Brian, you’re making a value judgment against Sexuality studies because you don’t think it’s important, and so you falsely assume think that everyone should think it isn’t important.
Sexuality Studies deserves everyone’s chagrin. It is a waste of taxpayer money to say the least. You may not be able to get into that class that you need to graduate, but you can learn all about “Pornography, Sexuality and American Culture.”
You say it’s a waste of taxpayer money, but you don’t say why. Pornography is a multibillion dollar industry in America that nobody talks about. It’s having impacts, whether we want to acknowledge them or not, they’re there. I think the university is a perfect setting for having intelligent discussion and research into why and how this thing, porn, is permeating our culture and society.
You assume that having sexuality studies is an automatic condonement of such activity. You don’t have to “approve” of something morally in order to try to understand it. You could argue, I suppose, that it’s not worth understanding or that it’s not able to be understood because it’s “wrong.” I think the rightness/wrongness of sexuality studies is merely opinion, and so neither value judgments (mine or yours) can be said with any authority.
The marketplace of ideas comes into play because “truth’s collision with error” is how you find answers, but Mill also notes how everything is not black and white, that sometimes there are varying shades of gray. This is why the marketplace of ideas is important because when the rightness or wrongness of a situation is unclear, especially when two differing opinions are based in fact, then there has to be middleground that is found.
Now, about this truth business…
There most definitely are right answers. There most definitely is truth. Just because we may not know the answer, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
You’re making my argument for me. I’ll grant you that truth might exist, but because we may not ever know the answer, you have to treat truth as an abstraction, as something that can’t ever be known, only approached.
And so, if truth can’t ever be “known,” then solving problems can’t be about finding the truth. It has to be about finding something acceptable. That doesn’t make society stale and complacent. It makes society vibrant and dynamic. Because I also believe that even though truth can’t ever be known, it shouldn’t stop us from seeking it out.
I also think we’re getting bogged down in language here. I think truth exists insofar as it can pertain to knowable facts. IE: the sun will rise tomorrow, gravity makes stuff fall, etc… When I talk about truth that can’t be ascertained, I’m referring more towards opinions about how things should be run. Two differing opinions can both be rooted in fact, the same facts, and yet still be total opposites from each other. You can’t say that one is truth and the other is not. You can say that one MIGHT be truth and the other not, but for practical purposes, you can’t ever treat either as truth. That’s assuming a God-like ability to percieve reality. None of us should be so bold.
Also, I’m done talking about tuition and Seth and all that. It just gives me a headache. I understand where you’re coming from, I can only hope you understand where I’m coming from, and I think this is just one of those things where you gotta agree to disagree (or possibly in my case, resign yourself to being misunderstood because you’re too inarticulate).