Dr. Jonathan Haidt is a social psychologist who studies moral decision making. He has developed some provocative scenarios to investigate how people decide whether a behavior is â€œmoralâ€ or â€œimmoral.â€ Read the scenarios and think about whether the behaviors described are acceptable or wrong.
- Julie and Mark are a brother and sister who, one night on a vacation together, decide to make love. Julie is already taking birth-control pills, but Mark uses a condom too, just to be safe.
- A familyâ€™s dog was killed by a car in front of their house. They had heard that dog meat was delicious, so they cut up the dogâ€™s body and cooked it and ate it for dinner.
If you think the behavior is wrong, consider why. Do not simply restate the problem (e.g., you shouldnâ€™t eat your dog). Instead, explain which moral principle you think is being violated. This is a thought experiment to get you thinking about how your emotions may affect your responses.
In this discussion board, you are welcome to share any reactions to these scenarios that you want (though this is not required). The majority of your post should focus on the following questions:
1) Why do you think humans have emotions? What purpose do they serve?
2) Do you think your emotions enhance or hinder your ability to reason and to make decisions? Provide examples.