Good News About Injustice: Study Guide

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    V for Vendetta is a manual for rebellion against injustice

    Humans are altering the Earth and not always in a good way. Global warming In order to carry out this specialized assistance, the HR managers carries out three distinct functions, A line function, A coordinative function and Staff This is a theme because the town that these four chapters are based in is a very taciturn town. Their main pastime was going to church. The dullness of this down was also very noticeable. Hence the very idea of epistemic injustice is innovative to the point of initiating a conceptual shift in epistemology as it has traditionally been practiced.

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    Admittedly, this shift comes about on ground prepared by a cluster of projects: from some versions of naturalized epistemology, social epistemology, virtue epistemology, feminist and other analyses of situated knowledges, through Foucauldian and other investigations of the politics of knowledge, all of which figure, variously, in Fricker's position. But this is a major shift: in Fricker's own terms, it mobilizes conceptual resources with the capacity to generate "indefinitely many new meanings" , italics original.

    In so doing it moves epistemology into places where knowing matters to people's lives, and where formal analyses abstracted from situations and experiences offer minimal guidance for good epistemic conduct. Chapter 1 illustrates testimonial injustice through compelling readings of gender power at work in Anthony Minghella's screenplay of The Talented Mr.

    In the screenplay, a female character is patronizingly discredited in her claims to know by a man who assumes she will defer to his word because of the gender inflected power relations he unthinkingly inhabits: how could female intuition counter the "facts" he knows? In the Lee novel, racist power is brutally condoned and perpetuated by "those on the jury for whom the idea that the black man is to be epistemically trusted and the white girl distrusted is virtually a psychological impossibility" Showing how each pattern of conduct passes as matter-of-course within an established social order, the analysis invokes a Foucauldian "metaphysically light" 10 conception of power which, in its agential modality, refers to a social agent or group exercising power over or in relation to another agent or group, in ways that control the other s ' actions.

    In its structural modality it is dispersed through the social order where it operates impersonally, almost imperceptibly, yet surely. Again, these modalities are mutually constitutive: whether agentially or structurally, power works "to create or preserve a given social order", to enable or silence, to confer upon certain speakers or groups, qua persons of that kind, "a credibility excess " or "a credibility deficit ", thereby enhancing or restricting their epistemic access to the uptake -- the recognition as viable participants in epistemic exchanges -- on which their social self-conceptions depend.

    In short, they are wronged in their capacity as knowers 21 , and especially so by what Fricker calls "tracker prejudices" which are systematic in their capacity to "track" a person of that social type or kind across an entire repertoire of activities, of which economic, educational, professional, sexual, legal, political, religious practices provide a representative sampling In chapter 2 the analysis expands to focus on stereotypes as themselves stereotypical vehicles of prejudice, in what Fricker calls "the credibility economy" 30 ff.

    Rather than viewing them as epistemically-morally-politically pernicious forms of hasty generalization by contrast, say, with Gadamerian pre-judgements or putatively more benign practices of categorization, Fricker argues plausibly for a "neutral" sense of stereotype which catches their frequent reliability as part of a "hearer's rational resources" in making credibility judgements. Yet she acknowledges a widespread human susceptibility to relying on negatively, harmfully prejudiced stereotypes, and shows how difficult it is unequivocally to attribute culpability to their users, given that stereotypes and images "can operate beneath the radar of our ordinary doxastic self-scrutiny, sometimes even despite beliefs to the contrary" The analysis of multiple, often subtle, but sometimes cruder operations of prejudice, deftly exemplified in literary and "real life" instances, is one of the most impressive sections of the book.

    Within this rich store of examples, ever more intricate readings of Tom Robinson, the wrongfully accused black man in Harper Lee's novel, are particularly effective in exposing the effects of stereotypes in excluding members of certain social "kinds" from relations of trust, contributing to their degradation qua knowers, "undermining them in their very humanity" Worth noting, too, is Fricker's reading of Simone de Beauvoir's "epistemic humiliation" in a well-known argument with Jean-Paul Sartre: an act of injustice whose effect was to change Beauvoir's "intellectual trajectory in one fell blow" In white patriarchal societies such epistemic humiliations, often manifested in blank incredulity, are commonplace reactions to women's and other Others' academic, personal, or professional aspirations.

    They carry the power to destroy a would-be knower's confidence for engaging in the trustful conversations of which epistemic communities at their best are made. They can "inhibit the very formation of self" 55 , Fricker rightly suggests. Stereotypes and the practices they engender are no one's and everyone's within a social imagination where members of a society readily grant them "cognitive sanctuary", to borrow Fricker's apt phrase 38, n. Yet although a collective social imagination can be "an ethical and epistemic liability" it is also, in her view, a "mighty resource for social change" It is at once the place where creative, subversive challenges to stereotypes and other prejudices claim a hearing and gather transformative momentum -- many of the social movements of the s generated just such challenges -- and a place that can harbour and sustain a certain inertia, a collective complacency in the status quo, a stubborn insistence on the rightness -- often despite ourselves -- of stereotype-confirming injustices.

    Clearly, it is as components of a socially-saturating belief structure that such injustices as Fricker exposes must be understood: an analysis of individually-owned biases curable by simple empirical counter-evidence could not account for their intransigence and elasticity. It carries greater explanatory and revisionary force than the social imagination: is more thoroughly systemic in a quasi-Foucauldian sense, more explicitly power-infused and politically oriented, less constrained by residues of individualism than the social imagination.

    Thus, too, where Fricker holds ethics and politics apart, I see them as co-constitutive in ways that the "social imaginary" better captures. This is more than a mere terminological difference: on this, if on very little else, I would part company with her. So far I have concentrated on the first third of the book, which prepares the ground for moving epistemic agency away from dislocated, abstract analyses to situate it naturalistically, socially, and hermeneutically within a virtue epistemological frame where testimony occupies a pivotal place, and matters of variable credibility are centrally at issue.

    I listened to the audiobook, which is abridged, and I didn't particularly like the reader. So my view of the book was colored by that. It is a good introduction to IJM and overview of God's call for justice and our role in that. Since I have read or heard a fair amount on this topic, it did not feel very fresh or new, but I think as an introduction and awareness bringing book, it's good! Mar 25, Julie rated it really liked it.

    This book was recommended to me, and it was very helpful to learn of different ways that Christians can confront injustice - personally and corporately. There are some quotes I want to remember, and principles I want to put into practice. Oct 22, Bekah Backman rated it really liked it. International Justice Mission is doing great things to transform not only individuals but also corruption in the world governments. They are doing the hard work that matters. A great example to us. Jun 20, Randall rated it it was amazing. Gripping, enlightening, educating. Excellent eye-opening book.

    Apr 17, Christopher Teeter rated it it was amazing. Haugen is excellent at framing the issues AND the action items to end human bondage. Jul 03, Jenny Chism rated it it was amazing. Everyone should read this book. Apr 23, David rated it really liked it Shelves: christianity-and-culture , social-issues , human-trafficking. This book is fantastic! At one point, he was sent to Rwanda to lead a team gathering evidence against the perpetrators of the genocide there in It was experiences like this one that led Haugen to create International Justice Mission, whose goal is to provide legal aid and advocacy to oppressed persons throughout the world.

    The first few chapters of the book set the stage. Haugen tells a bit of his own story and This book is fantastic! Haugen tells a bit of his own story and speaks of how Christians can engage the reality of injustice in the world by taking two steps: develop compassion for people suffering from injustice by learning about them and understanding justice by looking at scripture.

    Injustice in the world is an overwhelming topic, so Haugen tells the stories of three champions of justice in US history: Kate Bushnell, who fought against forced prostitution, Edgar Murphy, who spoke out for child laborers, and Jessie Daniel Ames, who formed a group of church women in the south who opposed lynching in the s.

    The lesson is clear: Americans oppose all of these things today but there was a time when such injustices were accepted, in the same way, we can work against injustice in the wider world, and we can be successful. The second part of the book focuses on four biblical affirmations about justice: God is a God of justice, compassion, moral clarity and rescue. In the third part, Haugen moves into the practical arena, speaking at length about what IJM does and how they do it and how the reader can help. I am tempted to classify this book in my "apologetics" book shelf.

    Haugen asks, why do injustices like genocide, forced prostitution of children and other such evils to occur? His answer is that people "choose to indulge their selfish and brutal urges to dominate the defenseless" He goes on: "If people have no respect for God, no love for their Maker, I would ask the question another way: Why not pillage, rape, persecute and murder?

    If it feels good, and they can get away with it, why not? If God is dead or does not exist, as these people believe, why aren't all things permitted? Why should they restrain themselves? Because it's just wrong? Because it's not the way civilized people behave? Because what goes around comes around?

    Within tidy circles of properly socialized and reasonable people such appeals can seem like they actually have the power to restrain people from doing what they otherwise feel like doing. But in the real world outside the philosophy seminar room, oppressors frankly don't care that you think it's just wrong They think, Fine, if being brutal makes you feel terrible inside, then don't do it. But it makes me feel powerful, alive, exhilarated and masterful, so quit whining - unless you want to try to stop me" Of course, the next question is why does God allow such injustices to occur.

    Haugen works out an answer for that, focusing on the suffering God on the cross. His point is that Christianity offers a God who is not far off, but who has experienced real suffering. It is people like Haugen, books like this one and organizations like International Justice Mission that offer the most powerful apologetic for Christian faith, much more than traditional books with arguments for the existence of God and what not. Suffering and injustice are problems for any belief, Christian or secular.

    Everyone must explain their existence somehow. But I think Haugen without really intending it makes a good case for how calling injustice "evil" or "wrong" or telling people not to do it is much more difficult for the secular person. In nature larger, stronger animals eat smaller ones. If humans are just natural animals, if that is all we are, the oppressor is just being a larger stronger animal.

    My point: this is also an apologetics book. I also was challenged by how Haugen described Christian ministry in three ways.

    Good News About Injustice

    He spoke of evangelism which evangelicals have long done and feeding the poor mentioning groups like World Vision and Compassion. I have often spoken of those two only. Usually evangelicals are taken to task for only focusing on the spiritual side. Haugen agrees, saying it was not until the mid twentieth century that evangelicals remembered Jesus cares about a person's physical needs.

    But Haugen goes a step further, seeing justice work as a third ministry.

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    The difference is that we can feed the poor, but if we do not change the system that keeps them in poverty we are working against the stream. That is what International Justice Mission does: seeks justice for the oppressed. It is worthy, holy work and I urge people to read this book and go to their website to learn more. Mar 13, Will Baxley rated it really liked it. Important text. Glad to have read it. The use of the Bible to argue the case for the poor and victims of injustice is really compelling for persons of faith.

    The Good News About Injustice: A Study Guide For the Book of Amos

    In general, Haugen's experience in pursuing justice for victims in especially dark places is undeniable. The book teaches a lot about what the work of public justice system reform involves. Good News is a typical social justice book written in Breaking very little ground of its own, it seems as if it simply jumped on the social justice bandwagon making its way around the world a decade ago. It can be summarized by the main themes contained in all its brother and sister books: Bad things happen; God doesn't like it; We should do something about it.

    If I were to nitpick, I could take issue with the notion that God wants to punish those who cause injustice.

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    Though there are Bible Good News is a typical social justice book written in Though there are Bible passages which may be used to support this notion, in the context of progressive revelation about God, the case is much stronger that God does not want to punish but to redeem. I could also take exception with the idea that God is able to fix all the world's problems but is simply waiting for God's followers to learnt o take care of each other.

    It is a complicated issue, and I am willing to disagree with others over this, but the idea of a God who hates injustice and is powerful enough to interview but chooses not to is revolting to me. Is it worth all the trouble in the world just to let people u have freedom and learn to love? My thinking is that perhaps we have assigned God more power and of a different kind than God has ever claimed.

    I did appreciate a parable contained in the book. In it, the author recasts Jesus' feeding of the 5, The disciples bring the loaves and fish to Jesus, who multiplies them and gives them to the disciples. While getting buried beneath the piles of food, the disciples call out: "Thank you! Thank you for blessing us so much! But what are you going to do about the multitude without food? Perhaps the author's weakest spot in the book is his suggestions for our response to the injustice in the world. He states that in order to fight injustice we need to understand and expose the tools used by the perpetrators: coercion, deception and isolation.

    Unfortunately, his remedies range from impractical for us everyday people to unchristian. He suggests such things as sanctions against foreign government who allow injustices to occur to outright military intervention in certain situations. The author is a member of the International Justice Mission, so several of his suggestions may be more plausible for those in his organization. Everyday people cannot simply perform undercover operations in foreign brothels trying to rescue sex workers. He does suggest three possibilities for "ordinary" people: Go, send, or pray.

    We can either go as missionaries into the world, send missionaries or other professionals with our finances, or pray for those doing the work. One more frustration I experienced was the author's insistence on dealing with only "Christian" professionals when possible For a book titled "Good News," it winds down with a rather depressing conclusion.

    Even though it was obviously not the intention, the book ends up giving the impression that the most we can do to fight injustice is to give money to organizations like International Justice Mission and say our prayers. Though important, these solutions have been tried for thousands of years and have yet to show any radical difference in the quality of life experienced around the world. There may be hope for ending injustice around the world. Unfortunately, "Good News" does very little to bring that hope to the reader.

    Oct 24, Meredith rated it really liked it.


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