Okay. Sure. I mean, I suppose I could pick an argument, but it's obscure and, for now, well beside the point.
Originally Posted by Superstring99
And there's a reason for that, you know.
But let's face it, the only place you'll find a seriously conservative education is in private universities
It is this sort of vomitous spew that ruins what could have been an otherwise-useful point when you make it so clear that your intentions have nothing to do with learning, rational consideration, or even general human progress. Because even if you absolutely insist on pretending that the majority of college administrators and professors are irredeemable, drooling burnouts, at least they are attempting to deal with reality. Now, you may take issue with how sharply John the Suspected Liberal condemns this or that traditionally-praised aspect of history, but I think you're smart enough to understand that there is a difference between--
... run by right-wing nuts who are as equally whacked off their gourds as the left-wing ones who run the vast majority of all "other" universities
• Presenting history in accord with the historical record, and,
• Presenting history in order to support a myth, despite the historical record
Examples? Columbus is the obvious one. Southern Reconstruction is another. Imagine the fights college students are going to have in twenty years about the whole 9/11-Saddam thing. In any of those cases, the historical record suggests against the "conservative" argument. Conservatives were upset when revisionism led scholars to tell the Columbus story according to the record--including his diaries--instead of ladling out the myth once a year. The myth of Southern Reconstruction, you know, the one about the lazy Negros, the horrible northern carpetbaggers, and the poor, beleaguered, noble South raped by the injustice of equality? The one that depends on the notion that blacks are inherently lazy and corrupt? The one that ignores quick progress made by blacks in order to pretend that the degradation brought on by Jim Crow laws actually reflected the natural state of the inferior Negro? Oh, sorry, my bad. I forgot, you've already rejected that discussion.
Anyway, I'm pretty sure you can tell the difference between the "liberal bias" of denouncing slavery in American history as contradictory to expressed American cultural values and deliberately constructing a history curriculum that ignores the existence of a majority of the world in order to support that history only runs six-thousand years back to the time when IHVH created the world and Universe in six days, only to rest on the seventh.
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String, I would ask you to consider an analogy about "academic diversity". Imagine you're in a class discussing the Book of Job.
(1) Should the Book of Job be treated as a primary historical source document?
(2) Does the teaching reflect what the Book of Job actually says?
Here we have two questions of academic diversity that are, in fact, important to our considerations. The first one involves a technical distinction that is sometimes lost on conservatives. The Book of Job can be treated as a primary source document, just not as an historical source document. Anthropology? Theology? Sure. But even when you're holding a millennia-old, crumbling manuscript in your hand, it's not a primary historical source document in the way, say, Columbus' diary would.
Yet some would--and do--include the Bible among the materials suppressed by "liberal" conspiracies because the book is not treated as a legitimate historical or scientific source.
The second question involves a dicier aspect of historical argument. Generally speaking, the story of the Book of Job is told inaccurately compared to the text. A number of metaphorical presuppositions must be accepted at the outset, and abandoned immediately thereafter. For instance, if we look at the idea the general description that "Satan convinces God to test Job, and Job passes", there are a few things wrong with that basic summary. In the first place, Satan did not convince God of anything. God made a boast, and Satan made the obvious point. From that point on, God was game. Secondly, God does not test Job. When Satan says, "Put out your hand and take all that he has," God's response is, "Um ... er ... you do it."
Now, here the story gets sticky, because if someone points out that God did test Job, that makes Satan an instrument of God, which, technically, it is. But this reality doesn't mesh well with the popular theology of religion as behavior-control. The Satan recorded in archaeology, anthropology, history, and the Old Testament is considerably different from the one modern Christians scare their children by. Nor, historically, has this idea harmonized with the bizarre assertion that "God is good". (Itself a long discussion we can have if you wish.) But modern Christians really need their Job to be about a test of faith, and it works best this way.
Which is strange in and of itself, because Job's "faith" is what most of us would count as knowledge. Seriously: if, one day, you said something nasty about "God", and immediately after the sky came down and chewed you a new asshole, wouldn't you at least pay attention? So, in the end, the story people tell isn't really reflected in the text of Job. How, then, should you teach it? Should you teach what the text says, or respect the diversity of people who insist that we pretend it says something else?
You may not like the liberal outcome of academic inquiry, and certainly some folks simply get it wrong, but there really is a reason why "liberal" values align so frequently with alleged "enlightenment". And that is because "liberal" values depend on the ongoing process of "enlightenment". Conservative values, inherently and historically, do not. Remember that the last time a conservative value depended on enlightenment, said value was considered liberal at the time.
Mary Shelly once listened to her father's friend describe how British doctors tried to reanimate the corpses of executed prisoners by charging them with massive amounts of electricity. And while our modern outlooks might think of such an experiment as barbaric to the point of macabre, it was a very enlightened outlook in its day.
Your rush to make sure that, no matter what the issue is, liberals "get their fair share" of abuse reminds us what is important to you. I would only urge you to reconsider that if you define the terms for consideration a little more faithfully to reality, the world won't seem so damnably scary.
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One more, just because your opinion is important to my understanding of what your opinion actually is. About the only thing I'm sure of right now is that you're really really frightened by some myth of liberalism that doesn't seem to have much connection with reality.
What if you were teaching about marriage? Tell me about ideological diversity in education, please. After all, there is a school that says marital customs were, originally, about labor division and resource management; others say it was a proprietary custom; a recent and supportable thesis put forth by Stephanie Coontz suggests that marriage has always been about the attainment of in-laws. And then there are those who want to make a political and religious issue out of it. So let's look at Coontz's thesis. (Sort of.)
Coontz tends against proprietary and resource theories. While those aspects were certainly part of early human partnerships, the formality of marriage seems to be, in history, more about joining groups together--e.g., gaining political and economic alliances through the extension of family (the attainment of in-laws). And you're welcome to go read through her book; it's fascinating. I don't claim to represent it perfectly for our general purposes today.
Because on the other side of your classroom, I would like you to imagine a modern (conservative) traditionalist. He wants to focus on the tradition of marriage, yet the evidence suggests a few things about this outlook on "tradition". First, the period of "traditional marriage" idealized by American traditionalists is all of approximately fifteen years. Secondly, that period does not represent any specific tradition, but rather a phase of an evolving human relationship; the idea of marrying for romantic love was, into the latter half of the twentieth century, controversial, and hardly traditional during the Long Decade (1947-62). And we should also consider that recent studies of materials coming available in the last couple decades suggest that the women, at least, were quite dissatisfied with their condition during that period.
Now, here's the problem I'm having with your outlook on the "education conspiracy" in general: The traditionalist's outlook is not reflected in the historical record. Despite this, describing the institution of marriage within civilized society could be seen as a process that victimizes conservatives. After all, that teaching will undermine the assertion of "tradition" while suggesting with little room for question that the period was harmful to the majority of its participants.
So what to do? The record disagrees with what the conservative wants to believe. Therefore, it must be a liberal bias.