The Philosophy

Evolutionary Morality


Brian Burgess

The theory of “Evolutionary Morality” aims to provide a moral theory which has the same power and effect as the morality based on God. It does this through ascertaining what a theocratic morality is based upon, and then relating it to how Evolution relates to the certain areas. After providing the basis for why evolution can be a basis for morality, it shows how such a moral system would operate. Operating upon improvement and worsening (both societal and individual), it shows that these are goods or evils (respectively) in themselves. It distinguishes itself from an evolution of nature, the scientific evolution, from Evolution of Will – the willful decision to change in some way. Only the latter can be the basis for morality, as it is the only component with choice.

It concludes with a discussion about adding cultural relativism to the theory, having different cultures have different “extensions” of the base evolutionary moral code. I propose each of James Rachels’ most potent issues with the theory, and show how, when Evolutionary morality is added, each issue is resolved.

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Fighting for Social Change

 Homonationalism and Queer Rights

Laura Belgodere

“Homonationalism and Queer Rights” serves as a window into the study of homonationalism, a term first coined by Jasbir Puar in her book Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times. Homonationalism is the act of using LGBTQ rights as a way to judge another state’s sovereignty. According to the movement, a state actor may attack, through violence or economic sanctions, another state solely on the fact that they do not respect or observe the rights of queer individuals and/or the rights of the LGBTQ community.

The topic of homonationalism is a recent development in the field of International Affairs (with Puar publishing her book in 2007). The research that has been published after Puar’s is in response to her theory, with both proponents and opponents recognizing that Puar’s argument was important for the field. This paper will focus on one other scholar who takes on a neutral stance on the issue, but still argues that LGBTQ rights should still be respected.

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Pursuing Peace

Curbing Terrorism in Pakistan

Matthew Fasig

Abstract: In order to meaningfully address the question of Kashmir’s sovereignty and to mitigate the threat posed by Lashkar-e-Taiba in South Asia, the United States must begin to aggressively leverage their economic and political influence—which they have cultivated in the region since the 1950’s—to effect positive change. The Pakistani Government struggles with an internal contradiction: they espouse peace and the principles of democratic progress but tacitly support terrorism in neighboring India, believing they can deploy terrorists abroad but control them at home. In order to meaningfully address terrorism in Pakistan, the international community must cease the flow of monetary and military aid to the government of Pakistan on a conditional basis with an opportunity for reinstatement assuming they successfully implement comprehensive democratic reforms and comply with standing international protocol. Otherwise, the issue will continue to prove intractable and orbiting issues— such as education reform, national registration of Islamic seminaries, and women’s rights— will remain. The paper argues that intergovernmental cooperation and concession making are necessary for peace.

Anwar Zaheer Jamali, Pakistan’s Chief Supreme Court Justice, has begun a bloodless war challenging the authority of the change-intolerant tribal leaders on the Northwest Frontier. He seeks to amend the governing norms—and discriminatory religious doctrines—of the entrenched social order by reducing the political authority (i.e.: the ability to enforce) of tribal landowners and elders[1]. Elders and elites, the de-jure sovereigns of the provinces on the Northwest Frontier— in the absence of a Pakistani state with institutions capable of projecting their influence into the frontier-land—barter women as they would cattle, trading them as commodities whose value can be measured according to the collective honor of the village. Families are required by law to marry off their daughters to absolve debts to creditors: women are priced, marketed, and sold. [2]

Rural Pakistani’s rarely attend school—because there are so few of them—so they turn to Madrasahs (i.e.: Islamic seminaries). Madrasahs encourage laborers to eschew ephemeral pleasures and carve a pious, laborious path of existence. They discourage the pursuit of mathematics, science, and language studies. They emphasize obedience to Sharia law and contribution feudal society. Their teachings “combine a mix of Wahabism (a puritanical version of Islam originating in Saudi Arabia) with Deobandism (a strand from the Indian subcontinent that is anti-Western, claiming that the West is the source of corruption in contemporary Islamic states and thus the laws of state are not legitimate.”[3] They prey on refugee populations and the lowest classes.  Preachers are parasites: they identify untreated wounds and provide a cure. The seminaries target individuals between the ages 15-24: they perceive them as susceptible to their ‘Robin Hood’ style of preaching.[4] The cure they offer mutates: victims are rabid—unable to reason—compelled to commit an act viler than treason. Jihad has no reason, but neither does slave labor for a season.  Madrasahs serve as a fount of Islamic fundamentalism: “A review of Madrasah newsletters and other narratives within their establishment reveals a strong tendency to claim victimization of Muslims, often with erroneous information from spurious and prejudicial sources.”[5]

Considering rural Pakistanis are rarely literate—37% literacy among women and 57% literacy among men—they have limited contact with outside information, increasing their vulnerability to the promptings of terrorists and reducing the likelihood for profitable interactions with productive organizations. Perhaps rural Pakistanis are familiar with the overhanging threat of coercion: they remember past cases of threat and torture. Lower literacy rates resulting from a lack of formal education produce the conditions necessary for religious indoctrination and financial predation.

A stable, democratic, and prosperous Pakistan could be a cardinal ally to the western order in the Middle East, providing strategic significance for the war on terror. Pakistan could assist with the democratization of Afghanistan and the protection of human rights in the Middle East and Asia. Domestically, a prosperous Pakistan could begin laying the foundation for stability on their Northwest Frontier by criminalizing harmful components of their quasi-feudal economy such as sharecropping and sustenance wages, as well as by punishing large landowners that illicitly divert scarce water to their plantations. Pakistan could provide enhanced access to professional services and vocational training programs, enabling laborers to acquire rudimentary financial management skills and an education in modern agricultural techniques. They could lessen the inherent appeal of religious martyrdom by reducing systemic inequality.[6]

But the government appears apathetic: perhaps the military can suppress unrest—but that would unravel the rest! The string would be pulled, the puzzle undone: democracy dead. The closing cut—the one after the credits—would display a grainy-grey image of an unnamed group of leaders hailing from a variety of theaters sitting in a sparsely decorated, uncomfortably dry-sun room, negotiating. The images dates back to 1952 and the caption states: Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement.

The United States, during the bulk of the Cold War, refrained from becoming embroiled in the regional affairs of Pakistan and India. Their primary concern was the expansion of Chinese communist forces past Tibet and an imperialist Soviet Union. India, a sprawling, seemingly stable democracy, seemed a natural buffer: the last bastion. India and the United States became intimate at the expense of Pakistan. In 1959, John F. Kennedy espoused his vision for the emerging power: “[India will] join with other Western nations in a serious long-range program of long-term loans, backed up by technical and agricultural assistance—designed to enable India to overtake the challenge of Communist China.”[7] His rhetoric conflicted with India’s policy of strategic non-alignment—a policy deliberately and defensively enacted because of their proximity to China and the Soviet Union. American politicians are notoriously bombastic, but India capitulated on her firm position of non-alignment because of appalling famine and general disarray—inroads for Kennedy. Not to disparage the politics of Nehru, the Indian Prime minister was admirably adroit at manipulating the discourse between his country and the United States, but the current situation in Kashmir persists because of his recalcitrance during the Jammu-Kashmir Dispute of 1948-1949, when he suppressed an uprising of Islamic guerillas militarizing in solidarity for statehood with Pakistan, and then refused to allow the mountainous villages of Kashmir the right to independence.

Kennedy learned that limiting the influence of Pakistan produced unfavorable results, remarking, “Everything we give to India adversely affects the balance of power with Pakistan; because of the hostilities between them, we are dealing with a deeply complicated problem.”[8] While Kennedy demonstrates passable comprehension, he was undoubtedly unaware of his prescience, the portent, of his statement: two years later, the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 erupted in Kashmir. Ironically, America could’ve played a pivotal role in balancing the politics of Kashmir, circumventing the present tragedy, and accomplishing then what they have been aiming to do since: provide peace on terms agreeable to Pakistan and India.

In the 1970’s—decades after Great Britain awarded independence to Pakistan and India— the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, implemented comprehensive social reforms and nationalized heavy industry. After six years of Zulfikar’s presidency, twenty-three families controlled 75% of Pakistan’s wealth. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s family acquired a personal fortune while Pakistan’s external debt obligations multiplied manifold: between 1960 and 2000, external debt obligations increased by roughly 2200%[9]. Bhutto withdrew Pakistan from SEATO—one of Pakistan’s four defense arrangements with the United States, stressing Pakistan’s credentials as a developing country and opening the door for closer ties to Saudi Arabia and Iran. Effectively, Pakistan entered a period of strategic non-alignment. A wave of nationalism had swept over Pakistan—partially, at least, in response to the jingoism of the United States.

When those with the guns woke from their socialist slumber and sowed the seeds of sectarian conflict, they galvanized and then repressed the masses: Pakistan’s democracy devolved into a dictatorship.  The military choked the government: Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was hanged[10]. America chose silence despite the violence. All auspices of democracy had vanished. Between 1978 and 1987, Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq—Pakistan’s chief military administrator and President received roughly eleven billion dollars in military aid from the United States. Strategically, an ally in Pakistan meant a line of defense against potential spillover of Soviet Forces in Afghanistan. The implications of a Soviet spillover would’ve been substantial. The United States would’ve been dealt a crushing blow if a nascent democracy was conquered and commandeered as a communist satellite.

The United States relationship with Pakistan dramatically transformed after 1989 because of an inability to certify whether they possessed nuclear weapons. The timing was inauspicious for both parties. In 1989, the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, a Kashmiri nationalist organization, led a popular uprising opposing the rule of India in Kashmir. “The popular uprising stemmed from a series of rigged elections, culminating in what was seen as a backroom sellout between Nehru’s grandson, then-Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, and Sheikh Abdullah’s son, the current chief minister, Farooq Abdullah.”[11] JFLK agreed to a ceasefire in 1994, their hope for an independent, multi-religious state where the region’s Buddhists, Muslims, Sheikhs, and Hindus could live peacefully, un-actualized. After 9/11, the United States’ relationship with Pakistan became cooperative; they overcame their previous trepidation over Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program. Since 2001, Pakistan has been the recipient of “$13 billion in military aid and $6.6 billion in economic assistance.” Washington has a propensity for protracted engagements: they are willing to answer the call for Middle-Eastern maintenance yet they often seem hesitant to definitively define their intentions in the region, or simply exert their will. The elected officials in Washington serve as the patron-protectors of democracy: they are compelled by hegemony, by patriotism, to bolster the military of another democracy.

The United States has suffered from their security arrangement with Pakistan. Supposed benefits have been offset “by Pakistan’s nuclear proliferation and their support for the groups that attack Americans, Afghans, Indians, and others.”[12] Pakistan’s continued support of terrorist organizations has reduced the efficacy of NATO forces in Afghanistan and fostered unrest abroad. Pakistan and the United States have historically had an inconsistent relationship, but Pakistan’s flagrant obstructionism—their duplicity and double-handed tactics—should be interpreted as an act of hostility. Assuming they fail to reform, Pakistan should be considered a pariah state.

Foreign investment into Pakistan’s military has helped elevate the institution to divine heights: they have cultivated an image of indomitability and infallibility—a cult of Khaki (131)[13]. They harass with impunity and ironically, they invocate God while doing so. ISI, the spy apparatus of Pakistan’s Army, machinates to undermine the interests of the international community, threatening the security of the Middle East and Asia[14] (110). ISI helped coordinate the 2008 Commando Attack on Mumbai that killed 144, and sympathizers of Lashkar-e-taiba[15] reportedly swell their ranks. Recent investigations by the United States and India confirmed that ISI provided weapons training and strategic intelligence to LET in Kashmir prior to the Mumbai attacks (117)[16].

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Funding Sustainable Change

The Social Enterprise Solution

Stephanie Stathos

“The Social Enterprise Solution” explores the ways for nonprofits to improve, be more effective, and have a greater impact on the world. Improving funding for nonprofits by incorporating business principles will lead to greater opportunities for change. This paper also addresses the history of nonprofits in order to explore the origins of the current model and how previous attempts to improve this model have failed. It will then aim to establish an appropriate model to address the current issues.

While other papers in the collection focus more heavily on social justice and international issues, this piece addresses ways to make campaigns for change in these areas more successful. Without funding and support, there will be no change, but, by exploring alternative solutions, there is a potential for greater social change and solutions to these global problems without giving people in positions of power the “power of the purse.” Such a model will reduce the power and influence of politicians and prevent them from manipulating the system in their favor.

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