Why we are really divided by politics and religion

February 21st, 2013

While it certainly may seem as if our social, political and moral debates are a kind of tower of babel, or more like a kind of moral food fight, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt argues that there is a basic moral underpinning to it all. That the culture wars are really a way in which our own personal experience breaks out and defines itself in a kind of moral and political matrix that both traps and defines us. That these principles are universal and enduring and that perhaps if we can better understand them, we can, if not accept, at least have compassion for the better angels of our opponents.

Jonathan Haidt is the Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University's Stern school.  His newest work is The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion 

My conversation with Jonathan Haidt: