Saturday, December 03, 2005

More Details About Politics and Morality From the Minutes

John Lorand does an excellent job as our recording secretary and his summary of the discussion at our Thursday meeting was very enlightening. Here's how he summarized the discusssion in his meeting minutes:

Business meeting was preceded by a panel discussion of Politics & Morality. Joel Welty began by presenting a litany of George W. Bush’s immoralities, adding that his list was incomplete.

Rob Noggle, CMU Prof. of Philosophy, related morality to values issues: he said he is a Democrat because of values, and he gave examples. He urged us not to concede the values ground to Republicans, but work to attract values voters.

Rev. Rob Barker said he values diversity in the Dem. party. He considered the morality of Jesus, who was not concerned with people’s private lives, but was concerned with the cruel treatment of the least, last, and lost by the ruling class. He contrasted this morality with the behavior of our ruling class. Morality is about much more than sex.

Nancy White, CMU Business Prof., argued that The Law has not been about morality until very recently, but that now we realize that it must be. Law has been utilitarian, serving to guarantee distribution of food to non–farmers, and later to protect wealth. She discussed laws, asking how they probably arose, starting with what is known about the earliest farming societies. Even US democracy existed originally to conserve wealth; it was immoral to, among others, Indians and slaves, and it excluded non–landowners from participation. Morality is overdue.

The presentations were followed by many good questions and observations from the audience.

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