Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Academic Bill of Rights, II

Point 6 of the ABOR stipulates that the university must support and promote "intellectual pluralism".*

Pluralism? Pluralism!?!?!? (Playoffs?! Playoffs!!!?!)

As every card carrying conservative knows, pluralism sucks. Pluralism blows. Pluralism bites the big one.

So what of this sudden interest on the part of conservatives for pluralism? Have they changed their minds about the need for divergent materials, information and views and the need and benefits of the tolerance of opposing values and cultures? Or is this call for more pluralism in academia simply a self-serving position by conservatives designed to win by legislative fiat and social suppression what conservatives have lost on the battlefield of the academic free market?

But some of you are saying, hey Bulworth, you're distorting the issue. Conservatives distinguish between intellectual, academic pluralism, where differences in social and scientific inquiry have yielded multiple interpretations of various phenomena on the one hand, and cultural, moral and religious pluralism (which presumably are bad) on the other hand, since they deny the idea of absolute truth as preached by conservatives.

I'm glad you raised this point. What of the nature of truth? Is it something we search for or that can be determined on the basis of agreed upon methods? Or is it something that just is, and which cannot be questioned (as is the case with religious doctrine, or as is the assumption by conservatives that "America is Great and Always Right")? Or is there some middle ground? Are there types of, or multiple forms of, truth?

Tune in tomorrow, when Bulworth will continue his dissecting of the ABOR regarding its treatment of truth.

* Interestingly, the version of ABOR introduced by the Ohio state legislature does not use the word 'pluralism' in its version of the bill, although it does make references to 'diversity' and the need for 'neutrality' in the use of guest speakers on college campuses. The version of the ABOR I cited yesterday was from the ABOR sponsor's website and is, I take it, supposed to be the official version.

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