Ben and Joel are joined by Jonathan Haidt, the Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership at NYU-Stern School of Business. He’s the author of several books, including “The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom” and more recently, “The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided By Politics And Religion.”
Questions considered in this podcast:
• Why do good people fight over politics and religion?
• What are the parts of morality that are obviously part of human nature? And how do liberals and conservatives differ, morally?
• Are liberals missing a limb, morally speaking? Are they at a moral disadvantage in political debates? And are liberals loyal to the nation?
• Do academics and intellectuals try to turn ideologies into pathologies? Do liberals have too much sway in the academy?
• What does Haidt mean when he says "morality binds, and blinds?"
• How much does genetics feed into our ideological predispositions? If we're hardwired, what's the point of bipartisan dialogue?
• Who is better at understanding the other side? Liberals or conservatives?
Programming note: We often have 45 minutes to an hour to discuss these books with their authors—in this case, the interview lasted just a half-hour. Aside from forcing us to drop a number of questions from consideration, the time limit may have made us sound rushed and truncated. We're more aware of how lucky we are to get the time we normally do with authors! In any case, please visit and "like" the Ben and Joel page on Facebook to comment on this interview, as well as to receive regular updates about the podcast and links to our weekly syndicated column with ScrippsHoward News Service. You'll be glad you did!