Mon, 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. We'll consider two Christian approaches to this moral code. The first is found in the Parable of the Good Samaritan in the Bible. The second approach comes from a key sermon from Martin Luther King Jr. The agapists, as we'll see, 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.
- You will compare and contrast different religious and secular arguments in support of agapism.
- You will consider different theories about the relationship between emotion, control, and moral obligation.
Answer the following reflection questions in your GGL Journal before class:
- Identify at least two moral obligations that King thinks 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.