01 Jan 2015
TL;DR: Spivey as discussed by the authors analyzes the nature and scope of battles over culture war issues in the United Supreme Court and concludes that there is not one culture war but rather an interrelated set of cultural battles.
Abstract: Title of Dissertation: CULTURE WARRIORS GO TO COURT: THE SUPREME COURT AND THE BATTLE FOR THE “SOUL” OF AMERICA Michael Odell Spivey, Doctor of Philosophy, 2015 Dissertation Directed by: Professor Wayne McIntosh Department of Government and Politics The notion of a “culture war” has become a fixture in the academic writing about current American politics, in the popular press and in the cultural zeitgeist. Theorists have suggested that there is a cultural fault line dividing cultural progressives and religious traditionalists. This fault line, it is argued, stems from a basic epistemological disagreement as to whether there is transcendent “truth.” According to James Davidson Hunter, these different worldviews lead to policy polarization and cultural warfare. Hunter goes on to suggest that courts (and especially the Supreme Court) are focal points for this conflict. This work analyzes the nature and scope of battles over culture war issues in the United Supreme Court. It relies on a popular description of key culture war issues: God, guns and gays. The Supreme Court’s treatment of each of these issues is analyzed in turn. In addition, the Supreme Court’s abortion jurisprudence is also examined. With respect to each issue, key Supreme Court cases are identified. The briefs filed by the parties are then summarized and coded, identifying key “modalities” of arguments and specific arguments themselves. All amicus briefs are similarly analyzed and coded. The key Supreme Court decisions are then analyzed in light of arguments raised by parties and amici. Based upon this analysis, it appears that there is not one culture war but rather an interrelated set of cultural battles. Relatedly, there has been an evolution of cultural warfare over time. Some issues have become largely settled (at least within the Court’s jurisprudence); others are on their way to being settled and still others present continuing opportunities for cultural clashes. The work concludes by suggesting that the sexual revolution lies at the heart of cultural warfare. Moreover, cultural battles are over the “meaning” of America, that is, what social values will be protected under law. CULTURE WARRIORS GO TO COURT: THE SUPREME COURT AND THE BATTLE FOR THE “SOUL” OF AMERICA by Michael Odell Spivey Dissertation submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Maryland, College Park in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy 2015 Advisory Committee: Professor Wayne McIntosh, Chair Professor Karen Kaufmann Professor Frances Lee Professor Irwin Morris Professor Susan Dwyer ©Copyright by Michael Odell Spivey 2015
TL;DR: Haidt as mentioned in this paper argues that the visceral reaction to competing ideologies is a subconscious, rather than leaned, reaction that evolved over human evolution to innate senses of suffering, fairness, cheating and disease, and that moral foundations facilitated intra-group cooperation which in turn conferred survival advantages over other groups.
Abstract: The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion Jonathan Haidt Pantheon Books, 2012One has likely heard that, for the sake of decorum, religion and politics should never be topics of conversation with strangers. Even amongst friends or even when it is known that others hold opposing political or religious views, why is it that discussion of religion and politics leads to visceral-level acrimony and that one's views are right and the other's views are wrong? Professor Jonathan Haidt of the University of Virginia examines the psychological basis of our "righteous minds" without resorting to any of the pejorative labeling that is usually found in a book on politics and religion and eschews a purely comparative approach. Haidt proposes the intriguing hypothesis that our visceral reaction to competing ideologies is a subconscious, rather than leaned, reaction that evolved over human evolution to innate senses of suffering, fairness, cheating and disease, and that moral foundations facilitated intra-group cooperation which in turn conferred survival advantages over other groups. These psychological mechanisms are genetic in origin and not necessarily amenable to rational and voluntary control - this is in part the reason debating one's ideological opposite more often leads to frustration rather than understanding. Haidt also suggests that morality is based on six "psychological systems" or foundations (Moral Foundations Theory), similar to the hypothesized adaptive mental modules which evolved to solve specific problems of survival in the human ancestral environment.While decorum pleads for more civility, it would be better, as Haidt suggests, dragging the issue of partisan politics out into the open in order to understand it and work around our righteous minds. Haidt suggests a few methods by which the level of rhetoric in American politics can be reduced, such that the political parties can at least be cordial as they have been in the past and work together to solve truly pressing social problems.There are a number of fascinating points raised in the current book, but most intriguing is the one that morality, ideology and religion are products of group selection, as adaptations that increased individual cooperation and suppressed selfishness, thereby increasing individual loyalty to the group. That morality, political ideology and religion buttress group survival is probably highly intuitive. However, given the contemporary focus on the individual as the source of adaptations, to the exclusion of all else, to suggest that adaptations such as religion and political ideology arose to enhance survival of groups is heresy or, as Haidt recounts, "foolishness". While previous rejection of group selection itself was due in part to conceptual issues, one could also point out the prevailing individualist social sentiment, "selfish gene" mentality and unrelenting hostility against those who supported the view that group selection did indeed apply to humans and not just to insects. Haidt gives a lengthy and convincing defense of group selection, his main point being that humans can pursue self- interest at the same time they promote self-interest within a group setting - humans are "90 percent chimp, 10 percent bees". One can readily observe in the news and entertainment mediate that religion is a frequent target of derision, even within the scientific community - Haidt points to the strident contempt that the "New Atheists" hold for religion. They claim that religion is purely a by-product of an adaptive psychological trait and as a mere by-product religion serves no useful purpose. However, the religious "sense" has somehow managed to persist in the human psyche. One explanation by the New Atheists of how religion propagated itself is that it is a "parasite" or "virus" which latches onto a susceptible host and induces the host to "infect" others. As a "virus" or "parasite" that is merely interested in its own survival, religion causes people to perform behaviors that do not increase their own reproductive fitness and may even be detrimental to survival, but religion spreads nonetheless. …
TL;DR: Reading is a need and a hobby at once and this condition is the on that will make you feel that you must read.
Abstract: Some people may be laughing when looking at you reading in your spare time. Some may be admired of you. And some may want be like you who have reading hobby. What about your own feel? Have you felt right? Reading is a need and a hobby at once. This condition is the on that will make you feel that you must read. If you know are looking for the book enPDFd a defense of abortion as the choice of reading, you can find here.
TL;DR: Baker as mentioned in this paper argues that the United States is losing its moral compass and that Americans today are less committed than in the past to traditional values, and is becoming ever more deeply divided between traditionalists and secularists.
Abstract: America's Crisis of Values: Reality and Perception. By Wayne Baker. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2005. 312p. $35.00 Is the United States losing its moral compass? Are Americans today less committed than in the past to traditional values? Is the country becoming ever more deeply divided between traditionalists and secularists?