Signing up for a Justice course at Harvard would assume I had enough brains to know it’s underway.
Back in March when I discovered the Justice course, it had started a few weeks before. I applied anyway to see what would happen. An email arrived saying that since I was a bit late, I would be on record for the next one offered.
I visited the Harvard site to see if a notice for the next course had been posted. The only information that would pop up was that I was registered. Frustrated, I waited to hear from them.
Suddenly, a week ago, I was notified of a live lecture on Saturday morning. The course lectures were finished so the Prof offered this special live lecture for everyone on the course around the world. All students could post questions. Even me, I discovered!
We voted on the questions and ones with the highest number of votes would be addressed by Professor Sandel.
Saturday morning, I stopped the world to have this hour with Prof. Sandel. I hung on his every word. Polished, inclusive, developmental, humourous and confident, he lived up to his reputation in my opinion. I was even more determined to take this course with a man of his skills.
Throughout the hour, various terms, phrases and nouns promised volumes of meaning behind and beneath them. What were those mysteries? When was the next course, I wondered impatiently.
Then I looked to the left of the video. Lectures, readings, questions, and tests were hot-linked and, at the bottom, the notice that the final exam would be July 31st.
I clicked on Lecture #1 and saw the whole line-up of video, questions, readings, tests. All hot-linked and at my beckon and call. Guess what I’ve been doing this weekend. And will be doing all month.
Utilitarianism. Utilitarianism with Free Market. Libertarianism. Justice holds so many different meanings to so many different people. No wonder we easily disagree with one another.
How can we ask for peace when our ideas about justice are all over the map?
Professor Sandel warns that we’ll never be the same after taking this course.
I like that. I love being challenged to think differently.
…where was I? If taxation = the taking of earnings i.e. the fruits of our labour…
If, therefore, taking earnings = forced labour…
If, therefore, forced labour = slavery…
Do we, in fact, own ourselves?
Stay in touch. Your opinions are welcome!