Are stances on controversial topics like abortion reflective of compassionate openness or self-centered moral rigorism?
Opposing Abortion, Gay Adoption, Euthanasia, and Suicide
In secularized modern Western societies, moral opposition to the liberalization of abortion, gay adoption, euthanasia, and suicide often relies on justification based on other-oriented motives (mainly, protection of the weak, e.g., children). Moreover, some argue that the truly open-minded people may be those who, against the stream, oppose the established dominant liberal values in modern societies. We investigated whether moral and religious opposition to, vs. the acceptance of, the above four issues, as well as the endorsement of respective con vs pro arguments reflect (a) "compassionate openness" (prosocial dispositions and collectivistic moral concerns), or (c) "self-centered moral rigorism" (collectivistic moral concerns, low existential quest, and low humility instead of prosocial dispositions). The results, to some extent, confirmed the third pattern. Thus, compassionate openness does not seem to underline modern moral opposition, possibily in contrast to some rhetoric of the latter.
Photo by K.J. Messick
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