Debating Same-sex Marriage; The Good Life

Recent Episodes

Debating Same-sex Marriage; The Good Life

Debating Same-sex Marriage; The Good Life

Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do?

The Season 1 finale focuses on same-sex marriage.

60 min.

The Good Citizen; Freedom vs. Fit

The Good Citizen; Freedom vs. Fit

Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do?

Disabled golfer Casey Martin's case against the PGA.

60 min.

Claims of Community; Where Our Loyalty Lies

Claims of Community; Where Our Loyalty Lies

Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do?

Kant's belief in a universal duty to humanity.

60 min.

Arguing Affirmative Action; What's the Purpose?

Arguing Affirmative Action; What's the Purpose?

Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do?

The pros and cons of affirmative action are debated.

60 min.

What's a Fair Start? What Do We Deserve?

What's a Fair Start? What Do We Deserve?

Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do?

Redistributing wealth to help the disadvantaged.

60 min.

A Lesson in Lying; A Deal is a Deal

A Lesson in Lying; A Deal is a Deal

Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do?

The morality of lying and misleading truths.

60 min.


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The Season 1 finale focuses on same-sex marriage and the link between law and morality. If principles of justice depend on the moral or intrinsic worth of the ends that rights serve, how should we deal with the fact that people hold different ideas and conceptions of what is good? Students address this question in a heated debate about whether same-sex marriage should be legal. Can we settle the matter without discussing the moral permissibility of homosexuality or the purpose of marriage?

In Part 2, Professor Sandel asserts that government can't be neutral on difficult moral questions, such as same-sex marriage and abortion, and asks why we shouldn't deliberate all issues—including economic and civic concerns—with that same moral and spiritual aspiration. In his final lecture, Professor Sandel eloquently makes the case for a new politics of the common good. Engaging, rather than avoiding, the moral convictions of our fellow citizens may be the best way of seeking a just society.

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