Re: Ch. 8 - The Felicity of Virtue
Really good point. I plead guilty for occasionally
hyper-focusing on religious beliefs.
This is an issue of self control, but these are polarized times, perhaps an aspect of superficiality in a society that has stopped worrying about more meaningful things?
Haidt seems to articulate conservative ideas better than conservatives do. Of course, the media usually plays up the extreme elements in politics, so the more moderate messages on both sides tend to get lost.
I have always thought conservatives were on to something with their focus on family values, although the world is rapidly changing and there doesn't seem to be much we can do about it. Haidt says: "we can’t go back, either to a pre-consumer society or to ethnically homogeneous enclaves."
I like Haidt's discussion of "anomie," a word coined by Durkehim, the sociologist. At the risk of sounding like an old fogey, it seems to me that our culture glorifies youth and superficiality over family and tradition, and it's this inversion of values that has led to the rise of the individual which has perhaps contributed to the decline of the family unit.
I read a book a few years ago (The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism by Andrew J. Bacevich ) which discussed America's shift from being producers to consumers. The author identified that time period as the start of our decline. And I have to agree. I just can't see how this is a sustainable path, as Wendell Berry has argued as well.
Anyway, this passage by Haidt says it all.