Over the years I have written several "book" or "booklets" and many, many, many newsletter and bulletin articles. Because the book market seeks writings to meet specific needs at specific times, my material has never been accepted. I have a tendency to write what is on my mind and so I am left with self publishing. So, with the encouragement from my wife and others, I am beginning this blog in order to put my "ramblings" "out there"! I hope you enjoy!
Please note that while my intentions are to use good grammar, because of the way in which some of the material presented here is presented (orally) the grammar and syntax might not always be the best English. Also note that good theology is not always presented in the best English so there may be times when the proper grammar rules are purposely broken.
Monday, August 14, 2017
College Students and Intellectual Independence - A Plea
So, your grown up and you’re off to college. You’re ready to become an individual who thinks for yourself, wonderful. The temptation and challenge ahead of you is to not be fooled into a false intellectual independence. What I mean is that you may think you are becoming independent in your thinking by giving up the thinking, the moral and ethical values of your parents, those values on which you were raised, and deciding for yourself what are your moral and ethical values. Beware! What tends to happen is that you become deceived by those who would espouse another moral, ethical value than you were taught so that you have simply traded one intellectual thinking for another, a foreign one. In plan terms, you will be tempted to give up what your parents have taught for what your professor would have you think with his encouragement that he wants you to be a free independent thinker.
But, does your professor truly want you to be an independent thinker? More often than not he or she simply wants you to be one of his or her disciples regurgitating what they think and then telling you only then are you truly a free thinker. And unfortunately most of these professors have never actually had to live in the real world that you and your parents live in so they really have no clue about the affect of their ideas.
So, does your professor truly want you to be an independent thinker? I would suggest not and I might suggest a way to actually find out if they do want you to think for yourself. Beware that this suggestion might get you kicked out of class or given a bad grade, so perhaps it might best be done in as anonymous way as possible, like placing a note on the professors desk without them knowing. The note might say something like this: Dear Prof. As a members of this class we are wondering if you truly want us to be free thinkers? Will we be made fun of and called name, even down graded and ejected from class if we disagree with you or question any of your teaching? Or would you rather we simply regurgitate what you well us and keep quite in order to pass? Please give us an answer and an honest answer so we may know how to proceed in class.
Your professors response and answer or lack of answer should give you some insight into whether or not you are expected, encouraged, or discouraged in being a free thinker.
Having known people in the college teaching profession, and having read evaluations of professors it is well noted that most professors do not want any disagreement or contentiousness from the students. They simply want their students to speak and mimic them. Which brings me back to my original concern, that of your intellectual independence. Might I remind you that there are always people who think like you and who think different from you. You are never truly independent of everyone else when it comes to thinking, thus I would encourage you, do not give up the way in which your parents taught you. They live in the world. They know right from wrong. They are the ones who got you this far in life. Do not give up what they taught because you think you will be more intelligent if you speak like your professor rather than your parents, even if your parents are not professors or Doctors, they are life experienced, real world thinkers.
Give thanks to God for your parents, for their values, for their love and for instilling in you what is mete, right and salutary.