A Utilitarian Defense of Free Speech on College Campuses

Should college campuses adopt a “zero tolerance” policy toward the expression of opinions which are deemed by some, perhaps even the majority, to be offensive? Should college campus administrators and faculty work to encourage debate concerning highly emotional issues such as the use of military force in Iraq?

Colleges and universities have often been described as “islands of freedom in a sea of repression.” Increasingly, college campuses have become hotbeds of emotional and sometimes fervent arguments over such issues as privacy rights, affirmative action, economic and military globalization, the Bush administration’s handling of the war on terror and the Iraq crisis, etc. In the late nineties, Stanford University adopted “speech codes” to protect individuals from hate speech. Critics of speech codes argue that they violate the spirit of free speech that in past generations allowed colleges and universities to flourish as centers of free inquiry and social tolerance. Critics also argue that “political correctness” has itself become an oppressive ideology. Defendants of speech codes have argued that such policies are the true protectors of freedom of speech, thought, and individual rights. The question arises: on what grounds do we defend the right of free speech on college campuses? What limits should be imposed on speech considered to be dangerous or threatening? Continue reading →

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Psychobiography of James Bugental

By Linda Holt Ayriss (Antioch Seattle)

James Bugental refined the meaning and practice of humanistic psychology to the very essence of living in the moment.   He was known as one of the founders of Existential Humanistic Psychology, also referred to as Third Force Psychology, which provided an alternative to traditional psychoanalytic and behaviorist theories. Simply put, James Bugental lived his approach to therapy. He stated, (1999), ”Psychotherapy is not what you think; it is about how you live with yourself right now” (p. 1).

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Gay Marriage Is Good For Society

By Patricia Davis (Antioch Midwest)

Real people—real families, real children—are being damaged by their inability to fully experience the benefits of living in America.

There is a small segment of American society that suffers from a lack of full acceptance as part of the larger society. Babst, Gill, and Pierceson (2009) refer to this segment as a “sexual minority” or as functioning “in an atypical family situation” (p. vii). This segment of society is comprised of people who are sexually attracted to people of their same gender. There are various terms used to refer to these individuals: homosexual, gay, or lesbian. However, a term that has become more commonplace is LGBT: lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. Variations of this acronym are also seen—GLBT, LGBTQ or GLBTQ, the Q standing for Questioning or Queer identity. This term is intended to “emphasize a diversity of sexual and gender identity-based cultures” and “has been adopted by the majority of the LGBT community” (Alliance for GLBTQ Youth, 2010). This term can be considered to encompass individuals who are not exclusively heterosexual in their sexual attraction or sexual orientation. Throughout the literature reviewed for this paper, families headed by LGBT persons or couples are referred to as gay families or LGBT families.

LGBT couples suffer in a variety of ways from the lack of protections and privileges that marriage affords to heterosexual couples. The campaign to include LGBT couples in the civil and religious ritual of marriage has heated up in recent years. Whatever beliefs or feelings a person might hold about the acceptability of homosexuality, the reality is that approximately 674,000 American cohabiting couples are same-sex partners (Barnes and Watkins, 2011, pp. 4-5). Many of these couples are raising children, creating gay or LGBT families. Like all families, gay families are part of the foundation of society and require support from the larger society; but they will remain at risk without the legal, economic, and inclusionary protections of marriage.

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