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Steven Pinker's Moral Instinct By Steven Pinker

Good Essays
Does everyone know what to do at a certain point, are all of our decisions benefiting us in the future, can our actions harm others? All of these thoughts are going on in our heads on a daily basis. Now that you are thinking about it ask yourself how many decision you make a day, and how many do actually consider the outcomes of later on. In the article, “Moral Instinct” written by Steven Pinker, touches upon the point of how these decisions are made based on certain factors in society or by self-judgment. Pinker compiles lists of data, each conducting different experiments and each coming to a different conclusion to why people act certain ways. On the other hand, psychologist Carol Tavris cites studies and real-life examples explaining morality,…show more content…
When most of us are in a group, we all tend to rely on others to make a mature decision on our behalf. Most times not realizing that being a “follower” can be a downside for you or your surroundings. Tavris emphasizes on the actions of groups in certain situations, and explains how it can lead to someone else’s injury. Tavris states “11 police officers watching four of their colleagues administer the savage beating and doing nothing to intervene [to Rodney King]” (96). King was not only being beaten, but “savagely” these officers had no care for his life continued hitting him no matter how bad it hurt him. As the beating was going on eleven police officers sworn men or women of the law did not intervene to help this man, showing that bystanders will not help the victim because they feel someone else from the group will help them. Tavris also states “[Kitty Genovese] …was stabbed repeatedly and killed… and not one of her 38 neighbors who heard her, including those who came to their window to watch, even called for help” (96). Ironically with a larger bystander group Genovese group was triple King’s bystander group, the sense of responsibility is even less strong because people feel that someone else will take action. The group behavior is surprising because, as Pinker point out…show more content…
In life we make decisions every second of the day some minor and others that impact our lives, most times not considering how we made these judgments. Orwell elaborates his conflict by the use of self-experience and Tavris’s use of historical experience helped illustrate both sides of the conflict. One being in the “doer’s” point of view, while the other is in the eyes of the audience. Also with Pinker’s ideology of morality, we are able to understand why people make certain decisions in life. This all ties into why Orwell makes the decision of shooting the innocent elephant at the end. Now with all this information we are able to realize how sometimes we make the decision we do. One thing we should take from this, is that we always make the choice that can better ourselves and disregard pleasing others because that cannot not only hurt us, but sometimes others around