Friday, November 5, 2010

Response to Greg Lukianoff On Campus Censorship

As Greg Lukianoff pointed out in his video about the statistics of speech censorship, a person can easily see a threat to the communication of ideas. Not giving others a venue to express their thoughts, excluding the type, means not giving a venue to thought. People must learn not to become offended and learn to listen to an idea and rebut it truthfully or otherwise concede if logic does not permit rebuttal. I personally have experienced the products of the lack of proper discussion in two ways: the fear to speak and the fear of defeat. Being a college student allows me to interact with other individuals, and in one class this opportunity is most prominent; however, some students are unwilling to speak. Many occasions have arisen to speak on subjects such as race and religion that could have made for great conversation, debate, or basic discussions, but everyone, except maybe two people, were not inclined to speak. Even when discussion was mediated by an instructor about a controversial book only four out of 23 students participated in the discussions (of which I had to initiate).  I believe this is due to the public education system and its failure to properly educate by allowing freedom to fail and the risk of learning. Being a home schooled individual from 5th grade through high school, I've found this to be an issue when I interact with public schooled individuals. Along with this inability to facilitate a proper discussion in the class room, they proceed to make faulty arguments in their public lives. Though both of the situations that brought me to this realization were on-line, the point still stands that young people taught in the public school system appear more likely to fail to construct intelligent and credible arguments. They also seem to have difficulty removing emotional or personal ideas from their argument since they find their argument will be defeated if they do not interject emotion. Given all these problems, I believe that the censorship in college that Lukianoff speaks about  has risen as a result of the two prong effort of the government to filter out individual thought in high school and suppress it even further in the universities. With the sad state that most people know our public school system is in, to break the chokehold on taking the risk of learning, the freedom to fail, and the freedom of thought needs to start in the schools. Further than that, it needs to start in the home. Parents need to take responsibility and truly raise their children instead of letting the government raise them with uncontested ideas and barely there ethics. The basis of any nation is the family, and if free thought, and discussion of those thoughts, are not nurtured and taught in the home, then the schools, universities, and further on in our nation could become a “zombie land” of individuals who don’t know how to think and are not given a reason to do so.