Student: Stanley

I don't have time to read go through these readings,

I don't have time to read go through these readings, I need someone to read lecture and chapter attached and quickly summarize it and give me two questions you have about the chapters. Here are the instructions. I need someone to create 2 forum questions based off the reading and understanding of the readings. Danish Cartoons Lecture The subject matter of the present discussion are the freedom of the press, justifiability of the press's harms by benefits, and the use of stereotypes in the 2005 Danish Cartoon Affair. A Danish newspaper published a series of political satire cartoons, whose subject matter were terrorism, immigration and integration, gender inequality, etc., as they are thought to pertain to some of the current manifestations of Islam. One of the notorious images in the cartoons was the Islamic faith's prophet Muhammad depicted with a bomb in his turban and another one of the notorious images was the same prophet Muhammad welcoming suicide bombers to heaven with apologies for that heaven has run out of virgins as a reward for the martyrs. Immediately, we are prompted to recall the Patterson and Wilkins discussion of the use of stereotypes in the popular media to reinforce the status quo and unprogressed understanding of reality. Murphy offers three types of arguments concerning the cartoon affair. One, the argument why newspaper had the right - and even a moral and political obligation according to that right - to publish the cartoons. This was done out of respect for autonomy. Two, the argument that the newspapers had a moral and political obligation not to publish those cartoons. This was based on the utility of consequences. And, three, the argument that even though the newspaper had a moral and political right and obligation to publish those cartoons - it also had a civic multiculturalist obligation not to publish them. The latter obligation should have modified and transformed the moral and political obligation to the point that that the publication of cartoons was, after all, not the right moral decision. The moral and political obligation to publish the cartoons is founded on the right to freedom of expression of the press. Craft had presented us with a discussion of the freedom of the press in her article earlier. The moral and political obligation not to publish those cartoons is founded on the comparison of the harms and benefits. The discussions of help on this issue were probably by Plaisance and Gauthier – in which the question was raised whether the harms due to the press's publishing are harmful or superficial, and whether the benefits of the publication justify those harms. And the wise or prudent decision not to exercise the right to publish the cartoons is founded , once again, on both of the above and a good will to live in a multicultural society. I. The Rights Argument Let's address the first argument - based on rights. The reason why the newspaper had the right to publish the cartoon is due to the right of freedom of expression. The right of freedom of expression is grounded in respect for autonomy for each person. In order to be autonomous, one must subject oneself to learning as much as possible and to criticism - in order to make sure that one's decisions really are decisions informed by knowledge about the world as well as by information about the impact of one's choices on others and on oneself. To choose autonomously, one has to make sure that one does what respects everyone's choosing as well as that what one does really is aligned with one's values, and, ultimately, that one chooses to subscribe to one's values after one has found out as much as one can about what is involved in choosing according to those values. The last element would also have to contain that one has subjected one's choices of values and accordant actions to criticisms from the views that one would not encounter on one's own – as was laid out for us by Patterson and Wilkins with their first principle of democratic ethics. Case in point, publishing the cartoons, as permitted by the freedom of self-expression, was specifically meant to function by the newspaper as an act that questions and tests whether newspapers in the West engage in excessive self-censorship. It was an an act of self-expression to test the limits and confines of the free expression of the press. The excessive censorship in question would be out of desire not to offend as well as out of fear of retaliation from the offended parties. In publishing the cartoons, among other of newspaper's intended purposes, was the test of whether Western newspapers engage in the kind and degree of self-censorship that undermines autonomy of the public by withholding information about facts as well as viewpoints from it. A refusal to engage in deep exploration of topics and criticism undermines autonomy. Likewise, the publication of cartoons was also meant to question the limits of religious toleration – is there in fact the kind of tolerance of religion in the West that undermines autonomy, by the governments, in the public discourse, and by other institutions? But, one type of critic of this kind of publication might say, is there not a right to not be offended in a liberal state – based on respect for each person's autonomy? No. The wish not to be offended comes not from the will for (greater) autonomy but from the desire for safety (from the desire to live a sheltered life). In order to pursue knowledge required for autonomy - one has to risk and sacrifice the right to be not offended. The desire not to be offended is trivial in comparison to gains in and respect for autonomy that require freedom of expression. However, this does not mean that one has the right to offend people for the sake of offending people. But it does mean that in an attempt to speak the truth in a liberal society - supported by argument and evidence - one may offend others as side-product or a by-product. We can recall Plaisance discussing this point. So, from the standpoint of rights on the basis of respect for autonomy – a newspaper is entitled to freedom of expression in an attempt to criticize any practice (of a government, or, in this case, religion and the media itself, and of other institutions and practices). The newspaper was attempting to offer a criticism of corrupt practices within a religion (violence) and within the media itself (refusal to criticize) - from the standpoint of respect for autonomy. The goal of this criticism would be to shine a spotlight on corrupt practices and to contribute to the force of the debate for reconsideration and reform. II. The Consequences Argument Let's address the second argument - based on consequences. There are two basic schools of thought in moral philosophy. One school of thought says that we must do what's right in principle - as a duty. The best known representative of this school of thought is Immanuel Kant, who wrote in the 18th Century Germany, and he is the philosopher who has put respect for autonomy as the moral principle on the map of moral thought. The second school of thought says that we must do what produces the best consequences - roughly, whatever maximizes happiness and minimizes suffering for everyone. The best known representatives of this school are the founders of the so-called Utilitarian philosophy in 19th Century England - Jeremy Bentham and John Stewart Mill. The first argument, for the publication of the cartoons, was on the basis of rights and was Kantian. The present argument, against the publication of cartoons, is on the basis of utility and is Utilitarian. The second argument is that the harmful consequences of the publication of the cartoons outweighed the beneficial consequences – and that the newspaper editors should have and did know better and should not have published the cartoons. Serious harms resulted from the publication. A significant portion of the Muslim population was offended and moved away from reflection and dialogue with the West concerning religious violence and other issues in the Muslim community that were intended to be raised by the cartoons. Also, given the immediate aftermath of 9/11 and other terrorist attacks in Europe, islamophobia was strong and the cartoons fed into it and intensified it and actions based on it. So, from the standpoint of consequences, on the basis of that action should produce more benefits than harms – the newspaper should not have published the cartoons. The intended reflection, dialogue and reform were not achieved in the Muslim community as a result of the publication. Neither was integration of Muslim residents into the larger European communities achieved by means of the cartoons. Both were probably significantly hindered by the cartoons. There were significant harms that outweighed the benefits. III. The Wisdom/Prudence Argument Let's address the third argument - based on wisdom or prudence. The argument acknowledges that the newspaper had a right to publish the cartoons – as discussed under the first argument. However, one should not necessarily do all that has one has the right to do – if there are good reasons not to. The good reasons not to were addressed by the second argument. Murphy points out that in the case like this, where there is such a conflict of interest, a better alternative should be attempted to be found. So, it seems to be a much better idea to publish an article, presenting an argument, and giving an opportunity to the criticized party to respond – rather than to publish a sensationalist cartoon that turned out (and should have been seen to be) so counterproductive. The interesting issue about the last point is this. Given that there is a right to publish the cartoons – but that it is arguably not wise and not prudent to do so – the decision to not run the cartoons must be voluntary. That is to say that the government in a liberal state cannot legitimately under normal circumstances intervene in the newspaper's decision to exercise its right to freedom of expression. In order for the newspaper, and for any institution or individual who must act under similar circumstances, to exercise wisdom or prudence - a virtue called civic multiculturalism is needed. This virtue is an interest and a willingness to do what it takes (perhaps over, above and beyond the call of duty) to live peacefully, in the best possible way, with tolerance and civility, and with respect for other cultures in a multicultural liberal society. Murphy points out two interesting things with regard to civic multiculturalism. Liberal society has no right to force an attitude of civility or friendship onto anyone toward members of any culture. These types of attitudes must be assumed voluntarily. And two, when there is civic multiculturalism, a genuine will to respect autonomy of members of other cultures (and even this will cannot be forced onto any individual by society), Murphy underscores that it does not always end up in courteous behavior, but, rather in just behavior. He is thinking of that criticism that matters (as a duty of respect for autonomy) comes close to those issues that are dear to our hearts – and may make us feel offended. Murphy calls a political philosophy that is based on these kinds of considerations a contextualism - to point out that it takes into consideration not only the principles of what is just but also looks at the specific circumstances of differently situated cultures. Contextualism is a part and parcel of deliberative democracy - in which we participate in hearing each other out in each of our own terms. During the latter, we risk being offended as much as we stand to gain in autonomy by learning. IV. Reflection More Closely Along The Lines Of The Rest Of The Materials Of Our Class Craft would point out that that the right of the Danish newspaper to run the cartoons is protected by the freedom of the press guaranteed by the First Amendment – and that the government cannot step in to censor the cartoons. Once we allow any rights of censorship to the government, these rights can be abused, and much more stands to be lost by the possibility of this abuse (information needed for our autonomy about government abuses of power, etc.) than whatever harm can be done by published words and images. Plaisance would echo the last point by pointing out that the offensive content of the cartoons is not – by itself – a reason to conclude that the newspaper is doing something immoral. However, Plaisance would remind us that the offense (the minor harm) from it must be justified by benefits to come. The benefits are that we would know the level of self-censorship in the media (if there is an outrage from the rest of the media and society at the cartoons, then we can conclude that fear of social pressure is high and really influences how much exposure we have to controversial views in our society), as well as that the shocking nature of the images would provoke self-reflection in the Muslim community on the problem of violence in it, and lead to a more productive dialogue between Muslim communities and the West (with regard to Muslim communities in the Middle East as well as those that reside in the West). Even though we can say that there is a moral justification for the offensive cartoons, for the reasons stated above, due to the historical circumstances, the Muslim community took a great offense, xenophobia in the West was fueled, and dialogue and reflection did not take place. With Plaisance, we may say that these turned out to be substantive harms to the autonomy of so many people. Let us remember that a part of Plaisance's Utilitarianism was to claim that if the same benefits can be brought about by an alternative action that causes less harm – then morality demands that an alternative action is performed. This was the prudence argument for running an article rather than a cartoon. So, why did the editors not run an article instead of a cartoon? Their reason is that such an article would have been very difficult to write or ineffective, given the social pressure not to offend and the West's tip-toeing around saying anything critical with regard to the Muslim world and religion. Finally, we may ask with Patterson and Wilkins about the reliance on stereotypes in the Danish cartoons. Did they challenge the status quo or did they reinforce it? I think we can vouch for that the stereotypes were used to reinforce the status quo thinking about violence and misogyny in the Muslim world.

Budget: $12.00

Due on: April 24, 2020 00:00

Posted: 12 months ago.

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