We are in our society regularly willing to take on ourselves or impose on others risks — even lethal risks — for the good of society. We send off young men and women to war to defend the security of our nation knowing that many will not return. We applaud medical professionals who risk their health to provide care to the sick and suffering. We each accept the risk of a fatal traffic accident when we get in our car.
The pivotal question for us individually and as a society is not whether we should take risks, but what risks are acceptable and why. Disagreements among us on that question are deep and vigorous, but I’d hope for wide agreement that the education of young people — the future leaders of our society — is worth risking a good deal.
–Father president of the University of Notre Dame
Invoking values pluralism + Aristotle on courage
h/t Bruce Rosenstock
At FB, Bruce has been asking friends to game out hypotheticals. What is a university/college to do when even one student gets sick and even one student dies because the campus administration decided to open campus to on site instruction? I’m actually not sure about the risk, but the argument at Notre Dame is not a good one because it looks too quickly (and therefore in bad faith) past the epidemiology and social psychology. It’s one more indication that “religion” is not working well through the pandemic; and maybe it is actually unable to do so because the value system it builds upon is that of a paideic community. What matters at Notre Dame is the institution itself and its own value-sets, which are then posed as vital to the general good.
every house of worship (and really every institution of any age) I’ve spent time with is run not generally around theological/ideological questions but in-house political/economic ones, the tyranny of the means (and the personalities at the tables where decisions are made) runs far and deep…