Saturday, February 18, 2012

Mental deceptions.

I was initially going to talk about the varied mental deceptions that we as humans perpetrate on ourselves, but it seems that I have focused more on that perpetrated on students who actually pay to have these deceptions carried out on them either unknowingly, and/or unwillingly.

It started with a conversation on Facebook where a college student is outraged that the Catholic Church doesn't want to be forced by the US Government to pay for contraception (via insurance), unfortunately (and all to commonly) however this individuals implies that this is somehow a violation of human rights and women’s health. I tried to explain that not only does this not violate any Human Rights, it also in no way jeopardizes women's health. What it was about, as I tried to point out, was how employers should not be forced to do something that goes against "company policy", even if that policy is based on moral beliefs. However the discussion came down to: "Religion was trying to repress the human right to contraceptives and damage women's health" on their side, and "an employer has the right to choose a benefits package for employees based on company values" on mine.
However I have noticed that trying to tell a University students that what they believe (or are being taught) might not be the most logical of interpretations, is like trying to push a camel through a keyhole.

Now I have a couple of thoughts I attribute this to:

1. These young people somehow see their ability to accept everything, no matter how appalling, as having intellectual superiority over those of us who may take issue with with moral or social items like abortion, or socialism.

2. The teachings they are receiving could be more along the lines of brainwashing, than that of opening their minds for advanced intelligent thought.

I tend to favour idea number two, “Indoctrination”, because of one noticeably disturbing trait from both University students and teachers I know display it. This trait is that they both seem to have no option for the possible validity of dissenting opinion, there appears to be no questioning on their part that they might be wrong (or for that matter that the other persons idea may be somewhat correct.). This more than often results in their dismissal of any dissenting opinion for no other reason than they don't like it or don't want to hear it. Sure I guess it could be confidence, a strong belief in the subject, or could it be unwillingness fostered by a mentality prevalent, and passed on to them, in our higher education system which forces beliefs on students because it is required knowledge to “pass” a course?

Arguments for and against the issue aside: the unfortunate conclusion is the underlying mentality that often won't allow “academics” to believe they might be mistaken. They can't seem to join in real open dialog with opposing/dissenting opinions, and then come to a conclusion, because they already enter a conversation assuming their conclusion is the only one valid. It disturbs me because I believe that Higher Education has become closed to ideas it dislikes, leading students down a narrow corridor guided by the prevailing ideology, instead of opening the students mind to think, reason, and rationalize every issue from every viewpoint.

I might be mistaken, but these are the attitudes and mentalities that I have recognized when talking to a number of people associated with Universities on multiple levels.

No comments: