Tuesday, September 07, 2004

As I've mentioned before, I sit on the committee at The August Institution That Employs Me that metes out justice (?) to alleged cheaters. The default punishment is expulsion for one year but it is rarely used since there seem to always be extenuating circumstances. Instead there's a whole package of punishments, the least element of which is having to take an extra course beyond the usual requirements. I expressed the view that this is a pointless add-on that only succeeds in further identifying learning with punishment. Others responded that if we force the perpetrator to take a course in ethics, he/she would learn the folly of his/her ways. I noted that university ethics courses are not designed to instill values. The Hangman (our hostility toward each other is now quite out in the open) lost it: "What department are you in that you know what is taught in courses on ethics?"

Hello? Are courses on aesthetics taught by cosmeticians these days?

Academics don't teach right from wrong, they deconstruct the very idea of right and wrong so that the only wrong is actually believing that there is a right and a wrong. (Yes, under the jargon it is precisely as ironic as that.) And herein lies a tale about the difference between talmidei chakhamim and ideologues with an agenda. Another day.


Blogger Jewish Exile said...

Just discovered your site, and read just about all of your back-posts. You are a very, very interesting person.
By the way, I await your sfek-sfeika post with great anticipation. In case you're interested, Rav Nachum Rabinovitch wrote his PHD thesis on probability in rabbinic texts.
Relating to your post about shiurim (k'zayit, etc.), I seem to recall asking a certain rosh yeshiva how big a kzayit was, and his answering "like an olive."

6:48 AM  

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