Why they cheat at Harvard

Harvard University is currently being torn by a cheating scandal.  It was discovered that nearly half of the 250 undergraduates in a course called “Introduction to Congress” cheated on a final exam.  Why would so many of the nation’s ostensible best and brightest at American’s most elite university do that?  Harvard professor Howard Gardner has been studying his students and offers some explanations:

Over and over again, students told us that they admired good work and wanted to be good workers. But they also told us they wanted — ardently — to be successful. They feared that their peers were cutting corners and that if they themselves behaved ethically, they would be bested. And so, they told us in effect, “Let us cut corners now and one day, when we have achieved fame and fortune, we’ll be good workers and set a good example.” A classic case of the ends justify the means.

We were so concerned by the results that, for the past six years, we have conducted reflection sessions at elite colleges, including Harvard. Again, we have found the students to be articulate, thoughtful, even lovable. Yet over and over again, we have also found hollowness at the core.

Two examples: In discussing the firing of a dean who lied about her academic qualifications, no student supported the firing. The most common responses were “She’s doing a good job, what’s the problem?” and “Everyone lies on their résumé.” In a discussion of the documentary “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room,” students were asked what they thought of the company traders who manipulated the price of energy. No student condemned the traders; responses varied from caveat emptor to saying it’s the job of the governor or the state assembly to monitor the situation.

One clue to the troubling state of affairs came from a Harvard classmate who asked me: “Howard, don’t you realize that Harvard has always been primarily about one thing — success?” The students admitted to Harvard these days have watched their every step, lest they fail in their goal of admission to an elite school. But once admitted, they begin to look for new goals, and being a successful scholar is usually not high on the list. What is admired is success on Wall Street, Silicon Valley, Hollywood — a lavish lifestyle that, among other things, allows you to support your alma mater and get the recognition that follows.

As for those students who do have the scholarly bent, all too often they see professors cut corners — in their class attendance, their attention to student work and, most flagrantly, their use of others to do research. Most embarrassingly, when professors are caught — whether in financial misdealings or even plagiarizing others’ work — there are frequently no clear punishments. If punishments ensue, they are kept quiet, and no one learns the lessons that need to be learned.

Whatever happens to those guilty of cheating, many admirable people are likely to be tarred by their association with Harvard.

via When ambition trumps ethics – The Washington Post.

In other words, the students, while bright, have no sense of vocation, don’t believe in objective morality, believe the end justifies the means, and are fanatically ambitious in a materialistic, self-aggrandizing kind of way.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    “Everyone lies on their resume”

    ?

    I didn’t.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    “Everyone lies on their resume”

    ?

    I didn’t.

  • Pete

    Nor I.

  • Pete

    Nor I.

  • helen

    I didn’t need to lie either, but then, I have a Librarian’s degree and the Hahvahd boys are on Wall Street!

    [We had one of their efforts at "diversity" in our department, while she waited for her (also Harvard) live-in boyfriend to finish grad school. He finished, and went off to marry somebody else, leaving her with the rent unpaid and a string of credit card bills. ]

    So, yes, they cheat.

  • helen

    I didn’t need to lie either, but then, I have a Librarian’s degree and the Hahvahd boys are on Wall Street!

    [We had one of their efforts at "diversity" in our department, while she waited for her (also Harvard) live-in boyfriend to finish grad school. He finished, and went off to marry somebody else, leaving her with the rent unpaid and a string of credit card bills. ]

    So, yes, they cheat.

  • Michael B.

    Whenever one hears of a test cheating scandal, there are always a bunch of people on high horses. Let me ask a question: If it could be guaranteed that you’d never get caught, can you say you would never cheat on your taxes?

  • Michael B.

    Whenever one hears of a test cheating scandal, there are always a bunch of people on high horses. Let me ask a question: If it could be guaranteed that you’d never get caught, can you say you would never cheat on your taxes?

  • http://www.jessicaakent.com Jessica A. Kent

    It is troubling, but these seem like very broad strokes with no specific examples from classes. (Ah, I see that there’s more in the original article: author is Harvard faculty, conducted a study, published it in a book.) I do like this last sentence: “Yet this scandal can have a positive outcome if leaders begin a searching examination of the messages being conveyed to our precious young people and then do whatever it takes to make those messages ones that lead to lives genuinely worthy of admiration.”

  • http://www.jessicaakent.com Jessica A. Kent

    It is troubling, but these seem like very broad strokes with no specific examples from classes. (Ah, I see that there’s more in the original article: author is Harvard faculty, conducted a study, published it in a book.) I do like this last sentence: “Yet this scandal can have a positive outcome if leaders begin a searching examination of the messages being conveyed to our precious young people and then do whatever it takes to make those messages ones that lead to lives genuinely worthy of admiration.”

  • Isaac

    If it could be guaranteed that you’d never get caught, can you say you would never cheat on your taxes?

    Given that I’ve been laughed at for filing my quarterly state use tax return, I take your point while asserting that there are some people who aren’t trying to cheat. At anything.

  • Isaac

    If it could be guaranteed that you’d never get caught, can you say you would never cheat on your taxes?

    Given that I’ve been laughed at for filing my quarterly state use tax return, I take your point while asserting that there are some people who aren’t trying to cheat. At anything.

  • Dave Darwin Bayani

    Do you think Harvard University is Cheating? I don’t think so. That’s just plain Income Tax games. Honestly, I would absolutely laughed about what they were dealing.

  • Dave Darwin Bayani

    Do you think Harvard University is Cheating? I don’t think so. That’s just plain Income Tax games. Honestly, I would absolutely laughed about what they were dealing.

  • Orianna Laun

    Cheating is part of sinful nature. Most people have cheated at least once in their lives; maybe it was a board game with a sibling, a slipshod room clean (shove it all in the closet) to be able to go outside, a plagiarized essay for class, income tax return, etc. Maybe it was small, but, yeah, the temptation is/has been there for all of us.
    Is that an excuse for the Harvard crowd? No. Should we be surprised? No. High schools have been fighting cheating among the best students for years. These students are expected to be top-notch and get good grades and graduate and go to Harvard. So they copy-and-paste their essays, text test answers during exams, and work harder at cheating than actually doing the work, it seems. Then they graduate, go to Harvard, and it starts all over. Does it excuse it? No. How can we teach them that cheating is wrong? It is difficult because moral objectivity is lacking in our education system. The clear rules–don’t hit, don’t be mean, don’t take little Billy’s pencil–are still taught and enforced. Still, look at how other subjects are taught. . . If it feels good, do it is not openly, but subtly conveyed. Students will take advantage of the situation, and many parents will back up their child for the sake of convenience. The football player who cannot be benches for an infraction because the college scout might miss him, the honors student who might lose a scholarship, and the lesson is learned: “I am a good kid who needs an advantage and I’ll straighten out later.” Perhaps, but it is always easier to keep shoving the junk under the bed than actually take time to clean the room.

  • Orianna Laun

    Cheating is part of sinful nature. Most people have cheated at least once in their lives; maybe it was a board game with a sibling, a slipshod room clean (shove it all in the closet) to be able to go outside, a plagiarized essay for class, income tax return, etc. Maybe it was small, but, yeah, the temptation is/has been there for all of us.
    Is that an excuse for the Harvard crowd? No. Should we be surprised? No. High schools have been fighting cheating among the best students for years. These students are expected to be top-notch and get good grades and graduate and go to Harvard. So they copy-and-paste their essays, text test answers during exams, and work harder at cheating than actually doing the work, it seems. Then they graduate, go to Harvard, and it starts all over. Does it excuse it? No. How can we teach them that cheating is wrong? It is difficult because moral objectivity is lacking in our education system. The clear rules–don’t hit, don’t be mean, don’t take little Billy’s pencil–are still taught and enforced. Still, look at how other subjects are taught. . . If it feels good, do it is not openly, but subtly conveyed. Students will take advantage of the situation, and many parents will back up their child for the sake of convenience. The football player who cannot be benches for an infraction because the college scout might miss him, the honors student who might lose a scholarship, and the lesson is learned: “I am a good kid who needs an advantage and I’ll straighten out later.” Perhaps, but it is always easier to keep shoving the junk under the bed than actually take time to clean the room.

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  • Ryan

    ‘guaranteed you would never be caught’ ah, one of Satan’s old canards. It is an impossibility, since God knows all. No, I would not. My motivation is to do the right thing even when ‘no one’ is looking, it’s called integrity. Do I always succeed? No, but I strive for virtue. (that by the way is called confession).

  • Ryan

    ‘guaranteed you would never be caught’ ah, one of Satan’s old canards. It is an impossibility, since God knows all. No, I would not. My motivation is to do the right thing even when ‘no one’ is looking, it’s called integrity. Do I always succeed? No, but I strive for virtue. (that by the way is called confession).

  • SKPeterson

    I won’t say that this goes hand-in-hand, but there have been a few recent studies that present evidence that students attending and graduating from some of our top universities (I know Cal was in the study, probably Harvard and Yales as well) actually regress in their levels of knowledge from freshman year to senior. I wonder if that is not a side-effect of the same “success at any price” ethic depicted in the article.

  • SKPeterson

    I won’t say that this goes hand-in-hand, but there have been a few recent studies that present evidence that students attending and graduating from some of our top universities (I know Cal was in the study, probably Harvard and Yales as well) actually regress in their levels of knowledge from freshman year to senior. I wonder if that is not a side-effect of the same “success at any price” ethic depicted in the article.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    I remember even when I was in school, Harvard’s prestige was waning amongst job recruiters particularly amongst companies whose headquarters is not out east. This news is not going to help.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    I remember even when I was in school, Harvard’s prestige was waning amongst job recruiters particularly amongst companies whose headquarters is not out east. This news is not going to help.

  • slee

    @Ryan. Integrity. Yes, please!

  • slee

    @Ryan. Integrity. Yes, please!

  • Rick

    Immanuel Kant gave a pretty good working definition of ethical behavior. ” You have to be willing to assume the position of the most disadvantaged person.” Think about it…

  • Rick

    Immanuel Kant gave a pretty good working definition of ethical behavior. ” You have to be willing to assume the position of the most disadvantaged person.” Think about it…

  • helen

    If it could be guaranteed that you’d never get caught, can you say you would never cheat on your taxes?

    I don’t make enough money to be “guaranteed I’d never get caught.” ;)

    And I’m with Ryan: “God knows all.”
    Even if you didn’t think you got caught, you got caught.

  • helen

    If it could be guaranteed that you’d never get caught, can you say you would never cheat on your taxes?

    I don’t make enough money to be “guaranteed I’d never get caught.” ;)

    And I’m with Ryan: “God knows all.”
    Even if you didn’t think you got caught, you got caught.

  • Gdubya31

    For those interested, there’s an excellent movie that deals with this issue entitled, The Emperor’s Club, starring Kevin Kline. It is very intriguing and deals with the issues of blatant cheating, laziness, rebellion and the impact of parental involvement (or lack thereof) and family life on young people. It also deals with the ‘subtle’ compromises made by those in authority and does a great job of pointing out that the outcomes are essentially the same whether integrity, or wholeness of character, is compromised blatantly or subtly.

  • Gdubya31

    For those interested, there’s an excellent movie that deals with this issue entitled, The Emperor’s Club, starring Kevin Kline. It is very intriguing and deals with the issues of blatant cheating, laziness, rebellion and the impact of parental involvement (or lack thereof) and family life on young people. It also deals with the ‘subtle’ compromises made by those in authority and does a great job of pointing out that the outcomes are essentially the same whether integrity, or wholeness of character, is compromised blatantly or subtly.

  • Gdubya31

    Btw – we reap what we sow individually, relationally, communally, systemically and nationally! Sad that so many compromise and we allow it and then wonder why we are where we are today!?!

  • Gdubya31

    Btw – we reap what we sow individually, relationally, communally, systemically and nationally! Sad that so many compromise and we allow it and then wonder why we are where we are today!?!

  • WebMonk

    Whether a person cheats or not is far more a sliding scale of how much and under what circumstances than it is a binary yes/no option. There are a tiny few who probably never cheat under any circumstances whatsoever, and a tiny few who cheat at every possible opportunity. The other 95% of us cheat, but at different levels and under different situations.

  • WebMonk

    Whether a person cheats or not is far more a sliding scale of how much and under what circumstances than it is a binary yes/no option. There are a tiny few who probably never cheat under any circumstances whatsoever, and a tiny few who cheat at every possible opportunity. The other 95% of us cheat, but at different levels and under different situations.

  • DonS

    Do not send your kids to the Ivies, at least for undergrad.

    If your child’s chosen profession requires an Ivy League credential, it is easy enough to go to another less expensive, hopefully more ethically and morally reputable school for undergrad, then attend an Ivy for grad school. It gets you to the same goal without subjecting your child to a pathetically lost and coddled student population, there because daddy sent them and because the establishment says it’s the place to be. It’s not.

  • DonS

    Do not send your kids to the Ivies, at least for undergrad.

    If your child’s chosen profession requires an Ivy League credential, it is easy enough to go to another less expensive, hopefully more ethically and morally reputable school for undergrad, then attend an Ivy for grad school. It gets you to the same goal without subjecting your child to a pathetically lost and coddled student population, there because daddy sent them and because the establishment says it’s the place to be. It’s not.

  • dust

    an interesting insight on another kind of shift in values over the years at Harvard:

    http://www.hoover.org/multimedia/uncommon-knowledge/48261

    cheers!

  • dust

    an interesting insight on another kind of shift in values over the years at Harvard:

    http://www.hoover.org/multimedia/uncommon-knowledge/48261

    cheers!

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    If it could be guaranteed that you’d never get caught, can you say you would never cheat on your taxes?

    I wouldn’t because I would know what I had done and that would damage my opinion of myself. My opinion of myself is far far more important to me that this evil world’s opinion of me.

    Interesting book on ethics, The Good, the Bad and the Difference

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Good-Bad-Difference-Situations/dp/0385502737

    Even if you don’t agree with all his conclusions, it is still an interesting thought exercise.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    If it could be guaranteed that you’d never get caught, can you say you would never cheat on your taxes?

    I wouldn’t because I would know what I had done and that would damage my opinion of myself. My opinion of myself is far far more important to me that this evil world’s opinion of me.

    Interesting book on ethics, The Good, the Bad and the Difference

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Good-Bad-Difference-Situations/dp/0385502737

    Even if you don’t agree with all his conclusions, it is still an interesting thought exercise.

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  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @18

    Ivy League schools are for making connections to get elite jobs. The students are all smart and can be trained to do whatever the company needs them to do, so what they learn is less important that who they meet while they are there. Interesting examples are writers for the New York Times. Virtually no journalism majors, but many are extremely well connected. Also, top financial firms recruit heavily from the Ivy League schools.

    A few of the departments in the Ivy League schools are really top notch. No one is going to be cheating in Math 55 at Harvard. They are pretty proud of that program.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Math_55

    As for all the diversity classes where they just kind of pass people along, well, they like the rest have to go along to get along. They do what they have to do. They even hired an Native American from Oklahoma. I guess that was to fulfill one of their founding goals:

    WHEREAS, through the good hand of God, many well devoted persons have been, and daily are moved, and stirred up, to give and bestow, sundry gifts, legacies, lands, and revenues for the advancement of all good literature, arts, and sciences in Harvard College, in Cambridge in the County of Middlesex, and to the maintenance of the President and Fellows, and for all accommodations of buildings, and all other necessary provisions, that may conduce to the education of the English and Indian youth of this country…

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @18

    Ivy League schools are for making connections to get elite jobs. The students are all smart and can be trained to do whatever the company needs them to do, so what they learn is less important that who they meet while they are there. Interesting examples are writers for the New York Times. Virtually no journalism majors, but many are extremely well connected. Also, top financial firms recruit heavily from the Ivy League schools.

    A few of the departments in the Ivy League schools are really top notch. No one is going to be cheating in Math 55 at Harvard. They are pretty proud of that program.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Math_55

    As for all the diversity classes where they just kind of pass people along, well, they like the rest have to go along to get along. They do what they have to do. They even hired an Native American from Oklahoma. I guess that was to fulfill one of their founding goals:

    WHEREAS, through the good hand of God, many well devoted persons have been, and daily are moved, and stirred up, to give and bestow, sundry gifts, legacies, lands, and revenues for the advancement of all good literature, arts, and sciences in Harvard College, in Cambridge in the County of Middlesex, and to the maintenance of the President and Fellows, and for all accommodations of buildings, and all other necessary provisions, that may conduce to the education of the English and Indian youth of this country…

  • Cincinnatus

    Old news. In most similar surveys at most colleges, most students admit to cheating–and a substantial proportion of the others are probably lying.

    And plagiarism? That’s another serious epidemic. It’s more difficult these days to get away “old-fashioned” plagiarism–literally copying and pasting the words of someone else into your document–on account of plagiarism detection software and the internet. But the growth industry these days is to hire someone to write your paper for you. This mode of plagiarism is, apparently, rampant, but also virtually undetectable. I have no precise notion of how many papers I’ve graded that were not actually the product of the student who wrote his name at the top, but I just know that it’s a substantial proportion of the total.

    Some professors obsess over cheating and plagiarism, making prodigious efforts to prevent and catch it. For me, it’s gotten to the point where I do–can do–nothing beyond basic due diligence (e.g., modifying writing assignments each semester, etc.). It’s utterly beyond my power as a single instructor to change or halt a culture that endorses and even encourages cheating.

  • Cincinnatus

    Old news. In most similar surveys at most colleges, most students admit to cheating–and a substantial proportion of the others are probably lying.

    And plagiarism? That’s another serious epidemic. It’s more difficult these days to get away “old-fashioned” plagiarism–literally copying and pasting the words of someone else into your document–on account of plagiarism detection software and the internet. But the growth industry these days is to hire someone to write your paper for you. This mode of plagiarism is, apparently, rampant, but also virtually undetectable. I have no precise notion of how many papers I’ve graded that were not actually the product of the student who wrote his name at the top, but I just know that it’s a substantial proportion of the total.

    Some professors obsess over cheating and plagiarism, making prodigious efforts to prevent and catch it. For me, it’s gotten to the point where I do–can do–nothing beyond basic due diligence (e.g., modifying writing assignments each semester, etc.). It’s utterly beyond my power as a single instructor to change or halt a culture that endorses and even encourages cheating.

  • Cincinnatus

    Also, I hate the Ivy Leagues. In general. The people, the ethos, the elitism. Everything. They can burn to the ground for all I care.

  • Cincinnatus

    Also, I hate the Ivy Leagues. In general. The people, the ethos, the elitism. Everything. They can burn to the ground for all I care.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @22

    Doesn’t it sort of remind you of the old Chinese service exams where you had to pass the exam and then pay a bribe? Basically it is selecting people for elite positions who are both very smart and unethical. Great combination, eh? What could possibly go wrong?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @22

    Doesn’t it sort of remind you of the old Chinese service exams where you had to pass the exam and then pay a bribe? Basically it is selecting people for elite positions who are both very smart and unethical. Great combination, eh? What could possibly go wrong?

  • http://simonpotamos.org.uk Tapani Simojoki

    Sounds like the good old-fashioned Prisoners’ Dilemma to me.

  • http://simonpotamos.org.uk Tapani Simojoki

    Sounds like the good old-fashioned Prisoners’ Dilemma to me.

  • Cincinnatus

    sg@24: That isn’t even the old Chinese method. One of the latest “scandals” in American higher education is that universities–such as my own–are slavering over Chinese undergraduates. They admit and import as many as they can because they pay full out-of-state tuition.

    The problem? A substantial proportion of them, it has been discovered, aren’t actually fluent in English because they’ve bribed/cheated their way through the TOEFL. Very few of them, furthermore, have even the most rudimentary understanding of academic ethics (in China, outright plagiarism is a common practice even at the “highest” levels of research).

    It’s a mess. And of course, they just take their degrees/credentials back to China, contributing not a fig to American life.

    I’m not attempting to sound “racist,” here. But the influx of Chinese students is not unrelated to our crisis in academic ethics.

  • Cincinnatus

    sg@24: That isn’t even the old Chinese method. One of the latest “scandals” in American higher education is that universities–such as my own–are slavering over Chinese undergraduates. They admit and import as many as they can because they pay full out-of-state tuition.

    The problem? A substantial proportion of them, it has been discovered, aren’t actually fluent in English because they’ve bribed/cheated their way through the TOEFL. Very few of them, furthermore, have even the most rudimentary understanding of academic ethics (in China, outright plagiarism is a common practice even at the “highest” levels of research).

    It’s a mess. And of course, they just take their degrees/credentials back to China, contributing not a fig to American life.

    I’m not attempting to sound “racist,” here. But the influx of Chinese students is not unrelated to our crisis in academic ethics.

  • kerner

    “Plagiarise!
    Let no one else’s work evade your eyes.
    Remember why the Good Lord made your eyes:
    To plagiarise!
    Only be certain you call it, ‘research’.”

    Tom Lehrer, Harvard University, AB (Mathematics) 1946, MA (Mathematics) 1947 ;)

    ‘One clue to the troubling state of affairs came from a Harvard classmate who asked me: “Howard, don’t you realize that Harvard has always been primarily about one thing — success?” ‘

    I suppose you could call that statement troubling, but to me it seems merely obvious. Over my lifetime education has become less and less about what you know, and more and more about obtaining a credential for opportunities. That is, getting the credential is a lot more important than actually learning anything, let alone gaining any wisdom.

  • kerner

    “Plagiarise!
    Let no one else’s work evade your eyes.
    Remember why the Good Lord made your eyes:
    To plagiarise!
    Only be certain you call it, ‘research’.”

    Tom Lehrer, Harvard University, AB (Mathematics) 1946, MA (Mathematics) 1947 ;)

    ‘One clue to the troubling state of affairs came from a Harvard classmate who asked me: “Howard, don’t you realize that Harvard has always been primarily about one thing — success?” ‘

    I suppose you could call that statement troubling, but to me it seems merely obvious. Over my lifetime education has become less and less about what you know, and more and more about obtaining a credential for opportunities. That is, getting the credential is a lot more important than actually learning anything, let alone gaining any wisdom.

  • kerner

    And there I go and spell “plagiarize” incorrectly, thus weakening my point.

  • kerner

    And there I go and spell “plagiarize” incorrectly, thus weakening my point.

  • fjsteve

    kerner, you could not be more on point. The evidence is provided by the professors themselves. While they’re off doing “research”, getting published, etc, and doing the occasional lecture to a small group of 300 or so students, most of the teaching is done by the assistants. Why court the “best and brightest” professors if they aren’t actually teaching? The same reasons students pay huge money to go to a school where they’re not being taught by the best and brightest.

  • fjsteve

    kerner, you could not be more on point. The evidence is provided by the professors themselves. While they’re off doing “research”, getting published, etc, and doing the occasional lecture to a small group of 300 or so students, most of the teaching is done by the assistants. Why court the “best and brightest” professors if they aren’t actually teaching? The same reasons students pay huge money to go to a school where they’re not being taught by the best and brightest.

  • kerner

    Cin @26:

    But, but, but…I thought all those “tiger mom’s” insisting on top notch grades were supposed to constitute a positive development. Maybe not so much.

  • kerner

    Cin @26:

    But, but, but…I thought all those “tiger mom’s” insisting on top notch grades were supposed to constitute a positive development. Maybe not so much.

  • Cincinnatus

    The “Tiger Mom” ethic coheres well within the “Ivy League” ethic: success at all costs.

  • Cincinnatus

    The “Tiger Mom” ethic coheres well within the “Ivy League” ethic: success at all costs.

  • Kathy

    I didn’t realize the impact that our current educational system has on students until I began homeschooling my children. Schooling, outside of the classroom environment, actually sparked a love of learning in my sons. My idea of success in public school had been to get good grades, not to learn. Good grades and test scores are the standard for judging success in schools.

    I recall my oldest son, as a college freshman, teaching a linear algebra problem to other students at a top university, school purposely not mentioned. One student grabbed my son’s paper to copy the answer, and the other students laughed at my son when he said that copying was cheating. In the student’s minds, as long as they got the right answer and got a good grade, they didn’t need to bother learning the material.

  • Kathy

    I didn’t realize the impact that our current educational system has on students until I began homeschooling my children. Schooling, outside of the classroom environment, actually sparked a love of learning in my sons. My idea of success in public school had been to get good grades, not to learn. Good grades and test scores are the standard for judging success in schools.

    I recall my oldest son, as a college freshman, teaching a linear algebra problem to other students at a top university, school purposely not mentioned. One student grabbed my son’s paper to copy the answer, and the other students laughed at my son when he said that copying was cheating. In the student’s minds, as long as they got the right answer and got a good grade, they didn’t need to bother learning the material.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Michael B. (@4), thanks as always for a fascinating, if potentially disturbing, insight into the mind of a doctrinaire liberal. I guess you cheat on your taxes, then? Or you would if you weren’t so scared? Dishonest and cowardly is no way to go through life, son.

    I have to wonder if the underlying problem here is all that new. The powerful and elite have always moved in their own circles and always been the beneficiaries of something other than a meritocracy. It’s often surprising that they even bother to put on the charade at all.

    Never having lived on the East Coast, I don’t know anyone who’s ever attended an Ivy for undergrad studies, but I guess I’d be surprised if it were true that one could not gain an excellent education at such institutions. Just because one segment of the student body is there to put on a show before being installed as some high muckety-muck, doesn’t mean they all are. But, again, I don’t know. Or care, really.

    At Rice (which, somewhat troublingly, always wanted to compare itself to the Ivies when I was there), I actually did cheat on a test. It was an unproctored, take-home exam (we had not a few of those; Rice has a pretty serious honor code), and I simply wasn’t as prepared as I knew I could be. So, very late one night in the library, I looked up an answer or two. I wanted the test to reflect what I could have done, with more time, I guess.

    I ended up feeling guilty about it later, and turned myself in to the Honor Council. I was not the only one to do so that year. Again, the students seem to take the honor code seriously. It ended up costing me the class — and, moreover, cost me an extra semester at Rice, given that I turned myself in my senior year (I think; my memory is getting hazy).

    And, no, I don’t think I deserve any praise for turning myself in. After all, I cheated.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Michael B. (@4), thanks as always for a fascinating, if potentially disturbing, insight into the mind of a doctrinaire liberal. I guess you cheat on your taxes, then? Or you would if you weren’t so scared? Dishonest and cowardly is no way to go through life, son.

    I have to wonder if the underlying problem here is all that new. The powerful and elite have always moved in their own circles and always been the beneficiaries of something other than a meritocracy. It’s often surprising that they even bother to put on the charade at all.

    Never having lived on the East Coast, I don’t know anyone who’s ever attended an Ivy for undergrad studies, but I guess I’d be surprised if it were true that one could not gain an excellent education at such institutions. Just because one segment of the student body is there to put on a show before being installed as some high muckety-muck, doesn’t mean they all are. But, again, I don’t know. Or care, really.

    At Rice (which, somewhat troublingly, always wanted to compare itself to the Ivies when I was there), I actually did cheat on a test. It was an unproctored, take-home exam (we had not a few of those; Rice has a pretty serious honor code), and I simply wasn’t as prepared as I knew I could be. So, very late one night in the library, I looked up an answer or two. I wanted the test to reflect what I could have done, with more time, I guess.

    I ended up feeling guilty about it later, and turned myself in to the Honor Council. I was not the only one to do so that year. Again, the students seem to take the honor code seriously. It ended up costing me the class — and, moreover, cost me an extra semester at Rice, given that I turned myself in my senior year (I think; my memory is getting hazy).

    And, no, I don’t think I deserve any praise for turning myself in. After all, I cheated.

  • kerner

    I found the clip of Professor Lehrer’s satirical music re university level plagiarism. His work is somewhat dated, but I always liked it. but the fact that it is dated just shows that this problem is not new:

    And for those of you who take the liturgy seriously, and resist the use of contemporary musical revisions to it (and I usually am among you) I present: “The Vatican Rag”.

  • kerner

    I found the clip of Professor Lehrer’s satirical music re university level plagiarism. His work is somewhat dated, but I always liked it. but the fact that it is dated just shows that this problem is not new:

    And for those of you who take the liturgy seriously, and resist the use of contemporary musical revisions to it (and I usually am among you) I present: “The Vatican Rag”.

  • kerner

    sg @21:

    While I am sure they are proud of Math 55 at Harvard, what makes you think that nobody cheats to get in and/or complete it? I know of no reason to believe that mathematicians are morally superior to everyone else at Harvard, or in the world generally.

  • kerner

    sg @21:

    While I am sure they are proud of Math 55 at Harvard, what makes you think that nobody cheats to get in and/or complete it? I know of no reason to believe that mathematicians are morally superior to everyone else at Harvard, or in the world generally.

  • Jeanine Fogler

    Cheating and lying are black and white issues. When taught at home from toddler time and reinforced by an unwavering faith, one cannot embrace a lifestyle characterized by these sins. Clearly we have a generation that may have missed either the training at home or the personal faith that convicts our heart when we fail to have integrity. May God continue to meet us where we are to take us where he is – eternity faces each of us – liars and cheats alike!

  • Jeanine Fogler

    Cheating and lying are black and white issues. When taught at home from toddler time and reinforced by an unwavering faith, one cannot embrace a lifestyle characterized by these sins. Clearly we have a generation that may have missed either the training at home or the personal faith that convicts our heart when we fail to have integrity. May God continue to meet us where we are to take us where he is – eternity faces each of us – liars and cheats alike!

  • Med Student

    Students cheat when they think the potential benefit outweighs the risk (both the punishment and the likelihood of getting caught). So other than relying on students’ individual integrity, schools ought to make the punishment for cheating substantial, while also making sure they have effective ways to catch cheaters. It also helps to punish educators/researchers who have been caught publishing bad data or plagiarizing so the students see examples of how cheating is detrimental to one’s career.

  • Med Student

    Students cheat when they think the potential benefit outweighs the risk (both the punishment and the likelihood of getting caught). So other than relying on students’ individual integrity, schools ought to make the punishment for cheating substantial, while also making sure they have effective ways to catch cheaters. It also helps to punish educators/researchers who have been caught publishing bad data or plagiarizing so the students see examples of how cheating is detrimental to one’s career.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    While I am sure they are proud of Math 55 at Harvard, what makes you think that nobody cheats to get in and/or complete it? I know of no reason to believe that mathematicians are morally superior to everyone else at Harvard, or in the world generally.

    I think it is more about opportunity than motive. If only a small fraction are passing a class, from whom would they cheat? I mean sitting there in a class of 60 people taking a quiz that only 20 get 50% or higher scores, assuming novel problems on the quiz, how can you cheat?

    You know what it is like. You are sitting there, watched by the teacher, just you and your pencil, how are you going to cheat? Even if you have a calculator, you still have to know what to do.

    The Harvard government class case of cheating was the result of opportunity. You can’t cheat on an in class skills test of math like you can cheat on a knowledge test out of class. You don’t have the opportunity. You can’t look up answers because the question are different. If you find similar examples on the internet or in textbooks and copy the process, then in a sense you are developing the target skill. So, no, I don’t think the guys in Math 55 are cheating. To what end? So they can fail later on in the class?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    While I am sure they are proud of Math 55 at Harvard, what makes you think that nobody cheats to get in and/or complete it? I know of no reason to believe that mathematicians are morally superior to everyone else at Harvard, or in the world generally.

    I think it is more about opportunity than motive. If only a small fraction are passing a class, from whom would they cheat? I mean sitting there in a class of 60 people taking a quiz that only 20 get 50% or higher scores, assuming novel problems on the quiz, how can you cheat?

    You know what it is like. You are sitting there, watched by the teacher, just you and your pencil, how are you going to cheat? Even if you have a calculator, you still have to know what to do.

    The Harvard government class case of cheating was the result of opportunity. You can’t cheat on an in class skills test of math like you can cheat on a knowledge test out of class. You don’t have the opportunity. You can’t look up answers because the question are different. If you find similar examples on the internet or in textbooks and copy the process, then in a sense you are developing the target skill. So, no, I don’t think the guys in Math 55 are cheating. To what end? So they can fail later on in the class?

  • Cincinnatus

    Med Student:

    You seem like you might be interested in real estate. How about some seaside property in New Mexico? I can get you a great deal.

    No university/college of which I’m aware offers “mild” penalties for cheating. At my massive public university, the punishment for a bona fide case of cheating or plagiarism is an automatic failure of the class (denoted by an “X” on the transcript, not an “F”), followed by either academic probation or outright expulsion if the case is severe or represents a pattern.

    Needless to say, such harsh penalties–typical of most colleges–are rare. Why? Mostly because there is no “effective way” to catch cheaters. None. It’s one thing to catch a student looking up answers on his iPhone or reading his neighbor’s test. It’s one thing to type a couple sentences from a student’s over-eloquent paper into Google only to find that “her” paper was actually written by a professor at Boston College. It’s one thing to discover that a student is sneaking in pre-completed blue books to the exam. (These are all true stories, by the way.)

    It’s another thing entirely to detect a paper that your student hired some greedy geek to write. It’s another thing entirely to discover that your student has cheated on a take-home exam or homework. In fact, it’s not a thing at all because these versions of cheating–by far the most common versions–are basically impossible to detect. If a dopey student turns in one of the top essays in the class, I can call him into my office and question him. But unless he admits, of his own volition, that, yes, he hired someone to write his paper*, then there is no way to document and punish the cheating. None.

    It’s a cultural thing, and written regulations can’t change a culture.

    *These papers are literally written to spec. Guess he should have ordered a “C” essay to be more plausible rather than shelling out for the A+.

  • Cincinnatus

    Med Student:

    You seem like you might be interested in real estate. How about some seaside property in New Mexico? I can get you a great deal.

    No university/college of which I’m aware offers “mild” penalties for cheating. At my massive public university, the punishment for a bona fide case of cheating or plagiarism is an automatic failure of the class (denoted by an “X” on the transcript, not an “F”), followed by either academic probation or outright expulsion if the case is severe or represents a pattern.

    Needless to say, such harsh penalties–typical of most colleges–are rare. Why? Mostly because there is no “effective way” to catch cheaters. None. It’s one thing to catch a student looking up answers on his iPhone or reading his neighbor’s test. It’s one thing to type a couple sentences from a student’s over-eloquent paper into Google only to find that “her” paper was actually written by a professor at Boston College. It’s one thing to discover that a student is sneaking in pre-completed blue books to the exam. (These are all true stories, by the way.)

    It’s another thing entirely to detect a paper that your student hired some greedy geek to write. It’s another thing entirely to discover that your student has cheated on a take-home exam or homework. In fact, it’s not a thing at all because these versions of cheating–by far the most common versions–are basically impossible to detect. If a dopey student turns in one of the top essays in the class, I can call him into my office and question him. But unless he admits, of his own volition, that, yes, he hired someone to write his paper*, then there is no way to document and punish the cheating. None.

    It’s a cultural thing, and written regulations can’t change a culture.

    *These papers are literally written to spec. Guess he should have ordered a “C” essay to be more plausible rather than shelling out for the A+.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I know of no reason to believe that mathematicians are morally superior to everyone else at Harvard, or in the world generally.

    Going in another direction, vanity may be another reason. My son is rather vain and doesn’t cheat because of a sort of arrogant attitude. A funny thing about him; he likes to beat cheaters and people who try to rig games in their favor, kind of to stoke his own ego. He will let them make any rules they want in their own favor just to show them he can still beat them. Highly competitive people are pretty egotistical.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I know of no reason to believe that mathematicians are morally superior to everyone else at Harvard, or in the world generally.

    Going in another direction, vanity may be another reason. My son is rather vain and doesn’t cheat because of a sort of arrogant attitude. A funny thing about him; he likes to beat cheaters and people who try to rig games in their favor, kind of to stoke his own ego. He will let them make any rules they want in their own favor just to show them he can still beat them. Highly competitive people are pretty egotistical.

  • Cincinnatus

    Med Student:

    In short, the “tl;dr” version is this: on paper, cheating is Very Difficult and To Be Avoided. In practice, the actual costs for cheating are so laughably small that–why not? Except for the blatant and isolated cases–like the ones I mentioned–very few cheaters get caught.

    sg:

    The idea that it’s more difficult to cheat in math classes is silly. The STEM fields aren’t the bastions of purity and rigor that critics of the humanities seem to think.

  • Cincinnatus

    Med Student:

    In short, the “tl;dr” version is this: on paper, cheating is Very Difficult and To Be Avoided. In practice, the actual costs for cheating are so laughably small that–why not? Except for the blatant and isolated cases–like the ones I mentioned–very few cheaters get caught.

    sg:

    The idea that it’s more difficult to cheat in math classes is silly. The STEM fields aren’t the bastions of purity and rigor that critics of the humanities seem to think.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    The idea that it’s more difficult to cheat in math classes is silly. The STEM fields aren’t the bastions of purity and rigor that critics of the humanities seem to think.

    Okay, but let’s look at these two things separately.

    -Cheating on math skills test in a proctored setting.

    -STEM students cheating on out of class assignments.

    The first situation is makes it harder to cheat. It doesn’t change the person wanting to cheat. It is just harder to do it. STEM students may even be more likely to cheat in classes which don’t interest them especially if they get the chance like a take home government test. STEM students have to devote a lot of time to studying for the classes in their majors. So, heck yeah they would cheat.

    http://www.educator.com/news/2008/student-cheating-what-majors-cheat-the-most/

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    The idea that it’s more difficult to cheat in math classes is silly. The STEM fields aren’t the bastions of purity and rigor that critics of the humanities seem to think.

    Okay, but let’s look at these two things separately.

    -Cheating on math skills test in a proctored setting.

    -STEM students cheating on out of class assignments.

    The first situation is makes it harder to cheat. It doesn’t change the person wanting to cheat. It is just harder to do it. STEM students may even be more likely to cheat in classes which don’t interest them especially if they get the chance like a take home government test. STEM students have to devote a lot of time to studying for the classes in their majors. So, heck yeah they would cheat.

    http://www.educator.com/news/2008/student-cheating-what-majors-cheat-the-most/

  • Cincinnatus

    sg,

    It’s just odd that you’re singling out mathematics students. Cheating on a proctored math test is no harder nor easier than cheating on a proctored exam in some/any other discipline like constitutional law, American history, biology, or English literature. (Assuming there’s a motive to cheat, of course: a “subjective” question asking you to explain your reaction to a Shakespeare sonnet disqualifies the utility of cheating in the first place.)

    Furthermore, all students must devote a lot of time to their studies assuming they’re not prodigies or majoring in a fluff “discipline” like mass communications or sports management.

    In other words, nothing about the STEM fields or the “hard” sciences seems to present any kind of intrinsic disincentive to cheating.

  • Cincinnatus

    sg,

    It’s just odd that you’re singling out mathematics students. Cheating on a proctored math test is no harder nor easier than cheating on a proctored exam in some/any other discipline like constitutional law, American history, biology, or English literature. (Assuming there’s a motive to cheat, of course: a “subjective” question asking you to explain your reaction to a Shakespeare sonnet disqualifies the utility of cheating in the first place.)

    Furthermore, all students must devote a lot of time to their studies assuming they’re not prodigies or majoring in a fluff “discipline” like mass communications or sports management.

    In other words, nothing about the STEM fields or the “hard” sciences seems to present any kind of intrinsic disincentive to cheating.

  • kerner

    sg@38:

    That you assume that nobody Math 55 students can’t figure out a way to cheat (and wouldn’t want to cheat anyway, because it would be to their disadvantage to not master the material) is probably a testimony to your integrity, but also to your naivte. People cheat for all kinds of reasons, and they can be very ingenious about the ways they do it. And sometimes the most talented people are the most rampant cheaters.

    And I suspect that survey should be renamed “Majors with students foolish enough to admit to cheating”. What people admit to, and what they actually do, are two different things.

  • kerner

    sg@38:

    That you assume that nobody Math 55 students can’t figure out a way to cheat (and wouldn’t want to cheat anyway, because it would be to their disadvantage to not master the material) is probably a testimony to your integrity, but also to your naivte. People cheat for all kinds of reasons, and they can be very ingenious about the ways they do it. And sometimes the most talented people are the most rampant cheaters.

    And I suspect that survey should be renamed “Majors with students foolish enough to admit to cheating”. What people admit to, and what they actually do, are two different things.

  • Med Student

    Cin,
    I agree it’s very hard to catch cheating on take home exam or essays. So to make it harder to do so, what to you do? One simple thing would be: don’t give students take home exams, at least not ones that aren’t open book. I have no idea how to catch someone buying an essay off some geek genius, but as you might imagine, there’s not a lot of essay writing happening in medical school, so it’s not something I was particularly thinking of. Tunnel vision, I guess.
    Overall, though, if universities are finding that honor codes aren’t doing the job of keeping most students honest, they need to start evaluating students in ways where it is much more difficult to cheat, and crack down very hard on cases of cheating (i.e. expulsion if they have to for a first offense, not just failing a class).

  • Med Student

    Cin,
    I agree it’s very hard to catch cheating on take home exam or essays. So to make it harder to do so, what to you do? One simple thing would be: don’t give students take home exams, at least not ones that aren’t open book. I have no idea how to catch someone buying an essay off some geek genius, but as you might imagine, there’s not a lot of essay writing happening in medical school, so it’s not something I was particularly thinking of. Tunnel vision, I guess.
    Overall, though, if universities are finding that honor codes aren’t doing the job of keeping most students honest, they need to start evaluating students in ways where it is much more difficult to cheat, and crack down very hard on cases of cheating (i.e. expulsion if they have to for a first offense, not just failing a class).

  • fws

    Kerner,

    maybe this is evidence that what romans 2:15 says is simply not true?

  • fws

    Kerner,

    maybe this is evidence that what romans 2:15 says is simply not true?

  • fws

    maybe without knowing morality from the Bible the secularist students just didnt have even a fighting chance of really knowing good from evil? after all. where is there any harm, really, in these students cheating?

    maybe the Divine Law written in the reason of all men is simply not enough to ensure any reasonable level of civic morality without the christian scriptures or maybe the judeo christian ones? maybe it is just not their fault then.

  • fws

    maybe without knowing morality from the Bible the secularist students just didnt have even a fighting chance of really knowing good from evil? after all. where is there any harm, really, in these students cheating?

    maybe the Divine Law written in the reason of all men is simply not enough to ensure any reasonable level of civic morality without the christian scriptures or maybe the judeo christian ones? maybe it is just not their fault then.

  • Joe

    Given that we have jettisoned the notion that collage is about gaining knowledge and is instead simply a transaction whereby I give you money and you give me the skills and the magic peace of paper I need to get the job I want, are we surprised that there is rampant cheating?

    The cost/benefit analysis would seem to come out in favor of cheating in everything except those classes that actually matter to your future job. Why would an engineering student spend his time (a finite resource) learning about Greek mythology? It does not translate into anything of “value.”

  • Joe

    Given that we have jettisoned the notion that collage is about gaining knowledge and is instead simply a transaction whereby I give you money and you give me the skills and the magic peace of paper I need to get the job I want, are we surprised that there is rampant cheating?

    The cost/benefit analysis would seem to come out in favor of cheating in everything except those classes that actually matter to your future job. Why would an engineering student spend his time (a finite resource) learning about Greek mythology? It does not translate into anything of “value.”

  • fws

    Joe

    youre onto something there.

  • fws

    Joe

    youre onto something there.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @43

    I admit I never had a take home math test, or science test. Anyway, I fault the institution somewhat because allowing these take home tests tempts the lazy, the overworked, the weak willed and creates resentment among those who either do their own work or are pressured/paid to do the work for friends/clients. In this economy, I can imagine unemployed/underemployed graduates who were fairly good in a few subjects being tempted to sell the service of writing papers because they need the money to live and pay back loans. Kind of creepy to think people are going in debt to get a degree that qualifies them to write other suckers papers for them as they go into debt for degrees of dubious value. These youth may end up cynical.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @43

    I admit I never had a take home math test, or science test. Anyway, I fault the institution somewhat because allowing these take home tests tempts the lazy, the overworked, the weak willed and creates resentment among those who either do their own work or are pressured/paid to do the work for friends/clients. In this economy, I can imagine unemployed/underemployed graduates who were fairly good in a few subjects being tempted to sell the service of writing papers because they need the money to live and pay back loans. Kind of creepy to think people are going in debt to get a degree that qualifies them to write other suckers papers for them as they go into debt for degrees of dubious value. These youth may end up cynical.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    The cost/benefit analysis would seem to come out in favor of cheating in everything except those classes that actually matter to your future job.

    CPA exam, medical licensing board exams, actuarial science exams, Bar exam…

    Not much good to get a credential and then fail the licensing exam, eh?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    The cost/benefit analysis would seem to come out in favor of cheating in everything except those classes that actually matter to your future job.

    CPA exam, medical licensing board exams, actuarial science exams, Bar exam…

    Not much good to get a credential and then fail the licensing exam, eh?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    It’s just odd that you’re singling out mathematics students.

    Not the students. The program, Math 55. The school itself is invested in closely monitoring the progress of students who attempt that particular program. They aren’t giving them stuff they can game. They are diligent in their administration of the program. It is a signature program. Not every school can attract those students and provide that program. They can and it is the kind of program that adds to their reputation.

    On the other hand the government class where students get take home tests is geared more towards maintaining their 98% graduation rate. Basically everyone accepted is going to graduate with a degree which is an asset they can directly monetize. That is the product they sell students. However, that product has to have real value and that value is maintained by reputation. That reputation has to be earned.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    It’s just odd that you’re singling out mathematics students.

    Not the students. The program, Math 55. The school itself is invested in closely monitoring the progress of students who attempt that particular program. They aren’t giving them stuff they can game. They are diligent in their administration of the program. It is a signature program. Not every school can attract those students and provide that program. They can and it is the kind of program that adds to their reputation.

    On the other hand the government class where students get take home tests is geared more towards maintaining their 98% graduation rate. Basically everyone accepted is going to graduate with a degree which is an asset they can directly monetize. That is the product they sell students. However, that product has to have real value and that value is maintained by reputation. That reputation has to be earned.

  • Michael B.

    @Todd

    You went to Rice University? That’s one of the finest universities in the country. Don’t some call it the “Harvard of the South”? While there, you must have had a lot of opportunities to interact with some of the best minds from all over the world. How does someone come out as you are? How do you interact with all these cultures and great minds, yet still believe that people who have a different religion than you will burn in hell? Did you not come out of your dorm room while you were there? It like someone going to a water park without getting wet.

  • Michael B.

    @Todd

    You went to Rice University? That’s one of the finest universities in the country. Don’t some call it the “Harvard of the South”? While there, you must have had a lot of opportunities to interact with some of the best minds from all over the world. How does someone come out as you are? How do you interact with all these cultures and great minds, yet still believe that people who have a different religion than you will burn in hell? Did you not come out of your dorm room while you were there? It like someone going to a water park without getting wet.

  • fws

    michael b

    interesting comment.

    Lutherans dont believe anyone will go to heaven or hell because of what they have done or left undone, including what they choose to believe. Heck we dont even believe that the opposite of sin and evil is goodness. You probably have lots of misconceptions about what Lutheran christians believe eh?

    Maybe learn some more about what Todd believes before simply assuming what you think he believes

  • fws

    michael b

    interesting comment.

    Lutherans dont believe anyone will go to heaven or hell because of what they have done or left undone, including what they choose to believe. Heck we dont even believe that the opposite of sin and evil is goodness. You probably have lots of misconceptions about what Lutheran christians believe eh?

    Maybe learn some more about what Todd believes before simply assuming what you think he believes

  • Michael B.

    @fws

    fws, As I attend a Lutheran church myself, I understand there is a great deal of diversity, and that’s just including our present-day time. As just one example of a widely varying belief: I know that Jews, Muslims, and Hindus don’t accept Jesus as their Savior — and I don’t think they’re going to hell. But a lot of people believe otherwise, and I think Todd is one of them. To be fair, I want to let him speak for himself.

  • Michael B.

    @fws

    fws, As I attend a Lutheran church myself, I understand there is a great deal of diversity, and that’s just including our present-day time. As just one example of a widely varying belief: I know that Jews, Muslims, and Hindus don’t accept Jesus as their Savior — and I don’t think they’re going to hell. But a lot of people believe otherwise, and I think Todd is one of them. To be fair, I want to let him speak for himself.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Michael B. (@53), you’re trolling, right? You have to be trolling. No one could live in such a narrow, insular world like you (pretend to?) do. Because wouldn’t the sheer irony of your comment about meeting other people and learning things, like, fracture your brainpan or something?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Michael B. (@53), you’re trolling, right? You have to be trolling. No one could live in such a narrow, insular world like you (pretend to?) do. Because wouldn’t the sheer irony of your comment about meeting other people and learning things, like, fracture your brainpan or something?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    You went to Rice University? That’s one of the finest universities in the country. Don’t some call it the “Harvard of the South”? While there, you must have had a lot of opportunities to interact with some of the best minds from all over the world. How does someone come out as you are?

    Yup, that is right people from all over the world paid top dollar for the privilege of sitting next to great minds (and character, acheivement etc.) like tODD’s. No sarcasm here!!! Ironically those folks whom Michael B. assumes are so awesome actually find equally awesome folks like tODD, including those who founded, funded and maintained our intellectual institutions like Rice. If they had such institutions and student colleagues in their homelands they wouldn’t have to pay through their nose for their best and brightest to come to Texas to Rice for the privilege of sitting next to and interacting people like tODD. Talk about the grass being greener on the other side.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    You went to Rice University? That’s one of the finest universities in the country. Don’t some call it the “Harvard of the South”? While there, you must have had a lot of opportunities to interact with some of the best minds from all over the world. How does someone come out as you are?

    Yup, that is right people from all over the world paid top dollar for the privilege of sitting next to great minds (and character, acheivement etc.) like tODD’s. No sarcasm here!!! Ironically those folks whom Michael B. assumes are so awesome actually find equally awesome folks like tODD, including those who founded, funded and maintained our intellectual institutions like Rice. If they had such institutions and student colleagues in their homelands they wouldn’t have to pay through their nose for their best and brightest to come to Texas to Rice for the privilege of sitting next to and interacting people like tODD. Talk about the grass being greener on the other side.

  • fws

    sg @57

    Elegant.

    +1

  • fws

    sg @57

    Elegant.

    +1

  • Cincinnatus

    Michael B.@53:

    Successful troll. Ignorant, bigoted, simplistic, uncalled-for, irrelevant, unnecessary. Garnered a few bites. I give it a 9.5/10.

    Like tODD, I have to conclude you were trolling. Otherwise, the irony of your preaching against bigotry in one of the most reductive, bigoted comments I’ve read on this blog–and that’s saying something when we have folks like Carl Vehse around!–is just too rich.

  • Cincinnatus

    Michael B.@53:

    Successful troll. Ignorant, bigoted, simplistic, uncalled-for, irrelevant, unnecessary. Garnered a few bites. I give it a 9.5/10.

    Like tODD, I have to conclude you were trolling. Otherwise, the irony of your preaching against bigotry in one of the most reductive, bigoted comments I’ve read on this blog–and that’s saying something when we have folks like Carl Vehse around!–is just too rich.

  • fws

    michael b @ 53

    stick around.
    You will quickly find out why Todd was admitted to Rice.

    Not necessary to be the rocket scientist you seem to fancy yourself to be to see that. His logic is pretty relentless , and he has the fearless humility to know and admit when he is wrong about something. That is a pretty powerful combination Michael.

    I have been on here for 6 years, and like the others here deeply respect Todd and have come to know him as a friend with some sort of amazing human qualities.

    Not a common thing on blogs like this. So consider why it is that those who know Todd here are reacting to your post as we are.

    Stick around. You will learn alot from Todd. I have.

  • fws

    michael b @ 53

    stick around.
    You will quickly find out why Todd was admitted to Rice.

    Not necessary to be the rocket scientist you seem to fancy yourself to be to see that. His logic is pretty relentless , and he has the fearless humility to know and admit when he is wrong about something. That is a pretty powerful combination Michael.

    I have been on here for 6 years, and like the others here deeply respect Todd and have come to know him as a friend with some sort of amazing human qualities.

    Not a common thing on blogs like this. So consider why it is that those who know Todd here are reacting to your post as we are.

    Stick around. You will learn alot from Todd. I have.

  • kerner

    fws @46:

    Of course Romans 2:15 is true. But the truth it declares is not the only truth there is. Simply because one CAN perceive the law written on one’s heart does not mean it is advisable to try to get along with that alone.

    I don’t want to hijack this thread, but, Frank, just read the introduction to the Small Catechism and the introduction and the preface to the Large Catechism. Do they suggest that Christians search their hearts or reason to try to find God’s law of loving our neighbors, or do they direct us to memorize and daily meditate upon the actual words of the 10 Commandments every day?

    I read Luther’s sermon that suggested that the 10 Commandments were only for the OT Jews. And I wondered how Luther got from that point of view to the Catechetical training Lutherans get. Because the Catechetical approach is the opposite of yours. Memorize memorize MEMORIZE THE WORDS of the decalog, THEN try to learn the sense of it. DO NOT rely on your reason alone.

    But these three portions of the Confessions explain Luther’s reasoning pretty well. And it is the Confessions we uphold, not every sermon Luther ever preached.

  • kerner

    fws @46:

    Of course Romans 2:15 is true. But the truth it declares is not the only truth there is. Simply because one CAN perceive the law written on one’s heart does not mean it is advisable to try to get along with that alone.

    I don’t want to hijack this thread, but, Frank, just read the introduction to the Small Catechism and the introduction and the preface to the Large Catechism. Do they suggest that Christians search their hearts or reason to try to find God’s law of loving our neighbors, or do they direct us to memorize and daily meditate upon the actual words of the 10 Commandments every day?

    I read Luther’s sermon that suggested that the 10 Commandments were only for the OT Jews. And I wondered how Luther got from that point of view to the Catechetical training Lutherans get. Because the Catechetical approach is the opposite of yours. Memorize memorize MEMORIZE THE WORDS of the decalog, THEN try to learn the sense of it. DO NOT rely on your reason alone.

    But these three portions of the Confessions explain Luther’s reasoning pretty well. And it is the Confessions we uphold, not every sermon Luther ever preached.

  • fws

    kerner

    “Because the Catechetical approach is the opposite of yours. ”

    You should know that this statement is not even close to being true.

    I have indeed read those introductions.

    They urge a morality that is about God rewarding good behavior with all that is implied in having a long and happy life. Happiness is the reward. …and: God does indeed punish bad….. behavior.

    And they define bad behavior how?
    Breaking the first commandment?

    Naw. command 1 is not about behavior. That is about the heart. And it is something that matters ONLY to God and a guilty conscience. Meaning it dont mean jack in in what we can see and are able to do. Nothing we can do will change that part.

    Bad behavior is hurting or harming our neighbor in his body and failing to help and befriend him in every…. bodily…. need.

    You insist that we treat all behavior and flatten out second table sin as a first table Law issue, and it is blasphemous idolatry to do that. And reason would drum any attorney or auditor, not in a shia law government, out of practice. Reason SHOULD do this. It would be Gods Will to do that.

    The problem Kerner then becomes that you need to drive what I say to some extreme position much as the Thomists did with our Augustana.

    The Augustana/Apology say that morality (ie ALL we are able to see and do from willpower/freewill and reason, aka second table Law) is ALONE about the eternal consequence of death. Yes. Including everything we can memorize in the catechism. ALL. Every. Thing. It is all stuff we can see and do Kerner. Including memorize.

    Thomist Response (similar to your own I suggest): You Lutherans are saying therefore none of this is of any value at all and can be simply ignored. it is of no value! God doen´t care about it.

    So the only question I have Kerner, is what kind of disclaimer or assertion do I need to give you to have you stop asserting the same kind of therefore that the Thomists assert against our Apology?

    The question is not the one you pose I am saying. I am saying that what we Lutherans teach is that there are really two ALONEs.

    ALL we can see and are able to do from freewill, willpower and reason ALL. EVERYTHING. (push those exclusives as hard as you can please!) are ALONE about the teleological, soteriological, eternal consequence that is allotted to Romans 8 Flesh/Body.
    This especially includes ALL we can see and do in church, all virtue. all righeousness, baptizing, administering word and sacrament, and yes, teaching law and gospel and pure doctrine etc etc are CARNAL righteousness ALONE that will perish with the earth.

    This is all second table Law Kerner. And yes, the Confessions say that free will and reason are sufficient to at least make a start of this. Can reason and free will do this perfectly? No. And no one is disputing that fact Kerner. You think someone is.
    You veer off and make That THE argument. Where IS that argument in the Confessions? Not . There. So you miss the real contrast they urge in apology on free will. They tell you, in so many words, that the contrast they wish to urge is THE key to all they have to say in the entire Apology and Augustana.

    Why? you miss it because it doesnt feed into your metanarrative that you think is somehow the argument you have with me. You have proposed that there is a different argument the Confessions make , but you cant find that argument being built anywhere at all.

    That first ALONE must be established.
    Why? Because our Old Adams eternal project is to sneak some of what our free will and reason can do, into the other ALONE that is ALONE what is assigned to ROmans 8 Spirit that ALONE has the eternal consequence of Life Eternal, which is ALONE invisible faith, ALONE, passive righteousness, ALONE, that free will and reason are powerless to produce or do.

    It is the idea that there are two ALONES, that must be completely and utterly distinguished and separated as far as earth is from the most distant star that you are not accepting Kerner. That is our real difference.

    Tell me I am wrong. Or accept that this is THE distinction that our Confessions urge is THE key to discerning true and Christian doctrine, and we can start to have a real Lutheran and Confessional discussion that is a discussion our Confessions urge us to continue to have among ourselves.

    I can handily demonstrate what I am suggesting from ANY article of the Confessions. Pick one. Why is that so easy to do? Making such a distinction is THE raison d´etre of our Confessions. That´s why Kerner.

    By the way. There IS a Divine Law that IS written in Reason per rom 2:15 but , as a merciful act of God, reason is veiled to that Law until Christ himself comes, by way of a christian preacher, and Christ himself removes the veil of Moses. What do you súppose that Law is Kerner? and why is it that it is alone Christ who is supposed to remove that veil? How is the Veil of Moses an act of mercy towards a pharisee?

  • fws

    kerner

    “Because the Catechetical approach is the opposite of yours. ”

    You should know that this statement is not even close to being true.

    I have indeed read those introductions.

    They urge a morality that is about God rewarding good behavior with all that is implied in having a long and happy life. Happiness is the reward. …and: God does indeed punish bad….. behavior.

    And they define bad behavior how?
    Breaking the first commandment?

    Naw. command 1 is not about behavior. That is about the heart. And it is something that matters ONLY to God and a guilty conscience. Meaning it dont mean jack in in what we can see and are able to do. Nothing we can do will change that part.

    Bad behavior is hurting or harming our neighbor in his body and failing to help and befriend him in every…. bodily…. need.

    You insist that we treat all behavior and flatten out second table sin as a first table Law issue, and it is blasphemous idolatry to do that. And reason would drum any attorney or auditor, not in a shia law government, out of practice. Reason SHOULD do this. It would be Gods Will to do that.

    The problem Kerner then becomes that you need to drive what I say to some extreme position much as the Thomists did with our Augustana.

    The Augustana/Apology say that morality (ie ALL we are able to see and do from willpower/freewill and reason, aka second table Law) is ALONE about the eternal consequence of death. Yes. Including everything we can memorize in the catechism. ALL. Every. Thing. It is all stuff we can see and do Kerner. Including memorize.

    Thomist Response (similar to your own I suggest): You Lutherans are saying therefore none of this is of any value at all and can be simply ignored. it is of no value! God doen´t care about it.

    So the only question I have Kerner, is what kind of disclaimer or assertion do I need to give you to have you stop asserting the same kind of therefore that the Thomists assert against our Apology?

    The question is not the one you pose I am saying. I am saying that what we Lutherans teach is that there are really two ALONEs.

    ALL we can see and are able to do from freewill, willpower and reason ALL. EVERYTHING. (push those exclusives as hard as you can please!) are ALONE about the teleological, soteriological, eternal consequence that is allotted to Romans 8 Flesh/Body.
    This especially includes ALL we can see and do in church, all virtue. all righeousness, baptizing, administering word and sacrament, and yes, teaching law and gospel and pure doctrine etc etc are CARNAL righteousness ALONE that will perish with the earth.

    This is all second table Law Kerner. And yes, the Confessions say that free will and reason are sufficient to at least make a start of this. Can reason and free will do this perfectly? No. And no one is disputing that fact Kerner. You think someone is.
    You veer off and make That THE argument. Where IS that argument in the Confessions? Not . There. So you miss the real contrast they urge in apology on free will. They tell you, in so many words, that the contrast they wish to urge is THE key to all they have to say in the entire Apology and Augustana.

    Why? you miss it because it doesnt feed into your metanarrative that you think is somehow the argument you have with me. You have proposed that there is a different argument the Confessions make , but you cant find that argument being built anywhere at all.

    That first ALONE must be established.
    Why? Because our Old Adams eternal project is to sneak some of what our free will and reason can do, into the other ALONE that is ALONE what is assigned to ROmans 8 Spirit that ALONE has the eternal consequence of Life Eternal, which is ALONE invisible faith, ALONE, passive righteousness, ALONE, that free will and reason are powerless to produce or do.

    It is the idea that there are two ALONES, that must be completely and utterly distinguished and separated as far as earth is from the most distant star that you are not accepting Kerner. That is our real difference.

    Tell me I am wrong. Or accept that this is THE distinction that our Confessions urge is THE key to discerning true and Christian doctrine, and we can start to have a real Lutheran and Confessional discussion that is a discussion our Confessions urge us to continue to have among ourselves.

    I can handily demonstrate what I am suggesting from ANY article of the Confessions. Pick one. Why is that so easy to do? Making such a distinction is THE raison d´etre of our Confessions. That´s why Kerner.

    By the way. There IS a Divine Law that IS written in Reason per rom 2:15 but , as a merciful act of God, reason is veiled to that Law until Christ himself comes, by way of a christian preacher, and Christ himself removes the veil of Moses. What do you súppose that Law is Kerner? and why is it that it is alone Christ who is supposed to remove that veil? How is the Veil of Moses an act of mercy towards a pharisee?

  • fws

    kerner

    just so my main point is not buried….

    It is the idea that there are two ALONES, that must be completely and utterly distinguished and separated as far as earth is from the most distant star that you are not accepting Kerner. That is our real difference.

    Tell me I am wrong. Or accept that this is THE distinction that our Confessions urge is THE key to discerning true and Christian doctrine, and we can start to have a real Lutheran and Confessional discussion that is a discussion our Confessions urge us to continue to have among ourselves.

    I can handily demonstrate what I am suggesting from ANY article of the Confessions. Pick one. Why is that so easy to do? Making such a distinction is THE raison d´etre of our Confessions. That´s why Kerner.

  • fws

    kerner

    just so my main point is not buried….

    It is the idea that there are two ALONES, that must be completely and utterly distinguished and separated as far as earth is from the most distant star that you are not accepting Kerner. That is our real difference.

    Tell me I am wrong. Or accept that this is THE distinction that our Confessions urge is THE key to discerning true and Christian doctrine, and we can start to have a real Lutheran and Confessional discussion that is a discussion our Confessions urge us to continue to have among ourselves.

    I can handily demonstrate what I am suggesting from ANY article of the Confessions. Pick one. Why is that so easy to do? Making such a distinction is THE raison d´etre of our Confessions. That´s why Kerner.

  • fws

    kerner

    “Of course Romans 2:15 is true. But the truth it declares is not the only truth there is”

    There is only ONE Truth that can not be known from free will and reason. Christ. But even that answer is not sufficiently complete.

    Reason and free will CAN , fully, know ALL Truth by reading a Bible and in other ways.

    Luther (I paraphase):
    even a muslim or pagan can know there is a God and that he is merciful and good. But only in Christ and the Holy Spirit can one know , with absolute unshakable certainty, that God is merciful “FOR ME!”

    Kerner, it is knowing Two Words, and not only knowing them , but knowing them with a “heart knowing” that is ALONE the Only truth that Reason and free will cannot know.

    put in the positive.

    Reason and free will CAN know everything necessary for morality and life. ALONE with free will and reasons power.
    What ALONE can be known , with a heart knowing, alone by Christ and the Holy Spirit are Two Words.

    Two Words Kerner. Alone!

  • fws

    kerner

    “Of course Romans 2:15 is true. But the truth it declares is not the only truth there is”

    There is only ONE Truth that can not be known from free will and reason. Christ. But even that answer is not sufficiently complete.

    Reason and free will CAN , fully, know ALL Truth by reading a Bible and in other ways.

    Luther (I paraphase):
    even a muslim or pagan can know there is a God and that he is merciful and good. But only in Christ and the Holy Spirit can one know , with absolute unshakable certainty, that God is merciful “FOR ME!”

    Kerner, it is knowing Two Words, and not only knowing them , but knowing them with a “heart knowing” that is ALONE the Only truth that Reason and free will cannot know.

    put in the positive.

    Reason and free will CAN know everything necessary for morality and life. ALONE with free will and reasons power.
    What ALONE can be known , with a heart knowing, alone by Christ and the Holy Spirit are Two Words.

    Two Words Kerner. Alone!

  • fws

    kerner @ 61
    I suggest that the ENTIRE focus and prime aim of the entire catechism and the confessions is to make , precisely so, that distinction between Two Words and….. EVERYTHING else.

  • fws

    kerner @ 61
    I suggest that the ENTIRE focus and prime aim of the entire catechism and the confessions is to make , precisely so, that distinction between Two Words and….. EVERYTHING else.

  • Cincinnatus

    fws@63:

    I think you missed the point in your original question (vis-a-vis “cheating” being inscribed in the moral fabric of the universe a la Romans). To be clear, I don’t think academic cheating invokes transcendent moral claims. Whether or not one should “plagiarize” or “cheat” is a question of communally bound ethics, not transcendent “objective” morality. In China, it is quite common to plagiarize with impunity. But a better example would be the European Christian middle ages: during this time, everyone “stole” the ideas of everyone else, and footnotes or attributions were not common or expected. Indeed, young law students often read treatises on natural law that were direct ripoffs of St. Thomas’s writings but passed off under the name of a lesser legal scholar.

    Even today, what, exactly, constitutes plagiarism is unclear: what counts as common knowledge, for example, and thus needs no citation? And think about it: there is nothing fundamentally dishonest about claiming that e=mc^2 (without citation) or that Goethe was a Romantic poet as long as you don’t claim that “I discovered the formula e=mc^2″ or “I did the philosophical analysis proving that Goethe is a Romantic myself.” Nevertheless, we in the Western academy demand citations for these claims and call any violations “plagiarism” because we prioritize goods like academic rigor, individual achievement, transparency, intellectual property, and collaboration.

    If we, like Harvard students, prioritize instead goods like success, getting the “right” answers, achieving good grades, etc., then what, exactly is the problem with “cheating” except that a set of communal rules define cheating as “x”, and define “x” as being blameworthy?

    It’s not a moral question but a question of communal ethos. There are lots of questions like this: for example, why would it be “immoral” for the State to maintain State Secrets that the people are not allowed to know? Answer: It’s not; it just violates certain principles that we, in a liberal democracy, hold dear. Why would it be “immoral” for a policeman to accept a bribe in lieu of a speeding ticket? Answer: It wouldn’t be, though it would be unethical in our context. Why would it be immoral to have an autocratic king? Answer: It wouldn’t be. Etc.

  • Cincinnatus

    fws@63:

    I think you missed the point in your original question (vis-a-vis “cheating” being inscribed in the moral fabric of the universe a la Romans). To be clear, I don’t think academic cheating invokes transcendent moral claims. Whether or not one should “plagiarize” or “cheat” is a question of communally bound ethics, not transcendent “objective” morality. In China, it is quite common to plagiarize with impunity. But a better example would be the European Christian middle ages: during this time, everyone “stole” the ideas of everyone else, and footnotes or attributions were not common or expected. Indeed, young law students often read treatises on natural law that were direct ripoffs of St. Thomas’s writings but passed off under the name of a lesser legal scholar.

    Even today, what, exactly, constitutes plagiarism is unclear: what counts as common knowledge, for example, and thus needs no citation? And think about it: there is nothing fundamentally dishonest about claiming that e=mc^2 (without citation) or that Goethe was a Romantic poet as long as you don’t claim that “I discovered the formula e=mc^2″ or “I did the philosophical analysis proving that Goethe is a Romantic myself.” Nevertheless, we in the Western academy demand citations for these claims and call any violations “plagiarism” because we prioritize goods like academic rigor, individual achievement, transparency, intellectual property, and collaboration.

    If we, like Harvard students, prioritize instead goods like success, getting the “right” answers, achieving good grades, etc., then what, exactly is the problem with “cheating” except that a set of communal rules define cheating as “x”, and define “x” as being blameworthy?

    It’s not a moral question but a question of communal ethos. There are lots of questions like this: for example, why would it be “immoral” for the State to maintain State Secrets that the people are not allowed to know? Answer: It’s not; it just violates certain principles that we, in a liberal democracy, hold dear. Why would it be “immoral” for a policeman to accept a bribe in lieu of a speeding ticket? Answer: It wouldn’t be, though it would be unethical in our context. Why would it be immoral to have an autocratic king? Answer: It wouldn’t be. Etc.

  • fws

    Kerner

    I seem to keep hearing you say that there is some real, substantial, essential difference between christian ethics/morality/behavioral standards and those of pagans.

    Can I assume that you believe that there is NO difference (which I suggest is what our confessions teach, and I can easily demonstrate that in a multitude of places…) or that there IS a fundamental or essential difference? Which is it?

    If there is NO difference, then what would that mean? If there IS a diference, of what would that difference consist? And where would you go in our Confessions to show us that this is what Lutherans do in fact teach?

  • fws

    Kerner

    I seem to keep hearing you say that there is some real, substantial, essential difference between christian ethics/morality/behavioral standards and those of pagans.

    Can I assume that you believe that there is NO difference (which I suggest is what our confessions teach, and I can easily demonstrate that in a multitude of places…) or that there IS a fundamental or essential difference? Which is it?

    If there is NO difference, then what would that mean? If there IS a diference, of what would that difference consist? And where would you go in our Confessions to show us that this is what Lutherans do in fact teach?

  • fws

    Cinncinatus @ 66

    As usually Cinn, you perceptively drive to the very heart of the matter.I am impressed.

    I am going to ask you to consider that what follows is to invite you into a rather radical paradymn shift from what you seem to believe. It is to ask you, really, to embrace Aristotle as to Morality and Ethics, and leave behind what St Thomas has to add in to what Aristotle taught. This is really what Lutherans teach actually about Morality.
    That said, I wish that Lutherans would not neglect to read St Thomas. He was the most profoundly gifted intellect to ever have gifted the Christian Church. In addition this fact is true: It is really quite impossible to make correct sense of the Lutheran Confessions without knowing St Thomas at least as to his teaching on Morality.

    [You miss the point by saying that cheating is inscribed in the ] moral fabric of the universe a la Romans…
    I don’t think academic cheating invokes transcendent moral claims

    You make a distinction here of two (and later more) categories:
    1) transcendent moral claims, or “Objective Morality” , and
    2) community bound ethics (communal ethos) and later assert that this second category is not about moral questions.

    You make lots of assertions/contrasts by fiat in what you wrote….”Trancendent. Moral. Claims.” This assumes… in 3 words, a buy-in to a whole bunch of things from Aristotle through to St Thomas 4 categories of Moral Law (which is a 4-fold useless distinction). Another example: “Objective Morality”… as opposed to what? morality in quotes?

    You are right in perceiving that I make no such two fold distinction. And I would suggest that neither does St Paul. 1 cor 6: “ALL things are [Trancendentally Moral], but not all things are …..useful”.

    Shift the Paradym just a little in favor of us Lutherans just for argument´s sake:

    a)NO morality is transcendent, teleological, or soteriological (ie: Aristotle (free will/reason/natural man) is fully sufficient here!)
    b) ALL morality is object-ively relevant ALONE in the subject-ive context of Vocation.
    c) This fully implies NO distinction between morality or ethics or even social conventions such as emily post or industrial or other social standards, poop scoop ordinances, the ten commandments, etc etc. except as to practical matter of consequence and degree, not kind or category.
    Why not?
    ALL that is object-ively about 1) not hurting or harming or neighbor,and 2) helping and befriending our neighbor in every bodily need. Emily Post and even Ann Landers have their useful place here.
    So … no need for such distinctions at all!
    St Paul 1 cor 6 : All things are [transcendentally moral] but ..not all things are usefull to our neighbor!”
    Keywords: Useful. Vocation. Neighbor.
    Notice the absence of the G-word here. Morality is ALONE about you and me and what happens between us Cinn. therefore…
    d) there is NO such thing as morality apart from what happens between two or more human beings is what God would will us to believe.
    That is to say?
    What you call Moral Claims (yet another backhanded assertion of many facts in the form of a casual use of a term) are always objective ONLY and ALWAYS in a situational context.
    They are always in a context that is about what someones duties are towards someone else that are to be identified by first identifying what ones vocation is.

    “plagiarize” or “cheat” is a question of communally bound ethics, not transcendent “objective” morality. It’s not a moral question but a question of communal ethos.
    If we,…prioritize … goods like success, …achieving good grades, etc., then what, … is the problem …except that a set of communal rules define cheating as “x”, and define “x” as being blameworthy?
    [Then you present an example of historically shifting defintion of what constitutes unlawful plagarism and state that even today the ethical boundary there is unclear].
    …what counts as common knowledge [vs plagarism]? we in the Western academy demand citations for these claims and call any violations “plagiarism” because we prioritize goods like academic rigor, individual achievement, transparency, intellectual property, and collaboration.

    This is merely shifting the fence between 1) mine and 2) thine and 3) those things that are considered limitless and free (inalienable rights?) like the air we breathe. In a world with more people, those definitions need to change.
    A crowded space called earth requires more rules of engagement for Old Adams between one another. Clean air used to be so plentiful and limitless that there was simply no need for rules about that. No longer so. Rinse and repeat.

    Feel free to test this in the Lutheran context of morality always being object-ive in the highly subject-ive context of vocation. The object is to serve others, in the transitory profane, rather than Transcedent, teleological , soteriological obeisance to an objective moral code and the Deity, as being THE point of the efforting.

    There are lots of questions like this: for example, why would it be “immoral” for the State to maintain State Secrets that the people are not allowed to know? Answer: It’s not; it just violates certain principles that we, in a liberal democracy, hold dear. Why would it be “immoral” for a policeman to accept a bribe in lieu of a speeding ticket? Answer: It wouldn’t be, though it would be unethical in our context. Why would it be immoral to have an autocratic king? Answer: It wouldn’t be. Etc.

    Again. Test this against what Lutherans teach. a)NO morality is transcendent, teleological, or soteriological. b) ALL morality is object-ively relevant ALONE in the subject-ive context of Vocation. c) there is NO such thing as morality apart from what happens between two or more human beings is what God would will us to believe

    Cinn. I am asking you to radically shift your metanarrative on the Law , morality and ethics. And to radically rethink all the categories you seem to simply assume are foundational in the sense of being aristotelian first things.

    Sometimes simple IS better. What I suggest , which I claim is what Lutherans are supposed to teach, is simpler, and more faithful to Gods Word and is also, because of that, infinitely more practical and useful in dealing with our neighbor and doing goodness and mercy to him.

  • fws

    Cinncinatus @ 66

    As usually Cinn, you perceptively drive to the very heart of the matter.I am impressed.

    I am going to ask you to consider that what follows is to invite you into a rather radical paradymn shift from what you seem to believe. It is to ask you, really, to embrace Aristotle as to Morality and Ethics, and leave behind what St Thomas has to add in to what Aristotle taught. This is really what Lutherans teach actually about Morality.
    That said, I wish that Lutherans would not neglect to read St Thomas. He was the most profoundly gifted intellect to ever have gifted the Christian Church. In addition this fact is true: It is really quite impossible to make correct sense of the Lutheran Confessions without knowing St Thomas at least as to his teaching on Morality.

    [You miss the point by saying that cheating is inscribed in the ] moral fabric of the universe a la Romans…
    I don’t think academic cheating invokes transcendent moral claims

    You make a distinction here of two (and later more) categories:
    1) transcendent moral claims, or “Objective Morality” , and
    2) community bound ethics (communal ethos) and later assert that this second category is not about moral questions.

    You make lots of assertions/contrasts by fiat in what you wrote….”Trancendent. Moral. Claims.” This assumes… in 3 words, a buy-in to a whole bunch of things from Aristotle through to St Thomas 4 categories of Moral Law (which is a 4-fold useless distinction). Another example: “Objective Morality”… as opposed to what? morality in quotes?

    You are right in perceiving that I make no such two fold distinction. And I would suggest that neither does St Paul. 1 cor 6: “ALL things are [Trancendentally Moral], but not all things are …..useful”.

    Shift the Paradym just a little in favor of us Lutherans just for argument´s sake:

    a)NO morality is transcendent, teleological, or soteriological (ie: Aristotle (free will/reason/natural man) is fully sufficient here!)
    b) ALL morality is object-ively relevant ALONE in the subject-ive context of Vocation.
    c) This fully implies NO distinction between morality or ethics or even social conventions such as emily post or industrial or other social standards, poop scoop ordinances, the ten commandments, etc etc. except as to practical matter of consequence and degree, not kind or category.
    Why not?
    ALL that is object-ively about 1) not hurting or harming or neighbor,and 2) helping and befriending our neighbor in every bodily need. Emily Post and even Ann Landers have their useful place here.
    So … no need for such distinctions at all!
    St Paul 1 cor 6 : All things are [transcendentally moral] but ..not all things are usefull to our neighbor!”
    Keywords: Useful. Vocation. Neighbor.
    Notice the absence of the G-word here. Morality is ALONE about you and me and what happens between us Cinn. therefore…
    d) there is NO such thing as morality apart from what happens between two or more human beings is what God would will us to believe.
    That is to say?
    What you call Moral Claims (yet another backhanded assertion of many facts in the form of a casual use of a term) are always objective ONLY and ALWAYS in a situational context.
    They are always in a context that is about what someones duties are towards someone else that are to be identified by first identifying what ones vocation is.

    “plagiarize” or “cheat” is a question of communally bound ethics, not transcendent “objective” morality. It’s not a moral question but a question of communal ethos.
    If we,…prioritize … goods like success, …achieving good grades, etc., then what, … is the problem …except that a set of communal rules define cheating as “x”, and define “x” as being blameworthy?
    [Then you present an example of historically shifting defintion of what constitutes unlawful plagarism and state that even today the ethical boundary there is unclear].
    …what counts as common knowledge [vs plagarism]? we in the Western academy demand citations for these claims and call any violations “plagiarism” because we prioritize goods like academic rigor, individual achievement, transparency, intellectual property, and collaboration.

    This is merely shifting the fence between 1) mine and 2) thine and 3) those things that are considered limitless and free (inalienable rights?) like the air we breathe. In a world with more people, those definitions need to change.
    A crowded space called earth requires more rules of engagement for Old Adams between one another. Clean air used to be so plentiful and limitless that there was simply no need for rules about that. No longer so. Rinse and repeat.

    Feel free to test this in the Lutheran context of morality always being object-ive in the highly subject-ive context of vocation. The object is to serve others, in the transitory profane, rather than Transcedent, teleological , soteriological obeisance to an objective moral code and the Deity, as being THE point of the efforting.

    There are lots of questions like this: for example, why would it be “immoral” for the State to maintain State Secrets that the people are not allowed to know? Answer: It’s not; it just violates certain principles that we, in a liberal democracy, hold dear. Why would it be “immoral” for a policeman to accept a bribe in lieu of a speeding ticket? Answer: It wouldn’t be, though it would be unethical in our context. Why would it be immoral to have an autocratic king? Answer: It wouldn’t be. Etc.

    Again. Test this against what Lutherans teach. a)NO morality is transcendent, teleological, or soteriological. b) ALL morality is object-ively relevant ALONE in the subject-ive context of Vocation. c) there is NO such thing as morality apart from what happens between two or more human beings is what God would will us to believe

    Cinn. I am asking you to radically shift your metanarrative on the Law , morality and ethics. And to radically rethink all the categories you seem to simply assume are foundational in the sense of being aristotelian first things.

    Sometimes simple IS better. What I suggest , which I claim is what Lutherans are supposed to teach, is simpler, and more faithful to Gods Word and is also, because of that, infinitely more practical and useful in dealing with our neighbor and doing goodness and mercy to him.

  • Cincinnatus

    Actually, fws, no “radical shift of metanarrative” is necessary because I already agree with you. I wasn’t endorsing claims to “transcendent morality.” In fact, I was critiquing them, so I’m not sure where you got the impression that I’m a “believer,” as it were!

  • Cincinnatus

    Actually, fws, no “radical shift of metanarrative” is necessary because I already agree with you. I wasn’t endorsing claims to “transcendent morality.” In fact, I was critiquing them, so I’m not sure where you got the impression that I’m a “believer,” as it were!

  • fws

    ah Cinn @ 69

    Excellent. You were debating in abstract argumentatively, just as I started out doing, rather than staking out your own position.

    Duh. Sorry I missed that. I should know you better by now eh brother? (insert sheepish grin here)

    So you realize that the Lutheran dog in this fight is your own as well. That is to remove morals/ethics from the category of the telos transcendental soteriological is really about the larger question of Christ ALONE.

    St Paul ORDERED his flock to follow jewish rules even as to getting circumcised (ouch) and then …. not. Women to be silent, cover heads , not cut hair. for similar reasons. Useful. We are to become living sacrifices.

    Today, for us, that looks like good table manners, doing stuff just because we are being told to do it by someone with apparent authority to tell us (those government rules you mentioned). Even if the rules cause us harm (remember st paul having his assistents circumcised. ouch.)… and…

    to scrupulously seek to follow rules on plagarism. Footnote. Give credit. Dont commit theft of someone elses source of reputation or their work. And receive the consequences of not doing so without crying injustice!

    Here is a cool read from Luther on all this….

    http://www.newreformationpress.com/blog/nrp-freebies/martin-luthers-preface-to-his-commentary-on-galatians/

  • fws

    ah Cinn @ 69

    Excellent. You were debating in abstract argumentatively, just as I started out doing, rather than staking out your own position.

    Duh. Sorry I missed that. I should know you better by now eh brother? (insert sheepish grin here)

    So you realize that the Lutheran dog in this fight is your own as well. That is to remove morals/ethics from the category of the telos transcendental soteriological is really about the larger question of Christ ALONE.

    St Paul ORDERED his flock to follow jewish rules even as to getting circumcised (ouch) and then …. not. Women to be silent, cover heads , not cut hair. for similar reasons. Useful. We are to become living sacrifices.

    Today, for us, that looks like good table manners, doing stuff just because we are being told to do it by someone with apparent authority to tell us (those government rules you mentioned). Even if the rules cause us harm (remember st paul having his assistents circumcised. ouch.)… and…

    to scrupulously seek to follow rules on plagarism. Footnote. Give credit. Dont commit theft of someone elses source of reputation or their work. And receive the consequences of not doing so without crying injustice!

    Here is a cool read from Luther on all this….

    http://www.newreformationpress.com/blog/nrp-freebies/martin-luthers-preface-to-his-commentary-on-galatians/

  • fws

    cinn

    its not easy to be blond

  • fws

    cinn

    its not easy to be blond

  • fws

    kerner @ 61

    “Do they suggest that Christians search their hearts or reason to try to find God’s law of loving our neighbors”

    Both!

    What sins should we confess?
    Before God we should plead guilty of all sins, even of those which we do not know, as we do in the Lord’s Prayer. (eg: ” I, a poor sinner, confess myself before God guilty of all sins”)

    First table!

    But before the confessor we should confess those sins alone which we know and feel in our hearts.

    Which are these? Second Table Sins!

    consider your vocations , according to the Ten Commandments, ;

    This sin list is situationally objective. What is the sin list? It depends upon what your vocations are!

    So here is the second table sin list Kerner:

    whether you have been disobedient, unfaithful, lazy; whether you have grieved any one by words or deeds; whether you have stolen, neglected, or wasted or ruined anything at all, or done other injury.

    especially I confess before you that… I serve my master unfaithfully; for in this and in that I have not done what they commanded me; I have provoked them, and caused them to curse, have been negligent [in many things] and permitted damage to be done; have also been immodest in words and deeds, have quarreled with my equals, have grumbled and sworn at my mistress, etc.
    … I have not faithfully trained my children, domestics, and wife [family] for God’s glory. I have cursed, set a bad example by rude words and deeds, have done my neighbor harm and spoken evil of him, have overcharged and have sold shoddy products and been stingy with the portions sold….And whatever else he has done against God’s command and his station, etc.

    But if any one does not find himself burdened with such or greater sins, he should…pray the general confession. [ie confess the sin against the first commandment]

    So tell me Kerner. Is your sense, from a natural reading of this, that we are to pull out a checklist compiled from the Bible to prepare for our confessions and on that list MUST be (i had sex the wrong way. Check.) OR…. the confession of sins is SO very worthless that one must be barred from communion by the pastor?

    I see this as the general application of the golden rule. And the 10 commandments serve as well as aristotle in guiding us as to how to know the application of that. No bible is necessary I am saying.
    Helpful? Extremely so! essential. no. Moses works as well as Aristotle or even as well as Christ as Example.

    Are any of us smart enough to figure out all this wisdom on our own? when we are age 18 we think so.
    That is not really what we are debating is it dear Kerner?

    Hopefully in time we value input from others here rather than having to learn the hard way. But… we WILL learn, either by memorizing… small catechism… buddha… aristotle… aesops fables… etc. or the hard way by error that brings trials and if none of that works… there is always the hangman.

  • fws

    kerner @ 61

    “Do they suggest that Christians search their hearts or reason to try to find God’s law of loving our neighbors”

    Both!

    What sins should we confess?
    Before God we should plead guilty of all sins, even of those which we do not know, as we do in the Lord’s Prayer. (eg: ” I, a poor sinner, confess myself before God guilty of all sins”)

    First table!

    But before the confessor we should confess those sins alone which we know and feel in our hearts.

    Which are these? Second Table Sins!

    consider your vocations , according to the Ten Commandments, ;

    This sin list is situationally objective. What is the sin list? It depends upon what your vocations are!

    So here is the second table sin list Kerner:

    whether you have been disobedient, unfaithful, lazy; whether you have grieved any one by words or deeds; whether you have stolen, neglected, or wasted or ruined anything at all, or done other injury.

    especially I confess before you that… I serve my master unfaithfully; for in this and in that I have not done what they commanded me; I have provoked them, and caused them to curse, have been negligent [in many things] and permitted damage to be done; have also been immodest in words and deeds, have quarreled with my equals, have grumbled and sworn at my mistress, etc.
    … I have not faithfully trained my children, domestics, and wife [family] for God’s glory. I have cursed, set a bad example by rude words and deeds, have done my neighbor harm and spoken evil of him, have overcharged and have sold shoddy products and been stingy with the portions sold….And whatever else he has done against God’s command and his station, etc.

    But if any one does not find himself burdened with such or greater sins, he should…pray the general confession. [ie confess the sin against the first commandment]

    So tell me Kerner. Is your sense, from a natural reading of this, that we are to pull out a checklist compiled from the Bible to prepare for our confessions and on that list MUST be (i had sex the wrong way. Check.) OR…. the confession of sins is SO very worthless that one must be barred from communion by the pastor?

    I see this as the general application of the golden rule. And the 10 commandments serve as well as aristotle in guiding us as to how to know the application of that. No bible is necessary I am saying.
    Helpful? Extremely so! essential. no. Moses works as well as Aristotle or even as well as Christ as Example.

    Are any of us smart enough to figure out all this wisdom on our own? when we are age 18 we think so.
    That is not really what we are debating is it dear Kerner?

    Hopefully in time we value input from others here rather than having to learn the hard way. But… we WILL learn, either by memorizing… small catechism… buddha… aristotle… aesops fables… etc. or the hard way by error that brings trials and if none of that works… there is always the hangman.

  • fws

    kerner

    that first table Law is something only a christian who has had the veil of moses removed can pray. as in … I cant see ,searching my heart, that I actually DID anything wrong, BUT I confess, with Gods Word that ALL I have done IS sin.

    Veiled Law is about what we do or leave undone. Unveiled Law convicts the very emotions and will of the heart, What we do we then see as merely symptomatic of what is raging in our heart.

    This veil must NOT be removed until Christ himself removes it when a preacher is sent. Why ? ONLY a preacher sent by Christ can tell that plant the heart knowledge of Two Words.

    Without those Two Words preached, the Law is being preached without Christ. Especially if it is Christ Crucified being preached.
    In that case the only two kinds of sinners that will be produced are pharisees seeking justification by the law (we call these kind of sinners “antinomians” if they are Christian), or despairing judases who usually will look like the epicurean lawless .

    Or there are those who hear the Two Words and believe them, but in an “epicurean fashion” (fc art II) neglect going to church on a regular basis to hear the Two Words that ALONE, are the power for salvation and for sanctification and true repentence that leads to Life..

  • fws

    kerner

    that first table Law is something only a christian who has had the veil of moses removed can pray. as in … I cant see ,searching my heart, that I actually DID anything wrong, BUT I confess, with Gods Word that ALL I have done IS sin.

    Veiled Law is about what we do or leave undone. Unveiled Law convicts the very emotions and will of the heart, What we do we then see as merely symptomatic of what is raging in our heart.

    This veil must NOT be removed until Christ himself removes it when a preacher is sent. Why ? ONLY a preacher sent by Christ can tell that plant the heart knowledge of Two Words.

    Without those Two Words preached, the Law is being preached without Christ. Especially if it is Christ Crucified being preached.
    In that case the only two kinds of sinners that will be produced are pharisees seeking justification by the law (we call these kind of sinners “antinomians” if they are Christian), or despairing judases who usually will look like the epicurean lawless .

    Or there are those who hear the Two Words and believe them, but in an “epicurean fashion” (fc art II) neglect going to church on a regular basis to hear the Two Words that ALONE, are the power for salvation and for sanctification and true repentence that leads to Life..

  • WebMonk

    I give the most uber-est, awesomest, score ever possible to Michael B. Vehse ruins his trollish statements because that’s what he’s actually like. Your bit of posting deserves a 10 out of 10. I give you a score of infinity to the infinite power.

    Watching the explosions afterward was awesome. I had to keep washing the spittle off my monitor as I read the replies.

    Bravo and well played, sir!

  • WebMonk

    I give the most uber-est, awesomest, score ever possible to Michael B. Vehse ruins his trollish statements because that’s what he’s actually like. Your bit of posting deserves a 10 out of 10. I give you a score of infinity to the infinite power.

    Watching the explosions afterward was awesome. I had to keep washing the spittle off my monitor as I read the replies.

    Bravo and well played, sir!

  • fws

    webmonk

    hahahahahaha

  • fws

    webmonk

    hahahahahaha

  • Michael B.

    @Cincinatus

    “Otherwise, the irony of your preaching against bigotry”

    But you, as well as several others on this forum, are bigots. That’s not an opinion. You have your small pockets in society where it’s acceptable to disparage gays and women and you can pat each other on the back, but they are shrinking. I’m not sure when you graduated, but mainstream campuses have gotten much more intolerant of your anti-gay agenda, far more than just at little as 10 years ago. The national stage looks bad for you as well. As it is, your best option for president appears to be a Massachusetts liberal who practically admitted to feigning conservative beliefs during the primary. I’m a Democrat and I wouldn’t be upset with Romney.

  • Michael B.

    @Cincinatus

    “Otherwise, the irony of your preaching against bigotry”

    But you, as well as several others on this forum, are bigots. That’s not an opinion. You have your small pockets in society where it’s acceptable to disparage gays and women and you can pat each other on the back, but they are shrinking. I’m not sure when you graduated, but mainstream campuses have gotten much more intolerant of your anti-gay agenda, far more than just at little as 10 years ago. The national stage looks bad for you as well. As it is, your best option for president appears to be a Massachusetts liberal who practically admitted to feigning conservative beliefs during the primary. I’m a Democrat and I wouldn’t be upset with Romney.

  • Cincinnatus

    Michael B.@76:

    A noble attempt to keep your trollin’ rollin’, sir, but I don’t feed trolls. Please try again.

    For what it’s worth, by the way, a) I have never disparaged gays or women on this blog (or elsewhere; i.e., I don’t have an “anti-gay agenda”), b) I work and teach at a “mainstream campus,” a major and progressive public university, and c) I have no intention of voting for Romney. In fact, I loathe him.

    I only point these things out for your reference. In future, for more successful trolling, pick someone else.

  • Cincinnatus

    Michael B.@76:

    A noble attempt to keep your trollin’ rollin’, sir, but I don’t feed trolls. Please try again.

    For what it’s worth, by the way, a) I have never disparaged gays or women on this blog (or elsewhere; i.e., I don’t have an “anti-gay agenda”), b) I work and teach at a “mainstream campus,” a major and progressive public university, and c) I have no intention of voting for Romney. In fact, I loathe him.

    I only point these things out for your reference. In future, for more successful trolling, pick someone else.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com tODD

    Michael B. (@76), unlike Cincinnatus, I can’t give you nearly as high a score this time around. It just felt like you were phoning it in.

    You didn’t even deny the charges leveled against you, instead resorting to the tired old “nuh-uh, you are” riposte that most of us left behind, oh, a few years ago, maybe. The “that’s not an opinion” bit was especially lame. Are you even trying anymore?

    But, you know, your argumentum ad populum was fairly spirited, though really, I think you could have phrased it better when you said that “mainstream campuses have gotten much more intolerant”. Yeah, whoops.

    I can only speak for myself — Cincinnatus won’t find it nearly as humorous — but I’d like to hear more about how you’re “Lutheran”. That was good.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com tODD

    Michael B. (@76), unlike Cincinnatus, I can’t give you nearly as high a score this time around. It just felt like you were phoning it in.

    You didn’t even deny the charges leveled against you, instead resorting to the tired old “nuh-uh, you are” riposte that most of us left behind, oh, a few years ago, maybe. The “that’s not an opinion” bit was especially lame. Are you even trying anymore?

    But, you know, your argumentum ad populum was fairly spirited, though really, I think you could have phrased it better when you said that “mainstream campuses have gotten much more intolerant”. Yeah, whoops.

    I can only speak for myself — Cincinnatus won’t find it nearly as humorous — but I’d like to hear more about how you’re “Lutheran”. That was good.

  • Idacl

    In my opinion, the value of honesty is also important on the side of the applicant in CV-providing, So Likewise it is very important for the entrepreneur, the legality and proper business systems to Prevent fraud and lossest, just read the white paper for the benefit of Diligence, http://bit.ly/PHnSmZ

  • Idacl

    In my opinion, the value of honesty is also important on the side of the applicant in CV-providing, So Likewise it is very important for the entrepreneur, the legality and proper business systems to Prevent fraud and lossest, just read the white paper for the benefit of Diligence, http://bit.ly/PHnSmZ

  • Michael B.

    If you feel I’m being unfair, let’s remove any of your personal experience. Look up some statistics to how higher education correlate to various beliefs, such as many of the topics we debate on this forum. For example, belief in abortion-rights, gay-rights, or belief in evolution. Clearly there is something going on here.

  • Michael B.

    If you feel I’m being unfair, let’s remove any of your personal experience. Look up some statistics to how higher education correlate to various beliefs, such as many of the topics we debate on this forum. For example, belief in abortion-rights, gay-rights, or belief in evolution. Clearly there is something going on here.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Michael B. (@80), oh, thank goodness. For a moment there, I was worried you’d actually back up your assertions. No, thankfully, it’s yet more argumentum ad populum from you.

    …let’s remove any of your personal experience.

    Oh, indeed. It’s not like you’ve made that much of an issue in your insightful comments here. Let’s just brush all that aside, shall we?

    If you feel I’m being unfair…

    Unfair? Unfair?! The only thing that’s unfair here is that a man of your unsurpassed experience, with such a mind-shatteringly cosmopolitan worldview — to say nothing of a singularly dizzying intellect — is toying with us mere keyboard-peckers by even trying to explain to us the workings of your vast acumen. Why do you taunt us so with your singular understanding?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Michael B. (@80), oh, thank goodness. For a moment there, I was worried you’d actually back up your assertions. No, thankfully, it’s yet more argumentum ad populum from you.

    …let’s remove any of your personal experience.

    Oh, indeed. It’s not like you’ve made that much of an issue in your insightful comments here. Let’s just brush all that aside, shall we?

    If you feel I’m being unfair…

    Unfair? Unfair?! The only thing that’s unfair here is that a man of your unsurpassed experience, with such a mind-shatteringly cosmopolitan worldview — to say nothing of a singularly dizzying intellect — is toying with us mere keyboard-peckers by even trying to explain to us the workings of your vast acumen. Why do you taunt us so with your singular understanding?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    But you, as well as several others on this forum, are bigots.

    Could we please define bigot.

    Because it sounds like Michael B. uses bigot to mean anyone who ever criticizes politically favored grievance groups. Michael B. disparages us. Does that make him a bigot? I will be the first to admit that I criticize women, but on objective criteria. How is it bigotry if you complain that one group has lower performance on certain criteria? As for gays, I don’t think I have disparaged them. I probably have cited some stats, but how can that be bigotry? Bigoted statistics?

    Also, weren’t humans selected for homophily? So isn’t it natural to like people like yourself? If that is the case, then isn’t it weird to complain of normal human traits that allowed us to survive?

    I have probably rambled off topic. Hey, wait. Were we also selected for the willingness to cheat?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    But you, as well as several others on this forum, are bigots.

    Could we please define bigot.

    Because it sounds like Michael B. uses bigot to mean anyone who ever criticizes politically favored grievance groups. Michael B. disparages us. Does that make him a bigot? I will be the first to admit that I criticize women, but on objective criteria. How is it bigotry if you complain that one group has lower performance on certain criteria? As for gays, I don’t think I have disparaged them. I probably have cited some stats, but how can that be bigotry? Bigoted statistics?

    Also, weren’t humans selected for homophily? So isn’t it natural to like people like yourself? If that is the case, then isn’t it weird to complain of normal human traits that allowed us to survive?

    I have probably rambled off topic. Hey, wait. Were we also selected for the willingness to cheat?

  • Michael B.

    @Todd@78

    ” I’d like to hear more about how you’re “Lutheran””

    Would you consider Martin Luther a Lutheran? We may argue occasionally on the forum, but your worldview and mine have far more in common than yours and Martin Luther. If you deny this, read some of Luther’s writings on the Jews. If he were alive today and on this forum, we’d be allies.

  • Michael B.

    @Todd@78

    ” I’d like to hear more about how you’re “Lutheran””

    Would you consider Martin Luther a Lutheran? We may argue occasionally on the forum, but your worldview and mine have far more in common than yours and Martin Luther. If you deny this, read some of Luther’s writings on the Jews. If he were alive today and on this forum, we’d be allies.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com tODD

    Michael B. (@83), now that’s more like it! Unapologetic trolling qua trolling! Dodge the question and just toss out some completely irrelevant statement that causes everyone around you to question your grasp of the very topic you mention!

    I was beginning to worry that you were losing it, Michael. But no, that was trolling par excellence!

    No, the more I think about it, that probably tells me all I need to know about how “Lutheran” you are.

    Awesome. Keep up the good work.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com tODD

    Michael B. (@83), now that’s more like it! Unapologetic trolling qua trolling! Dodge the question and just toss out some completely irrelevant statement that causes everyone around you to question your grasp of the very topic you mention!

    I was beginning to worry that you were losing it, Michael. But no, that was trolling par excellence!

    No, the more I think about it, that probably tells me all I need to know about how “Lutheran” you are.

    Awesome. Keep up the good work.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com tODD

    (By the way — and here I’m speaking between parentheses, for privacy — par excellence, if you didn’t know, is a phrase that smart France people say. “Excellence” is Latin for “excellent”, and “par” is a golf term (so Scottish, I guess) for “average”, so the phrase means “average or excellent”. The more you know.)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com tODD

    (By the way — and here I’m speaking between parentheses, for privacy — par excellence, if you didn’t know, is a phrase that smart France people say. “Excellence” is Latin for “excellent”, and “par” is a golf term (so Scottish, I guess) for “average”, so the phrase means “average or excellent”. The more you know.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003406993637 Nikesh

    ed un gran gioco Riguardo agli sparatutto su bnriai, sono un modo pi sicuro per vendere videogiochi. E’ pi difficile fare un gioco di successo come RE4 in terza persona e venderlo ad un pubblico vasta. Per fortuna il porting di RE4 ha venduto di pi di REUC e spero che questo dia coraggio a Capcom per fare giochi simili a RE4 per wii, non necessariamente un porting di RE5 o Re6. ritornando a UC, penso sia un gioco divertente, non ai livelli di RE, ma cmq un buon gioco.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003406993637 Nikesh

    ed un gran gioco Riguardo agli sparatutto su bnriai, sono un modo pi sicuro per vendere videogiochi. E’ pi difficile fare un gioco di successo come RE4 in terza persona e venderlo ad un pubblico vasta. Per fortuna il porting di RE4 ha venduto di pi di REUC e spero che questo dia coraggio a Capcom per fare giochi simili a RE4 per wii, non necessariamente un porting di RE5 o Re6. ritornando a UC, penso sia un gioco divertente, non ai livelli di RE, ma cmq un buon gioco.


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