1
$\begingroup$

Anecdotally, people are often more into rule-based reasoning. For instance, "honesty is always the right policy" is widely accepted throughout many cultures. It is less often for cultures to naturally adopt a more consequentialist view of morality.

In the English language, saying someone is "principled" is almost synonymous with saying that person is "moral". The same thing is true in Chinese: (saying someone is 有原则的 is the same as saying that person is 好的,正直的,高尚的.)

What are some psychological and cognitive reasons that make rule-based reasoning of morality more intuitive?

$\endgroup$
1
$\begingroup$

I don't know if this really answers your question, but at a high level, rule-based reasoning about anything is more intuitive. By this I mean, rules are heuristics-- and having heuristics makes for more efficient reaction formation, decision-making, action, etc. The time and energy to process a stimulus, including a morally relevant scenario, is reduced when applying a heuristic, like a rule.

Morality is not my area of expertise, But I will add that there's possibly also a component here of some discomfort associated with making moral evaluations. Moral judgements serve as functional guides of behavioral consequences and outcomes (having real impact in people's lives), and typically involve some degree of uncertainty. This may cause discomfort, whereas rule-based reasoning allows for avoidance of careful thought and therefore avoidance of that discomfort ..? Just a thought, no real evidence to back that

$\endgroup$
1
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks much. I broadly agree with you, although I also don’t have evidence to back this view up. $\endgroup$
    – J Li
    May 5 at 5:45

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.