Emotions are essential for making moral and ethical decisions. Emotions bind our perceptions to our conscious beliefs, making whatever we are thinking about seem more real at the time. In addition, strong emotions (particularly anger, fear, and passion) can radically alter our perceptions of reality. Many beliefs, including moral beliefs, can be easily altered by authoritarian and peer-group pressure. The two most significant factors in undermining individual morality are group conformity and the power of authority to override personal objections and doubts. Controversial psychology experiments in 1963 by Stanley Milgram imply that with increased intimacy, physical or verbal, people will treat each other with greater compassion and respect. (Newberg, Andrew, MD and Mark Robert Waldman. Why We Believe What We Believe. P 32, 140-155. NY:Free Press, 2006)

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