The morality wars in the US is about the source of moral authority

Date created: 2022-05-21

The key moral difference between the progressive and conservative moral worldviews in US politics is the place of moral authority. Is each individual free to make up their own mind about who they are and how to live their lives (progressive), or is there an outside–objective–moral entity like the church or other institutions.

Are you able to handle ultimate freedom, or not? In the conservative worldview, individuals will make the wrong decisions if left to their own devices so there needs to be an external moral authority.

But with ultimate moral freedom we might revert into moral emotivism: the tendency to think that what feels right must be right.

Self-created identities are also fragile. We need to have our identities constantly affirmed by others if we are to feel secure. People who live within this moral ecology are going to be hypersensitive to sleights that they perceive as oppression. Politics devolves into identity wars, as different identities seek recognition over the others.