As I've mentioned, I am trying to understand human morality (generally, the lack thereof) in the context of the large, liberalized ("free") market economies we (you and most of my readers) live in.
It is only very rarely that I run across something which has the ring of truth. Concerning human morality, this TED talk byJonathan Haidt runs roughshod over the mountains of human bullshit which obscure clear perception. This talk goes straight to the heart of the matter in explaining how the political economies we live in actually function. Pay particular attention to "groupiness" in Haidt's talk (e.g., liberals and conservatives, in-groups and out-groups). For some strange reason Haidt refers to humans social groups as "teams."
Human morality, such as it is, arose as and remains entirely a product of the regulation of behavior in human social groups. There is no natural predisposition (to pick one example) to treat others (those not in your group) fairly with a concern for their welfare. There is no instinctual (universal) preference that the "wealth" in large, complex modern societies be distributed in such a way that no one does without (to pick another example). When I talk about the invisible poor, I am ridiculing this glaring omission in the human animal.
But there are is an initial "first draft" in the mind which gives rise to moral preferences. Haidt attempts to define this initial blueprint.
Haidt quotes the zen master Sen-ts'an, who said—
If you want the truth to stand clear before you, never be for or against. The struggle between "for" and "against" is the mind's worst disease.
I couldn't have put it better myself, and regular readers know that I've tried many, many times.
Here's the talk.