JIS I 1989
2OO1: THE FUTURE OF INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH
JIS I 1989: 5-23
IS THERE A “CHRISTIAN SOCIOLOGY”?
David O. Moberg
Even as there is no “Christian mathematics” or “Christian physics,” some argue that there can be no “Christian sociology.” Yet values infuse every aspect of the social science enterprise. There are at least five major ideal-type definitions of “Christian.” Christian presuppositions are evident in terms of the spirit of science, divine revelation, and human nature, as are Christian values related to faith, the nature of God, Christian relativism, sin, and the sacredness of all domains and activities. Christian sociologists have developed no unique theories, methods, or subject matter, but Christian values and presuppositions often modify, qualify, and enrich their work. Whether there is a unique “Christian sociology” is hence problematic, although it is as valid a label as “Marxist,” “humanist,” “Islamic,” or “positivist” sociology.
JIS I 1989: 24-44
TOWARD A CHRISTIAN METAANTHROPOLOGY
James O. Buswell III
William Carey International University
Since integration is preferable to compartmentalization, problems of the identity or posture of the Christian anthropologist in academic or professional contexts are examined. The question is then asked, can there be a “Christian anthropology?” If so, what are its distinctive features and what difference does it make in the doing of anthropology? David Bidney’s concept of “metaanthropology” is explored, adding fundamental contrasts between naturalistic and supernaturalistic presuppositions. Bidney’s basic concerns of metaanthropology, “the problems of cultural reality and the nature of man,” are discussed, respectively, in terms of distinctive Christian positions on mankind as the culture-bearing species in the Image of God and on the matter of human origin.
JIS I 1989: 45-54
THE QUEST FOR NEW GESTALTS
Natalie Isser & Lita Linzer Schwartz
Pennsylvania State University
Interdisciplinary research is perceived as a natural outgrowth of the realization that few facets of the world exist in isolation. Indeed, interdisciplinary research provides a challenge to develop new perspectives, paradigms, or Gestalts. An examination of interdisciplinary teaching and research applications reveals that such an approach is both viable and fruitful. Impediments to the implementation of interdisciplinary research are discussed from the individual point of view and at the institutional level. Despite barriers, the outlook for interdisciplinary research in the future is promising.
JIS I 1989: 55-70
REFLECTIONS ON THE LIMITS OF SCIENCE
William R. Marty
Memphis State University
For most, science now has the mantle of authority once possessed by philosophy and theology. But there are reasons for caution in the appeal to scientific authority in human affairs, as in philosophy and theology. There are limits to the methods of science as well as an extraordinary number of examples of the serious misuse of science and its authority. Recognizing the limitations of science and the fallibility of human beings can enhance understanding of both theory and policy, and place science and its authority in proper perspective.
JIS I 1989: 71-84
DER URSPRUNG DER SCHOENEN KUENSTE
Der Mensch hat eine Zielsetzung: seine biologischen Bedurfnisse zu stillen. Seine zweite Zielsetzung dagegen stillt Bedurfnisse, die schwiering zu definieren sind, da sie sein Innenleben betreffen, wie dies bei der Kunst der Fall ist. Es scheint, dass dank der bestehenden Wechselwirkung zwischen diesen gegensatzlichen Zielsetzungen der Mensch nicht nur psychisch sich im Gleichgewicht halten, aber auch von dem einen Schwierigkeitsgrad der Problematik zum andern ubergehen kann, und dass sich darin das Phanomen der Kreativitat verbergen muss. Der Mensch mit seiner kreativen Lebensweise befindet sich also im Kreislauf des All-Natur-Geschehens, und obwohl er erdgebunden ein kosmisches Wesen ist, hat er damit ein Privileg, die seelisch-geistige Dimension der Schopfung zu erkennen und sich mit dem Ursprung der Schopfung zu vereinen.
JIS I 1989: 85-102
THE RETURN OF THE GRAND INQUISITOR:
A CRITIQUE OF SOLZHENITSYN
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
Since 1974, when Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s Letter to the Soviet Leaders was published after his exile from the Soviet Union, a schism has developed in the previously unified dissident movement into two conflicting political-ideological currents: national-authoritarian and liberal-democratic. This article focuses on Solzhenitsyn’s essay, The Mortal Danger: How Misconceptions About Russia Imperil America. It is my thesis that Solzhenitsyn’s political vision of a benevolent authoritarian order based on a revival of Russian nationalism begs the question of individual freedom, the rule of law, and genuine spiritual rebirth. Only human rights, the rights of the individual, each person’s spiritual freedom have real meaning in the struggle against communist totalitarianism. Such a struggle is impossible without a spiritual and religious renaissance that restores the highest value, the value of each individual person.
JIS I 1989: 103-121
HUMAN GENETIC INTERVENTION:
PORTENT OF A BRAVE NEW WORLD?
Robert H. Blank
Northern Illinois University
The centerpiece of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World is state control of the human reproduction process as a means of ensuring social stability. Although written as fiction, recent advances in human genetic and reproductive technology promise to give us more control over our biological destiny, including procreation. Concurrently, they create new social policy dilemmas, challenge prevailing “givens” of the human condition, and, technologically, increase the possibility of centralized control over reproduction. After reviewing the current status of human genetic technology and discussing its use in the United States, this article analyzes the implications of these innovations for the future.
JIS I 1989: 122-134
ESCAPE FROM FREEDOM
Jeffery L. Geller
Pembroke State University
Two views of pretotalitarian motivation are examined. The pronouncements of Mustapha Mond in Brave New World and O’Brien in 1984 reveal two different sets of motives which could lead to the establishment and acceptance of totalitarianism. Huxley’s Brave New World warns against hedonism, unwillingness to tolerate pain, an excessive valuation of stability, and the tendency to treat freedom as a commodity. Orwell’s 1984 does not warn against the presence of any particular system of values, but rather, against the absence of ethical considerations from our thinking and, implicitly, against our deep desire to escape from freedom. In conclusion, a sense of self-worth and spiritual development are counterposed to the decline of ethics.
JIS I 1989: 135-144
ORWELL’S 1984 SOCIETY AND HUMAN RIGHTS
Wayne P. Pomerleau
In this article Alan Gewirth’s theory of social ethics is applied to the picture of life presented in Orwell’s novel, 1984, in such a way as to justify one’s sense of repulsive evil therein. It is the systematic denial of human rights to freedom and well-being that is fundamentally immoral and destructive of the capacity of people to function as prospective purposive agents. This denial of what Gewirth terms additive, non-subtractive, and basic goods violates both privacy and personal autonomy, reducing man to a sub-human level.
JIS I 1989: 145-161
THE GOLDEN RULE AND PATERNALISM
James W. McGray
University of San Diego
The aim of this article is to defend the morality of the Golden Rule from the objection that it will lead to intolerable paternalism. Once religious paternalism is allowed, Inquisitors come forward to care for the weak-willed and obtuse masses. Eventually, the Inquisitors lose their faith, and focus their concern upon harmony, health, and happiness in this life. The outcome is either a constrained distopia that is abhorrent (Huxley), or a cruel distopia which is the antithesis of what the Golden Rule is supposed to prescribe (Orwell). Paternalism presupposes knowledge that an agent is acting against his own best interests. Such epistemic justification is not available in matters of ethics or faith.
JIS I 1989: 162-173
GOD, SUFFERING AND THE ANTI-UTOPIAN CHARACTER
OF BRAVE NEW WORLD
St. Olaf College
This article explores the seemingly paradoxical thesis that the society depicted in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World is anti-utopian because it seeks to eliminate suffering. As Huxley suggests in The Perennial Philosophy and other works, suffering is a necessary condition for acquiring knowledge of God, and such knowledge constitutes genuine happiness. Since the Brave New World seeks to eliminate the necessary condition for its citizens’ happiness, it is, therefore, anti-utopian.
JIS I 1989: 174-182
THE LOGOTHERAPEUTIC APPROACH
Michael F. Shaughnessy
Eastern New Mexico University
The attitudinal perspective of Viktor Frankl pits the “will to meaning” against those who would totalitarianize the world as the Nazis attempted to do with the Holocaust and the Blitzkrieg. Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning is juxtaposed against Orwell’s 1984 and Huxley’s Brave New World to compare and contrast the existential position of each and reemphasize the place of religious values in modern society. Frankl’s philosophy and therapeutic system are also considered as a response to The Unheard Cry for Meaning in the contemporary world. Further, Frankl provides an alternative to the “behavioristic technology” which reduces man to the status of a rat.
JIS I 1989: 183-202
THE NICARAGUAN REVOLUTION:
FROM AUTOCRACY TO TOTALITARIAN DICTATORSHIP?
Alfred G. Cuzan
University of West Florida
In Totalitarian Dictatorship and Autocracy, Friedrich and Brzezinski present a model of a totalitarian regime. It is the fusion of a revolutionary ideology, an elitist party, and a secret police which sets off the dynamics of totalitarianism, implemented by means of terror. Using the model as a guide, this article evaluates the nature of the regime that has emerged in Nicaragua since the 1979 revolution against the Somoza autocracy. The ideology, party, and police of the Sandinista state fit the model in most respects, but other totalitarian traits are not fully developed. It concludes that the Sandinista regime has not completed the process toward mature totalitarianism.