Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Why Uphold Free Speech? Because of Truth

Harvard leftist wants to ban academic freedom.

She writes:
No academic question is ever “free” from political realities. If our university community opposes racism, sexism, and heterosexism, why should we put up with research that counters our goals simply in the name of “academic freedom”?

The lady has something of a point.

There's nothing wrong with building an educational institution dedicated to certain values.

As a Catholic, I can't argue with that.

So why should a secular university uphold free speech? We wouldn't dirty heretical thoughts infecting people's minds, now, would we?

The problem boils down to: what is the purpose of a university?

The purpose of a university is to discover Truth.

The problem is that leftists don't believe in Truth. Truth is a construct to them: it's not grounded in reality.

Whereas non-leftists tend to believe in some form of Truth.

If Truth is a construct, then free speech is much less important than justice. Because justice is made up, too, and justice is more important than Truth. Because it's about power. People with power should be overthrown so that those with less power i.e. radicals,should have more.

But if Truth has some basis in reality, then free speech is essential. Because free speech is how you get to the Truth. Sure free speech infects people with errors, but on the flipside, it allows access to Truth.

Whereas "Justice" would impede access to the Truth.

Because Reality is often sexist, racist and homophobic. But "Academic Justice" would not allow you to see that Truth.

Now people are certainly free to start a university based on "Academic Justice".

It's just that when you don't believe in Truth, and there's no ultimate measure of Truth and falsehood except Justice, don't expect rigourous standards of scholarship. It's like Nineteen Eighty-Four: people had to lie to uphold their ideology.