The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion Themes

Jonathan Haidt
This Study Guide consists of approximately 33 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion.
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Origin of Morality

How did man develop morality? What was the source of that morality - was it nature or nurture? There are theories on both sides of the coin. Some believe that humans are born with innate responses to moralistic situations, that there's a sense of fairness and caring that is hard-wired into our DNA. Others believe that our responses are taught by parents, groups, religion and society in general.

But there is a case that both are true. The example in The Righteous Mind that proves this point is the "elephant" and the "rider." In this scenario, the "elephant" represents the emotional region of the brain that reacts with an inborn response to questions of morality. For example, when a boy takes a ball away from another boy on the playground, the emotional response from the "elephant" would be that the boy was wrong to take the...

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This section contains 1,087 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion Study Guide
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Gale
The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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