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Justice Chapter 10
Transcript of Justice Chapter 10
The Abortion and Stem Cell Debate
Can the the case for permitting embryonic stem cell research be made without taking a stand on the moral and religious controversy about when personhood or life begins?
Libertarian and Utilitarian Viewpoints
The Gay Marriage Debate
2003, Massachusetts became the first state to accord legal recognition to same-sex marriage.
Justice and The Common Good
Caitlin Pirello, Ali Glazer, and Amanda Tomkiewicz
Can you decide whether the state should recognize same-sex marriage without entering into moral and religious controversies about the purpose of marriage and the moral status of homosexuality?
Catholic (first Catholic to be elected)
Did not involve his religion with politics
Used religion as a source of resonant political rhetoric
Inspiring political figures
2008, California Supreme Court ruled in favor of a right to same-sex marriage, but later overturned that decision in a state wide ballot initiative.
2009, Vermont became the first state to legalize gay marriage by legislation rather than judicial ruling.
Why should we not bring our moral and religious convictions to bear in public discourse about justice and rights?
Why should we separate our identity as citizens from our identity as moral persons more broadly conceived?
How can we know whether our political arguments meet the requirements of public reason, suitably lacking of any reliance on moral or religious views?
1. Recognize only marriages between a man and a woman
2. Recognize same-sex and opposite-sex marriages.
3. Don't recognize marriage of any kind, but leave this role to private associates.
Ideal libertarian solution
It does not abolish marriage, but it does abolish marriage as a state-sanctioned institution.
Can the decision on same-sex marriage be made on nonjudgmental grounds?
It depends on a certain conception of the meaning of marriage- its purpose and point.
Argue on liberal, nonjudgmental grounds: whether one personally approves or disapproves of homosexual relationships.
Individuals should be free to choose their marital partners no matter what their sexual orientation is.
Can be resolved within the bounds of liberal public reason, without the recourse to controversial conceptions of the purpose of marriage and the goods it honors.
The debate is fundamentally about whether gay and lesbian unions are worthy of the honor and recognition of the state.
Some reject same sex marriage on the grounds that it sanctions sin and dishonors the true meaning of marriage.
Questions To Consider
Claimed his religious faith was a private matter and would have no bearing on his public responsibilities.
Claimed the solution to certain social problems required moral input and consideration.
Liberal argument for abortion rights: resolve the question based on neutrality and freedom of choice, without entering into the moral and religious controversy.
Since the moral status of the developing fetus is a highly charged moral and religious question, the government should remain neutral and allow women to decide for themselves.
Stem cell research is a science that can potentially find cures for diabetes, Parkinson's disease, and spinal cord injury.
The Catholic Church's teaching on the moral status of the fetus is that it is a person from the moment of conception.
Whatever its medical promise, research that involves the destruction of human embryos is morally wrong and impermissible.
“In order to defend freedom, we advocate a strict separation of church and State.”
“Many adherents to this ethical system are looking for a way to live a moral life apart from the Bible and a belief in God. The system replaces revelation with reason. Logic rather than an adherence to biblical principles guides the ethical decision-making of a utilitarian.”
“A popular form of utilitarianism is situation ethics first proposed by Joseph Fletcher. Fletcher even quotes certain biblical passages to make his case.”
Anderson, Kerby. "Utilitarianism: The Greatest Good for the Greatest Number-Probe Ministries." Utilitarianism: The Greatest Good for the Greatest Number-Probe Ministries. Probe Ministries, 2004. Web. 23 Oct. 2013.
"Freedom of Religion." Libertarian Party Platform -. Libertarian Party Platform, n.d. Web. 23 Oct. 2013.
What Do You Think
Should decisions that effect an entire nation be made based on moral and religious beliefs?
Should moral and religious beliefs play into making decisions about justice and rights?
"Pro & Con Arguments: "Should Gay Marriage Be Legal?"" ProConorg Headlines. ProCon.org, 21 Oct. 2013. Web. 13 Nov. 2013.
Sandel, Michael J. "Chapter 10: Justice and the Common Good." Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do? New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009. 244-69. Print.
“Civil marriage provides stable and permanent legal and social standing to homosexual couples. This will help them to normalize and stabilize their relationships, provide peaceful co-existence between them and those with whom they disagree and provide a stable and secure psychological and social background for them and their families so they can contribute positively to society.”
Longenecker, Dwight. "Gay Marriage: Is It Right to Be Wrong?" N.p., 21 Feb. 2013. Web. 13 Nov. 2013.
Believe in same sex marriage
Believe the government should not be able to tell anyone who they can and can not marry.
This action creates people losing their right to decide who they want to marry
1821 Connecticut passes the first law in the United States barring abortions after “quickening,” which were usually performed by administering poison to the woman after the fourth month of pregnancy.
2009 Gallup releases poll results indicating that, for the first time, a majority of Americans (51%) identify themselves as pro-life.
2003 Congress passed and President George W. Bush signed into law the “Partial-Birth Abortion” ban.
2004 U.S. District Courts in California, New York, and Nebraska declare the federal “partial-birth abortion” ban unconstitutional.