Saturday, November 16, 2013

Moral Tribes: The Gap Between Us and Them

There is a current fad in the diet world known as the paleo diet. The idea is that we should eat what paleolithic man ate, in order to be protected from the scourge of modern processed food. While harkening back to our hunter gather ancestors may be good nutrition, it’s not necessarily good thinking.

Harvard cognitive neuroscientist and philosophy Professor Joshua Greene argues, in Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them that some our biggest problems, arise from our habit of using paleolithic moral thinking to the problems of 21st Century life.

Our moral instincts, he argues, turn Me into Us, but then turns Us against Them. The only way to do better, is to get beyond how our brains have evolved by using both efficient, “point and shoot” gut reactions, side by side with our “manual mode” reasoning, to solve the modern moral problems that divide Us v. Them.

My conversation with Joshua Greene:

Bookmark and Share