Friday, September 19, 2008

Check your moral compass

Click on the title to this post to visit a website that researchers are using to test their theory that there are perhaps 5 axes on which people's values range and which tend to describe conservative and liberal biases in terms of modern politics. This link was brought to my attention in the excellent Edge e-mag article, "What Makes People Vote Republican?" by Jonathan Haidt. It's a thought-provoking essay that roughly describes the moral values behind liberals as being in the strain of John Stuart Mill -- valuing individual liberty and balancing it against care or protecting others from harm. The conservative ethos tends to follow more closely Emile Durkheim, adding to the first two values, loyalty to group, respect for authority and purity or sanctity. The essay is very interesting and so is the test, which helps you see where you place along the spectrum of conservative to liberal, and also helps further the research.

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