Empathy News Round-Up: Morality Pills, Empathy Gaps, and Bullying Bills

Are We Ready for a Morality Pill (New York Times, Jan. 28, 2012)


For every story that we’ve heard about someone braving fire, water or oncoming traffic to save a stranger, we’ve also heard one about the bystander who didn’t intervene or help as someone else suffered. Why does our moral behavior vary so much from person to person? The authors of this NYT opinion piece believe that each individual may in fact have a different predisposition for moral behavior. If that’s the case, and thus a question of chemicals in the brains, are we not far off from a morality pill that could simply activate the right chemicals and get someone to behave morally? The authors believe it’s not far down the line. Before turning to pharmaceuticals, though, lets start cultivating empathy in our schools and institutions