Stefanie MacWilliams, our favorite Editor-at-Large, has recently converted to Catholicism and has been on a bit of a tear when it comes to writing thought-provoking essays. Our newest writer, Alex Roberts, has essays that put pretentious philosophy professors to shame.
Many college students end up with interests in philosophy and opening their minds. Their introduction classes generally include philosophy and other social sciences. College students have a change of environment from having mommy fold their clothes to being independent, and most importantly, have more free time to think.
Aside from my mommy not folding my clothes anymore (I’ve gotten to the point I have begun calculate the cost of shipping my clothes home and back for my mother to do), as a college student I have not had the same experience. Aside from an ethical theory class, I avoided at all costs these classes I deemed useless. I also am an accounting major in a ton of clubs and I work part-time. So my time to think and expand my mind is little. Plus, college may have changed from when those previous observations were relevant. Instead, I’ve seen my peers be indoctrinated into a certain way of thinking by these college professors. The issue is that these professors are passing off theory as fact.
Now theory has a dictionary definition, but here I will be expanding it. Included in theory for me is any argument I consider “unrealistic.” That of course is subjective, and as I warn about often, a slippery slope. Now any argument can be considered “unrealistic” and shut down because of my standards, so I believe there should be more discussion on how parameters are to be set here. As I said before I’m not a big “theory” or philosophy guy, I’m just here to perpetuate that some arguments are just that, arguments, and not feasible solutions.
What prompted me to say this was an argument on Islam between us Halsey News writers on Twitter. I do believe Islam is more political ideology than religion, and Taqiyya is alive and well, but I have hope that one day the moderate Muslims and those Westernized can help steer the religion in the right direction. My co-workers here are less optimistic than me. It is easy to say, “Islam needs to be stopped,” if those are your views. But it is not easy to find a solution, when pressed on the issue, the answers I received back were not answers to me. Not answers because I believed them to be unrealistic, so as I would classify, theories. I was told a solution to Islam is “total war.” Highly unrealistic, not practical. Trillions of dollars and millions of lives to make that happen. Not to mention our nice new weapon deals with the Saudis, so the idea of a war with Islam in its entirety is a dangerous thought, let alone a solution. Billions of people, with millions in major areas of the West? Islam has a lot of power they could yield in a situation like so. We should be propping up the moderates and making there voices heard.
It’s the arguments that makes up the entirety of the Democratic Party’s platform. Theories. open borders, health-care and welfare for all, gun control. I’m as conservative as they come but I wish we could have affordable healthcare for all, no guns, and free travel of peoples. But I’m not seven years old, I am tax-paying adult and live in reality. Because of that I am conservative and against my morals, have to shut down those beliefs. It pains me to do that in front of peers. I’m considered nice and caring, so people are left perplexed when they see my care doesn’t include a raping and pillaging of the taxpayers’ pocket for what will be inefficient government programs, and impossible to enforce gun control/confiscation.
I debated Tim Preuss on this exact issue: his libertarian theories versus President Donald Trump’s more realistic policies. I’ll hold my hands up and admit Tim defeated me overall in the debate, but you can see I am arguing this nearly one year ago: theory vs reality.
Right now, we are in a battlefield of ideas. People who bring up theories and write thought-provoking pieces are what we need and what I encourage. These ideas should be used to steer policy debate. But when it comes to policy, the room for gray area included in ideas is erased, and replaced with the black and white ink of a bill. And while we argue the ideas, the snakes that rule us sneak in more black and white. We lose our sight of reality. I love being able to talk reality with conservatives, the rise of Trump and a counter to the anti-police sentiment has gave rise to law-and-order types of people that have no room for talking theory. I also want to discuss ideas, but I would simply ask my conservative friends to try to separate policy (reality) and theory, using theory to drive policy only. I beg my moderate and liberal friends to get your head of of the sand and talk to me in reality when it comes to policy, not theory. It is tiring and near impossible for me to get you back to reality so we can have a discussion. If we can’t even discuss things in the parameter of reality, we will never find common ground.
Maybe, I am the one not living in reality when it comes to Islam. Maybe my theory that Islam can be moderate is just that, theory and not reality. For now policy is being written in the realm of reality and of my views on Islam, so time will tell who is right on that specific issue. But when it comes to finding common ground, and having time to hold our politicians accountable, we should spend less time reading philosophy books and more time reading legislative bills.