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Most of our political wars would go away if only our opponents weren’t so evil and irrational. At least that’s what many of us believe. Look closely at your moral and political beliefs, however, and you may find that they’re much less grounded in reason than you think. Recent psychological research has found that people tend to make political or moral judgments first and then use their reasoning like a press secretary, charged with finding good justifications, not with finding the truth. What’s more, when it comes to beliefs we hold sacred, we are deaf to logic. Instead of scrutinizing our beliefs, we cluster with those who feel the same, and our politics become even more polarized. So how can we step out of our ideological bubbles and see reality—and our opponents—more clearly? Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt, winner of the third annual Zócalo Book Prize for The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion, visits Zócalo to discuss how Americans can get better at reconciling politics and reason.
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