Objectivity is needed

Objectivity is the key ingredient in dignified intellectual discussion, the cornerstone of higher education, something many universities which have been the sight of free speech controversies claim to offer. It is impossible to enter into a discussion when objectivity has been lost. When debating controversial topics, such as what role colleges and the government have in restricting personal expression, people on both sides of the argument have to understand the content of the argument should center on facts and logic, not cries of one’s personal emotions holding the power to override anything.

In 2015, a video circulated in which a young female student at Yale yells vehemently at a professor, arguing that college is not an intellectual space but a “home.” The protests were sparked by a memo written and distributed by the target of the attacks, Professor Erika Christakis and her husband Nicholas arguing that the school’s policy regarding potentially offensive Halloween costumes was overbearing and did not allow for students to develop their own social norms and make their own decisions about appropriate costumes. The professor did not condone inappropriate costumes and her views were far from radical. The mob of students that gathered screamed at the professor and in response to claims that their complaints were unwarranted, students screamed “'let us define our own experiences” and “let us tell you if you're being racist.” The response is evidence of the roots of the Social Justice Warrior, or SJW, movement that suggests one’s subjective view of what is offensive and therefore worthy of condemnation is paramount to the objective standard of the first amendment.

The perception by many young leftists is that their own feelings override one’s right to free expression is rooted in the self-centeredness of many millenials. Such a state of mind convinces young individuals their personal emotions should be tended to by society. This belief has been planted within them by educators and parents repeatedly insisting that they deserve to be coddled by all. The belief their opinion is correct solely because they hold it is the result of intellectual entitlement that has been implanted within them. When people are convinced that their point of view is validated not by facts but their own emotions, they are incapable of rational and dignified discussion. Objectivity, where emotion is replaced by logic and fact, allows for rational debate with the possibility of reaching consensus.

Posted on February 12, 2018 .