Monday, February 22, 2010
Turning on the facet
I shan't be posting often, at least nothing too original. I have a paper due Thursday on legislating morality (see below), and my thesis is in dire need of attention. I'm also starting to research my Flannery O'Connor paper for Somerville (!!). March is going to be an extremely productive and mind-numbing experience. Don't mark this as complaining, please. I do love it. It's intellectually exciting and the journalist in me thrives on the deadlines. That being said, I'll be holed up in the Lane computer lab, ignoring the newly-falling snow, drinking cold coffee and typing away. Feel free to stop by.
Below is my current opening to my Con-Lib Debate class paper. Rach, I thought you'd particularly like to see it. This isn't the final, obviously, but it should give you an idea of where I'm going. I have about 2 pages thus far, plus about 12 pages of notes, my outlines and books, articles and essays piled about me. I don't look forward to packing this all up later tonight, but I am enjoying writing it.
My footnotes are not going to show up, but if you're interested in where I got something, I can point you in the right direction.
Morality is a force worth considering. Plutarch, in his discourse “On Bringing up A Boy,” says “To put it shortly, it is surely absurd to train little children to receive their food with the right hand, and to scold them if they put out the left, and yet to take no precautions that they shall be taught moral lessons of a sound and proper kind.” Aristotelian ethics concurs that one must be brought up the right way in order to know and therefore act in a virtuous way. What is the right way, however, has been the subject of much controversy, particularly in the 20th century. Moreover, as many alternative lifestyles and choices become more mainstream, the very question of what is right and what is wrong is being diminished. The question of whether or not the government can legislate morality therefore arises from where the powers of government stem from, whether morality can be lawfully legislated, and if the government has a right to control the private lives of its citizens. A further argument will be made: toleration, a chief good in America, is being exploited into coerced acceptance; religious institutions are being rendered helpless by an epistolary comment made by Thomas Jefferson eons ago, known widely in civic, religious and political circles are the separation of Church and State. There is, however, one religious institution that refuses to budge on issues of morality, faith and reason in the public sphere, and that is the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is not on the “right” side of politics; it is the “most intolerant of churches” wrote English economist John Stuart Mill, was “the whore of Babylon” to Founding Father John Adams, and is the “greatest force for evil in the world,” according to philosopher and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins. Yet there is something America can learn from the Holy See, and that is an adherence to founding principles.
There's a business class going on in the lab right now. I'm learning lots about markets, market prices, stocks and graphs. My ipod is on shuffle; it goes from Nico to The Who to Patricia Ahn to Bob Dylan to the Violent Femmes to Belle and Sebastian, and so forth. Good day.
Oh, and here's a song that is the direct opposite of Hillsdale at present, but still an excellent song: