a child should work to pay their own way as soon as they are old enough but my dad and his family have a different opinion that it is a parents job to care for a child until they reach adult hood.Clearly the “moral tastebuds” differ based in culture. But another thing to think about is which culture is right. who decides which will be the one to follow?

    • I agree with this belief. I am from a different country and I moved to the United States four years ago. I had to learn that my beliefs from back home and the ones here are totally different and I had to learn how to understand other people beliefs and how to work with them to the best of my ability while not causing any feelings to get hurt or putting down someone because what we consider morally wrong or right is different.

      • Amalie Ducasse says:

        Sometimes, what is okay to do in one country is considered rude and disrespectful in another. Look at hand gestures for example, they have various meanings depending on the country. In some cultures, people use the middle finger to point to things and it means nothing; however, in America it is considered as an insult. What the United States considers the peace sign, Australia and Great Britain considers it as an insult, which is just as bad as the U.S. middle finger.

      • Kirsten Santos says:

        I agree with dbennett22014. Not so long ago I visited another country for vacation and historical purposes. Even though i was only there for a short week, I noticed that many of their rules and regulations were extremely different. For example, i was sixteen years old at the time. In this country i was allowed to enter any night club, and even order my own drinks. People back in America might see this as morally wrong. Whereas there, it happens on a daily basis. Also, we saw that some people’s living situations were less than “normal” as Americans would consider, We had to be cautious the way we viewed their way of living to try and not offend anyone.

      • Daniel Sullivan says:

        What you just said right there interests me a lot because when you mentioned that you were from a different country and that you had to learn how to understand other peoples beliefs, I thought about times where I have heard people talk and wonder about why someone is doing something a certain way. We all have our own background and beliefs and it may be what you have known since you were a baby, and some people may not realize that unless you talk to them about it. We should all realize that what we think is morally correct, and what we think is right, may not be what other people think, and they may have their own reasons on why they think that.

      • Karina Cruz says:

        I agree. I am also from a family of Hispanic descent as karriola177 said. Just by going to a different country you can realize that differences, As Haidt explained when he went to India he noticed the differences in morals there and in the states. Haidt explained the situation when the Europeans witnessed dances they have never seen before and had a negative view on them; we will never really know how another culture view certain things unless we open our minds to different experiences.

      • Chad Saravo says:

        I am in a kind of a reverse situation. I am from the US and traveled to Australia for a vacation. I realized the first day that there are many differences in the beliefs of Americans and Australians. Many common gestures in the US have very different meanings in Australia. At first it was confusing to understand these differences but once I learned a little more about the culture and lifestyle it made much more sense to me.

    • Jake Jourdain says:

      I too believe that moral taste buds differentiate between countries based on cultural circumstances. However, I believe that moral taste buds are merely a construct of society. I think man’s true morality must be discovered in the state of nature.

      With the pressures of any society anywhere in the world it is tough to gauge true morality and true emotions. Haidt provides numerous examples of moral questioning scenarios. One example, “a girl pushes a boy off a swing because she wants to use it” (Haidt, 11) Nearly everyone responds that this is an immoral action by the girl.However, is it truly immoral or is it just immoral because societies rules say it is? In the state of nature this is a perfectly acceptable action, those in a position of power are allowed to take what they want. However society teaches us to stray away from the notion of “survival of the fittest”, and that this is an immoral action.

      This creates a paradox in the human mind, we are genetically wired through our ancestors to take what we want in order to survive. (There was a time when questions your morals would get you killed by someone who is bigger and stronger) But now the society we live in tells us that we must ignore these “primitive” instincts. I believe that living in a modern day society masks a person true morality and thus hypothetical moral conundrums tell us no more about a person than a palm reading.

    • mike lingo says:

      I agree, people are different based on their culture(s) but I must say that Johnathan Haidt does make a good argument about what was “morally” wrong or right in his first chapter when he talks about the family and their dog. I think that in order to fully understand why people are divided on issues we should look past their culture(s) and remove any bias that we may have. People should be “neutral” and know all the facts before making a judgement or decision on another s actions.

    • Jazmyne Zampell says:

      Going off of what Mike was saying, moral beliefs vary in every country. Just seeing the word moral makes me immediately think of A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. The book takes place in Afghanistan where women are portrayed much differently than in the United States. Here we believe in gender equality, however, in A Thousand Splendid Suns men have all the power. One of the main characters, Laila, is beaten numerous times by her husband, Rasheed. She is not allowed to leave the house without him and must always wear a burqa to cover her face when she does leave. It’s frustrating for me to read stories like these because, whereas I’m not from this country, it’s hard for me to understand why people allow this to happen.

      I could never imagine being married and never being able to leave my house unless accompanied by my husband. Not having the smallest amount of freedom to just leave my house even for a minute would kill me. I have no right to judge, though, considering this is just how I was brought up and that my country is all about respecting women and having freedom. I’m sure if I was in Laila’s position, or any other woman’s position with the same moral beliefs, I would think it’s crazy to see a woman walking around by herself without something covering her face.

      Every country has different moral beliefs, and no matter how awful we may think they are, it is normal for the people living in those countries.

      • I agree here with you. Different countries equates to different moral beliefs. For example, in America the middle finger is seen as an insult and a bad offense. My family is from Nigeria, an African country in the west side. There, the middle finger is not seen the same. I have seen my father many times use it as just another pointer finger. It is not seen as rude or malicious, truly just as another finger. Or in Japan, slurping your tea or beverage is a sign of respect whereas in America it is a sign of disrespect and lack of manners. So it is very true that every countries belief differ from one another. Just because something is accepted in America, does not mean it is or will be in another country such as Rwanda.

    • Sabrina Gill says:

      I think Mike has a great point. Not everyone is raised the same. We are all raised to have different beliefs. Personally, I believe that your morality comes from religion and how you view the world around you. I truly believe that you are moral through your religious beliefs.

      • Jake Jourdain says:

        I agree that not everyone is raised the same however this raises the question or nature versus nurture. Are some people just inherently born with a higher sense of morality? IT is a nearly impossible question to answer, and hence the many different view points.

        However, I disagree with your second point that morality comes from religion. I believe that religion is merely a veil, or cover for a persons morality. Religion is merely a human construct as opposed to morality which is a universal human trait. So I think it would be much more accurate to say that religion comes from morality.

      • William Brum says:

        In response to Gill, I like your idea that an individual’s morality is influenced by their religion. An individual will often identify strongly with the ideology of a particular religion and let this ideology guild their life experiences. Their religious beliefs therefore shape their perception of morality though these experiences. I personally believe however that there is more to morality than religion. Views on morality can be influenced by any of life’s experiences, such as an individual’s upbringing or social class. Religion is an important aspect, but not the only aspect, that influences an individual’s morality.

    • I definitely agree with this point. I, personally was not raised in America. I was brought up with different beliefs than what people here value, so I had to get accustomed quick when I finally. On the other hand, I personally don’t think that it is the reason why people are divided. I think its the fact that they hold on to the beliefs they are initially brought up, thus not enabling them to be open minded about other beliefs and ideas.

  5. Emily Samataro says:

    I know this is from the book but I feel as if it is an important topic to discuss. Understanding what another person feels is not always the easiest thing in the world. It requires strength in believing that everyone in the world believes different things but at the same time the same thing. While reading the first section I realized that no matter what kind of question the subjects were asked, generally they had the same response. The the person who may be doing something that is immoral has a reason to be doing it and a punishment will come from it. For example, when the statement “a women cuts up an Amarican flag that she had found in the back of her closest then used it to clean her bathroom” some of the responses where generally the same. Such as she would flush the peaces down a toilet and the toilet will clog and over flow. Stating that there will be a punishment for ever mistake. While true, the likelyness of this happening is unlikely. It’s just that everyone drills into your head that if you do somthing that everyone says in morally wrong you will be punished. Thing is though no one was there to witness this. She had no one to personally offend seeing that she did it in front of no one it is her mistake and her choice. Personally I feel what she did was morally wrong, but that is also because I know what she did.

    • acox1umassd says:

      You make an interesting point here about the publicness of our actions and the relationships that fosters with a collective sense of moral reasoning. And I think he argues that point as well. Sort of, if the tree falls in the woods, yes?

  6. Thomas Stolki says:

    I believe people have different morals because we all come from different backgrounds and cultures. Obviously some have the same moral theories as others, but also have different beliefes. “Moral Judgment is a kind of perception, and moral science should begin with a careful study of the taste receptors”. (p.135) This shows that you do not know someones morals just by what they look like or where they are from. Morality is complex and we can not assume we have the same morals as another person. That is why we have moral taste buds because some morals might be good for us but someone else will think differently.

  7. Thomas Lingo says:

    Haidt claims that the taste buds are a result of different cultures. He claims that the principals and the ideologies of certain subcultures create the morals of the individual. However, I personally believe that there is more to acquiring morals than being apart of a certain group; we all know this to be true. Haidt does an excellent job describing how genetics and other outside factors can contribute to the way people think, which can ultimately end up impacting the persons opinions and or ideologies. As a culture we are all exposed to similar things, We are exposed to opinions through social networking and media. We are bombarded with them on a daily basis during almost every second. Although we may not agree with them, our exposure to certain ideologies allow us to decipher what a certain person meant when they expressed their ideas.

  8. Kaylie Leite says:

    Whenever I read something that has a certain bias associated with it, I try to think of who might have written what was said and why they might have said it to begin with. I also try to think of the author’s perspective on the issue, although it may be hard to relate to at times. I tend to react emotionally before using logic, but I try to use reasoning to determine why someone may have said something at all. Their presentation of their belief is also important, as it determines for me how the individual conducts themselves. If, for example, someone were to post a comment online with bad grammar and spelling on purpose, I would take them less seriously than a person who uses correct grammar and spelling, even if I did disagree with what they were saying.

    Before reading this book (this past of it in particular) I used to be quite biased when it came to certain issues and how different groups of people tackled them. I have now come to realize that genetics and personal experience play huge roles in how people decide to live their lives, and who they choose to associate themselves with. While I still may not agree, I can at least better understand why people may think in certain ways.

  9. Jill Sacramona says:

    I have read this summer, but nothing really non-fiction besides this book. I enjoy fiction novels that tell a story rather than deep non-fiction work. Therefore, I watched the video, “A Threat to Internet Freedom”, at the bottom of the blog. It was surprisingly interesting. The short video talked about net neutrality which is “all data has to be treated equally”. So when someone “visits a website, the phone or cable company that provides Internet access shouldn’t get in the way”. However, it seems the F.C.C. wants to make new rules. They want to split the Internet service provides into two different directions. One way would make big corporation pay higher fees but would receive priority treatment versus the small business and users, which in the end would suffer. If this is to happen, the little man gets hurt. This in my opinion is morally wrong, why should the rich get better internet than the poor? I believe the internet should be fair game and Internet providers should not be allowed to block or degrade anyone based on their money or power.

  10. The morals that people are raised with are believed to be the most influential and “best” way to live. This causes people to look at other morals as corrupt and “wrong” because they are not like their own. This is why people are quick to judge others on their actions and responses to certain situations. Morality is a difficult term to understand for different cultures and cannot be understood unless you have experienced it yourself. People who judge others for their morals and actions are being unfair to that person and themselves. This is why the world is corrupt, because people cannot accept others for different beliefs.

  11. Juan Lopez says:

    I have not read much but the book that was assigned. So I decided to watch the video “A Threat to Internet Freedom”, which is about how in the future, internet providers may be able to provide a faster service to companies and websites that are willing to pay for it. This will make it difficult for smaller individuals and/or companies on the internet who might be trying to start the next big thing, like an online store or a PC video game. The video leans toward the sympathetic side because of the reasons I stated above. As President Obama said, “…the smaller voices get squeezed out…” while the bigger websites and companies benefit greatly due to the network providers. Not providing equal network speed is like the more powerful companies are paying the internet providers to sabotage the competition, letting the big sites and companies get bigger and bigger. I personally agree with Jessica Gonzalez, the internet should be always treated like a utility, even though the internet companies pay to provide this service. If it is not treated like a utility, it will have repercussions and affect markets. The video’s point of view is that the less wealthy people do not have the same opportunity as large powerful companies. On the other hand, this video portrays F.C.C. Chairman Tom Wheeler as someone who cares more about business than the benefit of the common man. This video is about people who care about true equality and opportunity, and I have to agree, because from what I have learned, an open market leads to economic growth.

  12. Nahum Lopez says:

    The analogy of morality to taste buds is one in which seems extremely simple when it actually explains morality in a perfect sense. I’m going to be honest and say that I haven’t been able to read anything other than The Righteous Mind, so I watched the video.
    In it I found that though it may seem that they are empathizing, they are also doing vice versa. In fact, we see that all the people show a bit of disgust towards the service providers triggering one of their so-called “taste buds” as Haidt would put it. They empathize towards the masses showing that they are being wronged.
    How are they systemizing, one might say. According to the book, systemizing is the “the drive to analyze the variables in a system, to derive the underlying rules that govern the behavior of the system.”. In other words, they use logic. A perfect example in the video is when a man said one service provider cannot just have phone lines that is theirs. He said that if it was so then it would cost trillions just to set them up.
    Haidt’s idea of moral “taste buds” is shown in perfect sense in Net Neutrality. The reason that the video can be convincing is because it uses both a bit of emotion and logic. In other words, its both systemizing and empathizing. It shows that the best way to reason is to touch all moral taste buds, just as Haidt argues.

    • acox1umassd says:

      Great response here Nahum!! And thank you for engaging with the video text to explore some of Haidt’s ideas in a real world context!!

  13. Maddie Picard says:

    I had recently read an article by Robert Marty entitled ” Another failed execution, Another push to end the death penalty”. The article talked about how there was another lethal injection failed to quickly end the life of a death row inmate. The standard time for the drug to end a life is ten minutes. But the most recent injection took nearly two hours. Some people believed it was acceptable for it to last that long while other believe it was a cruel and unnecessary added punishment. This article does not go against my moral taste because I believe two wrongs don’t make a right. Although this article coincides with my morality, I am still able to see how others would find this drawn out execution acceptable especially those directly effected by the murderer.

  14. Recently, I read an article from another university’s school paper regarding abortion, and the Catholic student group that holds prayer sessions outside an abortion clinic near the school campus. While the author of the article seemed to remain unbiased and was simply just reporting an incidence of prayer he saw one day, the students whom he interviewed had clear moral stances that were very much pro-life. While I respect the beliefs of everyone regarding their stance on abortion, some of the arguments that are used to back up their beliefs purely do not make sense. One student stated, “I exist because my mother chose life. Life for me. She made this choice knowing she faced opposition from family and friends and that it would not be an easy route.” What boggles my mind is that this young girl talks about her mother’s unplanned teenage pregnancy as being a “choice.” Shouldn’t her beliefs regarding abortion be more on the pro-choice side because she recognizes that her mother was given the choice to choose between keeping her baby and sacrificing a collegiate future after high school? It seems to be that her pro-life stance is entirely misconstrued, and she should be more accepting of the idea that women have the right to do what they want with their own bodies.

    • acox1umassd says:

      trfaraj, so your post brings up an important and I’m guessing for some folks uncomfortable topic. Where do religion and personal choices meet and interact in society? I would challenge you to go a little deeper here however, not because I want to argue the other side but because I’d like to challenge to you to examine the validity of another person’s moral framework. You point out that women should have more of a right to choose and while many of us agree there, what I think Haidt is working to point out is that often when see someone else’s stance as being irrational or foolish it is often because we don’t see their moral taste buds to to speak. What moral reasoning do you think was being used here? What is the payoff by making choices collectively versus individually?

      • The point I was trying to get across is that I do not think her pro-life stance is foolish. I do recognize that religion plays a huge role in one’s moral decision, as this young college student clearly upholds her Catholic beliefs. I myself am a Muslim and my religion holds very strong anti-abortion beliefs, so you can probably imagine the shock that went across the faces of some of my peers when I told them my opposing stance. I came to this decision on my own, and after having moved to the USA from Iraq, I am happy that I was able to grow up in a more liberal society that allows me the freedom to make this decision, even though it goes against everything I was brought up to believe. Given that I was able to make this choice individually, I feel more confident in my decision because I was able to listen to arguments from both sides and come to the conclusion on my own. However, I understand that making a decision collectively would ensure the support of many other people. The fact of the matter is, I am fully supportive of those whose moral decisions either support or contradict their religious beliefs. My issue was with the specific wording of her argument, by using the word “choice” to describe a stance that is pro-life, when the fact of the matter is that if this society were entirely pro-life, women would not have a choice.

      • acox1umassd says:

        trfaraj, thank you for your awesome, thoughtful and critical response. You’ve taken a very tough issue and explored it with depth and with largesse of mind. So great to know more about what you think here! It’s a very very interesting way in which you approach and see the benefits of collective mind type thinking and then move beyond that as well based on experience and your own moral structure. And thank you for the clarification on the rhetorical/linguistic features of your example. I also agree you make an interesting point here. A word like “choice” really can cut both ways can’t it? We don’t often remember that. Thanks for engaging these tough questions so well!

  15. Courtney Bailen says:

    I believe that the early years of an individual’s life impacts them the most throughout the rest of their lives, which has been proven by many different people. I believe that as young children we are taught the “correct” way to do certain things, and live our lives. But I also believe that certain rules and morals are present in our lives due to genetics and our surroundings. And we tend to follow these rules and morals for a very long time. This can be explained by nature versus nurture. Nurture deals with genetics and how you were taught as a child and throughout your life. But nature deals with your surroundings and how you learn from the things around you. Connecting this back to the book and moral tastes; throughout your life you will meet people and encounter certain situations that go against your own moral reasoning. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to have negative feelings towards those situations or individuals. That simply means that they have a different opinion than you on certain subjects. That isn’t a bad thing it is simply a way to learn something new and open up your mind and pallet in order to gain some new tastes that can help your sense of moral reasoning grow.

    • I told agree with courtney because I learned something similar like that in my sociology class. Childhood is where you gain the most experience and is where you get shaped based on your enviroment and behavior around you. I was kinda confused about the part where Haidt talks about how religion is a team sport.

  16. Kristjana Xhuveli says:

    I agree with dbennett22014. I can relate to your story because I moved to United States 5 years ago. As we grow up, we learn that sometimes, not everyone is going to agree with us. Maybe, we are going to have a completely different opinion from everybody else. That still doesn’t mean that we should forget about what we believe in and just go along with the majority. Everyone is going to have a different perspective and sometimes one just can’t make other people to understand his/her point of view. That can be harder when you leave the place that you’ve lived for so many years and start a new beginning and meet people that do not have much in common with you. Do not get me wrong because sometimes , you might have more in common with someone from a different country than someone from the same country as you. However, it can be hard to leave your way of living and rules behind and start new. Sometimes, we are going to disagree with people’s ideas and opinions because everyone has a different idea of morality. The least we can do is to try to understand the other person’s point of view and respect it. One should be willing to be openminded and not judgmental to one’s views.

  17. “Moral tastes” can be easily deciphered by simply analyzing the authors stances and opinions on their issue. This is especially easy when it comes to the controversial issues Haidt points out. Clues may include a change in tone when the issue is addressed, and from that we can find the author’s stance on that issue. Within their opinion you will find their “moral tastes”, and their morals and opinions will become evident. Regardless of my own opinion, if the author is able to justify their moral reasoning than I will be able to see the issue through their point of view.

  18. Ishmell Sharpe says:

    Morality is so complex that it can’t be put into one principle. Like Haidt and Schweder said,” a single principle- leads to societies that are unsatisfying to most people and at high risk of becoming inhumane because they ignore so many other principles”(132). I agree with this statement; this can relate to laws that are passed in states. We have some laws that get pass and some that don’t, not everyone has the same mutual feeling about it.

  19. Tharima Ferdausi says:

    Hi my name is Tharima Ferdausi. I can related how moral can be different in variety of culture. I was born in America but parents are from another country. Sometime I will have disagreement with my parents with moral belief. Since I was raise here, I learned about moral that are somewhat different from my parents. One example is prom, my father would not allow me and cousin to go to her senior prom because my parents believe it was inappropriate because boys and girls are in one room dancing with loud music also they thought there will be alcoholic beverage which are forbidden to drink for religious reason. I understand why they thought prom was a bad thing because they were brought up in a culture where party were gender-segregate and appropriate for all age. Also the media could have influence why they believe this. I think my parents are more to the care and authority foundation for moral while I want to be near the fairness and loyalty foundation for moral. My thoughts about society isn’t exactly the same as my parents or anyone else because everyone came from different background so they could feel the same about society but think differently.

  20. Molly Frackleton says:

    Honestly, I don’t normally think like that about an everyday piece of writing. But if I were to think about the “moral tastes” of the author of that piece I’d go off of my own morals and probably not think about their side or thoughts until I got an outside opinion or made my own opinion first. After reading this book its made me think “maybe I should always think about all the possible sides of a story to see from the other side.” Now I think that maybe I can see different possible ways another person might think so i can make my decisions easier depending on how I or the other person or people think.

  21. I believe that bias plays a very big role when it comes to the “moral taste buds”. People who are raised to believe in something will always think that their values are the ones that should be considered “right” or “just”. It is from this that divisions and problems arise. There will always be people who refuse to acknowledge other thoughts, ideas, and values. In fact they will see other people’s values as flat-out wrong.

  22. Moriah WIggins says:

    No one is completely unbiased, especially growing up in American culture. So it can be hard to hear others’ opinions and switch to the “see it through their eyes” mode. I know sometimes I can be unintentionally biased, based on my experiences and my cultural influences. When someone has an opinion that conflicts with yours, almost automatically your brain goes into defense mode. I feel what is “wrong is wrong” and what is “right is right”, but sometimes the situations are not so black and white. In my senior year we read work by Howard Zinn, and discussed his opinions on the U.S. dropping the atomic bombs in Japan. Some students (including myself) believed that it was wrong for the U.S. to drop such a devastating bomb in Japan. There were also other students who felt that the U.S. did the right thing because they were “protecting” their country and ending the war (Japan previously bombed Pearl Harbor, Hawaii). I noticed that many of the students that believed the U.S. was in the right had some ties to the military. In my personal opinion I feel the U.S. was wrong because they not only took out their enemy, they took the lives of thousands of innocent people who had no part in the war. Thinking about those students who have had family members in the military, I can see why they would lean more the U.S. protecting its country because essentially that is what their family member are doing. Since I have no one in my family that has ever really been in the military, it was a little more difficult for me to feel the same passion those others students felt about the U.S. dropping the bomb. Reading work from authors like Haidt and Zinn, has helped me to stop and think about the other side of the argument; see where their opinions originated.

  23. Christy Robertson says:

    I agree with what many others are saying about how morals are directly impacted by where and how people are raised. As a child you may live in a society where every man beats his wife if she does not respect him. People in that culture would see nothing morally wrong with that whats so ever. Here, say, in the United states, many people may see this behavior and immediately take action to get that man to stop and would empathize for the woman because in this culture that is seen as morally wrong. Morals are tough to fully understand and i feel as though they are not set in stone universally as to what is right and what is morally wrong everywhere.

    • Jessa Goselin says:

      I’d like to add that action and inaction in a situation like the one presented above is often as dependent on existing societal power structures and how they effect group morality as it is on an individual sense of right and wrong. Different cultures develop different ideas about morality based on their shared history and experiences, but also use that history as a means of justifying certain actions or the lack thereof.
      One of the topics discussed in The Righteous Mind is the contrast of how a sense of morality develops in a single person versus how it develops in a group, and how the general consensus of that group can drastically affect the single person in turn. While it’s important to recognize that different cultures and communities have different views on matters large and small, it’s also important to recognize that the views of the individual don’t always represent the views of the whole. Both factors should be kept in consideration when evaluating the views of, for example, an author or journalist of some kind from a background unfamiliar to the reader.
      The idea that because a culture has certain ideas that have been woven into their society over the years shouldn’t fool you into thinking that an individual who was born into or identifies with that culture is stuck in a certain way of thinking. We as people are influenced by the factors around us early in life and while growing up, but in a way we’re always growing up and learning more and absorbing from our surroundings. Most people’s morality is shaped by the influences of several different ideas. The ones they subconsciously choose to incorporate into their personal beliefs of right and wrong may depend largely on the powers behind those ideas, whether it’s the power held by a friend or family member to influence them with kindness and a sense of duty, or some larger force, the widespread beliefs of their country for example, influencing them with nationalism, a different sort of sense of duty.

  24. Rachael Buchanan says:

    Haidt explores morality from a cultural aspect, which echoes to the ever- present arguments of nature v. nurture in our society. Are our morals developed from an evolutionary perspective, or based on childhood experience? I think, like most others have commented as well, that our morality is a composite of both.
    From the certain “tastes” that are developed around the world, different adaptations of morals are founded. As a follower of world events, these moral “tastes” shape different viewers, globally. One event that takes place in the Middle East can be perceived so very differently from the local newscasters in that part of the world, compared to the perception of the same event in America, or even in a third party viewer that is simply reporting the event, in another part of the world.
    When we in turn watch the news, and see the reportings of the singular event, we often tune to the channel that complies with our own moral “taste”.
    It’s easy to develop a moral conscience, and slightly more difficult to observe an author or reporter’s moral “taste”, but it is in the syntax, word phrasing, tone and sentence structure that we unconsciously decide with or without their moral standings.

  25. Kevin Calle says:

    These “moral taste buds” are just different ways of how everyone perceives things. For instance something that one person sees may look different to another. This is what I feel the author was talking about. Just in general how people react to certain situations and bumps that we all come across in our lives. for example if two people look over a cliff one might start shaking for fear of falling down and the other would probably just look in amazement of how amazing the few is. This is something that he was trying to say. No matter where you people are different.
    But also its the same for people from different countries. since not everyone practices the same religion or believes in the same things that we do. This is also why it may seem different traveling or just seeing how they live because what they believe in shows in there life styles and how they respond to certain situations.
    All these factors effect not each of us individually but everyone around us. The moral taste buds are something that has been, you could say, mentally programmed into everyone one of us. It may be different but its what makes us human and divide us into the people that we are and the groups that we have come to make as time went on.

  26. Zach Funk says:

    I feel as if “moral taste buds” differ in countries all around the world. if you were to ask this same question you would get a different answer from each region of the world. Someone’s morals in America are no where near the same morals from someone’s in the Middle East, Japan, or Africa. Kids are brought up with different religion, customs, and laws all contributing to their building their morals and being able to decipher between what is right and wrong. For ex.. someone in the middle east who is a suicide bomber, in their mind they will become a “hero”. They feel that they are dieing with honor and integrity and will do whatever they have todo with pride. Where someone in America serves in the army for the purpose of protecting our freedom and fighting for our country. Two different intentions with the same purpose.

  27. Hannah says:

    I feel as though moral tastes are very different for each individual. When reading an article, book, ext. I look for the way the author words their thoughts. Obviously everyone has different opinions (which is literally what the book is about) but I believe Americans have a vastly different set of “morals” than the rest of the world. We are very harsh to judge on other people’s ideas. Even the closest group of friends can turn catty due to the opposition of opinions. Human nature causes the strained relationships that come from different “moral tastes”. Writers are usually biased on what they are writing. You can easily tell which side they are on.

  28. Joseph McGuire says:

    “Moral Taste Buds”, in my opinion, can differ from each county, region of the county, history of the country and the region, the current culture, past cultures, and religious backgrounds.

    For example a region of the country can differ in its “Moral Taste Buds” from one part compared to the other. In the south BBQ is part of the culture it bring people together, but even then it can be divide by that region into sub regions (by states) in a place like Texas BBQ can consist of almost every animal while a place like the Carolina’s it is usually of pork. Even with slight differences in culture there may be less or a moral divide in the sub regions compared to 2 different regions. With the 2 different region aspect you can take a country like the US with North vs. South. In the pre Civil War era the morals of the 2 regions where divided on slavery, the south used slavery as a dominate labor force and where more harsh while the north was less harsh and was better part of the country to be in if you were a slave. This example can also show that “Moral Taste Buds” can change over time as there are current and past cultures of each region. An example being that in the early 20th century smoking was popular and people would smoke in buildings compared to the current day where almost all buildings prohibit smoking inside.

    “Moral Taste Buds” can also differ from religious backgrounds, a religion like Hinduism practices reincarnation which many followers will not eat certain animals (the main reason why you may never see an Outback Steakhouse in India). But there are also sub religious backgrounds such as the faith of Islam. There are 3 sub faiths that are divided on who is the successor of Muhammad. Currently in Iraq the conflict between the terror group ISIS is causing havoc which in a nut shell is Shiites vs Sunnis. In sub religious backgrounds like these there is more likely to be a conflict between the morals of the followers do to the slight religious differences on current moral issues.

    Also “Moral Taste Buds” continue to evolve with the culture of an area/country. In the culture of today there is a war on drugs, you will hear in the new X amount of US dollars in Cocaine, Heroin, Meth, etc was confiscated by Police/Boarder Patrol. In the US culture the acceptance of drugs has change and is continuing to change overtime. Many are familiar with Coca Cola, at one point in time the fountain drink contained cocaine in it but over time as culture changed with the acceptance and science behind the drug it was removed from the product. As was many illegal substances are today. Though one currently is contested, marijuana, where now its growing in acceptance for medical uses and in a few states recreational uses. There is a divide on weather or not it should be for recreational use do to a few factors (which some have been seen in Colorado). 1: It impairs the user so in cases such as states not imitatively adopting a law that you cant light up pot while driving which can cause near driving while drunk accidents.
    2: Inhalation of any foreign substances over a set period of time or longer can and usually will cause cancer. (whether it be tobacco, tobacco vapor, smoke inhalation form other substances, or accidentally inhaled substances such which is why asbestos causes mesothelioma a type of cancer). And that cancer can extend from mouth to lungs as well as health issues such as gum disease.
    3: It comes down to how the government can tax it which we may see it being taxed in Colorado like cigarettes.

    Overall the “Moral Taste Buds” are as different as society as itself though culture, religion, regions, and the country itself.

  29. Elijah Pontes says:

    I agree with Joseph in the sense that the six foundations can be different wherever you go, but i don’t think the foundations actually change. Different cultures simply place more importance in some foundation than in others. When Haidt discusses his experiences in Orissa he reveals that the citizens of Orissa place much more emphasis on the sanctity foundation than any of the other five. He describes how people in Orissa had to change their clothes before cooking if they had defecated earlier. He also mentions how surprised he was when he saw how women were treated in a way that wouldn’t be tolerated in the United States. It is very important to citizens of Orissa to keep things clean and pure. The care and harm foundation is still there; its just overshadowed by the sanctity foundation.

  30. Savannah Climo says:

    I agree with Elijah about how Haidt uses great examples prove his point. Haidt discusses that different cultures see harm and “wrong” in different ways. Seeing one person harm another person was deemed wrong in many countries, but having sexual relations with an animal after it is already dead wasn’t universally agreed upon. There is more importance put into some foundations in different places around the world as Haidt shows us with his examples.

  31. I agree with savannah and elijah that when Haidt talks about our morals and how we may subconsciously rank them would all depend on where we are raised. for example we could think about even the Civil war, America was divided, the same country with two different ideas of what was “right” and what was wrong. The south deemed slavery acceptable and necessary, however just a few hours away in the north people placed such a higher value on all human lives and fought their own brothers for what they saw as “right”.

  32. Sean J. Fleming says:

    I agree with Sabrina that not everyone is raised the same. I believe that your morality comes from your experiences as a kid and how those experiences have changed the way that you look at life and interpret right from wrong. That being said I feel that you parents also have a big responsibility on the way that you see right from wrong as Haidt explained in the book about when a parent punishes their kid for doing something wrong the kid will probably not do what they did again because the parent is the bigger authority in this case. That is may take on how kids learn right from wrong. However there are many other ways that people get there morality from but those were just the big ones.

  33. Jose Marin says:

    After i started to read this chapter it opened my eyes to a lot of what was happening in my life more so to understand my own mothers and pretty much family’s stand point toward orientation other than being straight since I’m gay i had to deal with my very weird parents moral taste buds and siblings. I didn’t see the big deal in it until one day we called my grandmother and had a very long and uncomfortable talk about religion and having to follow it so i wouldn’t go to hell, being mentally clean of sinful thoughts and so forth but I’m the type to retaliate when i get offended back to back trying to defend my side but anything they said were lies and evil thoughts they weren’t normal that’s how i thought about it as i am more open to change and different. I for awhile distanced myself from my family all together because they were too religious i wasn’t big on religion i never really felt a part of it especially having to sit and being told that a part of who you are is wrong even when having no control of that fact. At some point i would think to myself but why do they think they are so right i wanted to find out what gave them the illusion that all the things they said and thought were right. for awhile i think to myself and see that since they were little they were raised that what was in the bible was correct even if it meant hurting other people i just couldn’t get behind the idea.I pondered it more because someone being attracted to someone of the same sex isn’t usual and that everyone is trying to “fit in” to society now the words that they told me ringed in my head “you cant tell anyone keep it a secret don’t go telling every person you know” but why? well because people close to the family seeing they raised a gay child would then suggest that they did something wrong with me. They didn’t want people talking bad about them, especially when my mom and her mom were growing up they were taught to keep matters of the family in the household not to put it out there, because it would bring with it bad remarks i slowly started to see how me being gay was frankly the end of the world to them because now they had a stain they had to clean at least how they viewed it gay in the catholic religion was sin and was disgusting,impure.I slowly decided to give my family a break which for a long time i wasn’t really that patient but i knew that as Haidt said “moral principles please our minds as beef and mutton and pork please our mouths.” i saw that they needed something to explain to them these “weird” concept of not liking women and the way they were raised didn’t lead them to much open-minded answers more so they needed something they knew true in their delusion by getting deeper into religion more so to keep themselves from not losing what they were taught. Even though how in other chapters it explained how even though something doesn’t hurt a person physically it does hurt them morally like how most of the people saw that Julie and Mark having sex and committing incest while it didn’t hurt them physically it “hit” their religious morals.

  34. Brian Rigel JohansonJancovic says:

    Personally, when given the option, I tend to read fictional stories. The most recent book I have read would be the second in a series called the Lightbringer Trilogy; I am currently halfway through the third. The moral tastes in this book almost exclusively revolve around the care/harm foundation. This writer clearly has the care/harm foundation closest to heart in both of his separate trilogies, but for the sake of this post, I’m actually going to talk about Brent Weeks’ previous series, the Night Angel Trilogy. In the Night Angel Trilogy, the main character, Kylar had a relic bonded to him that compelled him to violently punish the wicked. This object, called the Ka’Kari, only ever compelled Kylar to severely punish those who had broken the care/harm foundation. In a lot of ways, it was the main character’s moral compass. When faced with a rapist, Kylar would instantly recognize the criminal for what they were. Kylar would then almost lose control of his body, barely be able to keep his sword hand in check. Both of Brent Weeks’ trilogies predominantly revolve around the care/harm foundation. The closest thing to the Ka’Kari recognizing a different foundation had been broken was when Kylar saw that a man habitually had affairs. Kylar did not find himself urged to kill this man, only remarking that the man had no right to talk about disrespecting women. However, Kylar was constantly exposed to other foundations being broken; he lived in a crime ridden city, and knew prostitutes personally. The Ka’Kari harbored no ill will towards the breaking of the Sanctity foundation. While this example is particularly pronounced, often times when looking at moral tastes, I recognize the breaking of the care/harm foundation first, and become particularly angry at it being broken. I found the Not Anymore program difficult to sit through due to the sheer rage I felt at these horrible people spoken of in the victim’s stories. I rarely even recognize other foundations being broken, and am often confused as to why people are angry at them being broken. It just doesn’t register in my mind, likely a result of being raised in a very liberal household. I read a large amount of dark stories, and play dark video games. At this point recognizing the breaking of the care/harm foundation is like second nature to me, and causes flairs of anger. It is unfortunate, I recognize the partisanism that has been more or less instilled in me. It means that when reading from things like tea party posts I almost instantly become close minded. Only if I see no way in which someone could be victimized will I become even slightly open. At the very least, I recognize this as a flaw in myself and am trying to work around it.

  35. Daniel Luchetti says:

    After reading this book my outlook on morality has changed considerably. Over the past few weeks me and my father have argued over the meaning of morality and what is truly moral. I have begun analyzing all the moral situations I can think of trying to see my father’s way of thinking as correct, but I cant. Our moral tastes are just too far apart. This to me seems incredibly strange, genetically I seem to have received most of my noticeable traits from my father, socially he influenced my speech and thought since I was born. So why is it that our moral tastes are so opposite. While I still am struggling to come to terms with this dilemma it has opened my eyes to just how easy it is for us as a nation and even a world to be divided by morality. I remember having a talk with my father about the morality behind the stealing of drugs to save a loved one. He was steadfast in his idea that stealing is morally wrong no matter the purpose. While I was in disagreement I had to read into his personality and see that it was his sense of morality his elephant has swayed and there’s nearly nothing I can do to change that. This does not mean I did not try though I attempted persuasion using unbiased moral reasoning but as Haidt had predicted no sway in my father’s position. I had asked if their were no harm to come to anyone in this situation would it still be morally wrong to take the medicine, and I was met with reasoning I did not expect. My father asks me if moral judgement is truly different whether or not the ending was good or not? Once again my own elephant attempted to stay on course but i began analyzing my own moral undertones and realized I was not being an unbiased judge. This event went against my own moral taste and logic I was decidedly finding life a of greater moral importance than thievery causing my judgement to be filled with its own moral biases. After being shown the other way of looking at this situation and analyzing my fathers moral undertone I ceased my arguing and came to an agreement with him that, while stealing the drug makes this morally wrong it is still a condone-able act.

  36. Zach Courier says:

    The “Taste Buds of the Righteous Mind”chapter to me was one of the most interesting chapters based on the fact that it really did a good job of investigating and explains why people do the things they do and feel the way they feel. The section on “attack of systemizers” was very interesting to me because it took two different ways of thinking empathizing and systemizing, and put them on opposite sides of the spectrum. I found this to be intriguing because these two human traits aren’t necessarily thought of as opposite right a way, but do make sense when explained in the chapter.

    When reading articles and watching video’s of the James Foley decapitation by the ISIS terrorist group, I found my location on the two-dimensional space of empathizers and systemizers. At first when finding out the details of the tragic event, I like many found myself trying to identify my emotions and thoughts to the victims family and to the millions of people in America who were also witnessing this horrid action. I felt terrible, hurt, and baffled that some coward of a human could take the life of a fellow American and record it so every one of the United States could witness. It was shortly after feeling these emotions of empathy that I found where my stronger side on the spectrum lies, sysemtizing. I immediately began to think of solutions our country could take to defeat this horrible group. I started rationalizing why the IRIS group chose this man and what was they’re next step of torture. I felt this process was interesting because in one article I found myself on both sides of the spectrum.

  37. Darren Francisco says:

    From reading what Haidt had to say about morals, I seemed to have changed my thoughts on them. Before reading this book, I would have always believed that morals are what makes a person who they are based on how I think a person should act or do something. Haidt made me realize through his metaphors and examples, such as the family dog that had been run over and later on cooked and eaten, to the man who had sex with his chicken before eating it, that morals that make me and other people acceptable to myself arent the same to everyone. In other countries and even other religions, it is morally right for some people to do things that others dont think is right. Haidt had opened my mind and had me realize that morals are what seem to divide people and their perspective of actions that occur although those actions are not really morally wrong.

  38. Taylor Torreano says:

    To decipher people’s moral tastes I usually look at what they are trying to get across to me. For example, with the recent arguments on the Michael Brown case, there are two sides of thinking. One would agree that the officer who shot Michael Brown should be thought of as a hero that did a good deed, the opposing argument is that Brown is innocent and Darren Wilson is a cold-blooded murderer. Even after reading the book and learning how to understand why others think the way they do, I am still unable to understand why some people would say that the murder wasn’t immoral. I would most likely say that it is racism in action; some white people believe that people of color are lesser beings than them and there is a stereotype that black people are inherently dangerous and violent.
    Another example I can give is my grandfather. I grew up with my step-dad in a democratic home and also a military family. My biological father’s dad is a radical conservative Christian, who is also from the military. No vacation with him goes without arguments about same sex marriage, abortion, and minorities. He and I see very differently and before reading this book, I was never able to understand why he could think that way. During the taste receptor section of this book, I began to see the world from a conservative’s eyes for the first time and everything Haidt said began to reveal to me the thinking process and morals of conservative thinking. It is true that I value the foundations of care and fairness more than the rest, and that I can understand why my grandpa would value loyalty, sanctity, and authority over care and fairness. He always forwards me emails on why gay marriage is wrong and why democrats are so wrong about everything. Usually I just delete them without giving them a glance over, but now I think I can have better discussions with him and I will be able to understand his views because I understand his tastes versus mine.

  39. Going back to Paige’s post since i found that some of the more recent ones have gone too far off the deep end for my tastes. I think the reason that the women who are so against the changing of the last names are free not to change their names. The women that do change their names these days o it mostly out of tradition in my view. However since reading your post my buds of anger and disgust were trigger. All people have the freedom to choose for themselves the feminists do not have the right to choose for anyone else.

  40. Derek Marshall says:

    Net Neutrality is something that I think is very important. My personal favorite moral foundations are the Liberty/Oppression foundation and the Care/Harm foundation, and because of this net neutrality is a great fit. Net neutrality is more strongly based on the Liberty foundation. The movement seeks to keep the leaders of the world from controlling the web and abusing it. Since everyone, liberal and conservative, has the Liberty foundation there is a big push towards net neutrality. I personally hope the supporter see it through.

  41. Mason Medeiros says:

    First impressions are important. They can usually make or break an interaction. What could cause an interaction to end badly resulting in an intentional avoidance of something or however it may be is based on nurture, how somebody was raised. If a person is quite familiar with a particular activity their whole life well then they may be more biased to judge something or somebody who reflexes how they were raised. Depending on the very few first impressions that somebody experiences than they could be pulled toward a certain “moral tastebud” to activate.

  42. I believe that people are constantly categorized by there culture. Some cultures are more harshly criticized than others due to their so called “flavors” as Haidt calls it. Some flavors are not as understood here in America than in other countries. So cultures with flavors not as understood are gonna be more harshly criticized than others. As Americans i believe we often criticize too harshly based on “flavors”. Instead we should learn to give other cultures a chance. Get to know people and there cultures before we made a biased conclusion on how you feel about the person and there culture.

  43. Ian Hibbert says:

    Haidt’s theory on the process of thought and the integration of empathy certainly is an interesting one. I agree that this theory is a reality and am guilty of it myself. Certain empathatic factors affect our decision making process. A great example of this is a mans transition into fatherhood. I have heard stories from many people that stated their thought process had been altered since having a child. This process covers not only their willingness to put themselves in harm’s way, but also how they treat strangers or subordinates. Another example of empathy affecting the decision making process is the different moral values of societies. For instance there is the discussion of femenism. WOmen in the United States have had all rights and liberties for nearly a hundred years now, yet only recently were women aloud to drive automobiles in various middle eastern countries. Other restrictions to women include the prohibtion of performing athletic activity in public, and even more recently, the restrictions of laughter in public. I was recently watching the news when i came across this story, the prime minister of Turkey released a statement saying that all Turkish women should make a valiant and whole-hearted effort to contain their laughter in public. The Prime minister stated it was an effort to keep women viewed as a symbol of chastity. These various view points arise from different concepts of morality. The United States is a country built on the concept of liberty for all and a seperation of church and state has always been implemented. Turkey is a country that is largely religious, and as such follows the moral standings of a completely different society existing thousands of years ago.

  44. Karla Martinez says:

    I believe that every person reacts differently to every situation depending on their culture. I believe that every culture teaches different moral values. Morality is a worldwide controversy due to this. For example, Haidt mentions in his book that here in the US people view physical abuse as a crime but in places such as India, physical abuse towards women especially is acceptable. This is caused because of cultural differences. Everyone sees different situations differently depending where they come from and how they were raised.

  45. Stanely E. Martinez says:

    Usually when an author writes something the opinion of him/her is included. Us as readers can distinguish this “moral taste” by noticing the tone in the authors writing. For example, if the author talks about abortion being wrong we can make the assumption that the writer is conservative we can even make the assumption that he is religious. The reason as to why I liked Haidt’s writing style is that he worded it to take a neutral stand on his piece. He didn’t choose a side, he understood and wanted everyone else to understand that perception is key and we don’t always have to agree with someone’s “moral taste” but understanding it is what’s important.

  46. Zachary Silveira says:

    When reading or finding something that goes against my moral beliefs I tend to find whatever I am reading morally wrong. Wrong in the sense that is morally unjust to what I was taught. In this book there were many times where I had to stop reading and vocalize that I disagreed with what Haidt was saying. If a person truly has a strong moral compass that they follow then they should naturally get defensive, when someone tries to put down their way of thinking. Having “arguments” with people about morality is what keeps people’s moral code a real thing, that can constantly change. Culture is a major factor on what someone may or may not see as right or wrong. Haidt spoke about this and he said that in order to be morally rounded you need to see where other people are coming from when discussing morality. This is not something that is easy because it is difficult to change a persons mind and try to get them to see a different point of view; however seeing other points of view shows how diverse the world we live in truly is.

  47. Chris Parrotta says:

    After reading this book the hole time I was think what was the point of reading it; I know everyone isn’t like me and has the same views as me. When I was walking around at my work I saw how it played out in the real world how people except there different views. We have been dealing with this stuff all are lives and it doesn’t faze us.

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