Wed, Sep 23
Today we look at another moral code based on a different set of assumptions about the goals of the moral life. According to the agapists, you are living a moral life to the extent that you love everyone indiscriminately, though you express that love in different ways depending on the needs of the other person. The Christian tradition explores this moral code in the Parable of the Good Samaritan, which we will work to interpret. The agapists, as we'll see, also take a different approach from Plato on the question of what role emotion plays in moral life.
By the end of class today, you will:
- Understand agapism as a moral theory.
- Compare and contrast different religious and secular arguments in support of agapism.
- Consider different theories about the relationship between emotion, control, and moral obligation.
Complete these steps before you come to class
Consider the following prompts (you may want to write responses to these in your journal or talk about them with a friend):
- Identify at least two distinct moral obligations that might stem from the Parable of the Good Samaritan.
- Reflect on the NYTimes story. Do you think there is a tension between a private obligation to love and good public policy? Why or why not? Give an argument for your view.
- Optional: test yourself by taking a practice comprehension check.