The New York Times magazine has one of the finest articles I have read in a long time. It’s called “The Moral Instinct” by Prof. Steven Pinker, the Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology at Harvard University.
While the article itself is rather long, it gives those interested in the way we behave interesting insights into definitions of right and wrong. How are these formulated in our minds? What’s the thin line dividing what is right and what is moral? How is it that one set of behaviours may be ok in a context but not in another?
Which of these 3 people, starts the article is the most admirable? Mother Teresa, Bill Gates or Norman Borlaug? Which of these 3 is the least admirable? If this gets you interested, read the rest of the article here.
The starting point, writes Pinker, for appreciating that there is a distinctive part of our psychology for morality is seeing how moral judgments differ from other kinds of opinions we have on how people ought to behave.