Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

A test and a video

At the NYT's philosophy blog there's a link to a morality test that asks you questions and then rates and compares your answers with others. I did it and found the results kind of disturbing: I seem to be rigid (absolutism vs relativism) but in odd ways, like I'm very less likely than others to make moral distinctions between in-group and out-group people. Given this, Thomas Aquinas, who was ok with killing heretics and didn't see an obligation to turn in criminal relatives, would be considered much less rigid than I, who would want to treat heretics and relatives the same :). I wonder how people come to believe what they do about morality?

I saw a video a while ago that mentioned five moral touchstones - care/harm, fairness/reciprocity, in-group loyalty, authority/respect, and purity/sanctity - and how these interact with our beliefs. I'm not sure how well the test mentioned above or the categorizing done in the video below really correspond to reality - people actually seem to have the capacity (I think) to be all over the map in morality and valuation - but anyway, here's the video for those who might be interested ...


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