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Our Endangered Values Pdf Download

In the introduction of Jimmy Carter's book, Our Endangered Values Carter states, "...[E]xtensive and profound are the transformations that are now taking place in our basic moral values, public discourse, and political philosophy." This is essentially the thesis of the book, in which he "deliberately mixes religion and politics" to critique the current political landscape and its implications. From Carter's perspective, contemporary politics has taken a dangerous turn from traditional political and religious values. According to Carter, this turn is a result of fundamentalist intrusion into American politics and religion, as well as the melding of the two.

our endangered values pdf download


Carter spends some time addressing several of these divisive social issues, focusing on abortion, the death penalty, and gay marriage. Ideologically, he is against all of these, but he stresses that these are secular, not religious, decisions. In fact, the separation of church and state (as a way to protect each from the other) is one of Carter's most cherished values. Thus, while theologically against abortion, he accepted Roe v Wade as the law of the land. He discusses some of his personal feelings regarding these issues in depth, but concludes that these are essentially non-issues, as, from his perspective, they will never be resolved. He points out that, even theologically, there are no clear answers. In regard to many of these divisive social issues: "There is no need to argue about such matters, because it is human nature to be both selective and subjective in deriving the most convenient meaning by careful choices of the 30,400 or so biblical verses." Thus, he points out that scripture can be (and often is) used to justify both sides of these issues.

There are many problems identified in Our Endangered Values, but Carter does not view these as permanent or hopeless. He is quick to point out that individuals acting in concert can make a big difference. However, he is afraid that fundamentalist ideology is systematically changing political policy and theological philosophy in ways that are destructive. This fundamentalism is present in all religions and is embodied in the U.S. by "Neocons" whose ridged, dominating and exclusive polices are threatening the fundamental political and religious values of the United States.

President Jimmy Carter offers a passionate defense of separation of church and state, warning that fundamentalists are deliberately blurring the lines between politics and religion.In Our Endangered Values, Jimmy Carter offers a personal consideration of "moral values" as they relate to the important issues of the day. He puts forward a passionate defense of separation of church and state, and a strong warning about where the country is heading as the lines between politics and rigid religious fundamentalism are blurred. Carter describes his reactions to recent disturbing societal trends that involve both religious and political worlds as they increasingly intertwine and include some of the most crucial and controversial issues of the day. Many of these matters are under fierce debate. They include preemptive war, women's rights, terrorism, civil liberties, homosexuality, abortion, the death penalty, science and religion, environmental degradation, nuclear arsenals, America's global image, fundamentalism, and the melding of religion and politics. Sustained by his lifelong faith, Jimmy Carter assesses these issues in a balanced and courageous way.

"Carter has come to the defense of our national values. We need a voice from the not-so-distant past, and this quiet voice strikes just the right notes." -- Garry Wills, The New York Review of Books

36. Caring for ecosystems demands far-sightedness, since no one looking for quick and easy profit is truly interested in their preservation. But the cost of the damage caused by such selfish lack of concern is much greater than the economic benefits to be obtained. Where certain species are destroyed or seriously harmed, the values involved are incalculable. We can be silent witnesses to terrible injustices if we think that we can obtain significant benefits by making the rest of humanity, present and future, pay the extremely high costs of environmental deterioration.

114. All of this shows the urgent need for us to move forward in a bold cultural revolution. Science and technology are not neutral; from the beginning to the end of a process, various intentions and possibilities are in play and can take on distinct shapes. Nobody is suggesting a return to the Stone Age, but we do need to slow down and look at reality in a different way, to appropriate the positive and sustainable progress which has been made, but also to recover the values and the great goals swept away by our unrestrained delusions of grandeur.

146. In this sense, it is essential to show special care for indigenous communities and their cultural traditions. They are not merely one minority among others, but should be the principal dialogue partners, especially when large projects affecting their land are proposed. For them, land is not a commodity but rather a gift from God and from their ancestors who rest there, a sacred space with which they need to interact if they are to maintain their identity and values. When they remain on their land, they themselves care for it best. Nevertheless, in various parts of the world, pressure is being put on them to abandon their homelands to make room for agricultural or mining projects which are undertaken without regard for the degradation of nature and culture.

160. What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up? This question not only concerns the environment in isolation; the issue cannot be approached piecemeal. When we ask ourselves what kind of world we want to leave behind, we think in the first place of its general direction, its meaning and its values. Unless we struggle with these deeper issues, I do not believe that our concern for ecology will produce significant results. But if these issues are courageously faced, we are led inexorably to ask other pointed questions: What is the purpose of our life in this world? Why are we here? What is the goal of our work and all our efforts? What need does the earth have of us? It is no longer enough, then, simply to state that we should be concerned for future generations. We need to see that what is at stake is our own dignity. Leaving an inhabitable planet to future generations is, first and foremost, up to us. The issue is one which dramatically affects us, for it has to do with the ultimate meaning of our earthly sojourn.

224. Sobriety and humility were not favourably regarded in the last century. And yet, when there is a general breakdown in the exercise of a certain virtue in personal and social life, it ends up causing a number of imbalances, including environmental ones. That is why it is no longer enough to speak only of the integrity of ecosystems. We have to dare to speak of the integrity of human life, of the need to promote and unify all the great values. Once we lose our humility, and become enthralled with the possibility of limitless mastery over everything, we inevitably end up harming society and the environment. It is not easy to promote this kind of healthy humility or happy sobriety when we consider ourselves autonomous, when we exclude God from our lives or replace him with our own ego, and think that our subjective feelings can define what is right and what is wrong. 350c69d7ab

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