Civic Engagement Forum
Civic Engagement Forum to explore the “better angels of our nature”
“Worthy of Honor” will be Dr. Jonathan Andreas’ topic for Bluffton University’s Civic Engagement Forum on Tuesday, April 10, in Yoder Recital Hall. His 11 a.m. presentation is free and open to the public.
The Forum revolves around Bluffton’s 2017-18 civic engagement theme of, “Integrity, Truth, Virtue: Bluffton’s honor code in the world.” Each year, the university focuses on a significant contemporary issue that is related to its mission and becomes the subject of cross-disciplinary exploration. Andreas’ lecture explores how everyone is motivated to a surprising degree by their notions of honor which are largely determined by the communities and institutions that theyinteract with. Communities can either bring out what President Lincoln called the “better angels of our nature” or motivate the most evil actions of human history because the road to hell is paved with misconceptions of honor.
Dr. Andreas will examine how honor codes have changed dramatically regarding everything from foot binding and jaywalking to dueling and sex. Institutions like government and social media have influence over honor codes, but every individual must ultimately take responsibility for consciously shaping the communities that they are part of and be deliberate at both deciding what is honorable and what is not as well as changing institutions to help nudge community members to follow the better angels.
For example, one distinctive institution that does this at Bluffton is the Bluffton academic honor code which is a century old. The honor code helps increase academic honesty and achievement at Bluffton and builds character, and for it to succeed, the Bluffton community must be deliberate about inculcating the values that the honor code represents in each new generation of students.