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Author Topic: My Stupid Ethics class
Puretext
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We're discussing nonsense, with no clear paradigm through wich to interpret. Beyond my paper, we've actually entered into the "Economic Justice" section of the class and (joy of joys) I've been selected as part of a group to do an in-class presentation.

One of my assigned tasks is to create some kind of survey that tells people which political economic viewpoint they come from. So far, no problem. Here's the kicker: I'm supposed to stay relatively in sync with our textbook, and only discuss more clearly the ideas already presented in the book. My book presents four basic viewpoints from which to see the world:

Libertarianism
Capitalism
Socialism
Modern Liberalism

Does this make sense to anybody? Now, you might be able to create a dichotomy between any two of these, but the four as a whole overlap horribly. Libertarianism is not an economic viewpoint, it's social one that discusses the role of the government, and as such stands opposite from Socialism. But Capitalism and and Libertarianism fit hand in glove. The mirror of Capitalism should be Communism, but it isn't mentioned. Instead we have "Modern Liberalism" which is presented in my textbook as being the appropriate compromise of the three previous options, but what is described is simply a moderate form of socialism, which wouldn't be a good idea for anybody who wasn't a moderate socialist.

Nevertheless, can anybody point me to some sources that I can use to create some kind of survey that will actually make sense of socio-political-economic viewpoints? I think I saw one by the Libertarian party that was very nicely done, but I can't seem to find a copy or anything like it.


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maniacal_engineer
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you have my deepest sympathies. Is there a requirement anywhere in your task for interpretive dance? We have jokingly threatened to include an interpretive dance question into our fairly extensive technical hiring interview.
But it seems that the text is loaded. if they don't have a box for modern conservative thought, then no one will think it. Kind of like in 1984 when the guy talked about eliminating words. you cant be subversive if there are no words for subversive ideas.

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msquared
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How PC is your teacher? Would he mind if you went outside the box? Or let me guess, he wrote the book and thinks of it as the bible.

This is were the liberals on the college campusi(?) have the power. They do not teach all of the options, just the ones they believe are correct.

msquared


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Dan Allen
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Maybe the authors used Socialism to replace Communism?
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Kilthmal
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http://www.lp.org/quiz/

I think this was the quiz you had seen before, but it is as they say a political quiz.

On the issue of libertarians, have any of you read David Brin(www.davidbrin.com) a professed libertarian, but foremost a pragmatimist. He's, at the moment, the person most influencial on my worldview. His book The Transparent Society brings up a lot of intresting ideas and solutions in society that I haven't read represented that often. If anyone else has read some essays on the issue of transparency I'd love it if you posted or sent me some email(kilthmal@yahoo.com)

Thanks for your time,
Kilthmal


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Puretext
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Actually, I have my deepest sympathies for the teacher as well. It's a "CORE" class, which means it's mandatory class for all students and taught from a broad base of perspectives. They achieve this broad base of perspectives by having the curriculum determined by committee and the class taught by rotating faculty from all departments. This semester, there's three ethics classes being taught by a psych professor, a nursing professor, and a poli-sci professor whose expertise is in China. My professor is the poli-sci teacher, who is also a newbie and therefore has a limited voice in what is actually taught. He's publicly criticized the text many times (mostly for bad grammar and spelling, though clarity was in there as well). Unfortunately, there's still nothing he can do about it.

M²--
I don't know particularly if he's PC one way or the other, but he is pretty leftist as things go. He seems to be pretty ok with accepting any position, though, as long as you can support it. He's just a major stickler when it comes to defining "support."

Kilthmal (is that Kill them all?)--
That is the exact quiz I was thinking of. I remembered it being much longer, though. Alas, I dont' think I can use it very well in the presentation. Thanks, though.

I talked to some other professors, and the spectrum that they're tring to present (albeit ineffectively through the text) is that of

Little intervention........ Moderate intervention........ and Much intervention

Where "intervention" refers primarily to economic issues, as opposed to public morals or international policy.

(BTW-- Technical hiring interview... does that include technical writing? Because I could really use a job in about 6 months...)


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Puretext
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Ahh. found it. I think this may be closer. Maybe not. I'll see later...

KB


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Everard
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I'd like to point out, simply because it needs to be pointed out to msquared, that all the ethics classes I took at a public school in a progressive state, were not NEARLY this limiting. I can garuntee you NO philosophy professor worth his salt would use the book that is being described unless its forced onto him, or he isn't really a philosophy professor. Judging by the sound of this, I'm guessing the later.

Anyrate, if he IS a good professor, he'll let you go outside the box.


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maniacal_engineer
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i think the purpose of a box is to flip it over, stand on it, and rant.

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JonathanTheOmnipotent
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I thought it was for transmogrifying.
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Everard
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Both are acceptable uses.

However, the primary function of a box is to fly around through time.


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Puretext
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Darn. We always used our boxes to pack all our books when we were moving. We moved a lot.

Ironically, the Dean of the college of arts and sciences has his PHD in philosophy. I would have assumed he had the final say for what was required for the class, but perhaps this is the problem with curricula by committee. My only problem with the teacher is that he's a real stickler and he's used to receiving a very different kind of support than I am used to supplying. The shift requires time, and time I have precious little of. I organize badly.

I also am finding that I'm more moderate than I ever thought I could be (probably a result of reading Ender and deciding to always understand my enemies before I annihilate them). More and more it seems to me that the middle ground is the hardest to defend from either extreme.

There was a link in my last post. It doesn't seem to be there now. So I'm trying again.


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Puretext
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Actually. This site is pretty amazing. I'm almost persuaded to become a libertarian...

KB


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timeskimo
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I'm in favor of duplication...
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Puretext
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Huh?

Wait... Never mind. Got it.
KB

[This message has been edited by Puretext (edited November 13, 2002).]


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