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  • J

    J. Wilson, AC class of 2000Apr 19, 2012 at 4:02 am

    As an Allegheny alum, I am proud to read this article. I agree completely with what the author has had the courage to write. I also have noticed this trend away from respect for freedom of speech and freedom of religion, especially if the view of the individual in question is in favor of traditional values. This trend exists not only on college campuses, but in the national media, work places, schools, and community organizations across our nation. It needs to be addressed with both courage and respect, on all sides.  Bravo for having the courage to open up such important dialogue.

  • N

    NLMMay 10, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    I had a huge response written. But I thought I would rather direct you here:

    Keep writing.

  • K

    Karl DuchmannMay 2, 2010 at 12:29 am

    That was, in hindsight, unrelated to anything. Oops.

  • K

    Karl DuchmannMay 1, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    before class*

  • K

    Karl DuchmannMay 1, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    Against perhaps better judgement, I will take up the gauntlet thrown by my good, well-meaning friend Evan. I believe such an effort would take a long, tangential argument. I wish my emotions did not compel me to write such an argument, because I fear my time could be better spent elsewhere.

    Since Ms. McHugh has implied in the past that I am not truly Christian, I will begin by describing my understanding of God. I do this in the hopes that it will reveal a way to be religious without being unduly prejudiced and to be “post-modern” without being a nihilist.

    The existence of a “world,” or the template of our recorded experience, is conjoined to our capacity for contemplation. In order to plan, we must have a mind that carves up the seamless amalgamation of worldly matter into meaning laden objects that are understood in spatiotemporal relation to the subjective interest. In order to have a “world,” we must have pre-linguistic capabilities. Being-here is nothing less than situating oneself before objects and plotting an efficacious course of action through the given world.

    Being-here’s “world” is comprised of the same literary structures that allow it to envision and inhabit fictional realities. The ability to form a circumspective plan opens up the possibility for language, since language cannot exist before we have an embodied conception of our spatiotemporal location in contradistinction to meaningful objects.

    Language is derived from a being’s interaction with the world. If, instead, my language constituted the world and not just my “world” or if my template of recorded experiences is not connected through interaction with the material world, then I should never experience moments of emoto-cognitive dissonance. The course of action I think will comprehend my objective will always achieve its desired results. From time to time, however, our plans do not achieve their objective.

    Our propositions do not always correspond with the world and when they lack correspondence we fail to realize the expected outcome. In these moments where the unexpected impacts our “world,” we experience the world in all of its humbling omnipotence. We can suppress the experience of alterity through distortion or denial , but more often then not it is in our interests to harness the reversionary power found in worldly impact. By interpolating the experience of the unexpected into our template, our “world” will correspond more exactly with the world. After all, the value of contemplation lies in its efficaciousness.

    Since our senses can only map what has been obscurely revealed, we can never fully know the world. In other words, we can never know if our propositions completely correspond with the world independent of us. In this regard, Nassim Talib is clearly onto something in works like, Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable; and yet, he makes a fundamental error. We cannot assess probabilities on that which we are not granted access. This is what I think the Hebrew’s meant when they said: In God all things are possible.

    Knowing that at any moment the world can unveil another segment of Her skin should inspire in us the most profound humility. This awareness should inspire us to proceed with fear and trembling knowing that at any moment She may return our “world” to chaos. After all, what the almighty has given, the almighty may take away. Through turning our gaze to the world we can better anticipate Her whims, but we can only know what She has uncovered and She can always uncover more.

    To be Religious should not entail trumpeting of one’s “world” as the only true “world.” Such a belief system would reject the possibility that God has disclosed Herself to other cultures and that perhaps She has revealed segments to other beings that we have yet to see. Alternatively, Monotheism should imply a recognition that all beings-here coinhabit a world. Our recorded templates may be inconsistent, but through respectful conversation with each other and the world discrepancies can be reconciled. Discordance can be turned into concordance through seeking a deeper, more nuanced perspective.

    To Love your God is to turn towards the world and allow Her to reveal Herself. To love your neighbors as you would yourself, is to generalize from your subjective experience and individualize observed behavior. To put yourself before the lived experience of others and feel as they feel in the appropriate places in their narrative.

  • J

    James Hepplewhite '09Apr 30, 2010 at 1:58 am

    Dear reasonable people:

    Please stop feeding the trolls.

  • M

    MattApr 29, 2010 at 11:32 pm



  • E

    Evan T. WoodsApr 29, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    I do not think that it is the case that Katie or Matt are attempting to legitimize “hate speech” as a form of religious discourse. If anything, I read the article as a suggestion that individuals on campus should feel more comfortable expressing their views on a variety of issues, especially if these views are unpopular; this seems more fair than what is currently the norm at Allegheny, where arguments against more “enlightened” perspectives are simply dismissed without meaningful argument (I see this happening on both sides of the aisle). This seems to be the only way in which we can have *authentic, meaningful* discourse with one anoher. The authors rightly characterize the “Omg, you’re a bigot!” response as a defense mechanism; I believe we use it when we’re unsure how to respond to viewpoints that are different from our own, viewpoints which we don’t agree with on a “gut” level, but are unable to justify our responses articulately or succinctly. This is not to say that I agree with everything that Ms. McHugh has written while at Allegheny (far from it), but I am defending her saying it, even if it is unpopular. If anything, “ugly” viewpoints at least allow one to solidify his own views and his reason for holding them–to allow her to examine her own life and realize that others hold different values and perspectives. If nothing else, this seems to me to be within the tradition of the liberal arts curriculum; I don’t know about you, but I’d like to think that part of an education is having our viewpoints challenged and having to defend them through reasoned argument. Think “gadfly”…

  • K

    Katie McHughApr 29, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    The answer to your question has been anticipated by Matt and I in the article above. I do not have the time or the space to rehash what we have already explained.

  • S

    Samantha StankoApr 29, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    No, I read it. And again, you try to justify hate speech as legitimate religious discourse. Much like you just framed your response to make me seem like another unintelligent librul, my ‘are you for real?’ comment was framed to reflect your childish rhetorical games.

  • K

    Katie McHughApr 29, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Usually, people comment on articles after reading them, not before. Some days I worry that this noble tradition has fallen prey to “progress,” an ominous trend that has claimed the lives of many other social mores.

  • S

    Samantha StankoApr 29, 2010 at 7:59 am

    Dude…are you for real? Are you still trying to justify hate speech as legitimate religious discourse?

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