November 28, 2007

Morality, Religion & Human Nature: Towards an Integrative Ethics

When Dr. Jonathan Haidt started graduate school in 1987, he surmised that developmental psychology owned the rights to study 'morality' within psychology. Everyone was either using or critiquing Lawrence Kohlberg's ideas, using his general method of interviewing kids about dilemmas (such as: should Heinz steal a drug to save his wife's life?). And everyone was studying how children's understanding of moral concepts changed with experience.

With the publication of two books in the 1990s, Haidt believes a revolution in thinking occurred that triggered an explosion of cross-disciplinary scientific interest in morality, out of which has come a new synthesis of ideas and approaches—very much along the lines predicted by E.O. Wilson back in 1975.
“I fully subscribe to the judgment of those writers who maintain that of all the differences between man and the lower animal, the moral sense of conscience is by far the most important... It is the most noble of all the attributes of man.” -- Charles Darwin

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