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“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”

Posted by Hornswoggle 
“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”
April 03, 2015 06:51AM
That's a quote by the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. It's the last line of a speech he gave on the steps of the State Capitol in Montgomery, Alabama, after the successful completion of the Selma to Montgomery March on March 25, 1965.

I have the utmost respect for Dr. King.

But I have to call b'ullshit on that. How can we be sure that the arc of the moral universe bends towards justice? Based on what?

Why can't the world devolve into a state of complete injustice?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/03/2015 09:04AM by Hornswoggle.
Re: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”
April 03, 2015 07:24AM
I believe that Dr. King is correct. The recent news--especially the public outcry--about "Religious Freedom" laws and their discrimination against gays is a good example of that bending arc. Can imagine a similar reaction when we were young?

Just societies are stronger than unjust societies, thus unjust societies don't last as long. Everybody's favorite example of an unjust society is Nazi Germany. Do you doubt that they would have been more successful had not the German scientists and other intelligentsia fled or been killed? A just society means that all are treated fairly. When all are treated fairly, they are more likely to support and to contribute to the success of that society.
Re: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”
April 04, 2015 08:06PM
I'd like to think that he's correct. But just as I can think of ways in which humanity seems to be more just, I can think of ways in which humanity seems to be just as unjust as ever and in some cases less just. What's the final balance? I don't know.

What I'm saying is that it isn't the slam dunk that Dr. King implies. There's no natural law that makes that so.
Re: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”
April 04, 2015 10:15PM
Quote
Hornswoggle
I'd like to think that he's correct. But just as I can think of ways in which humanity seems to be more just, I can think of ways in which humanity seems to be just as unjust as ever and in some cases less just. What's the final balance? I don't know.

What I'm saying is that it isn't the slam dunk that Dr. King implies. There's no natural law that makes that so.

In keeping with your basketball metaphor, we can infer that Dr. King is not talking about slam dunks but something akin to a long, arcing three-point shot. Most three-point attempts are misses, but when they connect they are often game changers.

Socially unjust societies are like poorly run businesses or dysfunctional families. That is if the members are treated poorly and unfairly, the entity (society/business/family) sooner or later dissolves or they are forced to change. Our American Civil War is an example of that (slavery being the ultimate injustice). We have other examples of social changes that didn't necessitate a war: same-sex marriage, Social Security, Medicare, women's suffrage, etc. I can think of many more ways in which society is more just over time than ways it is less just over time.
Re: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”
April 05, 2015 08:32PM
In keeping with your basketball metaphor, we can infer that Dr. King is not talking about slam dunks but something akin to a long, arcing three-point shot. Most three-point attempts are misses, but when they connect they are often game changers. - Curt

There's no ambiguity or uncertainty in the statement “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”
Re: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”
April 05, 2015 10:19PM
Quote
Hornswoggle
In keeping with your basketball metaphor, we can infer that Dr. King is not talking about slam dunks but something akin to a long, arcing three-point shot. Most three-point attempts are misses, but when they connect they are often game changers. - Curt

There's no ambiguity or uncertainty in the statement “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”

That's right. Dr. King did NOT imply it was a slam dunk.
Re: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”
April 06, 2015 04:33PM
King obviously implied that it is a certainty. That is a common meaning for the term "slam dunk".

.
Re: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”
April 06, 2015 07:18PM
Quote
Ponderer
King obviously implied that it is a certainty. That is a common meaning for the term "slam dunk".

Hornswoggle said "slam dunk", not Dr. King.
Re: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”
April 06, 2015 07:31PM
Easy to confuse the two.

I've always said the world is liberal whether we want it to be or not. That's because the will of the people has always been the driving for for society in general. True we take steps forward and steps back - but in general, the world is perpetually turning more liberal. It's the same idea as Dr. King's. It's easy to look at certain aspects and say "well that doesn't fit the profile" - but 20 years back chances are, that same situation was even worse than it is now in regards to human rights, justice, liberalism.
Re: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”
April 06, 2015 09:58PM
I didn't say that King said slam dunk. What I did say meant that what King actually said was obviously intended to mean that it was a certainty. Horns was obviously paraphrasing what King said without changing the meaning of what he said in the slightest by using the phrase "slam dunk".

.




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/06/2015 09:59PM by Ponderer.
Re: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”
April 06, 2015 10:13PM
Quote
Ponderer
I didn't say that King said slam dunk. What I did say meant that what King actually said was obviously intended to mean that it was a certainty. Horns was obviously paraphrasing what King said without changing the meaning of what he said in the slightest by using the phrase "slam dunk".

I don't agree with your interpretation, nor is it obvious. Rather than it being a "slam dunk" certainty, King was more likely saying that social justice is an inevitability. That is that it might take time and many attempts before succeeding. "Slam dunk" implies it's a can't miss. But there are many misses on the way to social justice.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/06/2015 10:15PM by Curt Anderson.
Re: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”
April 07, 2015 02:34AM
confused smiley

A "slam dunk" is something that is certain. By his statement, Dr. King was certain that justice wins overall in the long run. I'm saying there's no way that we can be certain about that.
Re: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”
April 07, 2015 04:19PM
"Rather than it being a "slam dunk" certainty, King was more likely saying that social justice is an inevitability." -Curt

inevitable [in-ev-i-tuh-buh l] adjective
1. unable to be avoided, evaded, or escaped; certain; necessary: an inevitable conclusion.
2. sure to occur, happen, or come; unalterable: The inevitable end of human life is death.
noun
3. that which is unavoidable.

[see: slam dunk]

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Re: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”
April 08, 2015 05:51AM
It's much more likely. Even if we are taking steps backwards in this country (debatable imho) - other parts of the world are getting better.
Re: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”
April 08, 2015 09:25PM
I agree, Indy!. It's quite possible that the world is getting better even in spite of the United States.

.
Re: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”
May 22, 2015 05:10AM
What's more immoral than destroying the ecosystem that sustains life?
Re: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”
May 23, 2015 01:16AM
Destroying the life in that ecosystem? Not sure. What's the answer?
Re: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”
June 03, 2015 06:57AM
I'm pretty sure it's a statement of faith not to be critically analyzed
Re: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”
September 24, 2015 11:09PM
Well that's certainly true - the last thing you want to do is critically analyze your faith. smoking smiley

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