Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 26 Share on Twitter 2 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Life Arts    H4'ed 3/22/12

Jonathan Haidt on the Righteous Mind, and the Catholic Anti-Abortion Crusade (REVIEW ESSAY)

By       (Page 3 of 5 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.   1 comment
Become a Premium Member Would you like to know how many people have read this article? Or how reputable the author is? Simply sign up for a Advocate premium membership and you'll automatically see this data on every article. Plus a lot more, too.
Author 38575
Message Thomas Farrell
Become a Fan
  (21 fans)

If Haidt or anyone else were to undertake to argue against the Catholic anti-abortion zealots, wouldn't Haidt or another person have to understand the arguments upon which Catholic anti-abortion zealotry is based? If you don't understand their arguments, then you are going to be reduced to saying something like this: "I don't understand why you are saying what you are saying against abortion, but I disagree with you about abortion." Granted, some people might say this. But if someone were to say this, then I would say that that person has not joined the argument presented by the Catholic anti-abortion zealots.


An argument is joined only when the opponent directly and explicitly contradicts the position being opposed. I will use the terms thesis and antithesis to illustrate how an argument is joined.


Thesis: "John Doe is guilty as charged."


Antithesis: "No, John Doe is not guilty as charged."


Haidt's sweeping generalization, quoted above, in effect sweeps aside the Catholic tradition of "natural law" moral theory. But Haidt has not joined the argument in favor of the Catholic "natural law" moral theory. Indeed, he does not give any evidence of having studied it.


But if the line of argument advanced by Catholic anti-abortion zealots were joined, then some of them might be persuaded to think differently about legalized abortion in the first trimester. For an informed effort to join the line of argument used by Catholic anti-abortion zealots, see Garry Wills' book HEAD AND HEART: AMERICAN CHRISTIANITIES (2007, pages 515-530).


In short, Haidt does not appear to be tuned into the real world regarding the abortion debate.


Now, I want to switch from the abortion debate to a larger question. I have outlined how extensively many educated Catholics have been indoctrinated in the doctrines of the Catholic tradition of "natural law" moral theory. Does Haidt actually believe that Pope Benedict XVI, the other Catholic bishops around the world, and all conservative Catholics around the world today would be persuaded by his book to give up all their training in the centuries-old Catholic tradition of "natural law" moral theory and embrace Haidt's position?


Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).


Rate It | View Ratings

Thomas Farrell Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Thomas James Farrell is professor emeritus of writing studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). He started teaching at UMD in Fall 1987, and he retired from UMD at the end of May 2009. He was born in 1944. He holds three degrees from Saint Louis University (SLU): B.A. in English, 1966; M.A.(T) in English 1968; higher education, 1974. On May 16, 1969, the editors of the SLU student newspaper named him Man of the Year, an honor customarily conferred on an administrator or a faculty member, not on a graduate student -- nor on a woman up to that time. He is the proud author of the book (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Was the Indian Jesuit Anthony de Mello Murdered in the U.S. 25 Years Ago? (BOOK REVIEW)

Who Was Walter Ong, and Why Is His Thought Important Today?

Celebrating Walter J. Ong's Thought (REVIEW ESSAY)

More Americans Should Live Heroic Lives of Virtue (Review Essay)

Hillary Clinton Urges Us to Stand Up to Extremists in the U.S.

Martha Nussbaum on Why Democracy Needs the Humanities (Book Review)

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: