OUTLINE & SYLLABUS FOR ORIGINAL THINKING
I. FUNDAMENTALS OF ORIGINAL THINKING
1. Originality is Possible
There are only 13 different sounds in our music octave laid out on a piano in eight white keys and five black keys (sharps and flats), yet the infinite combinations of those thirteen sounds has created tens of thousands of melodies over the last thousand years, and continues to create new, original melodies every day.
2. Analysis and Deliberation
Since the Lauck Constitutional Law Seminar requires analysis and deliberation, it should not be done over a one-day time period. Read, write and think through it, and then do the same thing over again… over a period of a couple days.
3. The role of Memory… only the first step
It is crucial to remember that remembering (i.e. memory) is very helpful and important, but that it is only the first step toward analysis, deliberation and original thinking. What you do with memorized data, facts and details is much more important, and what you do???… is… expose those memorized data, facts and details to repeated intellectual analysis and deliberation which will, hopefully, progress to some form of original thinking.The purpose of reading and memorizing vast amounts of material is to simply put you in the “on deck” circle in the game of life i.e. to put you in a position where you can then strive toward original thinking via analysis and deliberation so that, one day, you can, hopefully, become a major leaguer in the game of life… an authentic and original major leaguer who can pick up a bat that suits your game, step into the batter’s box, up to the plate and hit the ball hard, somewhere—maybe even knock it out of the park. But, as I say, the (muscle) memory in your (baseball) “swing” is only step one in the process that, eventually, allows you to hit a home run.
4. Power of Intellect to Communicate fluidly
6. The GIFT… being your own “original” person
II. COMMAND OF THE SUBJECT
1. Know what you’re talking about
• and verbally
2. Verbal command… through writing, rewriting, etc.
1. In writing
2. And verbally
Both written and verbal clarity come from the arduous and repetitive process mentioned above… writing, rewriting, outlining re-outlining, deliberating, re- deliberating, structuring, restructuring… again and again.
3. What clarity is…
4. Absolute clarity not always possible…
IV. CONVICTION OF YOUR POSITION
Present your opinion/position with conviction
Don’t apologize for your opinion/position
But, be ready to acknowledge the strength or the allure of contrary opinions/ positions, IF such exist. And (repeating), always be ready to acknowledge and accept (sometimes without solution) the unresolvable and irreconcilable conflicts, contradictions and dilemmas mentioned above. For (another) example, consider the competing ideals of the right of religious freedom to wear a burka while testifying in Court vs. the right of a Defendant in a criminal case to fullyconfront his accusers and see the faces of those who accuse.And (repeating), always recognize, appreciate and make allowances for the unavoidable, inherent ambiguity and contradiction often found in the use of language itself and in the pursuit of human endeavors in general… inherent ambiguity that describes my own father’s persona: “a walking contradiction, party truth, partly fiction.”
VI. HUMILITY and INTELLECTUAL HONESTY
1. You are only one voice
2. IF, after consideration, another voice is more persuasive, don’t be afraid to be “intellectually honest” and review your opinion/position, rework it, refine it or, in some cases, change it.
3. But, after listening to the voices of others and reviewing your opinion/ position and subjecting it to “intellectual honesty” and after going through the process of re-determining, refining or re-defining your opinion/position, regain conviction.
VII. LIMITED PRESENTATION
1. Baby steps
2. Limited subject
VIII. SUBJECTS FOR CONSIDERATION
1. Jury Trial in America
» Do we need trial by jury?
» If you were the one who had the power to grant or withhold the right tojury trial today (civil or criminal), or define the parameters of it, today in the 21st century, what would you decide and why?
We don’t need a history of the right to jury trial—unless, of course, the historical perspective of a right to jury trial supports your pros, your cons or your opinion/position.
Even though jury trials don’t exist in some instances (which the law calls “equitable” matters), don’t get bogged down. Just assume the right to jury trial.
2. Separation of Church and State
» Do we need separation of Church and State? And, if so, how much?
» If you were the one who had the power to establish, withhold or definethe parameters of “separation of Church and State” today, in the 21st century, what would you decide and why?
History may have a bigger impact on separation of church and state and, if so, take a limited historical perspective and run with it.
3. Religious Tolerance
» Do we need religious tolerance? And, if so, how much?
» If you were the one who had the power to grant, withhold or define theparameters of “religious tolerance” today, in the 21st century, what would you do and why?
History may also have a bigger impact on this subject of “religious tolerance.” If so, run with a little bit of historical perspective.
4. Freedom of Speech
» Do we need freedom of speech? And, if so, how much?
» If you were the one who had the power to grant, withhold or define theparameters of “freedom of speech/expression” today, in the 21st century, what would you decide and why?
Again, history may have a bigger impact on freedom of speech.
IX. EDUCATION… ??? BURDEN OR JOY???
2. GROW, GROW AND GROW…
X. REUSABLE FORMAT
XI. THANKSGIVING… FOR THE STRUGGLE