Preliminaries Aristotle wrote two ethical treatises: In any case, these two works cover more or less the same ground: Both treatises examine the conditions in which praise or blame are appropriate, and the nature of pleasure and friendship; near the end of each work, we find a brief discussion of the proper relationship between human beings and the divine.
A Talk By Jonathan Haidt [2. Are we a community that is bound together by liberal values and then blind to any ideas or findings that threaten our sacred values? I believe the answer is yes, and I'll make 3 points to support that claim.
In recent years moral psychology has become a convergence zone for research in many fields. I have summarized the state of the art in moral psychology with these 4 principles.
As we think about the future of social psychology, and where we might be inI think that this 4th one is particularly helpful. Morality binds and blinds.
This principle can reveal a rut we've gotten ourselves into, and it will show us a way out. The biggest question of all time has sometimes been said to be this: Why is there something, rather than nothing? Why is there a universe at all, and why did it begin so rapidly 14 billion years ago?
The question is usually asked of astronomers and other natural scientists, but it is just as puzzling, and just as grand, when addressed to social scientists.
Why are there large cooperative societies at all, and why did they emerge so rapidly in the last 10, years? Many animals are social.
That's not hard to explain from an evolutionary point of view. But only a few are ultrasocial.
That is, they live together in very large groups of hundreds or thousands, with a massive division of labor, and a willingness to sacrifice for the group.
This trick was first discovered over million years ago by the hymenoptera, that is bees, wasps, and ants. But it was discovered completely independently by some cockroaches who became ultrasocial; we now know them as termites.
And it was also discovered completely independently by one species of mammal, the naked mole rat. In all of these cases, though, the trick is the same, that is, they are all first degree relatives. They're all sisters, or sisters and brothers, and they concentrate breeding in a queen.
The queen is not the ruler; she's simply the ovary, and in all of these species it's one for all, all for one. If they keep the queen alive to reproduce, they reproduce. There's just one ultrasocial species on Earth that doesn't use this trick, and that's us.
We humans qualify as being ultrasocial. We live together in very large groups of hundreds or thousands or millions, with a massive division of labor and a willingness to sacrifice for the group. But how do we do it? Clearly we don't suppress breeding and concentrate it in one queen or one breeding couple.
This is a photograph of Muslims circling the Ka'ba, at Mecca. People of all faiths are brought together by their shared devotion to sacred objects, people, and principles. This ability is crucial in war.
II Sacredness Sacredness is a central and subtle concept in sociology and anthropology, but we can get a simple working definition of it from Phil Tetlock [a social psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania]. You can see sacredness at work most clearly in religion, of course.
In Christianity, as in Hinduism and many other religions, there's a very explicit vertical dimension running from God at the top to the Devil at the bottom. Religious Christians generally see the bible as holy; it's not a book like any other book; it has to be protected from threats to its holiness.Guides for Citing Sources.
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Major intelligence failures are usually caused by failures of analysis, not failures of collection. Relevant information is discounted, misinterpreted.
In order to evaluate something, you need to compare it with the best example of that particular thing. So, to help you develop your topic into an essay, there are two important questions to ask when you are choosing your topic to evaluate.