Friday, January 21, 2011

Libertarians and Morality

We're not totally immoral, just different.

I haven't read the Haidt paper -- indeed, there appears to be no hyperlink given at Reason -- but just Bailey's summary. I do wonder in which direction the causation runs. Do people sympathetic to certain political ideologies modify their moral beliefs accordingly? Or are people with certain moral intuitions hard-wired to take up certain political beliefs? One way to test this, I guess, would be to look at the stability of moral foundational beliefs over time...

Second question: to what extent does Haidt's work control for education? I would guess that the disgust reflex would be low among highly educated people generally. See, e.g., the the stupidity of the blood transfusion question on the purity reflex test. So what one might be seeing might be that libertarians tend to be very educated and answer in similar ways to other highly educated types?

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