Crossing The Murky Moral Terrain Of Ethics with Mark Matousek

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Are there universal human ethics? Are we moving toward a more ethical future? Mark Matousek has interviewed and researched the subject of ethical wisdom with social scientists, spiritual leaders, ex-cons, altruists and philosophers. He's examined morality from all angles and suggests that ethics just may be a minefield of opposing ideologies, special interests, and temperamental proclivities. The good news is that humans are hardwired to care for one another, we have a sense of justice and fairness, we share a sense of group loyalty, we have a natural tendency to respect authority, and we are programmed for sacredness and purity. “We're hard wired to care for one another and to respond negatively when harm is done especially to innocence. We have evolved to have a sense of justice and fairness in order to get along in groups with each other, in order to cooperate. . . Very, very young, pre-educated children, have a sense of fairness.” (hosted by Justine Willis Toms)


Mark Matousek is a featured blogger for PsychologyToday and The Huffington Post. He’s a popular lecturer and writing teacher and the Creative Director of V-Men (with Eve Ensler), an organization devoted to ending violence against women and girls. He’s is the author of two award-winning memoirs, Sex Death Enlightenment: A True Story and The Boy He Left Behind: A Man's Search For His Lost Father.

His books include:

To learn more about the work of Mark Matousek and his blog go to

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • What are the five innate moral and ethical categories hardwired into humans
  • How our emotional impulses effect our ethical behavior
  • What is the major ideological difference between the two political groups of conservatives and liberals
  • How is the moral and ethical approach different between men and women

Host: Justine Willis Toms   Interview Date: 10/27/12   Program Number: 3454

Music Playlist

Album: Planet Passion
Artist: Ancient Future
2001 Ancient Future #AF - 2010

Opening Essay: Track 1 Simsimay Panima
Music Break 1: Track 4 I met Her In the Medowe.b
Music Break 2: Track 5 Ocean of Love
Music Break 3: Track 5 Ocean of Love (reprise)