believeordoubt | Indy Week

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Re: “Academia under siege

This is a bit off topic, but seems important to me. What exactly qualifies as hate speech? Calling a gay man a "f@#$$t" is clearly hate speech. But what about a person saying that homosexuality, according to the Bible, is a sin, and that she believes the Bible? Returning to the topic of liberal bias in academia: Back in grad school I was accused of hate speech by liberal activists for saying the latter in a private conversation. I was trying to be calm and reasonable about it, but I felt nothing but hate coming in my direction. I was in the philosophy department. Philosophy departments are overwhelmingly, well, to use a technical word, "physicalist." That is, they believe only the physical world exists. This, of course, implies atheism, it also implies that there are no souls, and that there is no life after death, though these implications are rarely made explicit. Physicalism is rarely argued for, it is assumed. Being a Christian, I was very much in the minority. Most of the other grad students respected my views, for I was able to articulate arguments for them. Still, one does get the impression from a significant number of faculty that they thought belief in God was, well, stupid at best, and oppressive at worst. The same goes for dualism, the view that there are souls and life after death -- dualism is no longer taken seriously. There is, of course, no official rules against religious belief in philosophy, but I think that most philosophers would agree that the climate in philosophy, at least, is overwhelmingly materialistic, and that standards for argumentation required for materialism are markedly lower than those for, say, dualism. (Daniel Stoljar, in his entry, "Physicalism," in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy agrees). So I do find myself confronted with a definite bias toward "left" leaning beliefs (atheism, materialism) in academia.

Posted by believeordoubt on 12/30/2008 at 9:17 PM

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