Dangerous Ideas: Cyber-Disinhibition, Hodgepodge Morality, and More

Edge has published their annual question and posed it to tons of professors and intellectuals. This year the question was, "What is your dangerous idea?" I leafed through the 156 pages of responses. A few goodies.

  1. Have you ever fired off a nasty email and then regretted it? Or said something in an online forum that you would never say in-person? I have. Dan Goleman (of Emotional Intelligence fame) says this is a result of cyber-disinhibition, where certain biological mechanisms employed designed to ensure a smooth in-person interaction are not employed in the online world.
  2. Hodgepodge morality – "It is increasingly apparent that our moral sense comprises a fairly loose collection of intuitions, rules of thumb, and emotional responses that may have nothing at all to do with ethics."
  3. A ton of people argued that the idea of an independent soul (dualism) and religion is dangerous. What you would expect from the academy.

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