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The Moral Relevance of Strangers Panel Participants: Professor Ed Martin Liberty University Professor Karen Prior Liberty University Professor Chidsey.

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Presentation on theme: "The Moral Relevance of Strangers Panel Participants: Professor Ed Martin Liberty University Professor Karen Prior Liberty University Professor Chidsey."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Moral Relevance of Strangers Panel Participants: Professor Ed Martin Liberty University Professor Karen Prior Liberty University Professor Chidsey Dickson Lynchburg College

2 “I don't think we're in Kansas anymore”

3 “Leisure and her Cherub” 1895 Victorian ad for soap Caliban, William Hogarth

4  Hip hop  Yard-o-philes  Goths  Devotees of Babylon 5 People with puzzling cultural politics

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6 Unscrupulous CEOs and Politicians  Degrade environment and exploit labor for profit  Concerned mostly about their own careers Producers and Consumers  ‘Pornified’ culture  Gas guzzling vehicles  Disposable culture People who do the wrong thing…

7 It seems I read a lot about powerful strangers who endanger values and people I hold close….

8 THEM The Unscrupulous Family&Friends Near and Dear THEM The Unscrupulous THEM The Unscrupulous THEM The Unscrupulous THEM The Unscrupulous THEM The Unscrupulous

9 People I have influence over ( excluding family members and kumal )  My students  Citizens in this town who benefit from my volunteerism and activism (or who don’t from my lack of volunteerism and activism)  People who service my lifestyle  People who live in the future (not talking about Babylon 6 geeks)

10 citizen son friend student son student Makes my shoes Lives in a country where my gas comes from Works in factory farm Most of the people I have influence over I don’t think about 10 billion alive in 2150 mom

11  People whose choices I don’t understand (& maybe find risible)  People who elicit my indignation (and cause me to fret)  People over whom I have influence (but mostly don’t care to know about) Strangers have an effect on us : …but does this raise moral questions?

12 the stranger is the one who we fear in the state of nature, and the uncertainty of his intentions is what makes life in the state of nature solitary, poore, nasty, brutish and short, a perpetual war of all against all that ceaseth only in death. Dr. Dawson on Hobbes

13 we have no need to fear strangers unless or until scarcity kicks in… Locke

14 Distrust those cosmopolitans who go to great length in their books to discover duties they do not deign to fulfill around them. A philosopher loves the Tartars so as to be spared having to love his neighbors. Emile, Rousseau

15 …denounce slander in an opponent by saying that his strategy distracts from the real issues and also shows a lack of confidence in the merits of his own case… Rhetoric, Aristotle

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17 ?  Theories on troubling strangers  Critiques of unjust representations of strangers  Studies, aphorisms and homilies about the value of strangers

18 The Ethical Significance of Monster Literature and Film

19 The Anatomy of Disgust, William Ian Miller On Ugliness, Umberto Eco

20 Why are we fans of horror? In horror stories, we seek to make a violent emotion (fear) accessible and safely remote…we can close the book….Its safe also b/c of the unreality of the imagery and the predictability of the plots… Horror stories work by dissipating terror in the act of creating it… Horror stories deal with supernatural events and fantastical characters…readers approach them with the expectation of an escape from the monotonous realities of daily grind…and from the conformity which is our social training (…we entertain the repressed) [Martin Tropp, Images of Fear)

21 How do our stories and films about monsters shape our encounters with real strangers? How do they shape our ethics?

22 Ambroise Paré's Monsters and Prodigies

23 Those we call monsters are not so to God, who sees in the immensity of His work the infinite forms that He has comprehended therein. Montaigne, “Of a Monstrous Child” (1595) And to Thee is nothing whatsoever evil…Far be it then that I should say, ‘These things should not be’ St. Augustine, “Confessions” (5 th C)

24 Monster 1: Biblical

25 Bestiary 14th C moralized encyclopedia of real and fantastic animals Hydrus (symbolizing Christ) killing a crocodile (Death)

26 Alien (1979) Harpy Monster 2: Scary

27 Lenox Globe 16 th C hic sunt dracones

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30 Monster 3: Gothic

31 Grendel… nursed a hard grievance. It harrowed him/ to hear the din of the loud banquet/every day in the hall, the harp being struck/ and the clear song of a skilled poet/ telling with mastery of man’s beginnings/How the Almighty had made the earth/ a gleaming plain girdled with waters; in His splendor/ He set the sun and the moon/ to be earth’s lamplight, lanterns for men, and filled the broad lap of the world/ with branches and leaves and quickened life in every other thing that moved

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34 At ten AM the young housewife moves about in negligee behind the wooden walls of her husband's house. I pass solitary in my car. Then again she comes to the curb to call the ice-man, fish-man, and stands shy, uncorseted, tucking in stray ends of hair, and I compare her to a fallen leaf. The noiseless wheels of my car rush with a crackling sound over dried leaves as I bow and pass smiling. William Carlos Williams

35 Monster 4: Sublime

36 Batter my heart, three-person'd God ; for you As yet but knock ; breathe, shine, and seek to mend ; That I may rise, and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend Your force, to break, blow, burn, and make me new. I, like an usurp'd town, to another due, Labour to admit you, but O, to no end. Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend, But is captived, and proves weak or untrue. Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved fain, But am betroth'd unto your enemy ; Divorce me, untie, or break that knot again, Take me to you, imprison me, for I, Except you enthrall me, never shall be free, Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me. John Donne


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