“The struggle between ‘for’ and ‘against’ is the mind’s worst disease.” In this episode of the Braver Angels Podcast, we brought some of the big, hairy questions that challenge political bridge building to one of the most outspoken voices in social psychology — NYU professor and best-selling author Jonathan Haidt.
Can we ever really claw our way out of tribalism? What would it take to fix the structures that warp our thinking? And what does this leading scholar of morality make of the popular notion that you can’t engage some ideas across the political divide and still be good? Listen in as Haidt — author of The Righteous Mind, The Coddling of the American Mind, and the upcoming Life After Babel: Adapting To A World We Can No Longer Share — joins Braver Angels’ Mónica Guzmán for a conversation that explores everything from Haidt’s favorite bit of ancient wisdom to the problem with kids these days (especially girls on the Left) and what it might ultimately mean to be loyal to truth.
6 thoughts on “What’s your ‘red line’? | Jonathan Haidt with Mónica Guzmán”
Monica and Jonathan,
This ranks, for me personally, as one of the most important Podcast Episodes that Braver Angels has hosted in it’s history!
I became a member in February 2021, and started listening from the inception of the Podcast forward to learn more about Braver Angels. It look a lot of listening time, but it was worth every moment that I spent learning more about the Organization that I had just newly discovered and decided to become a part of.
My personal challenge, as a person for whom “politics” held little interest outside of my rights and duties as a citizen, was to begin to learn more about how to interact in a world where labels were prevalent. “Red” and “Blue” were even difficult for me to adjust to, being that I rarely even knew the politics of most of my friends. I just always considered myself a conscientious voter (when I did vote) doing my very best to cast my vote.
NEVER used as a standard by which to measure a person’s ‘character’ or ‘worth’, talking politics was not what drew me to Braver Angels, but rather my deep concern for the deep divisions I was watching on my TV screen, coupled with broken friendships and family relationships that left me beyond confused. At 61 years of age, when I became fully aware of the madness, I honestly felt as though I was living in the “Twilight Zone”. HOW and WHEN did politics become a measure for “character”?!
With more life behind me than ahead of me, my deepest concern was for my children, grandchildren and all those I love, being left in such an intolerant and unkind world. I HAD to find a way to remind others that “politics” is only one element of who we are as individuals.
My Membership and activity with Braver Angels has bettered me as an American Citizen, teaching me more about politics than I ever learned in school and being an “essential tool” to help me better communicate with people of all political perspectives. It has affirmed my belief that all human beings are imbued with priceless value, rich gifts and individual talents (regardless of what side of the aisle they fall) that can be used for the good of our whole world, beginning in our own little sphere of influence sending ripples out to further reaches.
Thank you, Jonathan Height for sharing your insight, common sense and great wisdom!
And Thank You, Monica, for this important interview!
With Great Appreciation,
I am both a scientist an activist for solutions to climate change and a member of Braver Angels which I joined because I was so saddened by the anger of group against group. After listening to this discussion, which I found very interesting and thought provoking, I feel more hopeful that there is an activist approach to reducing carbon emissions in order to preserve a more temperate climate which is to foster bipartisan disucsion and solutions. This is something that Citizens Climate Lobby which is bi-partisan, as well as Braver Politics are both fostering. It is not an easy path to follow but if Jonathan is correct, it is necessary.
The “structures that warp our thinking” have been in place for a very long time:
What a wonderful podcast interviewing Jonathan Haidt! Thank you.
I have been working on depolarization as an abstract conceptual artist for last few years and it has been a fairly lonely journey until I was introduced to BA.
Part of my project, Triptych Dialogue, is to interview random people I meet in the street on 3 non-confrontational political questions. I have interviewed hundreds of people so far. At the end of the interview we find a keyword or title for their interview. I have seen some common threads as several of the “titles” people have chosen are the word Hope. I have understood from their meaning that the hope is for a reconciliation and healing from a divided citizenry. Those keyword-titles they chose have given me hope as well. They keep me going with my depolarization artwork, performance art, interview videos and podcast.
I look forward to listening to Monica Guzman’s interviews. Nice work!
Really enjoyed Monica Guzman’s podcast with Jonathan Haidt. Gave me lots to think about!
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