Page 13 - Reading Between the Lines - Sample
P. 13

The right response to the moment is...Orthodox Pluralism. It is to surrender to some orthodoxy that will overthrow the superficial obsessions of the self and put one’s life in contact with a transcendent ideal. But it is also to reject the notion that that ideal can be
Proper 23
October 15, 2017
easily translated into a pure, homogenized path. It is, on the contrary, to throw oneself more deeply into friendship with complexity, with different believers and atheists, liberals and conservatives, the dissimilar and unalike.
From The Dangerous Safety of College by Frank Bruni at
The moral of the recent melee at Middlebury College, where students shouted down and chased away a controversial social scientist, isn’t just about free speech, though that’s the rubric under which the ugly incident has been tucked. It’s about emotional coddling. It’s about intellectual impoverishment.
Somewhere along the way, those young men and women—our future leaders, perhaps—got the idea that they should be able to purge their world of perspectives offensive to them. They came to believe that it’s morally dignified and
politically constructive to scream rather than to reason, to hurl slurs in place of arguments.
They have been done a terrible disservice. All of us have, and we need to reacquaint ourselves with what education really means and what colleges do and don’t owe their charges.
Physical safety? Absolutely. A smooth, validating passage across the ocean of ideas? No. If anything, colleges owe students turbulence, because it’s from a contest of perspectives and an assault on presumptions that truth emerges—and, with it, true confidence.
Contributed by Bill Dols; address comments and responses to

   11   12   13   14   15