...you seem to be incapable of thinking outside of your own little free-market box...
I choose to value freedom over coersion. That a choice. I don't need to reconsider that choice everytime I'm thinking about things that relate to politics or economics or morality. That's why we learn things - so we can use them in the future. And only those who want to dominate others with force see this as a "little" box. Those of us who understand and value liberty see it as the largest of all 'boxes' available - the one with the fewest restrictions.
The smallest box people can climb into is the one chosen by believers in raw power of one person over another. They seem to forget that a leash has two ends. They ignore the hypocrisy of arguing for a system where they want to hold power, but would resist being the powerless. They seem to be okay with being a master, but would run away like their hair was on fire before letting themselves become the slave. How can these people speak about any kind of equality with a straight face?
You seem to think of education as a kind of sandwhich, which may contain tasty or poisonous ingredients ... A university is simply a place where people learn to make their own sandwhiches by experimentig with lots of new and different ingredients. Which ingredients they choose to put in their sandwhiches is their business.
In otherwords, you are okay with laying out poison along with the edible ingredients as if they were of relatively equal value. I got that. I'd rather that the young were taught the difference between poison and nutrious food sources b(y someone who is an expert in nutrition) so the students could make better choices and think more clearly in this area.
Nobody can sell or even teach the ability to think. It is something that one can only do for himself.
That's half right. Thinking is something that one has to do for themselves. But it can be taught, just as English composition 101 teaches one to write - but it does require that they pay attention and think, even if it is about how to think. The student has to learn... they have to 'take' their education - but it can be made available as a course - including a course on thinking, and especially as a part of all courses (e.g, how to think about problems in geology, or political science). It is very telling that you don't know this.
When the service and products of universities are compared to sandwich shops, you should consider that competition between sandwich shops causes them to raise the quality of the sandwich, while holding down the cost, and making the purchase of these sandwiches easier. The same should be true of universities. They should be competing to provide the best classes, the best instructors, and at the best prices.
If sandwich shops were run by the government it wouldn't surprise me if the ingredients in them became worse and worse, the prices kept going up (or they were "free" sandwiches but the taxes went up, and it became harder and harder to get your sandwich - till it was like the DMV.
Restricting what ideas people are allowed to be exposed to in school, either through government censorship or by buying off the university (it makes no differrence), is fundamentally opposed to academic freedom and reason.
You don't understand that free enterprise isn't "buying off" - it is a market place that creates the greatest amount of choice and where the changes tend to be a near continuous pattern of improvements. And you also don't understand that government involvement is always to some degree a from of censorship and always a form of funding through taxpayer theft. And you think that having a gun at the head (government censorship) is the same as the voluntary association in a free marketplace (choice) - you see no difference there?
Academic freedom as the left uses that phrase, means we professors get to censor what is presented and to structure the university so that they are in control. Real academic freedom means that there is no government involvement and the free market decides which universities provide what content and in what manner. That is... any university is free to present anything it wants in any way it wants and everyone is free to support them or free to take their money elsewhere.
Academic freedom is about providing equality of opportunity for ideas. A university, as opposed to a propagand a mill or a church, is an institution where an idea lives or dies solely by its merits. Creationism is a completely worthless idea, scientifically. It is not taught in universities, not because universities are forbidden from teaching creationism, but because no scholars or scientists take the idea seriously.
If universities were forced or paid to teach creationism as if it was science, that would be a breach of academic freedom. If you pay or hire people to exclusively teach your beliefs and worldview, that would be a breach of academic freedom.
If you believe that your philosophy has the most merit, then it should succeed on that merit alone, and not because of how much money is behind it.
You contradict yourself. Why isn't anyone providing "equal opportunity" for Creationism? Who decided it's merits? You say scholars or scientists. I happen to agree that creationism is religious crap, but there are so called 'scholars' and 'scientists' (put in quote marks for good reasons) who believe in those ideas. I believe that they should be able to teach that nonsense, but only if it is at a university that is not funded by tax dollars. Let those that want that in a university pay for it from their pocket. If there are people who are biblical scholars, or people who have credentials as scientist but none the less believe in scriptures, and want to teach that worthless idea, then in your scheme of academic freedom, it should be taught. You said it, "equality of opportunity for ideas" because people "take the idea seriously." Who gets to decide which people make these decisions? The people who pay for the service, or some elite like Naomi who wants the taxayer to fund her choices and would be unhappy if government chose to go a different direction.
Here is the nub of this argument. You act as if I, Steve wolfer, am trying to force my ideas on what people should study on everyone as if I were a gun-toting dictator, while you, Naomi, are arguing for freedom. But that isn't even close. I'm arguing that we take government totally out of the equation - no taxpayer funding, no regulations - that's freedom. And you are arguing for "academic freedom" which in reality is a form of censorship by professors that arises out of taxpayer funding of universities.
(Edited by Steve Wolfer on 4/06, 4:28pm)