Do you know your core moral beliefs? According to the Moral Foundations Theory of Haidt & Graham there are at least five of them, and they can be measured.
These core values determine whether you are fundamentally liberal (left-wing or Democrat) or conservative (right-wing or Republican). You can even take a test to score your values and find out where you sit on the political spectrum.
The five core beliefs are Caring, Fairness, Loyalty, Authority and Purity. Everyone seems to believe strongly in Caring and Fairness, but conservatives also believe strongly in Loyalty, Authority and Purity.
For example, many liberals support legalizing gay marriage (to be fair and compassionate), whereas many conservatives are reluctant to change the nature of marriage and the family, seeing these as basic building blocks of society.
The test is at http://www.yourmorals.org and you need to register then click on Explore your Morals / Moral Foundations Questionnaire. You should understand that there isn’t a right or wrong result – the test simply measures your outlook and may help you to understand why you vote the way you do.
Here are my results:
According to the theory, I’m a classic liberal, valuing Caring and Fairness ahead of Loyalty, Authority and Purity.
However I’m not a liberal at all. I’m actually a libertarian. Libertarians are awkward. We don’t fit into surveys, seemingly on principle. We seem to share the core values of Democrats / Socialist / Labour, but we’re just as likely to vote Republican / Conservative. Why’s that? Libertarians are economically right-wing and socially left-wing. That’s me.
And so I’m going to run a series of blog posts examining each of these 5 core values and finding out what makes us vote the way we do.
In the meantime, you might want to try the test yourself. Post your results below. Or don’t – it’s a free world!