Our buggy moral code and the English riots.
I want to share a TED talk with you and relate it to the English riots over the past week.Vodpod videos no longer available.
In this TED talk Dan Ariely talks about experiments he has done to explore why people cheat and why it doesn’t add up to how rational people think is behind the riots.
ResPublica posted an article today on how liberal Britain caused the riots. David Goodhart explains that “the teeny-bopper looter …. [has] barricaded themselves into an un-political counter-culture of contempt for the straight world…This culture helps to make failure self-fulfilling; it’s based on the idea that white or straight society is fixed against you and that violent transgression is therefore the only root to status and reward.” He acknowledges that it is almost a human reaction. Dan Ariely in the video says cheating (stealing) and dishonesty that blights our society from top to bottom – banker’s bonuses, phone-hacking scandal, MPs expenses, the riots are not about one bad apple or someone who has a rationalised idea of why they are doing a crime but we have in the UK created a culture in which we say that cheating, stealing and dishonesty are ok if its within your personal fudge factor. Its that culture we have to fight.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t improve education, eradicate gang culture or anything else that people come up with as the rationale behind the riots but we need to fight the culture of dishonesty in our country.
P.S. To all the people saying that the riots are about disaffection, poverty etc. why do you think Scotland, who has probably all of the reasons and causes that you mention behind the riots, doesn’t have riots everyday. Scotland has all the disaffection, poverty, could argue bad education system, could argue that are education system tells us how bad the English have treated the Scots and some might argue that it still happens, we have knife crime and gang culture etc. etc. yet we don’t riot.