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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

More religious scholars are needed to start actively and aggressively calling this shit out

Jake P. Says: September 25, 2007 at 5:51 am
Oh I like Kierkegaard to a degree anyway; that’s one of the reasons I always include him when teaching 19th century philosophy. There are even times I prefer him to his arrogant prick counterpart Nietzsche. (But in front of the students, I’m also Nietzschean ;)
Anthony Paul Smith Says: September 25, 2007 at 7:48 am
Christ on a cracker!
N&P does have a few things on religion, but I wouldn’t say it is the focus. Has a few good things to say and then ultimately decides that religion is more productive of reactive forces than active forces (I’m paraphrasing mightily here).
Shit like this is why more religious scholars are needed, not less, and why they need to start actively and aggressively calling this shit out. And of the kind that says, “No, really, this wasn’t even meant to be taken literally when it was just the Hebrews reading it.” A shit, backwards Christian university Biblical scholar wouldn’t even say you should take that literally (I know, I attended one and had to take a survey course on the Old Testament). And it is not just academic scholars that say stuff like this. I’m just really, really shocked that the school board would cave to something so weak.
As to the fairy tale comment, I had an econ teacher, one of the best teachers I ever had in high school, challenge my then held beliefs. I thought this was, you know, part of an education. Just like I had my then liberal beliefs challenged by an old school conservative history teacher. We’ve really lost sight of what it means to think in this country (yet again) and I don’t know what the solution is.
Keep your head down and suck up to your students. (Almost makes you sympathize with Sarkozy wanting reform the education system so that students show respect for their instructors… almost.)
Evgeni V. Pavlov Says: September 25, 2007 at 5:49 pm
there’s probably more involved in the situation in Iowa and it’s very likely difficult to show the cause and effect but even if it is the reason for being fired, i suppose it is quite sad that education is seen as a kind of experience that excludes the real challenge. however, i think if the theme of the offense is raised - people do get offended by the beliefs of others, think, for example, about genital mutilation or other cultural rites some find repulsive and “anti-human” - it needs to be openly addressed in class. although it doesn’t always help, i usually say in the beginning of my course that i might offend someone with my own interpretations of philosophy (not even theology) but that hopefully the educational environment that i will attempt to create during the course would prevent anyone from truly believing that i am intentionally putting them down. i.e. i think it depends on a teacher as well: i say some pretty aweful things in my class, but since most students know i’m an open-minded and sarcastic person, no one takes it personally and just has a good laugh. but then again i’m european and often my eccentric behavior is attributed to my origin.
PS. i like your selection for the intro course - i threw in Aurelius’s Meditations into my Ethics course and i think it works much better (for me) than even good old Plato and Aristotle.

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