The Moral Is

Sundays at 3:55 PM; Wednesdays at 7:55 PM

Our daily lives and the lives of those who influence events are confronted with problems and conflicts and with choices and resolutions. These are grist for moral discussions, and how we address those issues influences the course of events in our lives and in the world. The Moral Is presents contemporary issues and opinion in a thought provoking context, through commentaries written and read by faculty members from California State University Fresno. It is produced in partnership with the Bonner Center for Character Education at Fresno State. The Moral Is airs Sundays (at 3:55 pm) and Wednesdays (at 7:55 pm). The commentaries can also be heard during the program Valley Edition.

Commentary: Weigh Free Speech Against Other Moral Concerns

Jun 9, 2015

  The horrific killings in January at the offices of the Charlie Hebdo magazine inspired commentators to defend speech and press freedoms as absolutes. But in this edition of FM89's commentary series The Moral Is, CSU Bakersfield  philosophy professor Christopher Meyers says free speech needs to be balanced against other moral concerns. 

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Commentary: Let's Celebrate American Skepticism

May 26, 2015

Should we trust the government and the other institutions of social and political life?  Most of us don’t.  And distrust seems to be growing, especially among young people.  In this commentary, Andrew Fiala—a philosopher at Fresno State—argues that trust has to be earned.  Fiala argues that skepticism is a central feature of democracy and that recent events make give us good reason to be skeptical.

Is America ready to elect a woman to the Presidency? In this edition of The Moral Is, Communication Professor Diane Blair argues that how we talk about women’s presidential candidacies emphasizes their novelty in the presidential political arena and belittles the long legacy of the women’s political leadership and accomplishments.

Commentary: Educators Need To Do Better

May 1, 2015
Fresno State

We expect professionals who serve our community to exhibit not only high standards of technical expertise, but also to treat their clientele with respect. Such minimal expectations were contradicted by recent violations of professional behavior in our local schools. In this edition of The Moral Is, Jacques Benninga, professor of Education at Fresno State, decries a low standard of educator ethics in recent headline-making news stories.

Commentary: Is Tort Reform Really Necessary?

Apr 14, 2015
Fresno State

Many business groups across the country routinely call for changes to the legal system to reduce what they call frivolous lawsuits – something called tort reform. But in this edition of FM89’s commentary series The Moral Is, Fresno State Business Law Professor Ida Jones says the current system, despite some well publicized exceptions, is working just fine. 

Commentary: Measles In The Magic Kingdom

Mar 25, 2015
Madhusudan Katti

Amid growing fears of epidemics from new and emerging infectious diseases, the US is also seeing old diseases like measles and whooping cough make a comeback. In this segment of FM89's commentary series The Moral Is, Fresno State biology professor Madhusudan Katti discusses the difficult moral choices facing parents worried about their children, and how science and public policy can help them.

“Have you traveled to West Africa in the past three months?” If you’ve seen your doctor in recent months, you probably have been asked this question.

Do bad ideas and evil ideology spread like a disease?  In this edition of The Moral Is, Fresno State philosophy professor Andrew Fiala argues that rotten ideas and pernicious ideologies will die out and that good ideas will eventually succeed, so long as we engage in moral and mental hygiene.

Commentary: Music Is Important For Every Age And Generation

Feb 10, 2015

Music connects people with the deepest part of their being, both for the young and the old, bringing joy, and many other benefits. In this edition of The Moral Is, Kaye Bonner Cummings of the Bonner Family Foundation of Fresno champions music for every age and generation.

Fresno State

The world’s faith in democratic ideals has been shaken by recent events in Paris and other locations throughout the world.  A commitment to democratic ideals and precautionary measures were simultaneously debated.  In this edition of the commentary series The Moral Is, Jacques Benninga, professor of Education at Fresno State, argues that short-term constrictive reactions, though perhaps necessary, will not be as effective in curbing reactionary behaviors as will be well planned long-term solutions that reinforce democratic values.

Fresno State

In this edition of Valley Public Radio’s commentary series The Moral Is Ida Jones, a professor of Business Law at Fresno State, argues that civil remedies may be the only recourse to reduce the number of police killings of young African American males when criminal indictments fail to do so.

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The world of health care can present all sorts of important ethical dilemmas, but perhaps none are so difficult as those involving patients and religion. In this edition of FM89’s commentary series The Moral Is, CSU Bakersfield philosophy professor Christopher Meyers says that patients, courts and clergy all need to do a better job at sorting out what to do when medical advice conflicts with a patient's faith. 

The concept of individual liberty was a key component in our country’s birth. Yet 238 years after Thomas Jefferson wrote about the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, America is still perplexed by questions of just how much liberty Americans enjoy, especially when it comes to their private lives. In this edition of FM89’s commentary series The Moral Is, Fresno State philosophy professor Andrew Fiala says it’s time to re-embrace our libertarian ideals.    

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Madhusudan Katti

College may prepare students for good careers, but these days, it also pushes many already poor students into lifelong debt. In this segment of FM89’s Commentary Series The Moral Is, Fresno State biology professor Dr. Madhusudan Katti asks how much American society truly values university education?

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It seems lately that we are bombarded by social and international crises and threats.  Incurable diseases and clandestine terrorists are lurking, and social institutions are cracking.  Our sense of security is in question.  In this edition of The Moral Is, Fresno State Communication Professor Diane Blair explores this rhetoric of fear, which she argues has reached new heights in our public discourse and deliberation.

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Fresno State

America’s public schools have been called a laboratory for society.  In this edition of FM89’s commentary series The Moral Is, Jacques Benninga of Fresno State’s School of Education says that if that’s the case,  teachers have responsibilities that go far beyond promoting academic achievement.

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Fresno State

What happens if you do all the right things as you pursue the American dream? You graduate from high school. Then college. You work for one employer 25 years, rising from administrative assistant to training director. You get married, and when it doesn’t work out, on your own you raise your children to become self-sufficient. You even exercise and eat right. Shouldn’t you be able to take a walk during your work break without incident?

For years, many people subscribed to the idea that progress in society was inevitable. But in today’s world, the question of whether we are better off than our parents were has become increasingly difficult to answer. And as Fresno State Philosophy Professor Andrew Fiala suggests in this edition of FM89’s commentary series The Moral Is, it all depends on your point of view. 

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Commentary: Time To Give Ex-Felons Voting Rights

Aug 20, 2014

Felony disenfranchisement laws have a long history in the United States, but individual state laws vary considerably. Recently the U.S. Attorney General called on states to consider repealing laws that prohibit felons from voting after their release from prison. In this edition of The Moral Is Fresno State Communication Professor Diane Blair explores the topic of felony disenfranchisement and suggests that our own civic virtue and commitment to democracy is what is at stake in the issue.

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Commentary: Do We Have More Morality Than An Asteroid?

Aug 20, 2014
Madhusudan Katti

For many, climate change is still and unsettled issue.  Yet it is indisputable that throughout its long history, our planet Earth has undergone major species-destroying transformations.  We know this through a reading of the paleontological record that documents dramatic transformations over billions of years.  In this edition of The Moral Is, Professor Madhusudan Katti of Fresno State’s Biology Department explores whether, as a result of industrialization, we are yet again at another planet-altering brink.

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Fresno State / Jacques Benninga

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ruled in a case called Vergara vs. California that California education statues related to teacher tenure violate the equal protection laws of students, essentially depriving students of effective teachers by failing to remove ineffective teachers from classrooms.  In this week’s edition of The Moral Is, Fresno State education professor Dr. Jacques Benninga explores the teacher evaluation controversy and its reasonable implications.

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