Milton’s Self-Righting Principle ” ethical and philosophy of mass media course”

Need help with my Communications question – I’m studying for my class.

Our text, in several places, refers to Bertrand Russell.

Russell was a Nobel Laureate, philosopher, mathematician, political activist and “citizen of the universe.” Here are a few Russell quotes, upon which I invite you to contemplate:

“In America everybody is of the opinion that he has no social superiors, since all men are equal, but he does not admit that he has no social inferiors, for, from the time of Jefferson onward, the doctrine that all men are equal applies only upwards, not downwards.”

“The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.”

“The observer, when he seems to himself to be observing a stone, is really, if physics is to be believed, observing the effects of the stone upon himself.”

Russell lived from 1872 to 1970. So, in terms of philosophical thought, he is pretty current. He was not doubt influenced by John Stuart Mills (1806-1873). In our current discussion, please contemplate Mills’ “Self-Righting Principal.”

Consider:

Do you think the agnostic Mills would agree with this quote from 20th century Trappist Monk, Thomas Merton.

“At the center of our being is a point of nothingness which is untouched by sin and by illusion, a point of pure truth, a point or spark which belongs entirely to God, which is never at our disposal, from which God disposes of our lives, which is inaccessible to the fantasies of our own mind or the brutalities of our own will. This little point of nothingness and of absolute poverty is the pure glory of God in us. It is so to speak [God’s] name written in us, as our poverty, as our indigence, as our dependence, as our [birthright]. It is like a pure diamond, blazing with the invisible light of heaven. It is in everybody, and if we could see it we would see these billions of points of light coming together in the face and blaze of a sun that would make all the darkness and cruelty of life vanish completely. . . . I have no program for this seeing. It is only given. But the gate of heaven is everywhere.”

Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander (Doubleday & Company: ©1965, 1966), 142.

(Now-reread the above, substituting the word “ego” in place of “poverty.” By poverty, Merton means “lack of ego.”)

Can you provide examples that support the Self-Righting Principle?

Can you provide examples that contradict the Self Righting Principle?

You might consider current events such as the Black Lives Matter Movement, the #MeToo Movement, Coronavirus News and the upcoming Presidential Election.

Finally, respond to the writing prompt below. In your response consider the Assertions by Mills, and anything else you deem relevant from Chapters 4-9 in your text.

Writing Prompt: “The Truth has no Agenda.

CHOOSE YOUR WRITER