POL316x: Civil Liberties from PrincetonX on edX.org.
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POL316x: Civil Liberties from PrincetonX on edX.org.

ROBERT P. GEORGE: All of us like to
think of ourselves as true champions of civil rights and civil liberties. And yet, if we’re honest,
we recognize that there are reasonable people
of goodwill who disagree with us about some important
rights and liberties issues. And they too, regard
themselves as champions of civil rights and liberties. Most of us have had the experience
of disagreeing, strongly, with a friend or a colleague or a
relative on an issue like abortion or euthanasia or affirmative action. Yet, we recognize, or should
recognize that someone can be a reasonable
and honorable person, despite holding views that differ
from our own, even on important issues that we deeply care about. In this course we try to think our
way through a wide variety of rights and liberties issues. We’ll carefully, dispassionately,
and above all critically, consider the evidence,
the reasons, the arguments presented by the best thinkers and
writers on the competing sides. Together we’ll explore the
philosophical foundations of important claims of
civil rights and liberties, and read essays by thinkers such as
John Locke, John Stuart Mill, Friedrich Hayek, and Martin Luther King, as well
as important Supreme Court opinions. I have my own views on the
issues we address in the course, but there’s no party line. Whatever your views
happen to be, liberal, conservative, whatever, they’ll be
sympathetically explored, but also respectfully challenged,
just as my own will be. My goal is to encourage
and empower you to think about disputed questions of
civil rights and liberties more deeply, more
critically, and for yourself. And to invite you and
learners from around the world to participate in a thoughtful
conversation about some profoundly important topics. [MUSIC PLAYING]

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