Peter T. Coleman Explores the Power of Moral Complexity

"Today, the citizens of the United States face some very difficult moral choices," wrote Peter Coleman, professor of psychology and education at Columbia University and advisor to the M.S. program in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution. Coleman's piece appeared in The Huffington Post on September 17, 2014.

"Should the U.S. government commit to spending billions conducting airstrikes against ISIL in Iraq and Syria or stay out of the conflict and invest those dollars in our own education and transportation systems? Is Obamacare a constructive step forward in addressing our nation's complicated and dire health care crisis or a job-killing imposition by an overzealous president? Is climate change a real threat with severe consequences or is it the paranoid fantasies of left-leaning, anti-business academics?"

"Certainty and simplicity are often comforting in the face of menacing problems," he wrote. However, "the challenges we face today as a nation, at home and around the world, demand the moral courage to resist the temptation to oversimplify what threatens us and to engage more directly with the gray areas, the ambiguities, the doubts, and with those with whom we differ."