Quotes by: Paul Bloom

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Too often, our concern for specific individuals today means neglecting crises that will harm countless people in the future.
Paul Bloom
Humans are born with a hard-wired morality: a sense of good and evil is bred in the bone. I know this claim might sound outlandish, but it's supported now by research in several laboratories.
Paul Bloom
You'd expect, as good Darwinian creatures, we would evolve to be fascinated with how the world really is, and we would use language to convey real-world information, we'd be obsessed with knowing the way things are, and we would entirely reject stories that aren't true. They're useless. But that's not the way we work.
Paul Bloom
Empty heads, cognitive science has taught us, learn nothing. The powerful cultural and personal flexibility of our species is owed at least in part to our starting off so well-informed; we are good learners because we know what to pay attention to and what questions are the right ones to ask.
Paul Bloom
Periods of cooperation between political parties shouldn't be taken for granted; they are a stunning human achievement.
Paul Bloom
Families survive the Terrible Twos because toddlers aren't strong enough to kill with their hands and aren't capable of using lethal weapons. A 2-year-old with the physical capacities of an adult would be terrifying.
Paul Bloom
Perhaps looking out through big baby eyes - if we could - would not be as revelatory experience as many imagine. We might see a world inhabited by objects and people, a world infused with causation, agency, and morality - a world that would surprise us not by its freshness but by its familiarity.
Paul Bloom
Strong moral arguments exist for why we should often try to ignore stereotypes or override them. But we shouldn't assume they represent some irrational quirk of the unconscious mind. In fact, they're largely the consequence of the mind's attempt to make a rational decision.
Paul Bloom
It is clear that rituals and sacrifices can bring people together, and it may well be that a group that does such things has an advantage over one that does not. But it is not clear why a religion has to be involved. Why are gods, souls, an afterlife, miracles, divine creation of the universe, and so on brought in?
Paul Bloom
Our best hope for the future is not to get people to think of all humanity as family - that's impossible. It lies, instead, in an appreciation of the fact that, even if we don't empathize with distant strangers, their lives have the same value as the lives of those we love.
Paul Bloom
I think what a lot of fiction is, is the imagining of the worst so as to prepare ourselves.
Paul Bloom
On many issues, empathy can pull us in the wrong direction. The outrage that comes from adopting the perspective of a victim can drive an appetite for retribution.
Paul Bloom
Humans are social beings, and we are happier, and better, when connected to others.
Paul Bloom
The irrationality of disgust suggests it is unreliable as a source of moral insight. There may be good arguments against gay marriage, partial-birth abortions and human cloning, but the fact that some people find such acts to be disgusting should carry no weight.
Paul Bloom
Relying on the face might be human nature - even babies prefer to look at attractive people. But, of course, judging someone based on the geometry of his features is, from a moral and legal standpoint, no better than judging him based on the color of his skin.
Paul Bloom
More-radical scholars insist that an inherent clash exists between science and our long-held conceptions about consciousness and moral agency: if you accept that our brains are a myriad of smaller components, you must reject such notions as character, praise, blame, and free will.
Paul Bloom
In politics and in society, we can use our reason to rise above our parochial natures. Too bad that our elected officials don't choose to do so more often.
Paul Bloom
Even in the most peaceful communities, an appetite for violence shows up in dreams, fantasies, sports, play, literature, movies and television. And, so long as we don't transform into angels, violence and the threat of violence - as in punishment and deterrence - is needed to rein in our worst instincts.
Paul Bloom
The genetic you and the neural you aren't alternatives to the conscious you. They are its foundations.
Paul Bloom
Almost nobody believes anymore that infants are insensate blobs. It seems both mad and evil to deny experience and feeling to a laughing, gurgling creature.
Paul Bloom
The enjoyment we get from something is powerfully influenced by what we think that thing really is. This is true for intellectual pleasures, such as the appreciation of paintings and stories, and it is true as well for pleasures that seem simpler and more animalistic, such as the satisfaction of hunger and lust.
Paul Bloom
The real problem with natural selection is that it makes no intuitive sense. It is like quantum physics; we may intellectually grasp it, but it will never feel right to us.
Paul Bloom
Maybe one of the most heartening findings from the psychology of pleasure is there's more to looking good than your physical appearance. If you like somebody, they look better to you. This is why spouses in happy marriages tend to think that their husband or wife looks much better than anyone else thinks that they do.
Paul Bloom
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