Here’s my view about those pesky “secular progressive” agendas on campus:
Philosophers often struggle and strive to create logical arguments to get at the truth of a particular subject or so the claim is. In philosophy classes, students are bombarded with various forms of logical deductive and inductive arguments, so that they know what qualifies as a genuine argument. The students are trained to avoid logical fallacies, and they write many a paper, where they will lose many a grade point if they fail to make a logical argument and avoid these fallacies. Still, doing real philosophy is not this simple. I would argue, that philosophers are often “biased”.
This is not to say that philosophers aren’t, for the most part, making logical arguments. The problem is that even a logical argument can potentially be wrong, if new information arises. For example look at this argument:
- All white bears are polar bears
- X is a bear
- X is white
- Thus, X is a polar bear
That argument is logical, but it is also wrong. Non-polar bears can be, of course, white. But, if someone had never heard or seen a white non-polar bear, this argument would seem reasonable, wouldn’t it?
And, this brings us to the next point. Philosophy and logic are absolutely indispensable, but logic alone is not enough to bear the weight of the burden of proof in many cases. If someone had never had a science class or lived a long time ago, it would make sense to them that the sun went around the earth. Why? It seems patently obvious to the naked eye. Both modern knowledge and logical argumentation is necessary to prove that the earth in fact goes around the sun and the like.
One of the problems philosophy faces in arenas outside science and instead in arenas such as morality and religion is to get past the “obvious.” It is obvious to some that God exists, and it is obvious to other that he/she/it doesn’t. Many a premise and conclusion are made to prove both sides of this debate correct, but the debate still rages. For example, when people make the claim that something can’t come from nothing, this will seem obvious to many people, but has anyone ever dealt with absolute nothingness? Could we be wrong about the obvious? I’m not trying to claim the answer one way or the other, but the point is, how would we really know? These philosophers and lay people are relying on the obvious which is in reality a bias!
Nevertheless, it is not just religious philosophy that suffers from the problems of the bias of the obvious. For many the idea of maximizing happiness as a moral system seems obvious, not that there aren’t arguments for this, but should we be digging deeper? Sure being happy and causing others to be happy seems “nice.” However, it is tempting to ask if happiness and pleasure are really the highest aims to being human.
There are many other cases and examples I could have used in philosophy. I hope to have used some relatable ones. The problem with philosophy, sometimes, is that it is often trying to answer questions before we have enough knowledge, or it is trying to answer questions where superior knowledge will never be found. Often the bias of the obvious is used, so I beseech you to notice this when you are doing your own critical thinking.
Thank you for reading. Feel free to like and comment!
Universities are supposed to be bustling with new ideas and be places of debate . They are supposed to be places of learning, but are they also places of brainwashing? This has been a debate for quite awhile. Many are worried that their young adults are being brainwashed, usually into secular progressiveness. I’m going to graduate soon, and I’m mulling over this issue.
First, let’s determine what this brainwashing could entail. For example, if grades were assigned based solely on whether or not the professor agreed with a paper or project, that would be a enormous problem. By contrast, how a paper should be graded does depend somewhat on the class. An English paper judges writing skill. Philosophy papers are supposed to be graded on the strength of arguments etc. Another example of brainwashing might be if only the arguments supporting a professor’s stance were showcased in the readings and lectures.
As for me, I have run into very little of this. Still, universities are supposed to be, well, universities. They are not around to coddle to ideas that haven’t been questioned before, and many students probably have many ideas that they have never questioned. They may end up changing their positions after having thought more about them. That is only natural. Perhaps, they find the ideas they were raised with untenable.
Still if any the aforementioned unfair grading practices are being used, people everywhere should speak out. Our young adults minds are precious. That being said they are adults, and if they disagree with a particular professor’s point of view they should argue with them. That’s the point of it all.
It seems that the media hates atheist, especially conservative media such as Fox News and The Blaze. Apparently, all of us atheists are progressives. Progressive of course is almost a curse word in it self. Atheists are seen as aligned with the “far left.” Being both an atheist and a liberal would seem to be one of the worst things a person could be.
When pundits demonize a view, they often describe the opposing group as “secular progressives.” Of course, they forget that many people who are pro-choice,pro-same sex marriage, and so on are in fact liberal Christians or true Libertarians. Both Christianity and being a Libertarian are usually seen as highly good attributes. It is as though the media forgets that not all Christians are conservative or what a Libertarian actually is.
Then of course, they claim that Christianity and America at large is under attack from these “secular progressives.” They seem to forget that Christians are in the overwhelming majority. However, what really bothers me is when they say they are being persecuted. No, they are not being persecuted. Christians in the pre-Constantine days of Rome were persecuted NOT Christians in the United States today.
Yes, many atheists are very concerned about the separation of church and state, but this is a legitimate issue. I guarantee that if Christians lived in Muslim dominated society, which had separation of church and state, they would be fighting to impose it. As an atheists, if this were they case, I would help the Christians’ cause.
As far I am concerned as well as others, I don’t have a problem with Christians. I have a problem with Christianity and political dogmas being forced upon the population. People, for the most part, should be allowed to do and think as they please. That’s called freedom. If I recall correctly, that’s a value the founding father’s would have fought and died for.