Central virtues – Jews For Morality http://www.jewsformorality.org/ Mon, 11 Oct 2021 06:38:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 http://www.jewsformorality.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/icon-2021-07-09T151402.937-150x150.png Central virtues – Jews For Morality http://www.jewsformorality.org/ 32 32 Alito, Texas Abortion and Shadow Docket: Deja Vu again? | Austin Sarat | Verdict http://www.jewsformorality.org/alito-texas-abortion-and-shadow-docket-deja-vu-again-austin-sarat-verdict/ http://www.jewsformorality.org/alito-texas-abortion-and-shadow-docket-deja-vu-again-austin-sarat-verdict/#respond Mon, 11 Oct 2021 04:13:59 +0000 http://www.jewsformorality.org/alito-texas-abortion-and-shadow-docket-deja-vu-again-austin-sarat-verdict/ On October 8, the Fifth Circuit summarily restored Texas anti-abortion law, overturning District Court Judge Robert Pitman’s cautious 113-page ruling of October 6 directing the onerous law. And so, the Supreme Court may soon have the opportunity to rule again, via its “emergency case”, on the most restrictive abortion law in the country. It allows […]]]>

On October 8, the Fifth Circuit summarily restored Texas anti-abortion law, overturning District Court Judge Robert Pitman’s cautious 113-page ruling of October 6 directing the onerous law. And so, the Supreme Court may soon have the opportunity to rule again, via its “emergency case”, on the most restrictive abortion law in the country. It allows “bounty hunters” to denounce anyone who helps a woman protect her right to control her body.

Although many reviews have focused on What the Court will rule in this case, How? ‘Or’ What he decides that he can be almost as important to his future and to the fate of democracy and the rule of law as what he ultimately says in the Texas case. The legitimacy of the Court is linked to its ability to convince litigants and citizens that its decisions are the result of a prudent, deliberative and fair process. Its growing use of the emergency case, nicknamed the “phantom case” in 2015 by law professor William Baude, calls into question these virtues.

Critics rightly say that the court’s use of emergency orders, issued without a full legal argument or briefing, to decide issues having a huge substantial effect on the nation, can help its conservative members move their forward. program. But reconciling this development and the demands of judicial legitimacy is not easy.

This is why Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s September 30 speech to a friendly audience at Notre Dame University was so important. There he plunged into the fray of scholarly criticism of the Supreme Court’s expedited use of its emergency case. He tried to reconcile this fact with the demands of reasoned decision-making while portraying critics as narrow-minded supporters.

In his speech, Alito presented a series of straw arguments to defend the phantom role. First, justice stressed that emergency decisions require rapid action. “Journalists may think that we can express an opinion the same way they state articles,” said Alito angry. “You can’t expect paramedics and emergency rooms to do the same thing a team of doctors and nurses will do when. . . time does not count.

This raises the question of why the court now decides more frequently that their EMT services are needed. In response, Alito shifted responsibility for the increased number of emergency cases from the court to the increased use of emergency requests by the Trump administration.

But he ignored the fact that such requests are also filed by Red State Attorneys General, such as when the GAs in Missouri and Texas successfully obtained an order preventing President Biden from rejecting the pre-Covid policy ” Stay in Mexico ”from Trump for upcoming American asylum seekers. from Central America.

Either way, Alito’s “blame the messenger” ignores what behavioral psychologists have known for decades: When a message receives a favorable response, the messenger comes back for more.

Next, Alito did everything possible to defend the emergency court decision by Whole woman’s health c. Jackson, which left in force the Texas law on abortion for “bounty hunters”, calling it “a purely procedural decision”. This characterization ignored the profound effect of the decision in the real world, preventing 85-90% of women from exercising their rights under Roe vs. Wade in Texas. Refusing to protect constitutional rights on the “procedural ground” that no “bounty hunter” had yet come to court to enforce the law was putting form at 50,000 feet on substance in the service of a desired result .

Alito dismissed critics’ claims that emergency orders suffer from a clouding that full court opinions help avoid: “[F]air-minded readers can easily understand the reasons for our decisions.

What he did not address was the fact that the three orders he discussed favored all conservative litigants, a consistency that might cause “fair observers” to question whether the Court was “impartial” to “ call for bullets and strikes ”. In July, a Reuters analysis concluded that the court’s emergency orders consistently favored religious groups and the Trump administration.

Such findings may have contributed to Justice Amy Coney Barrett publicly declaring in September that “we are not a bunch of partisan hackers.” (Recalling Richard Nixon’s Watergate-era speech in which he said, “I’m not a crook.”)

Alito used his speech at Notre Dame to lash out at his critics for fueling “unprecedented efforts to intimidate and harm the Court as an independent institution.” The thin skin tone might have fans of “Hamilton” remembering the satirical lamentation song of King George “Why so blue? “And supporters of the Supreme Court might wonder what happened to the sight, signed by Alito in United citizens, that “it is our law and our tradition that more speech, not less, is the governing rule”?

Rather than intimidation, it is a mark of the health of society when academics freely debate, if not criticize, the practice of a high court. “Sunlight,” Supreme Court Justice Brandeis wrote in 1913, “is considered the best disinfectant”.

This bromide does not mean, however, that judges should seek the limelight to offer their views on the court’s cases or doctrine. This practice carries an enormous risk of destroying the public’s confidence in its impartiality and impartiality.

This is the lesson Ruth Bader Ginsberg learned when she had to apologize for wading through political waters with her opinion on then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. Presumably, the preservation of the appearance of impartiality is an underlying rationale for the Canon 5 model rule of judicial conduct, which decrees that judges refrain from “inappropriate political activity”.

Alito’s September 30 speech will do little to calm the controversy surrounding the shadow dossier. And, if the court uses him again to decide the Texas abortion case, his words will be lost in a storm of criticism.

Alito has said little that will help restore public confidence in the Supreme Court. Indeed, his speech served above all to reinforce the idea that the Court does indeed have a partisan agenda, which is increasingly out of step with the beliefs and values ​​of the American people.

If Alito is serious about understanding the sources of the public’s growing disaffection with the Court, or the risks to judicial independence that such disaffection can engender, he might have been well served by consulting his reflection on one of the many lakes that dot the Notre Campus Dame river.

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When Gandhi said Ahimsa cannot be taught to a man unable to kill http://www.jewsformorality.org/when-gandhi-said-ahimsa-cannot-be-taught-to-a-man-unable-to-kill/ http://www.jewsformorality.org/when-gandhi-said-ahimsa-cannot-be-taught-to-a-man-unable-to-kill/#respond Sat, 09 Oct 2021 02:21:02 +0000 http://www.jewsformorality.org/when-gandhi-said-ahimsa-cannot-be-taught-to-a-man-unable-to-kill/ Photograph of Mahatma Gandhi taken in London at the request of Lord Irwin 1931 | Wikimedia Commons Text size: A- A + In July 1918, Gandhi admits to facing difficulties. Serious thinking affected him both physically and emotionally. He feels listless and has little motivation to read, write, speak or meet people. In view of […]]]>
Photograph of Mahatma Gandhi taken in London at the request of Lord Irwin 1931 | Wikimedia Commons

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In July 1918, Gandhi admits to facing difficulties. Serious thinking affected him both physically and emotionally. He feels listless and has little motivation to read, write, speak or meet people. In view of this condition, he failed to respond to letters received from CF Andrews. But despite his apathy, he greatly cherished Andrews’ communication, as well as their friendship, and decided to dictate a letter on July 6, 1918.

Andrews’ letter was a response to an earlier note from Gandhi in June 1918. In it, Gandhi made an unusual claim. Ahimsa cannot be taught to a man incapable of killing, he wrote. While one cannot make a mute person appreciate the beauty and excellence of silence, efforts must be made to restore his or her ability to speak. Likewise, violent men must exhaust their capacity for violence in order to value the value of non-violence.

Andrews dismissed this analogy, observing that Gandhi’s logic comes dangerously close to suggesting that those who forgot about bloodlust should be reset to violence so that they learn the virtues of ahimsa and repudiate himsa.

Gandhi’s July 6 letter is a unique and unusually direct response to Andrews on the subject of violence and non-violence. He begins by questioning Andrews’ belief that Indians as a race had rejected violence, especially the desire to kill others, in the past and had consciously chosen “to stand on the side of humanity. “. Starting from his relentless reiteration of non-violence as a fundamental tenet of Hinduism, he questions the historical validity of Andrews’ conclusion. Although regularly uncharitable towards history and historical argumentation, he now sees an absence of non-violence in the Mahabharata, the Ramayana and even in Tulsidas’ version of the Ramayana, which he considered superior to the original. of Valmiki in its spiritual content. Here he relies on his method of reading a scriptural text, which, when applied, always prioritizes the central spiritual message over context shifts. Also, anything in a text that contradicts certain timeless and identifiable fundamental principles is to be regarded as an interpolation and, therefore, ruthlessly rejected. But by responding to Andrews’ conviction of nonviolence in India, Gandhi resuscitates the very thing that he might have otherwise dismissed as an interpolation. “Is this historically true? He asks, posing the question in opposition to his judgment that non-violence is a fundamental principle of Hinduism but also that all religions essentially preach peace. The story and the tween converge, or even merge seamlessly, in this case.

Claiming that he did not view these texts in any spiritual sense, Gandhi describes their pages as being full of tales of bloodthirsty, vengeful, and ruthless incarnations to their enemies. These incarnations have not hesitated in deception and cunning to subdue their opponents. The battles are described in these texts with as much enthusiasm as in contemporary times; warriors possess and use incredibly deadly weapons. Even Tulsidas’ beautiful poem in praise of Lord Rama gives undisputed primacy to Rama’s ability to kill his enemies. More recently, Hindus were as eager to fight as Muslims, even though they were disorganized, physically weak, and torn by mutual discord. Refuting Andrews’ attempt to attribute tolerance and non-violence to Buddhism, Gandhi states that the Buddha’s doctrine of universal tolerance is a demonstrable failure. If legend is to be believed, Shankaracharya succeeded in banishing Buddhism from India using ineffable cruelty. Likewise, Gandhi rejects the idea that Manu stipulates a rejection of violence in his law book, Manava Dharmaśāstra. Even the Jains, Gandhi argues, had failed to propagate nonviolence. While they had a “superstitious horror of spilled blood,” they rejoiced like everyone else when an enemy was defeated. Only the period of English rule had imposed a mandatory abandonment of violence, but not necessarily the desire to kill.

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Severe and unequivocal are therefore the words in which Gandhi answers the question he himself asked about the origin of non-violence in India.

All that can be said of India is that individuals have made serious efforts, with more success than elsewhere, to popularize the doctrine. [of non-violence]. But there is no reason to believe that he is deeply rooted among the people.

He bristles at Andrews’ suggestion that nonviolence might have become an unconscious instinct in Indians, a quality that could be rekindled at will, as Gandhi himself had shown. He considers the proposition that people have taken of passive resistance as a weapon of the weak to be laughable and slanderous. For some of his colleagues and for himself, passive resistance in the form of satyagraha is no longer strong. But for the vast majority of people, it was simple passive resistance born of weakness in the face of the inability to resort to violence. Giving the examples of the satyagraha of Kheda and Champaran, Gandhi reports that a substantial number of people participating in these satyagraha felt that the violence was more manly than the satyagraha. These people simply did not have the spirit to refuse to obey an unjust order or an unjust law. They also lacked the intrepid courage to face the hangman’s noose or stand firm against the bullets that had fallen on them. This spirit of boldness and principled determination was unlikely to surface until they had received the proper training to defend themselves.

What did such training involve? For Gandhi, a full and adequate development of physical strength is an absolute condition for appreciating and absorbing the merits of non-violence. Ahimsa can only be instilled in a person who is physically strong and able to face an opponent. Gandhi admits Andrews’ assertion that India’s moral force can resist and repel the most powerful armies in the world, but maintains that India must be physically strong to begin to understand even the first principles of this force. moral. To illustrate his point, he mentions a prayer that millions of people recite every day without understanding its meaning. If only they could appreciate its significance, they would be able to repel even the most formidable armies. But this capacity does not exist and it is unlikely that it will exist until freedom and fearlessness prevail in the land. It would take independence and freedom from fear to allow a large number of people to protect themselves from all kinds of violence. However, Gandhi, so far, does not reveal what constitutes the moral force that can face and repel the most formidable armies in the world.

Unsurprisingly, Gandhi reveals that the great moral and strength idea for him is moksha. But moksha cannot be manipulated by a child – the child must be allowed to become a man before being introduced to it. We must allow attachment to the body and explore the global implications of such a bond. Once the child understands the body well and learns the endless possibilities of a robust physique, the transient nature of the body and the world will be disclosed to him. At that time, he will learn that the body should not be wasted on gratifying itself but should be used as a vehicle for liberation. Once India, disguised as a child in Gandhi’s eyes, understands moksha, she will also assimilate the doctrine of ahimsa, which is nothing but the creed of perfect love. Beyond instilling moksha and ahimsa in the mind, Gandhi now wishes to reflect on the practical application of these ideas.

Read also : Gandhi was like Adam Smith in his mind. But Gandhian studies won’t tell you that

Translating the feeling of having a strong body to the Indian context, Gandhi questions whether each individual should possess the power to use violence and to what extent they should acquire the capacity to strike hard. Alternatively, they could derive enough personal courage from the prevailing spirit of freedom to make the need for violence unnecessary. Taking this last opinion to be correct, Gandhi offers an example. After all, he had supported the British during World War I and even encouraged the Indians to join the army. But he had done so by asking them to join the war effort, not to shed blood but to overcome their fear of death, not to kill Germans but to die for India and the Empire. . He imagines having raised an army of intrepid men who would lay down their arms because their hearts were overflowing with love for the enemy. They even asked the Germans to shoot them down. Certainly, he concluded, this act of love and the will to die would melt even the German heart.

Moksha and ahimsa may be the culmination of the ultimate human quest, but in order to achieve this desirable state, one has to go through the process of knowing the body and attaining physical maturity. In this sense, Gandhi postulates, war and the body are not dissimilar. War, like the body, is a necessary evil, which is resorted to in exceptional circumstances if the motive for war is just. In such cases, war can benefit mankind, and a follower of Ahimsa should not be an indifferent bystander when such a just war is waged. He must either cooperate actively or resist vigorously.

Gandhi’s frank response to Andrews reveals two distinct but interconnected lines of inquiry. The recognition and reality of violence is the first. The second is the insertion and legitimation of non-violence as a fundamental principle of Hinduism. Between these two parallel lines of investigation lie questions of fearlessness, courage, virility, cowardice, weakness, evil, strength, body, meaning, suffering, forgiveness, patience, punishment and death. But it is also essential to examine the historical and conceptual status of concepts such as himsa and ahimsa apart from their use by Gandhi. A logical step in this direction is to start with violence and its role in defining Gandhi’s Ahimsa religion.

This excerpt from “Elusive Non-Violence: The Making and Unmaking of Gandhi’s Religion of Ahimsa” by Jyotirmaya Sharma was published with permission from Context, October 2021.

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