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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 141377 Find in a Library
Title: Freedom Through Moral Education
Journal: Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy  Volume:14  Issue:1  Dated:(Winter 1991)  Pages:165-171
Author(s): A L Keyes
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 7
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The debate over the regulation of speech at universities often becomes a conflict between civil libertarians and civil rights advocates, when it should be based on moral education.
Abstract: Moral education involves apportioning praise and blame to guide conduct. Because personal sentiments are necessary to translate moral precepts into moral actions, moral education requires what might have been called at one time sentimental education. The distinction between using the tools of praise and blame and coercion on the other may reflect the distinction between enforcing mores and enforcing laws. For example, in determining what constitutes an acceptable romantic overture, one does not have a formal code of conduct to prescribe acceptable and unacceptable behavior; instead, this code develops largely on its own. Similarly, the significant prejudice encountered by "ugly" individuals is not regulated. Clearly, the debate over speech restrictions cannot be based solely on the discriminatory use of judgmental language or even on the effects of such language. Nonetheless, there is little disagreement that conduct and even speech to a certain extent should be regulated to maintain an acceptable moral atmosphere. Therefore, reducing the debate to civil liberties versus civil rights misses the point. The debate is really about which moral standards should be enforced coercively and what those standards should be. 8 footnotes
Main Term(s): Freedom of speech
Index Term(s): Campus crime; Civil rights; Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; Discrimination
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