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Morality as taught in the IVY LEAGUE - FOR REAL


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#1 PUBBY

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Posted 30 July 2011 - 06:32 AM

In this eighth hour of discussion, Professor Sandel takes Rawls and his vision that the fair and equitable relationship available by contract and consent is possible if you envision how two equally aware and knowledgeable individuals were to negotiate that often elusive win-win agreement.



ART ONE: WHATS A FAIR START?
Is it just to tax the rich to help the poor? John Rawls says we should answer this question by asking what principles you would choose to govern the distribution of income and wealth if you did not know who you were, whether you grew up in privilege or in poverty. Wouldn't you want an equal distribution of wealth, or one that maximally benefits whomever happens to be the least advantaged? After all, that might be you. Rawls argues that even meritocracy—a distributive system that rewards effort—doesn't go far enough in leveling the playing field because those who are naturally gifted will always get ahead. Furthermore, says Rawls, the naturally gifted cant claim much credit because their success often depends on factors as arbitrary as birth order. Sandel makes Rawls' point when he asks the students who were first born in their family to raise their hands.

PART TWO: WHAT DO WE DESERVE?

Professor Sandel recaps how income, wealth, and opportunities in life should be distributed, according to the three different theories raised so far in class. He summarizes libertarianism, the meritocratic system, and John Rawls egalitarian theory. Sandel then launches a discussion of the fairness of pay differentials in modern society. He compares the salary of former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day OConnor ($200,000) with the salary of televisions Judge Judy ($25 million). Sandel asks, is this fair? According to John Rawls, it is not. Rawls argues that an individuals personal success is often a function of morally arbitrary facts—luck, genes, and family circumstances—for which he or she can claim no credit. Those at the bottom are no less worthy simply because they weren't born with the talents a particular society rewards, Rawls argues, and the only just way to deal with society's inequalities is for the naturally advantaged to share their wealth with those less fortunate.

#2 The Postman

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 03:18 PM

I can't believe that such few people are interested in such a educational topic of discussion as these first 8 sessions are.

How far behind the veil of ignorance are we?

It seems to me that education is not very important to us. But, some of us may think they are more educated than these topics are capable of being. Therefore what's the use of the consideration it would take to study these discussions?
"The rich alone use imported articles, and on these alone the whole taxes of the General Government are levied. ... Our revenues liberated by the discharge of the public debt, and its surplus applied to canals, roads, schools, etc., the farmer will see his government supported, his children educated, and the face of his country made a paradise by the contributions of the rich alone, without his being called on to spend a cent from his earnings." ~ The Chief Author of our Declaration of Independence

#3 PUBBY

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 11:07 PM

I can't believe that such few people are interested in such a educational topic of discussion as these first 8 sessions are.

How far behind the veil of ignorance are we?

It seems to me that education is not very important to us. But, some of us may think they are more educated than these topics are capable of being. Therefore what's the use of the consideration it would take to study these discussions?


TP:

You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink.

If that is true, can you also lead a horses ass to water but you can make him drink from that end either ;)

Actually, I think the effort I'm making is worthwhile as I've got only two more hour-long lectures to go. If folks don't want to engage here, there can engage there.

I'll note that the engagement there, considering the videos have typically been viewed 80-100,000 times, is really rather low. I've posted in a couple of the discussions and in one, my comment was like the 12th one recorded. Go figure ;)

pubby



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