12 episodes

What do we really mean when we talk about values? What is their source? How are they changing? Religion or faith, morality and responsibility, marketplace versus social good, the definition of “character”: Are there such things as common American values? Can we agree on common principles?

What We Believe and Why: An Exploration of Values The Aspen Ideas Festival

    • Philosophy

What do we really mean when we talk about values? What is their source? How are they changing? Religion or faith, morality and responsibility, marketplace versus social good, the definition of “character”: Are there such things as common American values? Can we agree on common principles?

    • video
    Are We Really Coming Apart?

    Are We Really Coming Apart?

    Two very different scholars of American society look at the United States and the growing gap in values and behaviors among communities and classes within them. What is happening and why? What do we do to restore our sense of common purpose? And most of all, what is at risk? Moderated by David Gergen.
    Speakers: Charles Murray, Robert D. Putnam, David Gergen

    • 1 hr 7 min
    • video
    Will They Trust Us Again?

    Will They Trust Us Again?

    It’s generally accepted that America is running a trust deficit, but there isn’t enough discussion about what we should do to close the trust gap. In an election year, this is an extremely relevant topic with potential to be provocative in the most constructive way.
    Speakers: Ronald Brownstein, Steven Leder, George J. Mitchell, Thomas J. Wilson, Berl Bernhard

    • 1 hr 10 min
    • video
    The Character Code

    The Character Code

    Western civilization’s ancient recipe for being a better person—and how we forgot it.
    Speakers: David Brooks

    • 55 min
    • video
    What's a Life Worth?

    What's a Life Worth?

    Special Master of the Federal September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001 Kenneth Feinberg discusses how the law values human life and how compensation can reflect self-worth in the eyes of the recipient. Kenneth Feinberg is interviewed by Steve Clemmons.

    • 48 min
    • video
    What Sustains Us?

    What Sustains Us?

    How do religious values implicitly, as well as explicitly,
    influence our values? What sorts of religious institutions
    stand at the heart of our civic life, and do they affect our
    values by their presence? To what degree are our most
    cherished Western values actually the same or the result
    of our most cherished religious values, and what will
    happen to those seemingly secular values when they are
    cut off from religious tradition after two, three, four, or more
    generations? Prominent religious leaders and thinkers
    discuss what sustains our values when we seemingly pay
    attention to traditional religion less and less.
    Speakers: Diana Eck, Steven Leder, Elaine Pagels, Jane Shaw, Anna Deavere Smith

    • 1 hr 4 min
    • video
    The Aspen Institute/Atlantic American Values Survey

    The Aspen Institute/Atlantic American Values Survey

    This study of What Americans Believe, conducted by Penn Schoen Berland for the Aspen Ideas Festival in partnership with The Atlantic and the Aspen Institute, provides a detailed assessment of what Americans say their values are. From death to taxes, the economy to politics, family, religion, science, education, free speech, and beyond, this survey of 2,000 Americans identifies the issues that divide us and the ties that unite us as a nation.

    • 58 min

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