Haidt wrote that learning is hard work but primarily comes through experience. “This book is about why it’s so hard for us to get along. We are indeed all stuck here for a while, so let’s at least do what we can to understand why we are so easily divided into hostile groups, each one certain of its righteousness.”
And, concurrently, if we are to get along better Haidt writes that “we need to step back, drop the moralism, apply some moral psychology, and analyze the game we’re all playing.”
He goes on to write that he studies “moral psychology, and I’m going to make the case that morality is the extraordinary human capacity that made civilization possible.”
So, where did our morals evolve from? Haidt seems to indicate from experience. Let me see here. I was sitting with my grandson in a McDonalds having a wonderful breakfast. I used the word stupid and he went off to correct me! So, where did my grandson learn that saying something or judging someone as stupid is not a nice thing to say? Especially if Gpa says something is so J I mean ever Scripture defines what is stupid (Proverbs 12:1). On the other hand, and idiot defined from Strong’s Concordance #2399 indicates something different than the usual connotation (i.e., idiot: a private person, unlearned, ignoramus, ignorant, rude, unlearned).
A brief backstory of where he lives would be helpful. My grandson lives in Sandersville, Georgia. Sandersville is a small, yet very wealthy city. The children and grandchildren of those who built this city still own the founding businesses and basically run the ethos of the town. But, as deep-seated a fundamental city this is, it is a lovely city with a strong sense of family. American flags wave regularly, cemeteries are clean, antebellum style architecture is proudly saved from destruction.
My grandson may have learned the repercussions of saying something inappropriate from experience, but he did not learn it was inappropriate by experimenting with the word. Unlike Haidt’s liberal bent, my grandson is not a little liberal child or growing up in a liberal community. It was directly derived from familial and from his teachers that he stumbled into this journey of the entomology of a word through life in search of meaning and connection.
Haidt’s indication that parents and other authorities were obstacles to moral development may be true, especially if parents do not optimize on their positions to become life-coaches along with some imposing norms. I would bet that my grandson learned more about prudent morals from stories about what good looks like in the community.
As I informally study communities, especially families, local congregations, and congregational leaders I have often wondered why throngs of support for ones train of thought is upheld and some are not. Is it the stories from key influencers?
Are the loudest voices most influential because they are purely the loudest, is it because of a threat or fear of some sort of pain? Illeris wrote this about how we learn. “Developments in the field of psychology are making it increasingly apparent that studies in the learning process derive their chief significance for education from the conceptions of mind which lie back of them. What we conceive or assume the mind to be is of determining influence, both in the field of method and in the realm of values or goals.”  Essentially, learning is much more than experimental. Learn is seeking to apply what key influencers tell us what is prudent. But we do agree that experiences; practice helps us learn. Our community: family, teachers in the educational system, pastor (probably), and those we worship with have conveyed to us that different ethos of a community is what helps us learn.
One more case. The community where learning happened for the Israelites happened in experience AND from stories and modeling of their leaders. Moses received from God what people were to obey. God walked among the people. “For the LORD your God moves about in your camp to protect you and to deliver your enemies to you. Your camp must be holy so that he will not see among you anything indecent and turn away from you” (Deuteronomy 23:14).
Means of learning includes experiences, stories, visualizing, verbally, kinesthetically, reasoning, socially, and in solitary (from my experience). How will help others learn what we are learning in our doctoral of ministry program? If our learning is merely to tell right from wrong or a dissertation left on a shelf, then I would argue that we are not really learning, and we are neglecting a true benefit of learning.
Lessons I’ve observed from my grandson.
 Jonathan Haidt, “The Righteous Mind,” New York: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, preface, Kindle Edition.
 Ibid., location 60.
 Ibid., 10.
 Knud Illeris, “How We Learn: Learning and Non-Learning in School and Beyond,” Hoboken: Taylor and Francis, 2007.