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Michael. J. Sandel, Justice: What’s the Right Thing To Do? New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009. 308-pp. ISBN-10: 0374532508; ISBN-13: 9780374532505 (pbk), $15.00 (U.S.)
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. (Isa 55.2)1

HO W WE DECI DE ON W HAT I S THE RI G HT THI NG In the Old Testament/Hebrew Scriptures the answer to this question: “What is the right thing?” is modeled by the example of YHWH. Solomon, exemplifying the highest aspects of secular humankind exhibits values of wealth, might, and wisdom. God, on the other hand, exhibits values of hesed (steadfast love), mispat (justice), and sedaqah (righteousness).2 The New Testament message of Jesus reiterates God’s values through parables and example that “the ideology of scarcity has been broken, overwhelmed by the divine gift of abundance.” 3 Thus, the means for how we decide on what is the right thing is provided by God, and for Christians by Jesus as we ask: “What would God or Jesus do in this circumstance?” As Walter Brueggemann frames the Scriptural response: Those who sign on and depart the system of of anxious scarcity become historymakers in the neighborhood. These are the ones not exhausted by Sabbath-less production who have enough energy to dream and hope. From dreams and hopes come such neighborly miracles as good health

The question that Isaiah is asking of the Israelites, the people of faith who so recently luxuriated in the free gift of abundance in the wilderness of the Exile, but who have now “succumbed to the scarcity system of Babylon, who have joined the rat race, and who have imagined they could get ahead if they hustled more” - have you forgotten what is important? See Walter Brueggemann, Journey to the Common Good (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2010), 29.
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Brueggemann 2010, 60, 62. Brueggemann 2010, 34.
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The scientific theory of global warming is a conspiracy on the part of scientists. The Bible tells us the Earth is only 4000 years old. proven and accepted theories for how the earth was formed. all are alive and flourishing today not only in some non-denominational churches. For a fanciful review of this book see http://www. good housing. whether they be of Christian. and how man’s activities have resulted in the abrupt change of climate the earth is presently experiencing. a professor of moral philosophy at Harvard University would argue that questions of moral philosophy are important in today’s world.Thursday. scientists counter that atheism is the only ra4 5 Brueggemann 2010. having read the exodus narrative: Do not be anxious . More important than ever. This is primarily because ethics. 2009). edited by Creston Davis. October 7. LYLE A. 34-5. Jesus laid it out. and all will be well. creationism triumphs. and disarmament. Despite mainline Churches decrying absolutism. Potentially the nail in the coffin for religiosity in some minds today is the rampant resurgence of denialism on the part of some religious. are not working so well to inform moral decision-making today. (Matt 6:25-33) 4 M O RA L PHI L OS OP HY I S I MP ORTA NT I N TOD AY ’ S W ORL D Michael J. God planted fossils to make things only appear older. good care for the hearth.scribd.J O U R N E Y T O T H E C O M M O N G O O D care.5 CAPITAL MARKETS RESEARCH --.care for the neighborhood. The Monstrosity of Christ: Paradox or Dialectic? by (Cambridge. good schools. Islamic or Jewish origin. Seek the kingdom . a denialism that takes the form of anti-scientism. how living things evolved from simpler forms.6 all forms of religiosity that either prevent or pervert moral discourse in community. and adiphorization. but in some individuals who claim to be good Christians (or good Muslims or good Jews).. Evolution is a myth. relativism. 2010 Page 2 of 16 . etc.do not trust Pharaoh Your heavenly father knows what you need then provides abundantly. dispensationalism. MA. scientifically-determined.5 Further worrying those who are concerned about civil order are resurgences of Dominionism. Sandel. & London: The MIT Press. The dream subverts Pharaoh’s nightmare. BRECHT DRAFT 2. See Slavoj Zizek and John Milbank. and Biblical inerrancy. In response to these denials of solid rational. 6 See Endnote for a brief explanation of each of these religious heresies.com/doc/15242017/.

rather than nothing. Hawking claims that fundamental questions such as “Why is there something rather than nothing?” Why do we exist?” Why this particular set of laws and not some other? are all answerable within the realm of physics without recourse to any other understanding (171-2). 8 See Stuart A. and culture of endlessly novel creativity” (3) that “cannot be deduced by physics” (4). 5. The whole cannot be satisfactorily explained by an understanding of its parts. The universe is not only eternal. Kauffman. 9 See Catherine Keller. is explained by a quantum fluctuation. the emergence of of new phenomena in the universe” (24) that produces the fine tuning (23 cosmological constants added by hand) that physicists attempt to explain by the weak anthropic principle of our universe representing just a ‘pocket universe’ in a bubbling sea of quantum fluctuations in the multiverse (28-9). expanding and cooling after a dramatic [quantum fluctuation] and the background inflating spacetime in which [these pocket universes] are embedded” (331). biosphere. in this case in the context of general relativity and quantum physics. October 7. Reductionism is a dead end. The Grand Design (New York: Bantam Books. but are of utmost importance. The way is not laid out in advance. alarmingly or promisingly. All complex systems exhibit emergence. Reason and Religion (New York: Basic Books. From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time (New York: Dutton. The universe actually exhibits “ontological emergence. 2008). BRECHT DRAFT 2. On the Mystery: Discerning Divinity in Process (Minneapolis: Fortress Press. 2010 Page 3 of 16 .J O U R N E Y T O T H E C O M M O N G O O D tional course.5 CAPITAL MARKETS RESEARCH --. 2010). In this worldview both God and philosophy are fully restored.8 Questions of God. What is the path out of this miasma? A growing number of scientists offer a path forward though complexity theory. 7 See Sean Carroll.Thursday. the Big Bang is not the beginning of anything other than “regions of true vacuum. Kauffman claims that a central implication of emergence in complex systems “is that [humans] are co-creators of a universe. 2009) who claims that “all theology is done in context (1). The answer to why there is something in the universe. Reinventing the Sacred: A New Vision of Science.10 Questions of moral philosophy not only have meaning.9 Theology is not something fixed for all time. Creation itself is process” (9). 2008) “the future is open. See Stephen Hawking. 10 LYLE A. The claim is that the problem of the arrow of time requiring a low entropy beginning to the universe can be solved by imagining our universe as a ‘pocket universe’ in a bubbling sea of quantum fluctuations in the multiverse. 2010). and John Polkinghorne. Theology in the Context of Science (New Haven & London: Yale University Press. are beside the point. much less value and justice. “Philosophy [and theology] is dead" 7 All of reality can be reduced to physics.

freedom.in his seminal Justice: What is the Right Thing To Do?. on which a good society depends” (8). 2009). A just society distributes these good in the right way. offices and honors.UTI L I TA RI A NISM “Utilitarianism claims to offer a science of morality. is the most moral. asks is if we can arrive at a set of values for deciding what is right without recourse to religiosity? From the perspective of moral philosophy: “Does a just society seek to promote the virtue of its citizens? Or should law be neutral toward competing conceptions of virtue. and calculating happiness” (41). based on measuring. Economics assumes that utility. and virtue” (19) where “each of these ideals suggests a different way of thinking about justice” (19).income and wealth. Everyone’s preferences count equally” (41). The hard questions begin when we ask what people are due. THREE M O RA L P HI L OS OP HI CA L A P P ROA CHE S TO J UST IC E “To ask whether a society is just is to ask how it distributes the things we prize .5 CAPITAL MARKETS RESEARCH --. Straus. Sandel claims there are presently three commonly accepted ways of answering these questions for how to distribute what people are due and why: “welfare. Sandel: Justice: What is the Right Thing To Do? (New York: Farr. can all important values be captured by the notion of utility? For example. The simple Page numbers in parentheses in the main text refer to Michael J. often reduced to monetary value. can a cost-benefit analysis that attempts to translate all costs and benefits of complex business or social choices into monetary terms and then compare them even be useful if it is value-free? (41). and Giroux. 11 LYLE A. offers a common currency for measuring this greatest good. 2010 Page 4 of 16 . ag- gregating. so that citizens can be free to choose for themselves the best way to live?” (9). The working assumption of utilitarianism is that the decision that produces the greatest good.J O U R N E Y T O T H E C O M M O N G O O D THE Q UES TI ON FOR MORA L P HI L OS OP HY TO A NS W E R The question that Michael Sandel. October 7. “It weighs preferences without judging them.Thursday.11 Sandel explicates various modern moral philosophies that are founded on theories of welfare and freedom and contrasts these with ancient notions of “civic virtue of shared sacrifice for the commons good” (8) that rely on “attitudes and dispositions. it gives each person his or her due. and why” (19). measured by happiness. But. BRECHT DRAFT 2. powers and opportunities. duties and rights. the qualities of character. WELFA RE FOR THE G RE ATE S T NUMBE R .

“Persons should not be used merely as means to the welfare of others. because doing so violates the fundamental right of self-ownership. Grist for tea parties.J O U R N E Y T O T H E C O M M O N G O O D and over whelming evidence is: No! There are so many examples. FREEDOM FO R I NDI V I D UA L S .Thursday. but remedies such as taxes. “To be free is to be subject only to obligations I voluntarily incur. LYLE A. Since “laws that interfere with the free market violate individual liberty” (75) all regulations must be abolished. I owe by virtue of some act of consent . the state may do’” (62). to the devastation of New Orleans by Katrina where cost benefit analyses that relied wholly on economic measures of utility failed to produce moral decision-making. we shall see that both Kant’s idea of autonomous will and Rawl’s idea of a hypothetical agreement behind a veil of ignorance “conceive the moral agent as independent of his or her particular aims and attachments” (214). “An early version of the choosing self comes to us from John Locke. from the design of the Ford Pinto car.” (103). He argued that legitimate government must be based on consent” (214). whatever I owe others. Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) offers a way around this self defeating libertarian notion of self-ownership or on a “claim that our lives and liberties are a gift 12 Quoting Robert Nozick in Anarchy. State and Utopia (1974). be it tacit or explicit” (213). It is self-evident that free markets themselves are to be promoted for their utility at providing the greatest good for the greatest number (75). They are not at the disposal of the society as a whole.5 CAPITAL MARKETS RESEARCH --.12 Not only is there nothing wrong with economic inequality as such (62). BRECHT DRAFT 2. and [celebrates a] consent so complete that it permits self-inflicted affronts to human dignity such as consensual cannibalism or selling oneself into slavery” (104). Below. 2010 Page 5 of 16 . My life. to the 2008-2010 Wall Street financial collapse.a choice or a promise or an agreement I have made. public health care and social services are immoral and unconstitutional. labor and person belong to me and me alone. October 7. if anything. However. Something more than mere utility is required to produce moral decisions that lead to a just result.L I BE RTA RI A NI S M The most cogent argument for libertarianism is “the claim that individuals have rights ‘so strong and far reaching’ that ‘they raise the question of what. this libertarian notion of ‘self-ownership’ “rules out most measures to ease inequality and promote the common good. to the Gulf BP oil spill. True libertarians reject utilitarianism.

Kant rejects the premise that free markets or consumer choice as true freedom “because it simply involves satisfying desires we haven’t chosen in the first place” (106).misunderstands what morality is about” (106-7). every person is worthy of respect. “The mere fact that the majority.a choice that human beings can make and billiard balls (and most animals) cannot” (109).. for its own sake . basing moral principles on preferences and desires . Kant argues that “we can arrive at the supreme principle of morality through the exercise of what he calls ‘pure practical reason’. such as the interests.. and appetites. capable to acting and choosing freely” (107)... worthy of dignity and respect” (104). 2010 Page 6 of 16 . not for some ulterior motive.. the moral worth of an action consists not in the consequences that flow from it. by which Kant means doing the right thing for the right reason” (111). not only for selfinterest but for any and all attempts to satisfy our wants.. capable of reason. not because we own ourselves but because we are rational beings.J O U R N E Y T O T H E C O M M O N G O O D from God. “To act freely is not to choose the best means to a given end.5 CAPITAL MARKETS RESEARCH --. but the intention from which the act is done. desires. such as self-interest..Thursday.. our action lacks moral worth. so they could hardly serve as the basis for universal moral principles . Instead.. we are also autonomous beings.... October 7. wants.even the desire for happiness . Kant redefinition of individual freedom has become the cornerstone of the modern notion of universal human rights.. does not make the law just” (106). preferences. however big. the motive that confers moral worth on an action is the motive of duty. for example.. desires. BRECHT DRAFT 2. favors a certain law. What matters is doing the right thing because it’s right. and preferences people have at any given time. These factors are variable and contingent. “Kant argues that morality can’t be based on merely empirical considerations. What matters is the motive. Kant believes that utilitarianism is also a defunct concept for making moral decisions because it “leaves rights vulnerable” (106).. To be free requires that humans “act not out of a hypothetical imperative but out of a categorical imperative” (118)... however intensely.such as universal human rights. The majority can always trample on the freedoms of the minority. “If we act out of some motive other than duty. it is to choose the end itself the end itself.. Such a cate- LYLE A. it depends on the idea that we are rational beings. “According to Kant. only actions done out of the motive of duty have moral worth” (112)...

Instead. (b) permits only those social and economic inequalities that work to the advantage of the least well off members of society” (142). Rawls rejects self-interested contracts as a basis for distributive justice on two grounds: (a) relative advantage in negotiating an agreement is entirely contingent.5 CAPITAL MARKETS RESEARCH --. that contracts justify the terms that they produce. We sometimes assume that. BRECHT DRAFT 2. Rawls counters that the “way things are does not determine the way they ought to be” (165). Milton Friedman in his Free to Choose (1980) “insisted that we should not try to remedy this unfairness. in other words. October 7. the terms of their agreement must be fair.Thursday. and (b) “the qualities that a society happens to value at any given time [are] also morally arbitrary” (162). Instead we would choose to construct a world where justice: (a) provides for “equal basic liberties for all citizens. (b) we have a duty to respect all humans not as a means to satisfy our particular wants. nor would we choose “a purely laissez-faire. what Kant was referring to in his ‘categorical imperatives.A CA S E FOR V I RTUE John Rawls (1921-2002) provides a mechanism for arriving at first principles for moral action.J O U R N E Y T O T H E C O M M O N G O O D gorical imperative assumes that: (a) “we should act only on principles that we could universalize without contradiction” (120. “To appreciate the moral force of Rawls’s hypothetical contract. “This is Rawl’s idea of a social contract . Rawls invites us to ask what principles we . self-interested persons would choose if we found ourselves in that position” (141). 2010 Page 7 of 16 . and enjoy the benefits it brings” (164-5). especially if they are unjust! LYLE A. We assume. such as freedom of speech and religion” (141). Actual contracts are not self-sufficient moral instruments. He believes we would not choose utilitarianism (we might be a member of an oppressed minority).at least not on their own. JUS TI CE & T HE COMMON G OOD . it helps to notice the moral limits of actual contracts. The mere fact that you and I make a deal is not enough to make it fair” (142).a hypothetical agreement in an original position of equality. when two people make a deal. but as worthy ends in themselves (122-4). But they don’t . libertarian” world (what if I am a homeless person!) [141-2].’ He proposes that we choose such first principles behind a ‘veil of ignorance’ where we are prevented from knowing where in society we will end up as the result of the principles we choose (141). we should learn to live with it.as rational.

3 [1104b]. For Aristotle. It’s about learning how to live a good life. translated by David Ross (New York: Oxford University Press. the only means for determining the way things ought to be is through political discourse. ruling and being ruled . not universal.. from a recognition that my life story is Aristotle. For Aristotle.in short. ‘an activity of the soul in accordance with virtue’” 13 (197). It is to form good citizens and to cultivate good character. Unlike natural duties under Kant. but the choice issues from the interpretation. Politics for Aristotle is not a necessary evil but an essential feature for the good life. October 7. to share in self-government. 2010 Page 8 of 16 . 13 LYLE A. Alasdair MacIntyre in his After Virtue (1981) provides a refinement of Aristotle’s notion of the “way we. MacIntyre believes that “Moral deliberation is more about interpreting my life story than exerting my will. the narrative. “obligations of solidarity are particular. Thus. It involves choice. this is the primary purpose of law .5 CAPITAL MARKETS RESEARCH --. “only by living in a polis and participating in politics do we fully realize our nature as human beings” (195). Nicomachean Ethics.. but to those with whom we share a certain history.. Book II. aspect of moral reflection is bound up with membership and belonging” (222).J O U R N E Y T O T H E C O M M O N G O O D For Aristotle. chap.Thursday.to deliberate about the common good. BRECHT DRAFT 2. to acquire practical judgment. this is not the happiness of utilitarianism or the freedom of libertarianism as it is “not a state of mind but a way of being. politics is about something higher. to care for the fate of the community as a whole” (193-4). the “purpose of politics is not is not to set up a framework of rights that is neutral among ends.. they do not depend on an act of consent. as moral agents. not to rational beings as such. Their moral weight derives from the situated aspect of moral reflection. for “MacIntyre (as for Aristotle). by being citizens” (199). or teleological. But unlike voluntary obligations. We become good at deliberating only by entering the arena.. 1925).to cultivate the habits that lead to good character” (197-8) and “moral education is less about promulgating rules than forming habits and shaping character” (198). But. arguing our case. they involve moral responsibilities we owe. He rejects the notion that the purpose of politics is to satisfy the preferences of the majority. weighing the alternatives.. The purpose of politics is nothing less than to enable people to develop their distinctive human capacities and virtues . arrive at our purposes and ends” (221). While the goal of political discourse is happiness. it is not a sovereign act of will” (222).

For example. BRECHT DRAFT 2. Sandel claims that “politics of moral engagement is not only more inspiring idea than a politics of avoidance. But unless we want to let the market rewrite the norms that govern social institutions. Fundamentalists rush in where liberals fear” (243). we need a public debate about the moral limits of markets” (265). “To have character is to live in recognition of one’s (sometimes conflicting) encumbrances. A just society requires moral engagement (269). “To achieve a just society we have to reason together about the meaning of the good life. obligations of solidarity or membership may claim us for reasons unrelated to a choice .J O U R N E Y T O T H E C O M M O N G O O D implicated in the stories of others” (225). Sandel believes that “Markets are useful instruments for organizing productive activity. the “hollowing out of the public realm makes it difficult to cultivate the solidarity and sense of community on which democratic citizenship depends” (267). and to create a public culture hospitable to the disagreements that will inevitably arise” (261). With this moral philosophical background. Furthermore. In summary. intolerant moralisms. 2010 Page 9 of 16 . even where it is possible. It is also a more promising for a just society” (269). It is also an open invitation to narrow. First. For example. with belonging comes responsibilities. 241). and discharging the moral burdens that may come with it” (235). Sandel argues that “A politics emptied of substantive moral engagement makes for an impoverished civic life.5 CAPITAL MARKETS RESEARCH --.reasons bound up with the narratives by which we interpret our lives and the communities we inhabit” (237. it may not be desirable” (251). “you really can’t take pride in your country and its past if you are unwilling to acknowledge any responsibility for carrying its story into the present. po- LYLE A. But. October 7.Thursday.. social opportunity. As Amartya Sen expands on this requirement for justice: “It is hard to escape the general conclusion that economic performance. “A just society can’t be achieved simply by maximizing utility or by securing freedom of choice” (261).. the “attempt to detach arguments about justice and rights from arguments about the good life is mistaken for two reasons. it is not always possible to decide questions of justice and rights without resolving substantive moral questions. and second.. Just “as “Too great a gap between rich and poor undermines the solidarity that democratic citizenship requires” (266).

requirement to consider the ways and means through which torture can be prevented and then to decide what one should. Sen. 2010 Page 10 of 16 . reasonably do. 389.J O U R N E Y T O T H E C O M M O N G O O D litical voice and public reasoning are all deeply related. http://www.whether national or global .scribd. age. gender. 350. ethnicity. in this particular case. reasoning. community and other established barriers” is discourse concerning our “doubts. when human values and character enter the discussion and the morality of a decision is on the table.. this insertion of question of justice requires that the “perfectly specified demand not to torture anyone is supplemented by the more general .5 CAPITAL MARKETS RESEARCH --.”17 For example. Sen. human rights become “ethical claims constitutively linked with the importance of human See Amartya Sen. October 7.and less exactly specified . 2009).regardless of nationality. 381.. MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. 2008).” 20 That is because. Capability.. or sexual preference. Sen. BRECHT DRAFT 2. religion.19 However.Thursday. 376.”15 Central to the advancement of justice is both objective analysis and discourse concerning what is happening compared with what could have happened. religion.” 14 David Crocker argues that “the long-term goal of good and just development .com/doc/16932282/Torture-and-Democracy-Notes. 381 in Sen. rather than to replace. The Idea of Justice (Cambridge. 376. Outrage can be used to motivate. 15 16 17 18 19 20 Sen. On torture. 14 David Crocker. rank. location. LYLE A. 389.must be to secure an adequate level of agency and morally basic capabilities for everyone in the world . the “right of a person not to be tortured” regardless of utility claimed by the torturer 18 should be a legitimate topic for moral discourse and public policy when justice becomes a component of public discourse and politics. arguments and scrutiny to move towards conclusions about whether and how justice can be advanced. gender.16 The only means to address the injustices “linked with divisions of class. Ethics of Global Development: Agency. questions. for the common good. and Deliberative Democracy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

in solidarity with all others. relativism. and if necessary. just as for the Hebrews in Exile. this truthful speech is grounded in character and non-judgmental morality that seeks the common good. 365-6. For Sandel. Benton. Thus.” 22 This is a particularly pernicious exegesis of Genesis 1:26. Essentially. This theology fueled the Christian Crusades between 1095 and 1291 as it teaches that it is our Christian duty to take over the world. and Biblical inerrancy all stem from a literal interpretation of Scripture. religion is a primary source for many values and an understanding of what constitutes good character. October 7. therefore anything done by human beings is by definition is good. Thus. religiosity cannot be excluded from one’s understanding of and search for justice. See Michael J. 2010 Page 11 of 16 . this is human freedom that is inextricably linked to the common good. the question is what is the antidote to a broken religiosity. BRECHT DRAFT 2. to ring out in the public forum.Thursday. in order to impose Biblical rule. Dominionism is a heresy that claims that since “everything on Earth was created by God for the benefit of humanity. Sandel clearly comes out on the side of the requirement to address questions of values and character explicitly. not to an individual’s present wants or needs or desires. at least in the world a majority of the humans presently on this earth inhabit. That is because. and Rawlsian ethics are not sufficient answers. in a political sense. how might religion help promote justice? Absolutism. truthful speech. in a military sense. ENDNOTE: Is there an antidote to broken religiosity? If justice is at issue. 284. When Life Nearly Died: The Greatest Mass Extinction of All Time (London: Thames & Hudson. the message is for a cry of parresia. 2003). Ltd.5 CAPITAL MARKETS RESEARCH --. If utilitarianism. religiosity that leads to injustice and loss of human freedom. libertarianism. a fundamental misunderstanding of text and hermeneutics.J O U R N E Y T O T H E C O M M O N G O O D freedom. LYLE A. this is the mission of the Taliban (Quran-rule) who seized power in Afghanistan after the Soviets left in February 1989 and continues 21 22 Sen.” 21 But. But. This is the moral stance Sandel suggests for justice to be done.

unchecked desire. always also lies? “Ressentiment is a sense of resentment and hostility directed at that which one identifies as the cause of one’s frustration. LYLE A. or morality.scribd.23 Dispensationalism is actually a from of religiously-derived fatalism. climate change. etc.com/doc/15260699/. But why are deniers listened to and are their promulgating of falsehoods. why not help things along a bit? Thus. in-group acceptance.24 Denialism has been alive and well in the church for centuries. payment for services rendered. All such destruction will lead to a quicker parousia. or any man-made desecration of God’s good creation. 2010 Page 12 of 16 . everyday decisions can be made that are entirely devoid of moral content and ethical considerations. 2001." 23 24 25 See http://www. environmental destruction. Deniers provide an untrue and oftentimes dissembling assessment of reality. Adiphorization is a heretical claim on the part of some religious individuals that God’s world and the real world are separate entities where n’er the twain shall meet.Thursday. who cares about war. Galileo confirmed that the Earth went around the sun – and not the other way around as the church claimed at that time – and was charged with heresy in 1633. He spent the rest of his life under house arrest in Tuscany. which attacks or denies the perceived source of one’s frustration. war in Afghanistan that began on October 7. Since the parousia (second coming of Christ) will not occur until all things come to pass. The psychodynamic underpinnings of Dominionism is ressentiment. or a character flaw that renders one mendacious and deceitful by nature.J O U R N E Y T O T H E C O M M O N G O O D today in the U. what makes deniers ultimately accountable is that they preach these falsehoods. BRECHT DRAFT 2. However. It wasn’t until 1992 that Pope John Paul admit that the church’s house arrest of Galileo had been a “mistake”. pure cantankerousness. an assignation of blame for one’s frustration. The ego creates an enemy in order to insulate itself from culpability. Deniers engage in an active stance to convince others of their wrongful beliefs. The sense of weakness or inferiority and perhaps jealousy in the face of the ‘cause’ generates a rejecting/justifying value system.whether that utility be avarice.S. October 7.25 My own view is that denialism is best thought of as the preaching of falsehoods out of a utility . These falsehoods are malicious or injurious in that they ultimately are false.5 CAPITAL MARKETS RESEARCH --. Thus. an unwillingness to admit one is/was wrong.

fed to dogs. Whatever humans choose “reverberates . does one become Christian through one’s interior self-disclosure? Or. their agents.. not science with religion.5 CAPITAL MARKETS RESEARCH --.and is. relativism. 81.com/doc/12392475/Torture-Survival-Manual-for-the-Camps. as a moral agent. At least when I read Scriptures. Might the example of Jesus' table fellowship cause some pause to those selfproclaiming Christians who use Christianity as a badge for who is ‘in’ and who is ‘out?’. hacked apart.as all will unfold according to God’s will. and worked to death as slave labor the natives.Thursday. using my self-defined interiority. the conquistadors. full of puppet-creatures. dispensationalism. patriarchy. October 7. equality. 26 If God controls everything. As conquerors of this new land. Essentially. there is a bright line drawn between exclusiveness.” the God of Scripture “calls forth our freedom . good and evil.scribd... especially the New Testament Gospels. believe is what God wants and everything will be taken care of . off the hook. stabbed. 26 Is one’s Christian-ness actually determined more by how one objectively acts in relation to others? Exhibiting Christian virtues in one’s everyday behavior. including denialism may stem from a misunderstanding of God’s omnipotence. power and inclusivity.in the divine” (81). hospitality.. They confuse God’s participation in the events and reality of the world with controlling everything that happens. religion should have no quarrel with science. Thus. All I have to do is to abide by what I.. All that is required is for one to believe a certain set of texts. 2010 Page 13 of 16 . and shall leave Keller. maybe even theology is a smoke screen for what is really going on under the surface for those religious who engage absolutism. BRECHT DRAFT 2. shot. that lets me. unless that religiosity leads to denialism. Actually.J O U R N E Y T O T H E C O M M O N G O O D For religious persons. many of the above heresies. scalped. Is one’s “Christian-ness” self-defined? Defined interiorly as how one perceives one’s self as possessing this attribute. burned alive.com/doc/15242017/.in spirit and in truth . beat. 27 28 http://www. See http://www. Maybe the early sixteenth century religious who supported the Spanish conquistadors in their genocide of the indigenous population of the Southern Hemisphere said it most clearly. LYLE A. all the while religiously claiming in the name of God:28 If you “acknowledge the Church as the Ruler and Superior of the whole world.scribd. is more required?27 But. and adiphorization and denialism in service to their political agenda. and Biblical inerrancy or Dominionism. hunted as game. therefore vulnerable to our decisions.” then we “shall receive you in all love and charity. the God revealed in Scripture “would have no use for [such] a pretend universe.

and shall make war against you in all ways and manners that we can. then] we shall powerfully enter into your country.g.. and the work as well as the hope of humanity. your wives.. to provide the narrative that defines what has value. For both are of utmost importance if we wish to live in a more just world.” fulfilling our responsibility to protect. It turns out that is one of the most important and long lasting features of religion. 2010).”29 Immanuel Kant was on the right track when he claimed that “Bringing reason to the world becomes the enterprise of morality.” 29 30 Noam Chomsky. capitalism.” 30 But. Following from this principle: no religious coercion is allowed. capitalism. or ours. Christianity and Islam. and not that of their Highness. scientism. Judaism. A set of principles to protect individual freedoms has been proposed within the context of Islam (its reform to contemporary understandings of human industry). reason is not enough. but may be equally applicable for other belief systems e. 2010 Page 14 of 16 . MacIntyre has it right. BRECHT DRAFT 2.5 CAPITAL MARKETS RESEARCH --. whether Christianity. That is. and your lands. that leads to justice. Sandel argues.” This is true whether beliefs are centered on the God of Scripture. and your children. and we protest that the deaths and loses which shall accrue from this are your fault. Christianity. October 7. it may be just as important. etc. what describes character. humanism. etc. to root out bad reasoning. not only is it important. “If you do not [meet your obligations in this way. atheism. We also need a narrative to provide meaning for what has value and which character traits to uphold. The foundational proposition is that all personal freedoms rely on a set of tolerant beliefs that recognize that “freedom is the only form in which man’s worship of God can be embodied. as this transgresses individual freedom and “is too fundamental to be subject to elections or debate. as determining what is ultimately rational and Real in the world. xvii. But. as in Judaism. nor of these cavaliers who come with us.. through interpreting narrative. 20-1. free without servitude. Hopes and Prospects (Chicago: Haymarket Books. etc. LYLE A. Sen. or in more secular gods such a belief in science. Islam.. Thus.Thursday. Judaism. if not more so to root out bad theology.J O U R N E Y T O T H E C O M M O N G O O D you.” and even “award you many privileges and exemptions and will grant you many benefits.

5 CAPITAL MARKETS RESEARCH --. From the perspective of utility. 26:12-15. D. Zech 7:10. An Unsettling God: The Heart of the Hebrew Bible (Minneapolis: Fortress Press. 4. Both traditions indicate it is not only the individual’s. The justice commanded by God and/or by the Gospel of Jesus. 32 LYLE A.. 22:3. Global Catastrophes and Trends: The Next 50 Years (London & Cambridge: The MIT Press. the ekklesia . 26-7.” democracy is necessary for personal freedom as it “is so far the best relative standard man has achieved. 2009). 14. For example. trans. Developing ideas requires personal freedom. hatred. Proposal for an Islamic Covenant. Abu Shehadeh. Without the interjection of broader values and incluSee Muhammad Shahrur.. Mic 2:1-2.Thursday. but the community’s (state’s or nation’s) requirement to do justice. 114 and 140.J O U R N E Y T O T H E C O M M O N G O O D no persecution of other religions is allowed as distinctions do “not justify enmity.. for the primary benefit of the in-group. so that each person-as-member is to be treated well enough to be sustained as a full member of the community. This command to do justice is deeply embedded in tradition: cf. 31 See Walter Brueggemann. 2000) quoted in Vaclav Smil. however: is not the retributive justice of ‘deeds-consequences’ wherein rewards and punishments are meted out to persons and the community according to conduct.. 17:5. Eickelman and I.F. 16:11. Israel [or in the New Testament. 24:19-21. and killing.S. Deut 14:29. Ideas are the engine that drives capitalism. (Damascus: al-Ahali.a community comprised of those dedicated to Christ] understands itself as a community of persons bound in membership to one another. Isa 1:17. The utility or liberty is from an in-group’s perspective. BRECHT DRAFT 2.(27-9).. 2010 Page 15 of 16 . Rather. 2008).31 One of the most important personal freedoms is to remember the narratives of one’s religion for such narratives can provide deep meaning to the entire movement towards real justice. Prov 14:31.” and religiously motivated violence is rejected. in the Judeo-Christian tradition. October 7. it can be argued they are as important as economic or military might” in shepherding the entrepreneurial success of a great nation. the Scriptures recount numerous stories that help to describe and to define what constitutes justice. maybe the most important reason to protect personal freedoms “is the intangible but critically important power of ideas. Ps 72:1-2.32 Justice derived from utilitarianism and/or libertarianism fails for just this reason. 5:8-10. Jer 7:6.

but primarily the security and justice for the “principle architects of policy. James M. Jr. orphans. 36 Martin Luther king. This may be the most important contribution that religion can make to the justice debate . and resident aliens”).36 33 34 35 See http://www.all humanity] is understood as a community that is to be preoccupied with the well-being of the neighbor.to remember the form of justice based on relationship and relationality between God and humankind (anamnesis. ἀνάμνησις (Gk). Thus.’s words: Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.com/doc/19538880/Capitalism-Socialism-Corporatism.” in A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King. any form of justice or law claiming to be “justice” that does not promote the common good is not justice.g. October 7. the Scripture of the Christian and Hebrew Bibles calls for distributive justice.J O U R N E Y T O T H E C O M M O N G O O D sivity of purpose. In this world of self-interested ‘justice’ laws are passed that define justice as maintaining security. The command to do justice not only marks the polity of the communal life of humankind.5 CAPITAL MARKETS RESEARCH --. affects all indirectly. In both Christianity and Judaism. this is not security for all members of the community. ed. Brueggemann 2009. This is a justice that is a reflection of God’s love for the world and the mutual relationality between humankind and God. it prohibits a form of justice that results in the promotion of “self-protection. at least in the eyes of Judeo-Christian Scriptural tradition. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality tied in a single garment of destiny. 115. 1986. LYLE A.scribd. Otherwise statism and/or corporatism33 will step in and claim the divine unilateral “right of aggression and other forms of intervention to ensure ‘uninhibited access to key markets. 27-9. even when that exercise of public power works against established interests” (29). self-sufficiency. BRECHT DRAFT 2. and it is to be prepared to exercise public power for the sake of the neighbor. energy supplies and strategic resources” while making certain that the privileged and powerful are never inconvenienced or placed at risk. 290 quoted in Keller. “Israel [the chosen people of God . Jr. Whatever affects one directly. 2010 Page 16 of 16 .. in Martin Luther King. “Letter from Birmingham City Jail. and self-indulgence” at the expense of “the needs of those too weak to protect themselves” (e.35 Anything less. Chomsky. justice too often goes wildly astray. Jr. literally "loss of forgetfulness").” 34 Instead.. 26-7. But. Washington (San Francisco: Harper & Row. “widows.Thursday.

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