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Discussion Question- Accountability Religion & Theology Essay (Essay Sample)


Write a question (or sets of related questions) about Updike’s podcast or Morgenson’s video.
Topic: Your question can emerge from any aspect of the readings that interested you. I suggest asking about something that caught your attention and made you think or that genuinely confused you. While the focus is on either Morgenson or Updike, you are very welcome to put their ideas in conversation with each other or with Messick.
Development: Your question itself can be one or more sentence long, which means that most of your writing is going to be support. Give your question textual and conceptual context. In other words, make sure whomever is reading your question understands how it emerges from the text and make sure they also know what other key ideas might be connected to your question. Don’t just throw in a question all by itself, but rather develop it so that it makes sense. You are also welcome to identify what is motivating you to ask the question, if that is instructive for clarifying the question.
Treat this as an essay, using paragraphs to present distinct phases in your argument. It may help to think of your question as the thesis guiding the essay. However, it is usually easier to end with your question than start with it. You might need your whole development in place before you can make the question clear to your reader. Ultimately, organize your writing in whatever way is best for conveying your question.
Another option is to start with a simple question and then follow its threads. This might mean answering it, augmenting it, criticizing it, inverting it, complicating it, or doing whatever makes sense to expose a deeper question.
(1) Your question (in total, including developmental sentences) must be 600 to 800 words long. Please copy and paste your writing into the assignment forum as though you were posting an original post for a Discussion. However, the writing for this assignment should be that of an essay, not a discussion post. Treat the question like you would a thesis. You must also reply to a classmate’s question in the same manner you do for a Discussion. The reply must be 300 to 500 words long and it is due on Sunday by 11:59 pm.
(2) You must directly quote the podcast/video/reading at least twice. It might be easiest to use the transcripts of the podcast or video to help you find these quotes. Quotes will be included in your word count, but only up to 40 words (so long as you are using quotes of a reasonable length, you shouldn’t be worrying about this). Don’t forget to do a citation for each quote. A parenthetical citation is fine; e.g., Socrates said, “You are forever giving orders in a discussion, as spoiled people do, who behave like tyrants as long as they are young” (Plato, 76b).
(3) No outside sources are to be used, period. If you feel like you are struggling, don’t rush to an outside source. Struggle is common – philosophy is hard! Philosophy teachers expects to see some degree of struggle in their students’ work and grade accordingly.
Voice and Structure:
For writing assignments such as this, you should be using the first person ("I", "me") very sparingly. It should only be used when your argument itself demands the first person because of a particularly relevant and poignant personal experience that makes a specific point (this should be rare because anecdotal evidence is usually weak) or for emphasis (sometimes with the thesis or when contrasting your interpretation with someone else's). Other than those cases, everything you say when you start a sentence with something like "I believe that..." can be said without that initial phrase and carry the same weight. For example, if you were to write, "I feel that King wants to emphasize non-violence for practical reasons, not just ethical reasons," is sounds more objective and professional to just write, "King wants to emphasize non-violence for practical reasons, not just ethical reasons." Be assertive, and the reader knows it is coming from you because you are writing it.
For your posts in the (almost) weekly discussion forums, this isn't a big deal because this writing isn't graded on content. What matters is your engagement with the ideas. But for a more formal assignment like the Question assignments where you are graded on content, a more professional writing voice is needed.
The same principle applies to the structure of your assignments. Rather than just a list of ideas that follow your thinking, which is fine for the forums, the Question assignments should have a proper essay format. This is not just for the sake of following rules. It is because the structure of an introduction, development, and conclusion allow you to showcase your question/thesis, how your reasoning supports it, and how the all of the pieces come together. This is important for your reader, and you should always have your reader's understanding in mind.
This is a philisophy class, and the topic is accontability!!! plz ask a question related with accountability.
U can only use resources from
https://www(dot)youtube(dot)com/watch?v=o65KCTR_Vb0 or the documents.


[MUSIC PLAYING] So let's now turn to Morgenson's conclusions, and think about how she has made the argument really throughout this lecture that one of the strong underlying causes of the 2008 financial crisis was the culture in corporations, businesses, and amongst government regulators that allowed this to take place. I've broken this down into a set of claims and questions and so forth so that we can examine it more carefully, and I'm going to provide passages that I'll read out loud from what she said in the lecture in order to explain and fill out that picture.

So the first claim that she makes is that capitalism needs an ethical tradition. In other words, capitalism needs an ethical tradition to balance it. So Morgenson herself says, "populist capitalism like our system is hugely beneficial to the vast majority of people, but an ethical tradition is needed for it to work."

Now what do she mean by populist capitalism? First of all, capitalism itself is the system of making profits. The primary value in capitalism is making profit. It holds out above all else. Now, what means by populist capitalism is simply the idea that everyone has access, has at least the possibility of making profit for themselves. So that's all she means by that. In other words, capitalism, which can benefit everyone, needs some kind of ethical tradition to balance it.

Why? It's because of something that we learned all the way back in Aristotle-- the problem of excess and deficiency. So the way that she might argue it-- she doesn't say this specifically, but it's implicit in her arguments-- is that excess-- those are the wealthy who are gaining a disproportionate amount of wealth, especially on the backs of those who do not have wealth-- so excess for a few creates deficiency for many.

Now this talk of excess and efficiency should remind us of the doctrine of the mean. Remember, the doctrine of the mean was the idea that virtue is the kind of thing that is apt at finding the mean condition between excess and deficiency, like finding courage between being brash and cowardly.

So the problem here that we're seeing in capitalism, when it doesn't have an ethical tradition, when it isn't acting virtuously, is that it tends towards these extremes. And we are certainly seeing that, not only at the time of the financial crisis, but perhaps even more so today, because after all, the problems of the inequality of wealth in this country have far from solved themselves. So we have this kind of excess and deficiency, and we can think back to Aristotle to understand why we would need an ethical tradition to balance it.

Now the second claim is that unchecked profiteering, in other words this gathering of profit at all expense, making the most of opportunities even when it's at the expense of others, leads to a culture that legitimizes unethical activity. So first of all, this unchecked profiteering, which is certainly something that we saw amongst the banking practices that led to the 2008 financial crisis, that leads not just to the activities themselves, but a whole culture that surrounds it, a culture that legitimizes it. It provides justifications, just as we saw with Eichmann going back to Arendt.

Remember, part of the reasoning that Arendt gave that Eichmann was able to do what he did is that the Nazi party provided language that legitimizes his kind of behavior, his unethical behavior. He bought into that culture. And although, again, we're not talking about something as great as genocide here, we are talking about banking practices that compromised millions of people's retirement funds-- sent millions of people who should have been at retirement back to work because they had lost everything that they had worked for.

So there were very profound and serious consequences, and her point here is that there was a culture that legitimized that, that allowed that to be OK. For example, we saw that many of the banking practices that actually led to this crisis were legal, but unethical practices. And the culture legitimized them because they were legal. It used legality as an excuse to say that because they're legal, they must be fine. When in fact, clearly they were not, and the financial crisis proved that beyond a doubt.

So we have both of these claims that work in concert. Capitalism needs an ethical tradition. And when it doesn't have an ethical tradition, it builds a whole culture that legitimizes its unethical activity. So let's put a cap on this idea here by citing a quote from Morgenson. And here she is quoting, at the very end of her speech, she's quoting Frederic Bastiat, a 19th century economist.

And Bastiat said, "when plunder--" unchecked profiteering-- "when plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it." So a legal system that authorizes it because of all the deregulation that occurred before the crisis and a culture that makes it OK, that pretends that it's not unethical because it's legal.

So now let's ask a pertinent question. Today, is there a culture that justifies unethical forms of capitalism? In other words, do we ourselves today still have the problem that persisted and helped create the 2008 financial crisis? Remember, Morgenson is reporting still years after the crisis. We're in the tail end of the crisis, you might say, because it persisted. And she's still finding evidence of problems.

So as far as Morgenson is concerned, the answer is yes. And we can certainly debate whether or not between 2012, when she gave this lecture, and 2019, which is when I'm giving this lecture, whether or not it's the same. And moving forward, you can continue to debate this. Now she gives a passage in which she explains the problem here.

She says, "there is a decidedly me first approach that dominates today." This is where we get the title here. A me first approach that dominates today. And this is the approach of profit for me, excess for me, regardless of other people. A me first approach.

"I don't know how to force people into high places to forego profits for propriety. I do know that those of us in media can help by shining a light in the dark corners where such practices flourish. Still, to regain confidence after enduring this mess, I believe at least some of the people who blew up these institutions must be held accountable for their actions."

So what is the solution? Accountability. The way to fix this culture, at least one of the possible ways to fix this culture, is to improve accountability amongst the leaders of the economic industry. Of course, there is an obvious problem with this, and here is another passage which helps identify one dimension of this problem.

"The failure to put resources into law enforcement on these cases--" the cases of the executives who created this problem-- "confirms a dangerous suspicion that many Americans hold, that there are two sets of rules in our nation, one for Washington and powerful companies that contribute to their re-election campaigns, and one for us."

A double standard is the problem. And of course, the double standard, by that thinking, is unjust and unethical. We can't have proper accountability, an accountability that truly gives us an ethical tradition, if we continue to have a double standard. And of course, much of Morgenson's journalistic activity surrounded trying to understand what these executives did and why they weren't be held accountable.

And in fact, we know that very few of the executives were ever held accountable in the United States for what happened, partially because what they did was legal, partially because there was also culpability in the SEC, and they probably didn't want to push that accountability very far. So there was a whole complex system where accountability failed. And the double standard that seemed to be in place for those in power meant that those in power still benefited even from the crisis, while those who were victims of the crisis, the people who lost their savings, saw no justice in the end-- never recouped their losses, and never even saw anyone really answering for that problem.

So this is the culture of me first-- profit and self-protection above the interests of other people. This is what leads to an unethical form of capitalism, at least one of the reasons for an unethical form of capitalism. And it will be an ongoing question, as we move forward in the United States, whether or not we can improve our form of capitalism and create a more ethical system. To do that, at least according to Morgenson, we need better accountability, specifically accountability amongst our leaders.


Discussion Question- Accountability
Question: How did the lack of ethical tradition and accountability facilitate the 2008 financial crisis?
The insights obtained from this question would make it possible to comprehend how the culture in businesses, corporations and government regulators contributed to the financial problems recorded in 2008. Additionally, lack of accountability and an ethical tradition in the populist capitalism would also cause problems as everyone is keen on making a profit and having ethical practices would help in balancing it. It is essential to note that Gretchen Morgenson with her financial journalist background has mentioned she continues discovering evidence indicating the unethical activities and practices that grew and prospered during the crises.

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