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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Why We Love Moral Rigidity

Matthew Hutson
Scientific American
Originally published on November 1, 2016

Here is an excerpt:

We don't evaluate others based on their philosophical ideologies per se, Pizarro says. Rather we look at how others' moral decisions “express the kind of motives, commitments and emotions we want people to have.” Coolheaded calculation has its benefits, but we want our friends to at least flinch before personally harming others. Indeed, people in the study who had argued for pushing the man were trusted more when they claimed that the decision was difficult.

Politicians and executives should pay heed. Leading requires making hard trade-offs—is a war or a cut in employee benefits worth the pain it inflicts? According to Pizarro, “you want your leader to genuinely have or at least be really good at displaying the right kinds of emotions when they're talking about that decision, to show that they didn't arrive at it callously.” Calmly weighing costs and benefits may do the most good for the most people, but it can also be a good way to lose friends.

The article is here.
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