Professor speaks on political discourse

first_imgJohn Duffy, associate professor of English, spoke on the ethics of argument during “ND Votes ’16: Political Responsibility and Virtuous Discourse” at Geddes Hall on Monday night. The event was sponsored by ND Votes ’16, a nonpartisan campaign aimed at educating and registering young voters.Duffy, the director of the University Writing Program, said the “toxic rhetoric” used in contemporary political discourse has made finding truth in politics incredibly difficult.“This rhetoric has managed to undermine forces grounded in logical argument and empirical evidence, which once were considered authoritative,” Duffy said.Much of the blame for this unhealthy political atmosphere falls on the media, he said.“Cable TV, talk radio and all the other social media platforms have made toxic rhetoric a fact of everyday life, a form of entertainment and a product to be bought and sold,” he said.Duffy said the media has become unreliable in reporting the truth, which has made discerning fact from fiction a legitimate challenge.“We seem to have come to a place where we are unclear on the nature of factual information. We’re not agreed on what constitutes a fact,” he said.In order for this toxic rhetoric to end, a cultural change must occur, Duffy said, and this cultural change must be grounded in supporting statements with actual evidence.“There are assertions, assertions, assertions — but not evidence. When you provide evidence for a claim, you are demonstrating your integrity. You are not simply making wild statements, you are willing to back them up,” he said.Duffy said people must also be willing to listen to those challenging their ideas, who present opposing viewpoints.“You expose yourself to the contradictions, the uncertainties, the possibilities that attach themselves to any serious, worthwhile questions,” he said.By doing this, Duffy said, “we expose ourselves to the possibility that we might have to change our minds.”In closing, Duffy said personal arguments and opinions should be taken seriously, since they are a reflection of personal values and are “expressions of who we are, expressions of our character, expressions of the kind of community in which we want to live.”Lorraine Cuddeback, a Ph.D. candidate in theology, examined voting from a Catholic perspective. Cuddeback said developing a strong conscience is a necessity for choosing the best political candidate.“The formation of a conscience first involves a willingness to seek what the truth is,” Cuddeback said.Cuddeback said that Catholics should play an active role in the political world.“It is the particular vocation of lay Catholics to directly shape the moral character of the country,” she said.The event also offered students the opportunity to register as voters in preparation for the 2016 presidential primaries and elections and provided instructions for obtaining an absentee ballot.Tags: CSC, ND Votes ’16, Rooney Center for Ethics and Democracylast_img read more

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OMV joins line of oil and gas operators making budget cuts for 2020

first_imgJoining other oil and gas operators in actions to safeguard their businesses amid coronavirus crisis and the oil price war, Austrian oil and gas company OMV has decided to reduce its investments in 2020 by 20 percent, cut costs by around $217 million, and delay acquisition projects. Source: OMV It also includes cutting costs by around EUR 200 million ($216.5M) compared to 2019 (opex and exploration expenditures). Furthermore, OMV’s measures include payment of the purchase price for the additional 39% share in Borealis in two tranches, whereby more than EUR 2 billion ($2.2B) will not be due until the end of 2021. The effective closing date of this transaction is unaffected. The global spread of the coronavirus has abruptly transformed people’s lives and significantly worsened the economic environment. OMV said on Thursday that it is responding to this situation with targeted measures to safeguard the company’s economic stability and the secure supply of energy. This includes a reduction of around EUR 500 million ($547.7M) in organic investments to below EUR 2 billion ($2.19B) in 2020. This is a reduction of more than 20% compared with the originally planned investments of EUR 2.4 billion ($2.6B) for 2020.center_img Finally, it includes postponing investment and acquisition projects totaling EUR 1.5 billion ($1.6B), in particular the interest in Achimov 4/5 in Russia. Rainer Seele, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of OMV: “We made provisions for every employee to work from home parallel to the national exit restrictions in movement. Employees who are critical to the business or supply security are the only ones working in the field and they are subject to stringent safety and hygiene standards – to protect them and to protect all of our partners and customers.” At the same time, OMV said it is implementing targeted measures to safeguard the company’s financial strength. In this context, the executive board has approved an action plan of more than EUR 4 billion ($4.4B) for the year 2020. “These measures will safeguard OMV’s ability to act in this challenging situation. Specially established task forces are monitoring developments very closely in order to make any necessary strategic adjustments at the right time”, said Rainer Seele.last_img read more

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