These days universities seem to be the main halls of biased, politically correct propaganda. This is where students learn not to think freely. It is where the young are taught how to become obedient to the illiberal, mainstream elites who chronically work to destroy free thinking in the West, writes Hanne Herland in her weekly column at the leading American conservative outlet, WND.
Debates are no longer free and open; rather, the university campus is an arena of a strict authoritarian push against free speech and the respect for diverse opinions.
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Based on the professor’s ideological lens, he teaches classes and effectively colors the mind of the young. And it is no news that research often relies on purely subjective assumptions.
Historian and philosopher of science Thomas S. Kuhn garnered attention in the 1960s when he showed how subjective much of the research at universities really is. The dominant worldview strongly influences the opinions of professors and students alike.
The individual scientist is often much more influenced by the ideologies of his time and subjected to a peer pressure to reach the conclusions he knows will be applauded. He tends to end up interpreting his subject matter in line with the trends.
In “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions,” Kuhn explains that in science, the dominant understanding of reality builds on a series of assumptions. It becomes the intellectual’s role to produce evidence that supports the dominant academic consensus, which Kuhn calls the dominant paradigm.
A paradigm, the theoretical framework of a scientific school – the popular way to view the world – may work wonderfully and enable scientists to provide a basis for the scientist to map the pieces of his findings into a system of understanding. Yet, if paradigms are inadequate, they end up making wrong assumptions, and its conclusions, in turn, fail. They come to the wrong conclusions.
Kuhn points out that the role of the oppositional intellectual is to challenge the ruling paradigm and break the logjam of politically correct assumptions. If no one dares break out of the deadlock, and nobody poses critical questions in order to examine the current hypothesis’, the quality of intellectual thinking is steadily reduced. The end result is a totalitarian system in which the professor’s job is no longer to examine the evidence, but to present arguments that support the ideas of the current elites.
Indeed, others before Kuhn had studied the problem of twisting history in order to make it better fit the ruling paradigms.
In the 1600s, Francis Bacon complained in “Novum Organum” of the medieval scientist, that he did not sufficiently incorporate a sufficient range of experience in framing his decisions. The scientist first determined the question and then sought for the answers he wished for, Bacon said, those answers that fit his assumptions, to begin with. He stated that a scientist’s method too often ended up bending the evidence to suit his own ideology or preference.
It is, for instance, a historical fact that the Early Middle Ages was a time when monasteries were the leading intellectual learning sites, educating the elite and providing for the poor and needy. Yet, modern-day professors have often referred to this age as “The Dark Ages.”
It is true that the term also refers to the period after the fall of the Roman Empire onward, yet many regularly use the term when referring to the Early Middle Ages, negatively focusing on the religious worldview at the time. On the other hand, the 1600s is described as the “Age of Enlightenment,” implying that as scientists were questioning God, increasingly critical of traditional religion, looking for other explanations of nature, that would somehow make them more “enlightened” than the previous generations.
There seems to be an underlying need, a hidden agenda, to insinuate that an age of strong religious beliefs automatically was “a dark phase” in European history. Yet, it was the early Christian medieval thinkers who first enhanced rationality on a large scale, placing the ability to reason on the same level as faith, stating that both of these qualities lead to knowledge. The scholastics during the Middle Ages studied nature and the cosmos in order to understand God better, and strongly emphasized the need for rationality. They laid the foundation for the later study of modern science and order in nature.
Professors and intellectuals who should defend fearless speech instead become puppets of an academic elite, rather than being critical voices, posing questions to those in power. If critical voices are silenced and open discussions cease, scientific research itself glides into an apathetic self-confirming state. This becomes, as Harvard professor Harvey Mansfield puts it, a subtle form of tyranny, a soft despotism.
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