How do we see the minds of others and how do we make moral judgments?
Kurt Gray’s research suggests these are the same question: minds are perceived along two dimensions—agency (the ability to act and plan) and experience (the capacity to feel things like pain and pleasure)—and these two dimensions form the core of moral judgment. In essence, our psychological template of moral acts involves two minds, one mind helping or hurting another mind. This "dyadic" template can explain why suffering makes people believe more in God and why those who see homosexuality as immoral believe it harms children. Linking mind perception and morality can also help us explain why some people torture others, why victims escape blame, and why good deeds can make us more physically powerful.
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2014 EDGE QUESTION