RELG 271 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Stanley Hauerwas, Pierre Trudeau, Statism

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21 Oct 2015

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Sexual Ethics - Sex and Religion: Competing Notions of Freedom
Pierre Trudeau (1919-2000)
-“…There’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation… what’s done in private
between adults doesn’t concern the criminal code” (Trudeau to reporters on the
decriminalization of homosexual acts, 1967)
-Statement and view reflect Catholic upbringing of letting the family exist freely
-Idea of ‘letting the family do its thing (e.g. Jon Rawls)
-Feminists commonly criticize the idea of self-governed family because households can
be places of abuse and oppression; therefore the notion of a private sphere seems reckless
and ignorant
-Feminists believe families have their ‘appropriate spheres of government’
-Contrary belief is that even with all the separate spheres of government none should
have any say over families
Stanley Hauerwas (1940-present)
-“And marriage has a [central political purpose] for Christians, as it is a sign that we are a
community sustained by hope. Marriage is a sign and source of such hope…” (“Sex in
Public” in A Community of Character, p193)
-Believes sex is a public matter
-Not only is the world continuing but it is a good place to bring more people into
Nussbaumian Liberalism/ Liberalism
-Feminist critique:
-Should be more individualistic and social
-Less autonomous (paradoxically)
-More secular and statist
-Unobscured spheres of deliberate individual choice: e.g. religion, family
-Liberal dilemma: a more ‘consistent’ liberalism?
-Treating each person as an agentive end (actor in society, bearer of rights)
-Moral constraint (limit of non-interference – intervening to prevent harm)
Human Being as Striving Agent:
-NOT passively pushed around by the world
-AT RISK of misfortune
-PURSUING opportunities to choose and act
-ACTIVELY planning and shaping ones own life
-SOCIAL COOPERATION with all others
-Martha Nussbaum:” We are able to deliberate and choose, to make a plan in which ends
are ranked, to decide actively what is to have value and how much. All this must count
for something. If it is true that a lot about us is messy, needy, uncontrolled rooted in the
dirt and standing helplessly in the rain, it is also true that there is something about us that
us pure and purely active…” (1986, Fragility of Goodness, p2)
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