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Hypermoral Debt Ceiling Quotes

In an attempt to popularize psychological theories such as idealistic evil and the dark side of moral conviction, I sometimes use the term hypermoral to describe why ostensibly good people (e.g. non-psychopaths), can be led to do terrible things for ostensibly moral reasons.  Research suggests that much of the violence that exists in the world [...]

Osama Bin Laden’s Death is a chance to escape Zero-Sum thinking

President Obama announced that Osama Bin Laden was killed recently and I’ve witnessed an array of emotions.  Some view it in partisan terms, wondering if it will benefit Obama.  Many are celebrating, which is understandable, but some people also understandably feel uncomfortable with the idea of celebrating death, even the death of someone responsible for [...]

On Hyperpartisanship, Hypermoralism, and the Supernormal Stimuli of Modern Politics

Today’s lead story from Politico, The Age of Rage, probably summarizes a lot of what people think is wrong with politics. Rather than make good policy, politicians and media are more concerned with scoring points for their political ideology (hyperpartisanship). However, as the Politico article points out, their actions are largely driven by the general [...]

Hypermoralism – Morality causes ordinary people to do immoral things.

Some people believe that immoral acts are caused by amoral individuals. However, very few people are truly immoral (~1% of individuals are psychopaths). The idea of the term, hypermoralism, is to popularize the idea that morality can actually cause people to be immoral, rather than prevent them from being immoral (e.g. see this post). It’s [...]