Jonathan Haidt, “The Righteous Mind,” Questions on Moral Relativism

I’m going through the audio book on “The Righteous Mind” and just passed the section where Haidt discusses Kantian deontology as though it’s only one of five “tastes” of the tongue, and then stating that a restaurant that only had “sweet” as its only item on the menu would not be popular.

From a purely Descriptive point of view, I agree that Libertarian ethics hinges on the “single flavor” of the “Non-Aggression Principle.” I would also agree that Libertarians have a messaging problem since they insist that people must have ideologies that are logically consistent for which most people have difficulty maintaining. In the book’s example, Haidt demonstrates that the Elephant (AKA Emotion) is the main driver of people’s beliefs rather than the Rider (AKA Higher Intellect). Or, in another metaphor, the “tail wags the dog.”

Now going from a Descriptive to a Moral Declaration, is Haidt’s position essentially that each “perspective” is just as “valid” as another perspective? Is Haidt’s premise essentially moral relativism?

Would Haidt say that claiming you have the absolute truth on morality to be, within itself, an immoral act?


Coming from a Platonic / Aristotle view on metaphysical laws of Reason:

1) Identity
2) Non-Contradiction
3) Causality

I’m having difficulty seeing how contradicting ideologies are equally just as morally, and objectively true to each other. How can stealing be both moral and immoral? Or Rape? or Slavery? or Murder?

Or to take it beyond politics, how can there be both a God and not be a God? For there to exist an individual, and not an individual? “Free Will” to exist and not exist?