Philosophy of religion is not for the faint-hearted, the close-minded, the thinskinned, the timid, the hypersensitive, the squeamish, the unintellectual (or antiintellectual), the developmentally arrested, the childish, or the easily offended. If you are traumatized (or even dismayed) by the idea of a punitive (retributive) god, or by the use of masculine pronouns (such as “He,” “Him,” or “His”) to refer to God, or by the mere possibility that God is male (rather than female, androgynous, or asexual), then this course is not for you. If you believe in God but are unwilling to entertain the possibility that your belief is false, then this course is not for you, since we will be examining (and taking seriously) arguments against the existence of God. If you disbelieve in God but are unwilling to entertain the possibility that your belief is false, then this course is not for you, since we will be examining (and taking seriously) arguments for the existence of God. If you are an adherent of a particular religion and believe it to be blasphemous, sinful, heretical, or immoral to think about, discuss, or take seriously other religions, then this course is not for you. If you believe that argumentation in particular or philosophy in general is coercive, masculine, belligerent, or militaristic, then this course is not for you. If you believe that morality is oppressive, sexist, or nothing more than a prop for capitalism or some other economic system, or that the making of moral judgments is “judgmental” (in the sense of being overly or gratuitously critical), then this course is not for you, for we will be examining (and taking seriously) an argument (the so-called Moral Argument) to the effect that the existence of morality (or the fact that we make moral judgments, or the fact that moral judgments or values are objective) supports, implies, or presupposesthe existence of God. If you are distressed or discomfited by the concept of evil, or by the possibility that there is evil in the world, or by the possibility that some people (or their actions) are evil, then this is not the course for you, because we will be asking whether (and, if so, how) the existence of evil (natural or moral) renders the existence of God either impossible or improbable. In short, this course, like any other philosophy course, is for thick-skinned, mature, open-minded, intellectually curious people.When did our university population shift from thick-skinned, mature, open-minded, intellectually curious people to faux victims demonstrating advanced forms of self-indulgence and sloppy thinking?
Sunday, May 3, 2015
This course is for thick-skinned, mature, open-minded, intellectually curious people
Keith Burgess-Jackson is a professor of philosophy at University of Texas. Here is his trigger warning for his philosophy classes. With a modicum of changes, it could be applied to all subjects.