Cold War Readings Devil's Advocate

Decent Essays
Cold War Readings - Devil’s Advocate Response For my response, I have chosen to focus in on some of the statements provided by the Nussbaum reading as well as JFK’s “City Upon a Hill” speech. As the group’s Devil’s Advocate, I will strive to make logical and realistic counterpoints to some of the information from the readings that I found either unseemly, disingenuous, or unrealistic as it relates to our modern world.
The Nussbaum (it literally means “Nut Tree” in German) reading focused primarily on the idea that higher education should emphasize the ethical role and moral obligations of a “global citizen,” one that travels among other cultures and recognizes, or even adapts to, the cultural tenets of the so-called other. Two points of focus
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Kennedy recanted to his audience during his famous “City Upon a Hill” speech the message that Pericles gave to the Athenian people: “We do not imitate - for we are a model to others.” In a similar fashion to the Nussbaum article, Kennedy addressed the distinctions between a local identity and a national identity, especially in relation to the obligations that one must hold to one or the other. In his case, Kennedy was making the appeal that despite his rise to power on a national level as President of the United States, he would still maintain his traditional views fostered by his Massachussetts upbringing. “It was here my grandparents were born,” he said, “it is here I hope my grandchildren will be born.” Therefore, even though Kennedy is recognizing his moral obligation to the country on a national level as its President, he is maintaining discourse with his local identity. An objection that I took with this message was that even though I found myself agreeing with a fair portion of its content, I’m not entirely bought on the idea that one should necessarily feel bound by obligation to their nation, especially when one can’t help the circumstances of their birth. What if my nation is inherently flawed, or even lawfully evil - like Nazi Germany - am I still bound by obligation to my nation? Because I happen to live here, am I robbed of my own agency to choose whether or not I support my government? Secondly, Kennedy addresses his audience with Pericles’ famous statement to the people of Athens, that “We do not imitate.” Ignoring the inherent flaws of American exceptionalism, I think it is a fundamental injustice to declare that one must only submit to original ideas of governance, rather than looking outward to other models for inspiration. Our founding fathers used primarily recycled ideas from the Enlightenment in order to craft the documents that would create America as we know it today, and so I do not think
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