The Lie System: How the University Manufactures a False Reality

By now, readers of the philosophy blogosphere will know that Leslie Green, Professor of Law and Fellow of Balliol College at Oxford University, recently published a piece on his blog, “Why it is hard to be a campus conservative,” and again published as a guest post at Daily Nous and linked at Leiter Reports. Green’s comments occasioned extensive criticism here at this blog, and also over in a guest post at Daily Nous by Philippe Lemoine, in which Lemoine takes issue with much of what Green had to say.

In his post, Green offered six examples of items political conservatives see as evidence of liberal bias in the modern university. These are, says Green, things that liberals hold to be true, and which it is (or at least should be) impossible to question in a university context:

 

  • Species arose through natural selection.
  • No author of any gospel ever met Jesus.
  • Homosexuality is a normal variant in human behaviour.
  • The United States lost a war against Vietnam.
  • Human activity is a significant cause of climate change.
  • The United States has worse public health than do countries with nationalized health care

Green takes these beliefs (and no doubt others) to be so evidently true that anyone suggesting otherwise isn’t to be taken seriously. In fact, he goes so far as to say that such people deserve to be excluded from the university altogether: “A university must tolerate, and even welcome, those who follow evidence and argument to conclusions that are false or unpalatable; but it may reject those who seek a platform for hatred or deception.” In other words, there are some ideas the university has the right to reject.

In a way, Green’s very selection of unquestionable truths is itself quite revealing. Anyone half-awake will see that Green was careful not to draw any attention to beliefs that, if discussed, have the potential to be even more devastating to the system he is invested in protecting than the ones he mentions. How about 9/11? Or chemtrails and geo-engineering? Or weather modification with HAARP? Or (gasp) flat-earth? These are things the professorial class will never touch, because if you do, you sure won’t be winning grants, and, more than likely, you simply won’t be on campus for very long.

But setting all that to the side, it is still worth trying to engage Green on his own establishment-leftist level of discourse, if only to show how, even when taken on its own terms, it still falls apart. It is, we will see, internally inconsistent in every conceivable way.

Green’s de facto call for censorship is a very dangerous idea because it is anything but theoretical. He himself has already been directly involved in implementing it at Oxford. There, as is so often the case elsewhere too, the issue centers on the question of homophobia.

In the first week of this September, Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor at Oxford, came under fire from LGBTQ activists. At a Times Higher Education summit, she had said that it was not her job “to make [students] feel comfortable.” “I’ve had many conversations with students,” she went on to say, “who say they don’t feel comfortable because their professor has expressed views against homosexuality. They don’t feel comfortable being in class with someone with those views. And I say, ‘I’m sorry, but my job isn’t to make you feel comfortable. Education is not about being comfortable. I’m interested in making you uncomfortable.’ If you don’t like his views, you challenge them, engage with them, and figure how a smart person can have views like that.”

Her comments caused an uproar. An apology was demanded. A retraction was requested. The Oxford Student Union issued calls for “peer support.” An open letter condemning her remarks was drafted. Initially, it appeared that Richardson perhaps would hold fast. But within a week, she issued an apology and clarified her original remarks, bringing them right in line with the LGBTQ community’s demands.

At the time, it went without notice that Green himself commented on the Richardson imbroglio. See here.

His remarks there go to the heart of his later comments concerning political conservatism that stirred up controversy; recall that the third item on his list of reputed self-evident truths is the normality of homosexual behavior in humans.

In his earlier post on Richardson, he observes that homophobia is prohibited under UK law. That is true. But there is the open question as to what homophobia precisely is. Until very recently anyway, that remained far from clear. Sadly, as recent events are beginning to testify, it appears that anything less than total acceptance and approval of homosexuality is now considered grounds for the charge of homophobia.

But that is ludicrous for many reasons.

To begin with, it is no less true that there is also supposed to be a right to free speech. And not only that, the very same Equality Act prohibiting homophobia also forbids any discrimination on the basis of religion. And therein is the problem. The law is internally inconsistent when it is twisted in the way Green desires it to be. On the one hand, LGBTQ agitators are creating an atmosphere whereby simply expressing any disagreement (for whatever reason) with homosexuality is taken to be illegal as a matter of civil law and university regulation. On the other hand, they disregard the fact that, in maintaining so, they essentially imply that it is permissible to violate the legal rights of others. How so? By contending that anyone disagreeing with homosexuality is guilty of homophobia and thereby subject to university discipline, does not that violate the free speech rights of those who disagree with homosexuality? And more importantly, does it not discriminate on the basis of religion, since, in the case of the biblical Christian, homosexuality is seen to be sin as a straightforward matter of faith?

Does, then, the Equality Act 2010 give universities the authority to effectively outlaw Christianity from the space of reasons? Green and others are behaving as though they think it does, and as yet, no one has expressly come out to correct them. That is what makes the Richardson row so disheartening. Here was a genuine opportunity to uphold the importance of freedom of expression by protecting the freedom of religion, but instead the LGBTQ terrorists successfully bullied their way into getting precisely what they want. As it stands, the unstated but obvious implication is that expressing traditional views of biblical morality is now, at least in the case of homosexuality, grounds for punishment. And yet, is that not itself a violation of UK discrimination law? Hardly anyone raises the question, much less attempts to answer it.

As some have been saying for some time, there are bloody days ahead for anyone who even dares to disagree with the brooding darkness that is spreading over our society. The day is fast approaching when, under the auspices of forbidding discrimination against homosexuals, the state is going to outlaw biblical Christianity. And the university is the first piece of the puzzle that must be put in place to do so.

We are witnessing the systematic erasure of 2,000 years of western civilization. Reality is being swept into the trash heap of history, replaced by a manufactured reality, an illusion crafted in the minds of impure imaginations, marketed with mantras, enforced by intimidation, blackmail, and fear, and celebrated as truth by a browbeaten and propagandized public that knows deep down it is a lie. The next time you are out in public, notice the faces of dread and despair all around you. This is what happens to a society forced to humiliate itself by embracing in the name of love what everyone deep down knows is really only shame.

Still, there is always hope. What we are seeing unfold before our eyes is prophesied. It is the way of the world, and those who know the truth know that the world is passing away.

In the Kingdom, the righteous shall shine like the sun. It would be a happy day if, instead of defending his iniquities and terrorizing anyone who won’t support him in the decision to destroy himself, Prof Green (and, for that matter, everyone who thinks and lives like him) would come to himself, and climb out of the pigsty.

 

 

That Single Individual

Striving to be set apart from the shrewdness of today's world of academic philosophy, That Single Individual does philosophy in the hope that his work might stir others to faith in Jesus. This flippant disregard for career idolatry has made him unpopular in certain circles, a fact he only considers cause for thanksgiving, since it means he knows something the placement directors and esteemed chairs won't admit to anyone, especially themselves: there are in fact fates worse than never becoming an assistant professor!

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5 Comments

  1. In his (and his enablers’) false reality, Amy Wax and Larry Alexander are promoting pseudo-scientific as well as racist ideas; they are conservatives with no place in the academy, after all.

    Green has melted down along with the U Penn law faculty. U Penn (and its countless enablers) failed an ideological stress test and there’s no going back from this. An increasingly angry public and other memetic pressures are closing in.

    For the credibility of the academy not to take an even bigger hit than it’s already taken on the ideological-diversity front, the pretentious/conceited “progressives” will have to engage in actual dialogue/dialectic, and that will necessarily mean a right-ward shift in the academic center of political discussion since conservatives offer some truths that dialectically trump some leftist “truths.” It will also mean not placing beyond the pale ideas that are advanced in good faith. Will greater engagement between academy and conservative ideas necessitate a left-ward shift among conservatives as well? But then the greater dialectical diversity involved here would necessitate greater engagement with the classical liberals and libertarians, and they’ve had the dialectical upper hand for some time now. When the center of dialectically responsible debate shifts to places like Bleeding Heart Libertarians, while the academy as a whole is firmly left-leaning, the divide here can be explained – and already was explained two decades ago by Nozick – by the institutional tendency of the “wordsmith” academic disciplines to cultivate leftism. Has there been a refutation of the Nozick thesis? That would require someone to engage in Nozick’s thesis, but academic leftists have limited their scope of engagement (a form of bias).

    Academic leftists overlook the fact that many of the best minds went into business and have no time for pulling apart their leftist themes. The business men probably figured that at least a few good minds such as Nozick’s and those in the econ profession (notably NOT leftist, and among the highest-IQ academic disciplines) would keep the leftists enough at bay that they themselves could go about creating value for clients without undue interference. And indeed minds such as Nozick’s rose to the task, and the academy didn’t like what it heard (they like Rawls’ intuitions more than Nozick’s, is what it comes down to: Nozick says an individual’s life belongs to himself to dispose of as he sees fit, and they recognize that this runs up all too strongly against their intuitions of “fairness,” so they reject Nozick’s claim without saying so outright; Nozick just isn’t enlightened enough to see the fairness in their views, his 50 pages of commentary on Rawls, countered by none by Rawls himself, being irrelevant to all this).

    And the way the left bashes Trump is disgraceful. You have to go to the likes of conservatives like Krauthammer and Bret Stephens to get decent critiques of Trump. The Left gave up on dialogue in favor of virtue-signaling to its own.

    The pathology is deeply ingrained here, and the defensiveness about it might get to be off-the-charts. How does Les Green come back from being so deeply in the hole on this point?

  2. “Homosexuality is a normal variant in human behaviour.”

    “Normal variant.” That is so funny. Pedophilia is probably a “normal variant” in human behavior too. If homosexuality is a “normal variant, then certainly “homophobia” is also. In fact it is not even a variant; Negative views about homosexuality is the majority position in most of the world. Consider this. Mr. Green:

    1) “Homophobia” (or negative attitudes toward homosexuality) is a normal variant of human behavior. (https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/bering-in-mind/natural-homophobes-evolutionary-psychology-and-antigay-attitudes/)
    2) Whatever is a normal variant in human behavior should be tolerated and accepted.
    3) Therefore “homophobia” should be tolerated and accepted.

  3. We are on the precipice of a phase change in the west, I believe. Now that many academic and political establishment figures (like Green) are essentially calling for an end to free speech, it won’t be long before they resort to force. That is the logic of totalitarianism, and here will be no exception.

    The trick is to prevent the illusion of debate so that people don’t become alarmed as the agenda is progressing.

    That is why someone like Leiter plays the public role of a defender of free speech. Well, if he’s really being sincere, why hasn’t he denounced Green’s involvement in what happened at Oxford with Richardson? Or why is he similarly silent on the subject of free speech in the recent exchange between Green and Lemoine?

    The answer is that the engine driving things has always been, and always will be, anti-christ. The goal is to eliminate true Christianity from the institutions of this world, and eventually the face of the earth. This is what’s behind the anti-homophobia legislation. It is a convenient way to literally criminalize Christianity.

    As the agenda unfolds, however, there has to be an appearance of debate and struggle. That’s why puppets like Lemoine are trotted out to shadowbox with people like Green. It gives people who want to remain in denial the illusion that there is real debate.

    Look at where we are as a society compared to, say, just ten years ago–transgenderism, gay marriage, etc. Does anyone really think we are here as the result of rational and free debate? No, of course not. Things are being done regardless of what anyone thinks or says against the agenda.

    And so it will continue.

  4. Nice comment, Viking. I was about to say the same thing.

    The rest are about as bad. That he chose these sentences shows a lot.

    “Species arose through natural selection.” Like most of these statements, it threatens to be so vague that it lacks a truth value. *Only* through natural selection with *no divine intervention anywhere in the process?* Obvious on naturalism! But of course naturalism isn’t itself obvious. It’s tot obvious on theism unless one knows the probabilities of divine intervention.

    “No author of any gospel ever met Jesus.” This seems to assume that each gospel had a single author. Not obvious. Is it obvious that Matthew didn’t write “Matthew”? Not at all. Matthew is probably “Q”–it’s certainly the simplest explanation.

    “The United States lost the war against Vietnam.” Is it obvious how to evaluate the winning and losing of a war? What if you win battles but choose politically to give up the ground you have gained and not use overwhelming force? Have you lost the war or failed to achieve your previous political goals?

    “Human activity is a significant cause of climate change.” “Significant” is a weasel word in these conversations. That sentence lacks a truth value.

    “The United States has worse public health than do countries with nationalized health care”
    Does anyone have any idea what this means? What is “public health”? Was he simply trying to make the boring statement that the U.S. doesn’t have as much public health care as countries with nationalized health care? Who disagrees with that? Or was he trying to say that U.S. citizens on average are not as healthy as people in countries with nationalized health care? Do conservatives have an opinion on that?

  5. Mr. Green, apparently, is one of those whose degree was handed out without much aforethought. Let’s see:

    “Species arose through natural selection.”
    Everyone agrees with this. Even virtually all creationist scientists. Mr. Green probably doesn’t know this, because the idea that fixity of species= creationism is ubiquitous in “academic” literature, including in “Why Evolution is True” by Jerry Coyne, who spends a lot of time critiquing (but never citing) creationists without being able to understand what creationists even believe.

    “No author of any gospel ever met Jesus.”
    If he thinks that conclusion is founded on rationality, then he’s likely under the influence of some ostensibly vegan and eco-friendly hallucinogenic substances.

    “Homosexuality is a normal variant in human behaviour.”
    Probably false. Definitely ambiguous… as deftly explained by Viking above. Additionally, if belief that homosexuality is not normal (a position argued for by natural law theorists) does not justify it’s impermissibility, as they maintain, then the idea that it is in fact normal cannot justify it’s permissibility.

    “The United States lost a war against Vietnam.”
    As far as I’m aware, this belief is widely shared by Conservatives. That isn’t to say that Vietnam won by being militarily superior. We lost by being divided. American liberals’ pansy-ness means that practically anyone could probably step in and take us out now, since the left is committed to the idea that war is always wrong in all circumstances, except, ostensibly, to rebuff ‘homophobia’ or the coming ‘theocracy.’ Against these two bugaboos, no form of resistance ought to be considered off the table.

    “Human activity is a significant cause of climate change.”
    This is also a highly ambiguous statement. It’s not an issue I’ve studied at great length since I really am not too interested, so I won’t weigh in on the merits of the claim.

    “The United States has worse public health than do countries with nationalized health care”
    This is yet another gravely ambiguous statement, as was pointed out by Socrates above. Given that, I cannot say whether I regard it as true or false. I can say this: many “expert” institutions regard leftist activism as an essentially part of “public health” (access to abortion, anyone?) and therefore lose much of their credibility.

    Ultimately, as can be seen, Green illuminates exactly why Conservatives are not comfortable with academia. In this environment, the leftist cause du jour is codified in the very definitions of the discipline or sub-discipline.

    (Feminist Philosophy equates to something like, “since we know that A) America is patriarchal and B) Patriarchy is the root of all evil, what should we do about it?” Climate Ethics equals something like this: “Since we know oil companies and red states are raping the earth, private vehicle ownership is evil and plants and animals are just as valuable (if not moreso) as humans, what should we do about it?” Philosophy of race equals something like this: “Because we know white people are inherently evil and all other races are inherently at least neutral if not good, what should we do to punish the whites?”
    Gender Studies equates to something like the following, “Because the idea that men and women are distinct makes us queasy, since we cannot accept that someone like God might have intended it that way and therefore someone besides us is the ultimate Being, we will simply make it true by fiat of declaration that no such distinction ever existed and that any and all attempts to say otherwise at any time and any context are egregious sins against the God of Self (except if was made by previous incarnations of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, or anyone else who’s views have ‘evolved’ into heroism.)”

    No discussion or debate can possibly exist when the very definitions that form the discipline contain within themselves the answers to the ontological and ethical aspects of it, with only the pragmatic solutions still even slightly open for pondering.

    Heck, I bet Green probably even thinks the problem of evil is good philosophy.

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