Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Moral Humility

I read an interesting quote today. "Our righteous minds were designed to, - unite us into teams, - divide us against other teams, - blind us to the truth." Jonathan Haidt used it in his 2008 TED Talk. He used this quote in the context of social evolution. Somehow I feel this is what the politicians and corporations do with the help of the media. They sell us ideas and products so we feel part of a group. They strengthen our identity by setting us up against other groups. National unity is never stronger then in times of war when "we have to stick together to fight the others". And by putting us into groups and then dividing the different groups they obtain one of their goals: that the truth is obscured and that the masses are blinded.

Improving the world means having to work with other people, and frequently with people of different opinion. Jonathan Haidt recommended moral humility as the way to approach human interaction for problem resolution. Moral authority comes from moral humility and the Dalai Lama is one of the best examples. We certainly can use this strategy for the way we deal with others in everyday life. Wouldn't it be lovely to have morally responsible and morally humble people as our leaders, as our politicians? Imagine what world this would be!

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