Tag Archives: philosophy

Passover: Celebrating Freedom

An evening pause: For tonight, the second Passover Sedar, a short video explaining some of the philosophical underpinnings of Passover. Though decidedly from the reform (and liberal) side of the Jewish community, it still summarizes much of what Passover represents. On this holiday each person must imagine themselves a slave, so as to better appreciate what freedom represents.

The orthodox side of the Jewish community would add that this freedom comes from God, for which we must be ever thankful. The orthodox would also note that our freedom exists because of the arrival of the Torah, the Ten Commandments, and the rules for living a good life, handed down to at Mt. Sinai, after the exodus.

I say, be humble and try to do right, to the best of your ability, no matter what others demand (the Bible, even for someone who does not believe in God as the religions do, provides a good instruction manual). Do that, and you will certainly be free.

The roots of our modern fascist and bankrupt academia

Since October I have been posting each week a collection of links illustrating the sad and fascist state of modern American academia. It is now time to post another collection, but this time I will also provide some thoughts that might help explain the roots of this intellectual bankruptcy.

These stories not only illustrate the fascist nature of today’s academic community, they once again show that these so-called institutions of higher learning know nothing about the concepts of liberty, individual responsibility, and thoughtful dialogue that are the hallmarks of western civilization.

First we have the story out of Texas State University of a student writing an op-ed calling for genocide against whites.

Essentially, the author argued that whites are by definition bigoted, and therefore must be wiped out. Though the student body at Texas State appeared to respond correctly to this racist column, one has to wonder how it got published in the first place.

Then we have some stories illustrating the bankruptcy of intellectual thought at some campuses.

The first story in this group is especially interesting. Considering the hate now routinely exhibited on college campuses against whites (as illustrated by second story above as well as my first group of stories above), I think it now behooves every white person attending Brown University to self-identify as black. Doing so makes no sense and has no connection with reality or truth, but hey, what do those values have to do with modern education?

Similarly, the last two stories, about how students disrupted a lecture, preventing its completion, shows that the administration of the University of Connecticut actually agrees with these hecklers’ goals. Rather than punish the hecklers and protesters, the university acted to shut down free speech entirely. Whoopie!

Further examples can be found in my previous updates from October 11, October 13, October 20, October 25, November 3, November 9, and November 22. Before October you can simply do a search on Behind the Black for “academia” and you will find numerous additional horror stories.

What are the roots of this madness? A recent experience on my part might help provide an explanation. I recently finished reading a college philosophy book called Classics of Western Thought: The Modern World that had been assigned to me when I attended college in the early 1970s. Then, I had been assigned to read only one or two of the essays (I don’t remember which), and since then it had been sitting on my bookshelf unread. I recently decided it would be worthwhile to read it all, from the start, as it covers intellectual thought beginning in the 1600s, just before the Enlightenment, with the following chapters providing these excerpts:
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How the Higgs boson explains the universe.

How the Higgs boson explains the universe.

And what it can’t explain:

The discovery [by the existence of the Higgs boson] that nature is beautifully symmetric means we have very little choice in how the elementary particles do their dance – the rules simply “come for free”. Why the universe should be built in such an elegant fashion is not understood yet, but it leaves us with a sense of awe and wonder that we should be privileged to live in such a place.

Science discovers how the universe operates. Philosophy and religion try to explain why. Thus, it is perfectly reasonable in a rational world to consider the existence of God, and why musings about the possibility of intelligent design do not contradict pure science.

And I speak not as a religious person, but as a secular humanist.