Conservative ideas do not deserve equal consideration to that afforded liberal and left ideas, because conservative ideas are not equal to liberal and left ideas. There is no legitimate argument for supporting Donald Trump and his allies, at least not one that holds up in any academic community worth its salt. Advocating nativism, sexism, government by oligarchic graft and anything else the president represents is not productive in a space meant to contribute ideas to the world.
We’ve already reached tacit agreement on this. We’re an overwhelmingly left-leaning student body—73 percent of respondents to the Student Life survey mentioned in the original WU: In Focus piece identified as “very” or “somewhat liberal,” compared with only 8 percent who reported being any degree of “conservative.” Instead of propping up fringe ideas out of some sense of “bipartisan” openness, we should embrace the fact that so many of our students are liberal. Instead of wasting our time and mental energy on some right-wing argument no one really believes, we should spend time having meaningful conversations. How can we guarantee everyone health coverage? What’s the best way to redistribute wealth? How can we mitigate climate change, a thing we all agree is a problem? Sean Lundergan, “It’s OK that conservatives don’t feel welcome” at Student Life
At least one of Jerry’s commenters suggests that this is a hoax. Somewhat like the hoax papers Peter Boghossian’s team used to send up social science journals that pretend to be some type of science.
The trouble is, using that
Coyne makes the obvious point in response that
Alas, Lundergan’s prescription—to adopt the liberal position, ignore conservatives, and then figure out how to implement liberal policy—neglects an important reason why conservatives (or anyone with unpopular ideas) should not only
speak,but should be listened to. And that, as John Stuart Mill argued in On Liberty, is because without hearing the other side, how do you know your own ideas are well formed and rational? Have you considered the best version of the other side’s views before rejecting them? If not, then you are incompetent to hold your own opinions.
Further, shutting down conservative opinions means that each generation of students
must,if they are to be rational advocates of their views, relearn conservative ideas on their own initiative, and not by hearing them from the conservatives who “aren’t welcome.” Jerry Coyne, “Student op-ed: We don’t need to hear conservative voices” at Why Evolution Is True
Right. Students will graduate ignorant, intellectually unable to meet challenges, and mad as stink that the world doesn’t care to hear from them. Easily manipulated, one expects. There’ll be consequences. Why alumni or taxpayers fund universities that haven’t signed the Chicago Statement is a mystery to some of us.
The reader who sent this in comments: It must be weird being in Coyne’s shoes, where your own side has gone full moon loon. (In Canada, we call it a “three-loon special.” – (O’Leary for News)
Note: In fairness, most of the comments I (O’Leary for News) was able to read at the Student Life page told KGB. where to get off. It may be a U (Washington U, St. Louis) but it’s not the Soviet Union, after all.
See also: Neurosurgeon Michael Egnor Has Become Darwinian Jerry Coyne’s “Archenemy”
Jerry Coyne Has Another Reason To Be Mad At Templeton
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