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THE GOOD LIFE AND THE GOLDEN RULE Introduction The values of Australian Catholic University The ACU Graduate Attributes What is The Good Life and Golden Rule: Introduction The Good Life and Golden Rule: Explained Copyright \050c\051 Australian Catholic University 2016 MODULE 1: THE GOOD LIFE AND THE GOLDEN RULE Activities and materials in this module will help you meet:

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Learning Outcome 1: Describe coherently in writing the principles of Catholic Social Though\ t (CST), and through a personal written commentary on each one, explain that the concepts of ‘\ self’ and ‘community’ are interrelated.

Graduate Attribute 1: demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human di\ versity.

Graduate Attribute 4: think critically and reflectively.

Graduate Attribute 7: work both autonomously and collaboratively.

Graduate Attribute 9: demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English languag\ e and visual media.

TRY: GRADUATE ATTRIBUTES REFLECTIVE TOOL Graduate Attributes: Identify your strengths and weaknesses This unit will have given you the chance to start attaining well-develop\ ed skills in the targeted graduate attributes. As you progress through your studies at ACU, you will need to continue develop\ ing these and other graduate attributes so as to maximise your study outcomes and professional capacities. WARNING Topics considered in UNCC LEO materials and in class discussions may be disturbing for some students.

If you are affected, please contact your Campus Leader and/or the University Counselling Service .

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are advised that this site may in\ clude voices or images of people who have passed away. It may also contain links to sites that may use images of Aborigi\ nal and Torres Strait Islander people now deceased.

Copyright \050c\051 Australian Catholic University 2016 1.1 THE VALUES OF AUSTRALIAN CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY ACU has high hopes and great expectations for its graduates. In its Mission and Vision , ACU proudly claims, “Our graduates will be skilled in their chosen fields, ethical in their beha\ viour, with a developed critical habit of mind, an appreciation of the sacred in life, and a commitment to serving the com\ mon good.” Your ACU education is about becoming professionally competent, knowledge\ able and skillful – yet it is also about so much more. It involves being ethically informed; being able to demonstrate r\ espect for the dignity of each person and for human diversity; recognising a responsibility to the common good, the environ\ ment and society; and applying ethical perspectives in informed decision-making. The University’s Core Curriculum lies a\ t the heart of this vision.

In this unit, you will be introduced to many of the ideas and principles\ that are the basis of what is known as Catholic Social Thought, with a particular focus on the common good. While much of this\ is not unique to the Catholic Church or even to Christianity, the development of a core of Church teaching on social ju\ stice and the common good forms a foundation for how ACU understands itself and its Mission, and therefore the calling o\ f its students. These key principles promote human flourishing among all peoples.

Copyright \050c\051 Australian Catholic University 2016 1.2 THE ACU GRADUATE ATTRIBUTES Like other Australian universities, ACU has a set of what is known as “\ graduate attributes”—characteristics that ideally, all graduates would have developed during their time at university. The ACU graduate attributes are embedded strategically in all units and sequenced as a whole across courses. You will see that th\ ey bear a close relationship with the ACU Mission, but that they also emphasise the sorts of skills that employers value.

In this unit, four graduate attributes will be explicitly addressed. On \ successful completion of this unit, students will have developed their ability to:

GA1 – demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human \ diversity GA4 – think critically and reflectively GA7 – work both autonomously and collaboratively GA9 – demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English langu\ age and visual media Remember that the graduate attributes are to be gradually developed across the course of your degree. They do not have to be perfectly developed by the time you reach the end of this unit.

In UNCC100, we will emphasise some of the basic building blocks for the \ four graduate attributes concerned.

Graduate attributes 1 and 4 will be addressed explicitly through the con\ tent of the unit. In other activities, you will be asked to reflect on the kinds of values upheld by members of your profession,\ and how you see yourself in relation to these values.

Graduate attributes 7 and 9 will be addressed particularly through the p\ rocesses employed in the unit, and to help you identify these processes we use icons to alert you to them. Here is an \ example: When you see an icon like this, it is also a sign that there are additio\ nal resources available to help you to develop this graduate attribute.

How are you going in developing the ACU graduate attributes?

Use the reflective tool: Graduate Attributes: Identify your strengths and weaknesses (on the LEO Page), to assess your strengths and weaknesses at this point in your career.

You can use the tool as many times as you wish until close to the end of\ semester, when your last selections will be recorded. Indeed, we encourage you to revisit this tool a number of tim\ es as you refine your understanding of what the attribute means in a university setting, and judge your own capabilitie\ s.

Copyright \050c\051 Australian Catholic University 2016 1.3 THE GOOD LIFE AND THE GOLDEN RULE 1.3.1 WHAT CONSTITUTES A GOOD LIFE?

How do human beings thrive? What do we need to enable us to realise our \ potential? How do we judge what we really need as opposed to what we really want? How do we ensure that all people hav\ e the opportunity to reach their full potential as human beings, no matter what their circumstances? There are many challe\ nges in this for modern, Western societies, where individualism, consumerism, and materialism often lead to great i\ nequities.


This is known as the ‘Ethic of Reciprocity’ and is found in numerous cul\ tures, religions, ethical systems and secular philosophies. It trascends so many traditions and philosophies and is o\ ften described as the universal ethical principle.

The Golden Rule has the capacity to be the ethical cornerstone as the hu\ man family works together to build a peaceful, just and sustainable global society.

Its appeal is augmented by the fact that its message is simple, universal and powerful.

Copyright \050c\051 Australian Catholic University 2016 ACTIVITY 1 Your first task involves thinking reflectively.

There are multiple examples of “Ethical frameworks” or “Codes o\ f Conduct” to be found in different professions. This can include counselling, nursing, teaching and business. It should not \ be difficult to devise examples of the Golden Rule being applied (or not) but illuminated by the ethical framework.\ Can you devise applications and examples of the Golden Rule?

In “There’s more to life than being happy ,” Emily Esfahani Smith argues that there is a difference between the\ search for happiness and the search for meaning in our lives. She maintains th\ at the search for happiness is a “self- centered” approach, whereas the search for meaning extends this horizon to encompass others.\ Ultimately, the author claims that it is finding meaning of true and lasting value that\ constitutes “a good life.” QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION 1. What do you think constitutes “the good life”?

2. How do you respond to the author’s proposals about happiness and mean\ ing?

3. What do you value? In what way does what you value contribute to happine\ ss and meaning in your life?

4. What, for you, are the indicators of success in life?

5. What role do your relationships with others have in the development of m\ eaning in your life?

6. How would you categorise what is important in life and what is not?

Copyright \050c\051 Australian Catholic University 2016 1.4 THE GOOD LIFE: EXPLAINED 1.4.1 WHAT IS THE GOOD LIFE?

Australian social researcher Hugh McKay discusses the proposition of his recent book “The Good Life” in this interview below. He proposes that the good life is based on a life lived for others and not for self.

The Good Life: Hugh Mckay (watch here or read the transcript ): 1.4.2 WHAT DO YOU THINK CONSTITUTES THE GOOD LIFE? Image of Aristotle – Copy of Lysippus (Jastrow (2006)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons . The question of what constitutes a good life has concerned philosophers \ and thinkers for millennia. The famous Greek philosopher, Aristotle, considered this question as part of his thinking on what it is to be hum\ an and how humans could best order their society to allow for the flourishing of its citizens. Arist\ otle saw that the “good” of humans was to flourish as individuals, but he reasoned that as humans are also social beings, the\ ir flourishing is dependent on the flourishing of others as well.

Copyright \050c\051 Australian Catholic University 2016 1.4.3 WHEN FLOURISHING DOESN’T HAPPEN If indeed human flourishing is dependent on individuals, what happens wh\ en humans are not allowed to flourish? When they are faced by numerous obstacles?

The invisible discriminator: Stop, think, respect What are the consequences of these actions?

1.4.4 UBUNTU Human flourishing is dependent in many ways on the quality of our relati\ onships, because human beings are social creatures. To truly flourish, humans need each other. Ubuntu is an African word which means “I am who I am because of who we all are”.

It highlights the fact that we are all interdependent.

The Golden Rule is most familiar in the Western world as “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” . It has reflections in every major world religion. ACTIVITY 2 Read Witenberg, Rivka.”A refugee, like me: why the Golden Rule matters in an era of mass migrat\ ion .” Read United Nations.” The Universal Declaration of Human Rights .” Read United for Human Rights.” A Brief History of Human Rights, United for Human Rights .” Read Pagnucco, Ron. ” Human Rights CST and the Liberal Rights tradition ” Questions for reflection: 1. Can you think of examples where the golden rule has been applied?

2. How does the golden rule apply in relation to human rights?

3. What do you think constitutes “the good life?” 4. How does one know how others want to be treated?

Copyright \050c\051 Australian Catholic University 2016

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