Tag Archives: University

Professor concerned by students who are unable to consider alternative views

UVA students following their leftist masters
UVA students protesting a rape accusation that was later revealed to be a hoax

Consider this clip:

This is a post by Dr. George Yancey, and he’s writing about the 5-minute video clip above.

Dr. Yancey writes:

Here is a great example of what I term education dogma. Note that the students are chanting about not being silenced while they are obviously silencing the speaker. My understanding of this situation is that the speaker published something that challenges some of the assertions about a campus rape culture. Such a challenge is an affront to the dogma of the students. Therefore, these students do not feel that the speaker has a right to speak on a different topic. The violation of beliefs they accept without question or doubt creates their incentive to shut down the proceedings.

[…]For the dogmatic, ideas that violate the notions defended by education dogma are deemed “dangerous” and too much for the tender ears of our students. So in additional to shouting down speakers there have been calls for “trigger warnings” and “safe spaces” so that individuals do not have to listen to dangerous ideas. The true danger of these ideas is their threat to certain dogmatic beliefs of our students. These students are unwilling to consider the possibly that they are wrong, or perhaps not as right as they might believe. .

[…]As I watch that video I did not see intellectual powerhouses but I symbolically saw individuals who were yelling nonsense with their hands over their ears so that they would not hear an idea that may confront their presuppositions about reality.

Here, Dr. Yancey compares the secular leftist students to religious fundamentalists: (links removed)

For all practical purposes the students saw the speaker as a heretic. The use of the term heretic can bring up images of torturing, imprisoning and killing of those who disagree. This is not occurring. However, it is reasonable to ask whether the seemingly restraint of the students from such drastic actions is due to their moral compass or to the fact that they do not have the social power to engage in such actions. Education dogma has led to attempting to kick offending businesses off campus, attempts to fire professors, and the official “shunning” of students who hold the “wrong ideas.” Those with education dogma do punish those who violate their beliefs to the highest extent possible given their current level of institutional powers.

So if the holding your hands over your ears and screaming doesn’t work, there is always calling the police, or using other means of coercion. Scary, especially when you consider the history of the secular left in communist countries where God is dead, and the state is all-powerful. How far would these leftist students go to silence people who disagreed with them?

More:

[…][H]igher education occurs in a specific social institution that promotes certain subcultural values and beliefs. Participants in these institutions are expected to accept these values and beliefs without question. These beliefs are not the result of gaining more facts but instead are the dogmatic adaptation of certain social values provided to them by this subculture.

The trouble here is that they don’t want more facts – that’s why they are holding their hands over their ears and screaming.

It makes me think of my own intellectual journey… the way I got started in apologetics in college was by reading transcripts of William Lane Craig debates that I found on the Leadership University web site. What was exciting was reading both sides and seeing what each person would say to respond. Would you go to a football game where only one side showed up? What if you already knew the score in advance, would you still go? What if one team didn’t play very hard, would that be worth watching? What makes intellectual inquiry fun and interesting is that two sides show up and play their best. Otherwise, it’s just brainwashing, not a search for truth. When I write a summary with a good atheist like Peter Millican, I actually feel like I have learned something – I have learned how far I can push each of my arguments, and what I need to study going forward. I care to learn more about what is discussed in a real debate.

This is the striking part of his essay:

Students are responsible for seeking out alternative perspectives and developing an attitude of inquiry allowing them to interrogate their own presuppositions. But their college and university teachers should be held to account since more than a few college professors have done a horrible job introducing critical thinking skills. These teachers come in with a certain set of assumptions and if students agree with those assumptions then they can leave college without any disturbance to their pre-college ideology. Then we have the gall to call that critical thinking. It is anything but critical thinking. It is confirmation thinking and we do our students a disservice with such an approach.

This is why I get so frustrated by non-STEM disciplines. I think those non-STEM areas are the places where what he described is most likely to happen. When you walk into a computer science classroom, you are there to learn something that you will be doing for money in a couple of years. You can go home and use what you just learned to write a sorting program, or improve the speed of your database queries, or write a mobile application and put it out for use. I just don’t get that feeling of usefulness from non-STEM disciplines, aside from maybe analytical philosophy, which is just computer science anyway (symbolic logic). The critical thinking in computer science comes from trying things yourself and seeing what works and doesn’t work in real life. Where is the testing against reality in non-STEM disciplines? There is none.

And then here is something hopeful for conservatives:

Ironically a conservative Christian Republican has a better opportunity to learn critical thinking in college than a progressive humanist Democrat because of the opportunity he/she gains to consider new ideas. When we allow students with certain perspectives to go through college without challenging them we not only promote dogma, we also do those students the disservice of never helping them to engage in the critical thinking necessary to intellectually grow. They are reduced to being a sounding board that regurgitated the latest expression of political correctness.

This is where all my hope lies. I really hope that the leftists educate their next generation into imbecility by refusing to let them consider different points of view. We conservatives must be the ones who consider both sides, and then rise above the mob of fools. To innovate, you have to do things better, and to do things better, you have to do things differently.

What builds character? A job in a capitalist economy, or campus “safe spaces”?

Dennis Prager liked this article so much that he discussed it on Friday AND Monday. A lot.

I read the article, too. And I think there is a lot to learn from it. Let’s take a look at some of it, and then I’ll make a point.

Excerpt:

During Customs week, in PAF sessions, and in everyday discourse here at Haverford, we are taught to ask for help when we feel we need it, speak up when we feel uncomfortable, and prioritize our own well being over most other things. At McDonald’s, acting in this way could have cost me my job, a job I needed to afford college. There, I, as an individual, was insignificant: The most important thing was that the customer walks away satisfied, and it didn’t matter what I had to go through to make that happen. There is something ironic about this: In order to do what was necessary to be a Haverford student, I had to act in un-Haverford-like way.

Because I worked the front counter, whenever there was a problem with an order — even though I never made the food — I was the one who was verbally abused. “One must never interrupt the customer,” and “The customer is always right,” so I would stand and listen to the entirety of elaborate rants, trying to put aside the attacks on myself, on McDonald’s, on America, and on capitalism, so that I could report the relevant details to those who actually had the power to correct the problem. These issues were usually simple, like a missing piece of cheese from a McDouble, or whipped cream on a milkshake when they hadn’t wanted any.

The customer is always right, and how you feel about the “injustice of it all” doesn’t matter. In fact, if you put your personal feelings about the need of the business owner to grow his business, you’ll probably get a talking to about how the customer is always right and to toughen up and take it.

She concludes:

I’m grateful to have worked at McDonald’s: It taught me how better to handle my anxiety and how to put myself last in the name of efficiency and a common goal. McDonald’s strengthened my character, my work ethic, and expanded my capacity for resilience, valuable lessons which could not be learned in the “safe spaces” of Haverford’s campus. We must remember that putting oneself first is the essence of privilege, and that, in order to grow, we must leave this selfish mindset behind.

So what can we say about this?

In a free market, you can't make money by greed alone
In a free market, you can’t get rich by greed alone

I don’t know if most young people really understand that the essence of the free market / free enterprise / capitalist system is that in order for you to make money, you have to make something or do something for someone else that they find valuable. You cannot greed your way to a fortune. There is no filthy capitalist dog in a top hat, twirling his long mustache and laughing evilly as money magically appears. In a free market, you have to give something to someone to get their money. And you have to give them more value for less cost than all the other competitors they can choose from. So, people in businesses have to be nice to you. That’s why Amazon and Costco don’t ask questions when you return stuff. They want a relationship with you for life, and questioning you would make you go somewhere else. And all their employees are taught that – the customer is always right.

The opposite of free market competition is monopoly. Monopolies do exist in the world, but not usually in the free market. Where do monopolies exist? Well, they exist in the government. Think of what the service is like at the department of motor vehicles, or immigration office, or the social security office, etc. The customer service is lousy, the lines are long, the unionized government workers are uneducated and rude, and they get too many benefits and too much salary for the value they offer. How are they allowed to do that? Simple. You can’t go anywhere else to get the stuff you need from them. That’s why they can underperform, and you can’t do a thing about it.

Anyway, the main point is that you should always encourage your children to take the most demanding job in the private sector they can handle. And by the way, if you know an irresponsible college student who insists on having fun, thrills and travel, the best thing you can do is encourage them to get a job that they hate. It will help them to grow their character and build their finances at the same time – making them ready for the responsibilities and obligations they will face from marriage and parenting. Working in a capitalist system is magic for your character. Even if you didn’t have the best parents, you can still grow up right just by showing up for work every day.

Are Campus Crusade and IVCF still Christian? Or are they just leftists?

Eagle eggs are protected, unborn babies are not
Eagle eggs are protected, unborn babies are not

The latest news is about IVCF’s rejection of the pro-life cause.

Here is an article from Touchstone magazine.

It says:

Happy New Year, Everyone! Urbana 2015 ended on January 1, 2016. Urbana is a triennial major Christian (mostly Evangelical) student missions conference in St. Louis, Missouri, sponsored by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (“InterVarsity”), primarily for college and graduate students.

[…][O]ne of the speakers prominently featured at Urbana was the “Rev.” Michelle Higgins. “Rev.” Higgins is the director of Faith for Justice, an advocacy group in St. Louis (she also serves as worship director at South City Church). Ms. Higgins is active in the #BlackLivesMatter movement in the St. Louis area.

[…]“Rev.” Higgins… described the pro-life movement as merely “a big spectacle.” In her remarks, she said:

We could end the adoption crisis tomorrow. But we’re too busy arguing to have abortion banned. We’re too busy arguing to defund Planned Parenthood. We are too busy withholding mercy from the living so that we might display a big spectacle of how much we want mercy to be shown to the unborn. Where is your mercy? What is your goal and only doing activism that is comfortable?

[…]Government statistics estimate that more than 16 million black babies have been murdered in the womb since the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision of 1973, a number quite a bit larger than the number of unarmed black men killed by police.

Not to mention the racist origins of Planned Parenthood, which was born out of the eugenics movement. Keep in mind that Christians are supposed to speak out against premarital sex, and for taking in unwanted children – that’s what the early church did. But at IVCF, we have women telling us that Planned Parenthood’s views on premarital sex and abortion are not to be challenged. The Bible is wrong, and Planned Parenthood is right. Because feelings.

Its often the case that the pro-abortion activists like to slander pro-lifers for not caring about women and not caring about children after they are born. But it’s not true of course, and you can read the reasons why in this Public Discourse post.

Campus Crusade, too

Previously, I wrote about how conservative professor Mike Adams is annoyed with Campus Crusade, let’s see why.

He wrote his first article to complain that campus clubs like Crusade don’t take stands on obvious moral issues like abortion.

He wrote:

Several years ago, a good friend of mine named Dave Sterrett gave a pro-life speech to a Campus Crusade chapter at a state university in North Texas. He was invited to speak by a student. During the middle of his speech, he was arguing that the unborn are fully human and have souls by quoting from the Gospel of Luke. His talk was clearly Biblical and not political in nature.

Nonetheless, when the Campus Crusade director arrived, he rudely shut the speech down.

The Campus Crusade director told Dave to come out in the hall after he shut down his talk. The Crusade leader then began to yell at Dave and told him, “I don’t know what your deal is talking about this issue. Get your books and get out of here.” He went even further calling the headquarters of Crusade, which then demanded an apology from Sterrett.

Shortly after I wrote about the incident, several members of Campus Crusade contacted me – but not to apologize for their mistreatment of Dave. They emailed to admonish me for writing about the incident – even though I did not call out the university or the chapter director by name. The fallout from the incident was revealing. It shows how far some campus ministries will go to avoid controversy – and that they often consider themselves to be above reproach.

The original incident was also revealing. The censored speech was not political so the problem cannot be that Campus Crusade is not a “politically-based” organization. The speech was morally and Biblically based. Does the rejection of the speech mean that Campus Crusade is not a “morally-based” organization? Or does it mean they are not a “Biblically-based” organization?

Of course it doesn’t. The incident merely shows that Campus Crusade has become a “comfort-based” organization. In other words, an over-riding priority is avoiding topics that might make people feel uncomfortable.

Here is the second article. He writes about how Crusade made a deal to remove Christian elements from a gathering in order to get government funding, then writes about this lady who stood up for free speech:

Subsequently, at the very school where Campus Crusade traded its religious freedom for student government funding, there was a lawsuit over a campus speech code. One of the plaintiffs was a fine Christian woman who fought to overturn a speech code that was being used to suppress conservative speech and which also posed a grave threat to religious organizations.

After she sued, homosexual groups erupted in anger – falsely claiming that she was defending “hate speech” by opposing the speech code. They defamed her, physically threatened her, and verbally abused her –all in the name of tolerance and diversity.

This time, Campus Crusade did not remain neutral. They weighed in. But, unbelievably, they weighed in against the Christian woman and in favor of those defending the speech codes.

This is the part I really think is important:

Right after these unfortunate events unfolded I became embroiled in my own First Amendment lawsuit. In part, because I stood in unity with Christians and defended them against illegal policies, I was denied a promotion at my school.

With the support of numerous Christian organizations, I eventually won the seven-year legal battle. Two Christian legal firms paid my legal bills and countless other Christian ministry and policy groups publicly backed me. But one Christian organization remained conspicuously silent. Of course, I am speaking of… the Crusade formerly named after Christ.

For seven long years I heard not a single word of public support from a single member of Campus Crusade. When I won the case, I was deluged with calls and emails and handwritten letters from Christian leaders all across America.

But I heard not a word from Campus Crusade for months in the wake of the verdict.

Then, in mid-July, the final terms of my settlement were reached. It was reported in the local news that I would get a raise and a check for back pay while may attorneys would get a sum of $615,000. On August 1, 2014, I received the check from the State of North Carolina. On August 2, just 24 hours later, one of the local directors for Campus Crusade wrote me the following:

“Hey Mike. I hope your summer is going well. Would you be interested in having coffee with me next week so I could talk to you about joining my ministry support team?”

After I received that audacious email, I searched through my archives and read every single email correspondence I had received from that director over the course of seven years. There was no offer of prayer support in any of those emails. Nor was there any mention of the legal ordeal I was going through. He simply ignored the suit until the terms of the settlement became public.

In other words, your ministry and its leaders were never interested in unity. They never offered support in public or even in private. They only sought to profit financially from those who win battles Campus Crusade chooses to avoid.

The reason I am linking to this is because I experienced this kind of behavior from IVCF and Campus Crusade as an undergraduate and later as a graduate student. They opposed the introduction of apologetics at every point, and they were both anxious to embrace the secular left, especially radical feminism, global warming alarmism, gay rights and socialism. It was depressing. If I were a student today, I’d head straight for the College Republicans and Ratio Christi if I wanted to get anything useful done. In fact, I started this blog partly as a way of discussing issues from a Christian point of view because I could not get anything done in IVCF and Campus Crusade.

I would not give money to IVCF or Crusade or any Christian missionary / relief organization  right now. I would only give to individual chapters of Ratio Christi, and then only for specific lectures or debates. You have to watch your money like a hawk, because a lot of these leftist Christian do-gooder organizations have no Christian worldview based in the Bible.

Can you learn anything useful in a non-STEM program at a secular university?

College students puking in toilet
College students puking in toilet

I’m really beginning to wonder. I subscribe to The College Fix and Campus Reform in my news reader. I get lots of news about how secular leftist political correctness has brainwashed the students to be very angry and self-indulgent. But whenever I read these stories, what I find is that they are almost never happening in STEM classrooms (science, technology, engineering, mathematics). It always seems to non-STEM professors (often feminists).

Here’s the first story from The College Fix:

The Muslim Student Association at San Diego State University is demanding that administrators combat Islamophobia by developing a “zero tolerance policy explicitly for Islamophobic speech and actions.”

[…]They demanded that the university adopt a zero-tolerance policy toward “Islamophobic speech,” mandatory bystander training, develop more courses on Islam, and increase funding for The Center for Intercultural Relations. Moreover, they demanded that “the SDSU administration address, alleviate, and eliminate systems of oppression that disproportionately target students of color, womyn, and all marginalized students on campus.”

Beth Chee, a representative for the university, told The College Fix in an email that the university has not issued a formal response to the demands, but members of the administration have reviewed the list and are currently “meeting internally and with the students to discuss their concerns.”

No word on whether these Muslim students want bystander training for Muslims in Muslim countries so they know to intervene in the frequent murdering, torturing and raping that goes on there. That’s what they are learning on college campuses – how to be offended and demanding, not how to battle real evil in countries where it really exists.

Here’s another from The College Fix – this time native Americans:

The latest example of an alleged “microaggression” hails from Syracuse University, where a student suggested her music scholar was guilty of one for not knowing the latest cultural music trends relevant to her heritage.

“One student said a music faculty member was unaware of the latest musical trends in this student’s culture. The student felt this was a micro-aggression against her,” recalls Dr. David Rubin on Syracuse.com. Rubin, a longtime distinguished professor and dean, attended the workshop and reported his observations.

[…]Reached for comment by The College Fix on Sunday, Rubin said he believes the female student in question was Native American.

Yes, this student actually thought that it was the job of others to learn the things that she liked, rather than learning the best music. And if you didn’t learn what she liked, then you were offending her, and she could call you out on it in public. I wonder if she will be able to get a job when she graduates with that attitude? I would not hire her.

Another from The College Fix, this time black students:

Saying that black women are “not hot” got a Colorado College student suspended for six months – appealed down from 21.

[…]His friend Lou Henriques was expelled.

Their jokes took place on a night where the Yik Yak conversation on campus was centered around the theme #BlackLivesMatter.

[…]“Some people screenshotted the most racial things said [from Yik Yak that night], and they blew them up onto banners and hung them up in the student center in front of the dean’s office,” Pryor said.

One of the screenshots was his six-word post. A Student Life disciplinary panel brought Pryor in for questioning, where he learned that someone had reported him as the poster for almost all of the offensive posts.

Senior Associate Dean of Students Rochelle Mason, Dean of Students Mike Edmonds and Assistant Dean of Students Cesar Cervantes decided in less than 24 hours that Pryor should be suspended for 21 months – the exact time it would take him to finish his degree – and prohibited from being on campus.

In addition, Pryor was forbidden from taking courses for credit at other universities because of his crass remark. Because Henriques had a prior disciplinary record, he was expelled for a similar post, Pryor said.

Where do the students learn to get obsessed with things that have nothing to do with finding work in a competitive private sector economy? They learn it from non-STEM professors. Here’s a professor of political science threatening students about global warming, and here’s a professor of racial issues telling all the white people that they’re racists. Can these non-STEM professors get real jobs in a competitive free market with skills like that? Of course not. They have jobs because the government hands stupid students free money, and tells them that a college degree in drinking and hooking up is the same as a college degree in biomedical engineering.

Most of these professors and college administrators that make the news seem to be people who would have nothing of value to offer customers in the private sector. And, unfortunately, they are teaching the students to have the same deluded, spoiled, entitled views that they have. I really think that we need to solve this problem by moving student loans back to the private sector. Instead of letting government officials buy votes with student loan generosity, we should let banks and private companies make the loans. Then there would be some expectation that the loans would be paid back. This would also reduce the cost of college, since the money would not just be a handout to the already extravagant colleges and universities.

We are $20 trillion in debt, thanks to Obama, and $1 trillion of that is outstanding student loans. We cannot afford to continue shoveling money to universities where spoiled brats are teaching the next generation of students to be spoiled brats.

J. Warner Wallace podcast: pluralism, relativism and postmodernism at the university

Students are learning less and less of value at college
Students are learning less and less of value at college

The latest episode of the Cold Case Christianity podcast is useful to help parents understand what awaits their children at the university.

Details:

In this episode of the Cold-Case Christianity Broadcast, J. Warner examines four popular misconceptions and misstatements about the nature of objective truth, tolerance and our over-reliance on science. If there are no objective truths (or they can’t be known) there is little reason to examine the truth about God. We need to get to the truth about truth before we can ever know the truth about anything else.

The MP3 file is here.

Wallace does a lot of speaking on university campuses, so he gets to meet and talk with the college kids. It’s interesting to hear what an evidence-driven cold case homicide detective thinks about the squishy postmodern views of the average college student.