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October 06, 1999 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-10-06

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, October 6, 1999

ciw SirbigrnPail

Why follow my conscience? Because it's right


420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed by
students at the
University of Michigan

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the
Dailv's editorial board: All other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect
the opinion of The Michigan Dailv.

90 years of laujiter
Gargoyle remains important part of U'

agt some feedback from readers about
the column I vwrote two weeks ago.
Several readers, including a professor,
found mx arguments lacking in coher-
ene. The following is a modified version
of the reply I sent to
the profissor: The
absolute moral law
is a reality. It is a
reality that has not
been fully discov-
To explain, let's
look at controlled
fusion. Most fusion
scientists say con-
trolled fusion is pos-
sible. Much research
has been done and Mike
some groups have Lopez
gotten real close. but
not one of them has
made controlled
fusion work.
Regardless of whether or not there is a
fusion reactor right now, there is a way to
make it work. In other words, there is a per-
fect method to making controlled fusion
work. In the same way, whether or not we
personally know the absolute moral law, it
does exist.
There is a way to make one's spirit and
society work. Currently. there are many
different "cultures" of people working on
various wavy to make controlled fusion
w ork. One "Culture" will succeed first.
ay be there will be two. but when think-
ing of perfect order. you can only allow
for one perfection.
Although all the "cultures" may be
using some correct methods. some of
their actions are wrong. When a fusion
reactor is finally up. there will be one

perfect method that is used. In the same
way, following the absolute moral law
means that all cultures and religions
In the frame of reference of the
absolute moral law, there is always a
right and wrong. In our frame of refer-
ence, two positions that seem equally
moral must be decided upon. Thanks to
ethical debates, we more fully understand
the absolute moral law. A few points that
have been debated in the past include
slavery, gender equality, suffrage and
race equality. It has taken us a while to'
acknowledge it, but who can honestly say
that slavery is good? It has always been
This right and wrong is not black and
white. Although slavery may always be
wrong, there are times when one should
lie. The absolute moral law only holds
that for every situation, no matter how
complex, there is most definitely a right
thing to do. Think about what you'd tell a
Nazi if you were hiding Jewish people in
your home. The absolute moral law, when
fully realized and followed, will show
humans the right path through every pos-
sible situation.
Evolution supports this. Since the
beginning, life has continually grown
more orderly. Not only biologically, but
also sociologically and personally. Who
can say that it will ever stop? If it has
gone on this long, then you'd think that it
would keep on going. It is striving for a
perfect biological, social and personal
order. That would be the order attained
with the practice of the absolute moral
Explaining it this way, the first ques-
tion I have to ask myself is, "If we don't
fully know the absolute moral law. then

what is the point of recognizing its exis-
tence?" I think it is important because
part of this absolute moral law is the con-
science inside you. The conscience that
so many people go against.
I'm not saving your conscience is 100.
percent right or that your gut can decide
the really hard moral questions. Your con-
science isn't perfect! Not even the Pope
fully knows the absolute moral law! Even
so, like the fusion community, we pretty
much have the right idea. We know what
wortKs and what doesn't work. Some of it
is different across cultures, but it is all
pretty much there. You will not find "eth-
nic cleansing" to be thought of as a
"good" thing by most of the world popu-
In general, everyone in the world
looks down upon psychopathic murder.
My purpose was to help people see that
while there are certain fuzzy areas, fol-
lowing traffic laws is usually a good thing
to do. Next time you wonder if you are
doing something right, rather than ratio-
nalize. listen to your conscience. That's
thousands of years of biological, social
and personal experience telling you what
to do.
Whether or not you believe in a deity
or transcendent, there is a reward for a
life well lived. Years from now when you
are old and gray, what will be your
reward? Your reward will be that very life.
If you waste it on yourself, you will
become a detriment to society. If you
spend it on others. your life will help gen-
erations to come. It all depends on how
selfish you are.
Question: What does your gut te'lyou
about abortion?
:Mike Lope: can be reached via
e-mail at manatlargeta umich.edu.


L ast Thursday, the Gargoyle, the
University's humor magazine, cele-
brated an important anniversary. For 90
years, the "Garg," as it is affectionately
called, has delivered its unique brand of
subversive humor to University students.
Despite recent troubles - publishing has
been somewhat sporadic due to a lack of
University support - the Gargoyle has
been a University tradition for the better
part of a century, satirizing national events
as well as those on campus.
The magazine has lampooned everyday
facets of campus life both now and then,
ranging from the traffic mishaps of deans
(in the days when students couldn't have
cars on campus), to the preachers that warn
students on the Diag of fire and brimstone,
to the Daily itself (a perennial target). At
the same time, it has run biting satire of
much weightier events - in the '60s, a
peak era for the Gargoyle, the Vietnam War
was the target of some particularly scathing
Though the Gargoyle may not be as
widely known today as it has been in the
past, University alumni often have fond
memories of the "Garg." It was especially
popular in the turbulent '60s. Many illustri-
ous writers, from playwright Arthur Miller
to screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan, were
first published in its pages.
The magazine, currently led by editor
Ray Howell, is on the way back from
another slow period, with new issues being
published twice a semester. The next one
debuts Oct. 18, and students looking for a
few laughs might want to spend the two

quarters to pick it up.
It is a sign of the magazine's endurance
and strong tradition that the Gargoyle con-
tinues to survive in spite of various diffi-
culties. With the Gargoyle's resurgence,
greater numbers of University students will
be able to enjoy its skewed perspective on
current events.
Like its siblings, the Daily and the
Michiganensian, the Gargoyle is a com-
pletely independent publication and has
been for much of its history. Independence
from the University remains crucial to
campus publications. Freedom from
University funding allows these publica-
tions autonomy not usually granted to those
that depend on their university's generosity.
Financial freedom grants freedom of
content. The ability to say what they wish
about the University is a central feature for
all those that reside in the Student
Publications Building. In the case of the
Gargoyle, that freedom has been exercised
for nearly a century, though the magazine
has been periodically reprimanded for its
content. But the Gargoyle has helped the
University community to laugh at itself -
a sign of any free society.
Humor will always be an important way
of exposing the flaws and foibles of a com-
munity, and to comment on the human con-
dition. And for 90 years, the writers of the
Gargoyle have strived to provoke our
thoughts and make us laugh. The Gargoyle
is known as a campus tradition, and doubt-
less will continue to be one for students in
the future. We at the Daily offer our con-
gratulations on the first 90 years.

The verdict is still out
Decision damages affirmative action

he civil rights movement experienced
a major setback last Wednesday when
the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled
the use of race as an admissions factor is
unconstitutional. Although the case
involved an alternative kindergarten, the
decision is expected to affect the public
universities in those states as well. This
should send a strong message that we must
fight to defend the University's affirmative
action programs.
This court ruling could have devastat-
ing effects on the minorities who wish to
attend such high-ranking public schools
as the University of Virginia or the
University of North Carolina at Chapel
Hill. Affirmative action was instituted
across the country in the '60s as a means
of leveling the playing field for minori-
Since its inception, affirmative action
has diversified campuses and provided
thousands of opportunities for minority
groups. Furthermore, the policy has given
hope to struggling communities and, if
allowed to continue, affirmative action
would help dissolve the country's enor-
mous monetary and racial gaps.
The decision could end up resegregat-
ing the campuses of major universities in
the upper South. The court has jurisdic-
tion over Maryland, North Carolina,
Virginia and West Virginia.
Since the citizens of California passed
Proposition 209 in 1996, banning the use
of affirmative action, universities in cali-
fornia have witnessed about a 50 percent
decline in minority enrollment, In Texas,'
the H onwood decision has cut black

graduates around 40 black students and
60 Hispanics, hosted only 26 Latino/a and
four black students in last years' first-
year class. In light of the recent court rul-
ing, it is quite probable that similar num-
bers will appear among top-rated schools
in the Fourth Circuit.
Diversity is essential to providing
quality higher education. By using affir-
mative action policies in admissions and
hiring, universities can ensure a diverse
campus while opportunities for minorities
whom otherwise would face the discrimi-
nation that has plagued this country for
American universities are not respon-
sible for catering to individual applicants
so much as they must each year put
together a cohesive freshman class with
the greatest chance of success. This
means that in the case of higher educa-
tion, the need for diversity in each class
outweighs the desire of those not accept-
ed to attend their institution of choice.
Two of the six national appellate
courts have already banned affirmative
action. For American universities to con-
tinue to support diversity on campus and
the advancement of minority groups, the
other four circuits must uphold affirma-
tive action.
The University, which currently faces
two lawsuits against its admissions poli-
cy, is especially at risk of losing this
essential tool for creating a solid and
diverse campus. While alternative poli-
cies, have been considered across the
country, none has proven as effective in
tearing down racial gaps as affirmative

Technology does
not damage quality
of education
As the undergraduate chair of psycholo-
gy. I would like to clarify some points raised
in the Daily's recent editorial about
Psychology Il "rHandling the overflow.
10 1 99). In the editorial, the Daily stated
that 1310 students are enrolled in
Ps chologx I I 1. but only 600 can see the
lectures "Ic." This is not correct.
PsychologyI I II is offered in four lecture
sections that can accommodate all of the
enrolled students in lecture halls. All four of
the lecture sections also have discussion see-
tions led by Graduate Student Instructors.
Three of the lecture sections are taught in a
traditional format. Every Tuesday and
Thursday. Prof. Chris Peterson lectures to
one set of 600 students in Modern Language
Buildina's Aud. 3 at noon and another set of
600 students at 2 p.m. In addition. Dr. Ann
MerriNeather teaches a section on Mondays
and \\ednesdays that enrolls another 120 stu-
What is different this year is a new live
video section" that enrolls approximately
X40 students. In response to an unusually
high demand for Psychology I I I that
emerged during registration last semester. we
decided to experiment with a live video feed
of Professor Peterson's noon lecture.
In designing the video section, our intent
was to broadcast Peterson's lecture to the
Natural Science Auditorium where students
could observe the lecture in the company of
their fellow students and graduate student
instructors assigned to the course. That way.
as students think of questions during the lec-
ture, there is someone to help answer them.
In other words, the goal in meeting the
increased demand was to design a video sec-
tion that is as much like the regular lecture
section as possible.
In designing the video section. one thing
that we failed to anticipate was that the tech-
nology that allows us to feed the lecture to
the Natural Science Auditorium also results
in the lectures being fed across the network
more broadly. As a result, an unintended con-
sequence is that students can watch the lec-
tures on televisions in their rooms. rather
than in the auditorium with their peers and
graduate student instructors. This is a pitfall
of working with new technology, but it
should not be seen as a change in the psy-
chology department's commitment to under-
graduate education.
As a department. we remain firmly com-

mitted to creating quality undergraduate edu-
cational experiences. We agree that face-to-
face interaction is an integral part of the edu-
cation process and we are not planning on
replacing traditional lectures with video
courses. At the same time, we do plan to con-
tinue exploring new technology in an attempt
to improve the educational opportunities that
are available at Michigan.
With the emergence of the Web as a tool
for delivering course information, the devel-
opment of live two-way interactive video and
the creation of a host of new visualization
and simulation tools, we must continually
rethink how we should teach. Indeed, we
hope you would ask nothing less of us.
Women considering
abortion need
waiting period
The Daily's recent editorial entitled
"Wait for What" (9/20/99) has quite an
ironic title considering the issue at stake.
What we are waiting for is the opportunity
for life to live. It's the same reason why I
am gracious my mother waited when she
was pregnant. If saddens me to think we
have diminished the value of human life
enough to not even realize what it means to
be pregnant.
The "black-and-white pictures of the
fetus at various stages of growth" bring a
striking reality to the women who need to
make an important decision. I don't believe
VI - V ." 1I a

Twos Do, Nt Ati . AT LEAStT Tug {Vk~t -
v y! y 4t

it is wise for anyone to make a decision of
this magnitude without the realization of
what they are doing. It's quite clear that
many would like to ignore the harsh reality
the pictures present. Women must have the
opportunity to see all sides of the issue.
Ignorance is demonstrated with the
words "anti-choice" to describe those who
say we shouldn't allow women to have an
abortion, Granted, women would lose a
choice to kill their babies, but why should
this be allowed in the first place? There are
many choices in life which we must not
allow, and this is one of them.
Unfortunately, the word "pro-choice" *
doesn't work anymore to describe those in
favor of abortion. On a recent trip to
Arizona, my brother and I were shocked
to see the headlines in the local papers.
The headlines told of how a young girl
who was pregnant was actually forced to
have an abortion! Against the girl's will, a
judge ordered her to move to a different
state and get an abortion because she was
only 14 and without adequate parental
support. She was forced to move to a dif-
ferent state because she was 25 weeks
pregnant and Arizona laws would not
enable her to get one that late in her term.
The girl was healthy, physically able and
wanted to have the baby. I had to read the
article twice myself to believe it.
Fortunately the girl's persistence gained
community support and forced the judge
to reconsider his decision.
What choice did this girl have here?
Now this is a real violation of women's
rights. I question to what extremes people
are willing to go to have an abortion to take
the life of an innocent child,

Ventura's recent comments lacked prudence

By the Minnesota Daily
University Of Minnesota
MINNEAPOLIS - Gov. Jesse Ventura's
latest public relations scandal suggests he still
has not grasped the concept of thinking
before speaking. While some of his com-

tressing. "These are people who live on the
razor's edge and defy death and do things
where people die," he said.
"They're not going to consider grabbing a
woman's breast or buttock a major situation.
That's much ado about nothing." For Ventura

show, Ventura said, "I really wish they would
judge me on my politics and not on what I say
on an interview'
Despite nine months in office, Ventura
still seems to not comprehend that what he
says in an interview reflects his politics, and


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