Wednesday, March 25, 2009

the amazing thing about morality is...

  1. the incredible convergence across different cultures. All societies have prohibitions on rape, theft and murder etc.
  2. the incredible diversity of moral norms. An incredible range of cruelty is acceptable in different societies. Societies have slavery, genital mutilation and execute gays etc.
Depending on the conversation, each can sound deeply wise (though I think more people think 1. than 2.). Jonathan Haidt goes for no. 1 and Jesse Prinz goes for no. 2. Haidt is famous but Prinz is very cool.

I think no. 2 is far more telling. But isn't it weird that super duper profs are equally taken by entirely contradictory positions?

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