Teaching Social Responsibility

First, recall our discussion from Monday, that in the realm of ethics/morality, there are both descriptive (how things are) claims and normative or prescriptive (how things ought to be) claims…

Read The Courage to Teach Social Responsibility from pages 189-197 (you can stop at the Creating Change heading) and answer these questions on your site by class on Wednesday.

1. In a few sentences, what (according to the text) is “social responsibility” and why does it take courage to teach social responsibility?

2.In a few sentences… of the “four basic processes that nurture social responsibility”(see page 192), which process(es) do you believe to be most important in forming socially responsible citizens? Explain.

2. In 2-3 few paragraphs… how do different people (who have different values and fundamental understandings of justice, truth, & etc.) disagree about what values to promote and pursue? What do you think about pursuing a common vision when there isn’t a consensus?

4. In 3-4 paragraphs… offer your own stance: what does it mean to be ethical/moral in a descriptive and normative sense? How have you come to that conclusion/what is that based on?

Moral, Believing Animals

smithQ’s: What is morality? Is morality real? Is there a basis for morality? How do we make sense of & justify moral & ethical claims & assessments?

Moral, Believing Animals: Human Personhood and Culture by Christian Smith, PhD. Abstract:

What kind of animals are human beings? And how do our visions of the human shape our theories of social action and institutions? This book offers answers to these and other fundamental questions in sociological, cultural, and religious theories. The research for this book is based on the assumption (unfashionable in certain circles) that human beings have an identifiable and peculiar set of capacities and proclivities that distinguishes them significantly from other animals on this planet. It argues that all people are at bottom believers, whose lives, actions, and institutions are constituted, motivated, and governed by narrative traditions and moral orders on which they inescapably depend. Despite the vast differences in humanity between cultures and across history, no matter how differently people narrate their lives and histories, there remains an underlying structure of human personhood that helps to order human culture, history, and narration. Drawing on recent insights in moral philosophy, epistemology, and narrative studies, the book argues that humans are animals who have an inescapable moral and spiritual dimension. They cannot avoid a fundamental moral orientation in life and this, the book says, has profound consequences for how sociology must study human beings. Continue reading “Moral, Believing Animals”