Guns: Transcending the Partisan Divide

Tuesday, April 17, 2018
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM (ET)
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 519
Event Type
Lecture - Speaker
Contact
Molly Heidemann
508-793-3009
Department
Office of Diversity and Inclusion

A conversation with Prof. Joe Lawrence (Philosophy Department): All of us are more or less adept at gathering statistics and arguments to support whatever ideological position we have come to embrace. At the same time, most of us would very much like to transcend ideological fixations in order to get to the actual truth. This is particularly the case when issues emerge of real life-and-death importance, such as what happened on February 14 in Parkland, Florida. When the bonds of trust that hold a society together are strong, such horrific events can help entire nations move forward. But when political factions have become entrenched, even the things that should bring us together seem to tear us apart more than ever. In such situations, the best response is to do some very serious thinking. Serious thinking always begins with the realization that "I might very well be wrong."  It is a realization that we all understandably resist, insofar as we rely on our belief systems to give us a sense of orientation in life. But when things don't just go wrong, but go dramatically and horribly wrong, even the most rigid ideology has to bend. Where ideologies begin to crack, communities can renew themselves. As fragile as they are, bonds of trust can be reforged. To begin this process, we have to come together and talk. As we all know, guns are hard to talk about in America. As philosophers know, the best things to talk about are the things that are hard to talk about. In times of crisis, nothing is more important than decisive action. But for action to gain traction, it has to begin with serious reflection. To come together in action, we first have to question the supposed self-certainties that divide us.

Open to Campus Community Only

Categories: Office of Diversity and Inclusion,Diversity and Inclusion

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