“The cause of this phenomena is provoked by the disinterest in thought itself”
From a conservative prospect, or for that matter any right-of-center viewpoint, colleges and universities across the US haven’t seemed very thrilled about the notion of “thinking” anymore, or at least real thinking. In actuality, free thought is no longer a popularity at most campuses, but instead a hinderance to intellectually inconsiderate educational programs and culturally dominant philosophies. Young people tend to be easily swayed by aggrandized majority opinions, since being agreeable is better than being otherwise, and when questioned about their views, they collapse into unreasonableness.
I suppose a question of essential relevance would be, “what does real thinking consist of?” Certainly we could take a time machine back to the times of great philosophers like Aristotle and Plato to properly answer this question, since it is one of great depth, but with the aim of answering it in less words, instead let us look at what it means to not think. Not thinking is a daily occurrence at many educational institutions across the country. The cause of this phenomena is provoked by the disinterest in thought itself, but more importantly, it is what formed this mass unconcern towards thinking that we should be most perplexed about. When professors and educators in general rely on curriculums (prefabricated bias learning material), or their own personal beliefs to govern the entirety of the information they converse to their students, its not difficult to understand why so many young people are thoughtless.
Mob rule and intimidation also influence the minds of young people. Imagine a particular freshman undergraduate has already formed some opinions towards a few topics of political discussion, its his first year at his new college, and he engages in a civil debate with some other students. Now assume those other students hold differing opinions from our hypothetical friend, possibly they disagree entirely in this debate, and when it ends, the word starts to circulate about its details. Attendants of the university begin to contrive opinions regarding the beliefs of our friend, not very nice opinions. Then we find out a majority of the people at the school disagree with him. They begin to harass him. He gets called many names, names that may even falsely classify him as someone other than what he knows himself to be. “You nazi”, “you racist”, “you white supremacist”, all personally degrading labels that can easily intimidate a person into being silent.
Obviously we’ve seen similar situations in comparison to this one play out in reality. Particularly right wing students almost forced into not expressing their positions on subjects due to the inevitable social unfavorably that will stem from doing so. It seems that lately, thought itself has been one of the radicals most valuable targets. By minimizing its effects using mob intimidation and removing the incentive to think by means of determining what is taught, the outcome is logically coherent, bitter unreasonableness.
But don’t be too worrisome, I am optimistic that this current era of groupthink will soon come to an end, at least partially. On February 26th the Arizona House passed Bill HB 2238, an intellectual diversity bill aimed at “having public universities create offices of Public Policy Events, which would be charged with organizing debates, panel discussions, and individual lectures designed to explore widely debated public-policy issues from divergent and competing perspectives.” A sign of hope in a country where dissenting views are often thrown to the wayside in favor of things like leftism, postmodernism, and atheism. A terrible plight, undoubtedly, but not a lost cause. If we give up the battle of fighting to preserve free thought, then we are only sacrificing the future of this nation. But if we continue to dispute the oppositions slander and incivility, we can make progress.
Dylan Shetler is a freelancing self-taught journalist and Christian apologist. He owns and operates his personal blog The Onlookers Publication : onlookers.news
You can follow him on Twitter @shetler_dylan