People who commit their lives to going green are just better people. They’re more moral, more honest. At least, they keep telling us that, and apparently many students believe it, say University of Toronto psychologists:
They initially quizzed the students on their impressions of people who buy eco-friendly products, and for the most part, they considered such consumers to be more “more cooperative, altruistic and ethical” than ordinary consumers…
Then the researchers took it an extra step: They ran a test to see who would be more likely to cheat and steal: Greens? Or conventional shoppers?
They divided the greens and conventional shoppers, and then gave the students a test that tempted them to steal money. The researchers found:
The green consumers were more likely to cheat than the conventional purchasers, and they stole more money when asked to withdraw their winnings from envelopes on their desks.
This concept of moral license has been demonstrated before, writes Wray Herbert in his blog for the Association for Psychological Science.
(W)hen they have reason to feel a little superior, that positive self image triggers a sense of moral license. That is, the righteous feel they have some latitude to stray a bit in order to compensate. It’s like working in a soup kitchen gives you the right to cheat on your taxes later in the week.
Maybe that’s why sanctimonious stewards of the environment like Al Gore are comfortable lecturing the rest of us while living large in mega-mansions.
Beware of those who select an alternative moral standard (global warming, foreign aid, animal rights, veganism, yoga, etc.) that gives them self-esteem and respect from others. I think real morality is the old morality, where people had to restrain themselves in their own personal lives. E.g. – chastity, frugality and sobriety.
Today it seems to be popular to do anything you want with alcohol, consumerism, and sex, as long as you take on some fashionable cause that doesn’t involve you having to give up the pursuit of pleasure. But the real measure of a man is the moral law, which does not change. It’s moral values like chastity, frugality and sobriety that require you to not hurt those around you.
There are a lot of Hollywood actors and famous/rich people who are apparently terribly concerned (in public) about things like global warming and animal rights. But in private, they act in the most selfish ways destroying the lives of those around them. Being associated with glamorous causes makes them happy, just like cheating on their spouses makes them happy.