(Moral foundations) I’d like the public to understand the foundations of morality as explicated by Jonathan Haidt, and how opposing sides of the debate derive from foundations that differ. Even though I disagree with the religious right, learning that their views are informed by the ethics of purity and respect for authority makes them understandable and even sympathetic to me. On the Left, we too often believe that the ethics of care and fairness are the only ones that matter, as Haidt has shown. Understanding that “those others” can be genuinely moral in an equally valid way, even when the bases of their morality differ from our own, will help us all to become less self-righteous and entrenched in our own point of view.
I do think this is an important one. Understanding the underlying facts for a particular issue may moderate one’s position on it. But it doesn’t help one to understand the views of those on the other side of the political fence. If you don’t understand the values underlying those views, you’re likely to (lazily) conclude that those people are stupid, crazy, or evil.