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updated: 2/8/14


tower m otto

tower m ottotower m otto

honi soit motto 

the capybara clan

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tower m otto


The "mission and core purpose" of the University of Texas at Austin is" to transform lives for the benefit of society through the core values of learning, discovery, freedom, leadership, individual opportunity and responsibility."

A human being is a part of the whole, called by us "Universe," a part limited in time and space.  He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.  This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us.  Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.  Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.

Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955) Source: Mathematical Circles


Born Free

http://www.youtube.com/v/1qBK4RRpouQ&hl=en&fs=1&

Born free, as free as the wind blows
As free as the grass grows
Born free to follow your heart

Live free and beauty surrounds you
The world still astounds you
Each time you look at a star

Stay free, where no walls divide you
You're free as the roaring tide
So there's no need to hide

Born free, and life is worth living
But only worth living
'cause you're born free

(Stay free, where no walls divide you)
You're free as the roaring tide
So there's no need to hide

Born free, and life is worth living
But only worth living
'cause you're born free

 


 

2-11 Coetzee 1; P3due Feb. 18,

Coetzee, The Philosophers and the Animals 

honi soit motto

 


TODAY'S GOALS:

 Understand the role of philosophy in ethics generally and advancing animal rights specifically; become aware of the advantages and disadvantages of analogies such as that between the Holocaust and slaughterhouses.

[2A2] ETHICS [ The second goal of the required leadership/ethics flag courses -- learn to make real-life ethical choices -- is closely related to the core purpose of the University of Texas, to transform lives for the benefit of society. It is also one of the basic education requirements of U.T.: "have experience in thinking about moral and ethical problems." Our ethics goals are

 

[2A2a] To experience by analogy a little of ethical dilemma presented by Anti-Semitism, especially the Holocaust.

[2A2b] To experience by analogy a little of ethical dilemma presented by racism, especially slavery.

[2A2c] To experience more directly the ethical dilemmas presented by speciesism, especially cruelty to animals.

[2A2d]  To become aware of real-life ethical choices made daily by all of us involving cruelty to animals.

[2A2e] To return to the traditional college goals of developing character and conscience.

                                     [2A2f] To practice replacing fear and greed with love, compassion, tolerance, and the sympathetic imagination.


TODAY'S TOPICS :Use this novel to ONLY CONNECT AND HAMMER INTO UNITY everything we have learned since August about animals and ethics. Special focus: the value and validity of analogies such as those between the Holocaust and slaughterhouses in this novel and elsewhere. In other words, we are testing how well the approach in the course description works for you:


Course Description:

     Because our primary approach to ethics will be emotive (compassion) rather than philosophical (rights), emotional literacy will also be one of our goals. Two of our basic ethics questions are [1] What would I have done about the Holocaust if I had been in Germany and known what was going on at the time? [2] What would I have done about slavery if I had been in east Texas and known what was going on at the time? We are trying to learn ethics experientially. In this case, your assignment is to become an actor, acting as if the analogies are basically true. This "willing suspension of disbelief," as Coleridge put it, is essential to the effectiveness of all novels, plays, movies, etc. In this case, We temporarily relinguish our disbelief in order to experience a little of what that person might have thought and felt who lived by a concentration camp or a plantation supported by slavery. We know that a comparison is not an equation, but as we try to accept the connection, as we mount our defenses against the analogies between factory farming and the Holocaust, we can thus consider the possibility that we would have mounted similar defenses had we been that person who lived by a concentration camp or a plantation supported by slavery.

honi soit motto

     Of course it is all too easy to be ethical about events that happened long ago. To make these questions come alive for us now, we will make our ultimate ethical goal to “widen the circle of compassion,” as Einstein put it, not only to all kinds of people but also other species. Analogies between factory farming, slavery, and Nazi concentration camps made by various writers and philosophers, and especially by the shocking documentary Earthlings, will challenge us to become more mindful of ethical decisions we make daily about food, clothing, entertainment, etc., as well as the ethical decisions involved in nonmedical animal research on this campus. Whatever we decide, the goal is to become aware of the importance of practical ethics in daily life.

 


possible topics:

IQ: the nature, value, and limits of reason; universalism; analogy vs. equation; 

EQ: the heart, feeling, sympathy, joy; 

Gandhi;  


TODAY'S ACTIVITIES:Einstein quote

Dass Guided Imagery focused on sending light and love

"Best and Worst" for 1st half of alphabet

Questions about P3, due Feb. 18

Quiz: Must get two questions right or -10 without a valid blog this week;

Discussion led by?


TODAY'S REQUIRED READING: 603B14 course anthology:

Philosophers and the Animals" .....................136-152

165-6             Coetzee, intro .

167-168         Lives of Animals

169-170         Garber on analogy

271 Quotations about the analogy

272-95 Sztybel, “Can the Treatment of Animals BeCompared to The Holocaust?”


RECOMMENDED READING: Eternal Treblinka


REVIEW, CONNECT, HAMMER INTO UNITY: Use this novel to "ONLY CONNECT" AND "HAMMER INTO UNITY" everything we have learned about animals and ethics. Special focus: the value and validity of analogies such as those between the Holocaust and slaughterhouses in this novel and elsewhere.

 


LOOKING AHEAD:
The Poets and the Animals

 

2-18  P3A due on Blackboard or -10 per day


 
  • honi soit motto

    FEELING STRESSED?

    Thomas Merton, a Trappist monk, once wrote, "to allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything, is to succumb to the violence of our times.

    More than that, it is cooperation with violence. The frenzy of the activist neutralizes his work for peace. It destroys her own inner capacity for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of his own work because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful."

    One interpretation: The fear of failure and the need to get things done create this downward spiral of the spirit. To break this "circle of violence" we must step back, reflect, meditate. While at rest we may be able to see things anew, which will increase our "fruitfulness at work" and at home.

    Stressed by papers? Tests? Relationship issues? For these and other stressors, take a few minutes to check out a new interactive website called “Stress Recess” at

    http://www.cmhc.utexas.edu/stressrecess, a component of the UT Counseling and Mental Health Center. This site is loaded with videos, animation, video games, body scans, quizzes, clickable charts and graphics and practical information tailored to YOU. Learn what causes stress, signs of stress and—most importantly---what you can do to manage stress in healthy ways!

    Counseling and Mental Health Center:
    512-471-3515
  • UT Telephone Counseling (24 hours/day, 7 days/week):
    512-471-CALL (2255)
  • Behavior Concerns Advice Line (24 hours/day, 7 days/week):
    512-232-5050

 honi soit motto

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