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skeptic

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"I have had so many conversations or email exchanges with students in the last few years wherein I anger them by indicating that simply saying, "This is my opinion" does not preclude a connected statement from being dead wrong. It still baffles me that some feel those four words somehow give them carte blanche to spout batshit oratory or prose. And it really scares me that some of those students think education that challenges their ideas is equivalent to an attack on their beliefs." -- Mick Cullen, Professor in the Social Science department at College of Lake County, Grayslake, IL

 

Found the above excerpted statement more on target than I would like, especially this; And it really scares me that some of those students think education that challenges their ideas is equivalent to an attack on their beliefs."

 

The overall comment seems very reflective of some of the issues we have debated here over the past months.  The outtake in blue though struck me as particularly apropos to a lot of our group's recent dialogues.

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I think the sentiment that any challenge to ANYONE'S "opinion" is seen by the other side as an attack on their beliefs. Left or right, conservative or liberal, this seems to be true of any discussion or debate over the last 8-10 years.

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In today's society, a change of mind is a sign of weekness and betrail to the others in their group.  They may be classified as even worse than those that oppose their way of thinking because of such disloyalty.  Fear of such banishment of the "group" will keep everyone in line, no one wishes to be labeled a traitor to the "cause".  What people don't realize is that 99% of the discussion revolves around discrediting the opposition with personal attacks and slander that only about 1% focuses on the subject at hand.

 

Discussions on this forum have devolved to nothing more than a SNL Point/Counter-Point skit with a dash of Rosanna tossed in with a smile emoticon.

 

I have held my opinions for 65 years, does anyone think for one momement that their brilliant debate skills are going to cause me to do a 180?  Like Barry points out, the degredation to the point of feeling unwelcomed in recent months is blatantly obvious to some on the forum.  And as Barry further points out some of those who are blatantly oblivious might just be those who are supposed to be the moderating voice in the group.

 

I have been extremely careful not to express my "positon", "opinion", etc. Yet it has been made clear that there are those who have assumed, concluded, ascertined, and have taken the time to "correct" my vague, meanless and immaterial contributions on the subject.  Sorry, but people are not the uneducated, simpletons that some here seemed to think they are.

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Edited by Stosh

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Discussions on this forum have devolved to nothing more than a SNL Point/Counter-Point skit with a dash of Rosanna tossed in with a smile emoticon.

 

Time for an avatar change...;)

 

aykroyd.gif

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I think the sentiment that any challenge to ANYONE'S "opinion" is seen by the other side as an attack on their beliefs. Left or right, conservative or liberal, this seems to be true of any discussion or debate over the last 8-10 years.

 

This is human nature. It was recognized long ago and just as an example there is this classic paper by Chamberlin (1890) who proposed a way to try to avoid these kinds of 'personal' entanglements. Science (old series) 15:92. Link to the text. It has been republished and reprinted over the years, and notably referred to by Platt (1964) in his paper on Strong Inference.

Edited by packsaddle

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Multiculturalism/post-modernism has redefined truth as personal and also demands that no one is right and no one is wrong, while making a challenge to a person's ideas a huge affront to the individual which must always be rooted in prejudice, hate, fear, or privilege.

As an older student on campus, challenging Millennials' eggshell egos was a favorite pass-time. They have no concept of learning or of knowledge because they've been told by their self-esteem-craven teachers and relativist society that truth is intuitive and internal, so there is no seeking knowledge because whatever they think is true "for them" and that's as far as they think truth goes.

Edited by Scouter99
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These kids today, huh? No previous generation has ever had THAT said about them before, right? (That was sarcasm.)

Edited by NJCubScouter
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These kids today, huh?

Not at all, they're the product of adults who believe the same thing beginnign in the 1960s and culminating in the 1980s. 

I'm assuming that the professor skeptic quoted works in a small and/or private school where multi-culturalism hasn't subverted the curriculum, or he's a basically-lone voice on his campus with job security or no regard to job security

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The College of Lake County is a public community college with 3 campuses, 227 full time faculty, 938 part time faculty and 30,840 students for the 2014/2015 school year.  It is the third largest community college in the State of Illinois.  He's not a lone voice on campus about this either - one of my good friends is an adjunct at this college and says the same thing about his students.

 

It's not so much that the opinions are wrong but that no amount of presenting the facts will change people's opinion.  A student says the moon is made of blue cheese and that's his opinion will never be convinced that the moon is in fact not made of blue cheese and the student insists that his opinion be respected.  

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It's not so much that the opinions are wrong but that no amount of presenting the facts will change people's opinion.  A student says the moon is made of blue cheese and that's his opinion will never be convinced that the moon is in fact not made of blue cheese and the student insists that his opinion be respected.  

 

There are few clear-cut debates like that in society today. Take illegal immigration. Proponents argue they are not a burden to society and pay more in taxes than they consume in benefits. Opponents argue the opposite and cite BLS stats that prove their point, yet the other side still argue its a positive. That debate has been going on since IRCA 1986 and before...yet the same arguments remain. Clear cut and yet hardly.

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