Oxford students petition for Professor to be fired on ground of homophobia

cormack12

Gold Member
Mar 21, 2013
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#1
Summary
A petition to remove an Oxford law professor from teaching has attracted 350 signatures in five days.

John Finnis, emeritus professor of law and legal philosophy, has been accused of having “a long record of extremely discriminatory views against many groups of disadvantaged people”, including gays.

Remarks highlighted by the petition’s authors include a comment from his Collected Essays in which he suggests that homosexual conduct is “never a valid, humanly acceptable choice” and is “destructive of human character and relationships” because “it treats human sexual capacities in a way which is deeply hostile to the self-understanding of those members who are willing to commit themselves to real marriage”.

I strongly urge people to listen to this mornings radio exchange between Professor Dennis Hayes and Sulamaan Rahim, Student Union President at Wadham (starts at 2:23:40), only lasts about ten mins.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m0001ych


Old Guardian article on Finnus (2 years): https://www.theguardian.com/law/201...or-john-finnis-compared-gay-sex-to-bestiality







I found this interesting while driving in, I was a bit taken aback by the language used by the SU, a lot of 'supposing' and 'imagining'. I also thought he faltered when put under any sort of pressure. I broadly agree with the Professor and the underlying philosophy of challenge the viewpoint though. I do understand the concept of paying students feeling they can't attend the lectures when a certain view id held against something they identify as - having said that, as long as it doesn't create or uphold a prejudice, is ti really that big of an issue?
 
May 4, 2005
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#4
He does some to be a major idiot, that's for sure. If his, indeed, very hateful positions have any influence on the work he does, e.g. are reflected in his teachings or influence how his students are treated, I support the demand for his firing.

EDIT: Also I am willing to and am commiting to a real (I assume that means: hetereosexual, faithful) marriage and do not see how what other people do with their sex organs is in any way shape or form relevant to my marriage, as long as it involves neither my wife nor me.
 
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Mar 10, 2015
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#6
The thing is, is there anything wrong with hating the gay? Last I heard, hating something is not a crime. Violence against something is a crime. As far as I know the professor expressed his opinion, not a cxrime.
Yes, but his opinion really really hurt my feelings! Easily as much pain as physical violence would cause!
 
May 4, 2005
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#7
The thing is, is there anything wrong with hating the gay? Last I heard, hating something is not a crime. Violence against something is a crime. As far as I know the professor expressed his opinion, not a cxrime.
Would you be fine with a (in the second strictest way: Adhering to Adolf Hitler's ideology, but not a member of the NSDAP, for age reasons) Nazi being a professor of law? One that just hates black people, jews, left-leaning humans, but has not acted violently against them?
 
Aug 21, 2018
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#12
Would you be fine with a (in the second strictest way: Adhering to Adolf Hitler's ideology, but not a member of the NSDAP, for age reasons) Nazi being a professor of law? One that just hates black people, jews, left-leaning humans, but has not acted violently against them?
I am ok with it. Many people have worse through but it is not shown. Wasn't there a thread about can you separate artist from it's work?
 
Jan 9, 2018
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#14
I tracked down the source of the two excerpted phrases in the summary above. Interestingly, it is a 1995 essay (so they're working backwards through his material quite a bit) published in the Notre Dame Journal of Ethics and Public Policy. This is a prestigious journal, so it's also instructive to see just how quickly a hysterical reaction has set in among progressives to views that are barely two decades out of academic prominence.

In any case, the essay is mostly interpretive in nature, merely aiming to carefully delineate the post-60s legal consensus which tended to remove criminal prosecution for all private, consenting adult acts while upholding the right of laws to limit the public expression of certain sexual formations deemed harmful to the common good. So, decriminalization--and even upholding the right of every person to not be discriminated against in other areas of life for revelations about their private sexual life--was then seen as perfectly compatible with the retained ability of governments (of the people, ultimately) to draw a line and forbid certain things from public life, in order to secure good norms for marriage and children, the central relationship at the heart of all society.

After a detour through a historical analysis of Athens and the classical laws of this nature, Finnis writes the following paragraphs from which the quotes were taken:




Full essay here: http://web.mit.edu/anscombe/www/finnisorientation.pdf
 
Feb 25, 2017
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#15
Once you give up on facts for political correctness, you no longer are a purveyor of truth and science but a dark messenger of propaganda and indoctrination.

Intersectionality is a cancer in academia and needs to be uprooted before it destroys the rest of higher learning. Relegate this ridiculousness to the realms of entertainment and the arts where it belongs.
 
Likes: Liberty4all
Jan 26, 2009
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Would you be fine with a (in the second strictest way: Adhering to Adolf Hitler's ideology, but not a member of the NSDAP, for age reasons) Nazi being a professor of law? One that just hates black people, jews, left-leaning humans, but has not acted violently against them?
I bet some of my professors were nazi but I still graduated.
 
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#21
Being Jew, Christian or Muslim does not excuse hateful behaviour.
Holding to a view of sexual / bio-ethics that does not simply affirm all actions is not equivalent to hate--after all, that encompasses every dominant system of sexual ethics worldwide across human eras, outside a relatively tiny blip of history in which we're now lodged. Setting public norms for sexual conduct that privilege certain relationship formations as being most conducive to human flourishing is one of the most if not the most essential function of any social order. Marriage rights and kinship rules, with prohibitions to fence in the appropriate forms, are the core upon which human law first even became intelligible.

More to the point, privileging certain sexual displays as liberating, and policing others as harmful, is still just as alive as ever on the progressive side. It merely inverts the coordinates, but it still an opinionated and weighted sexual ethic as much as any in the past. There is a new fantasy of atomized, mutually empowering sex based on contract-like explicit consent to each act, by two presumably independent individuals engaging in transaction only to the extent of a single encounter, renewed as a contract upon the next one, and made "toxic" or unclean by any factors that would seem to offer your sexuality to another person as a gift rather than a recurring mutual exercise. Hence, harmless fun like "Baby It's Cold Outside" is now seen as unclean and forbidden, and the project of censoring anything outside our latest sexual morality only quickens.

That is to say, there is nothing more absurd than pretending that anyone arguing for a sexual ethic that privileges heterosexuality is committing an egregious violation of some common principle that all sexual avenues are equal. The progressive factions in these debates aren't even slightly less censorious than any past regime, they merely have a new and inverted pseudo-religious morality backing their desired order.
 

O-N-E

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Jul 11, 2018
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Once in an Ethnography class I was attending, the professor was discussing the condition Arabs in Israel and the West Bank were living in. A student raised his hand and when she let him speak, he said that his experience while there did not match up with what she was saying. The next lesson she asked the class whether the same student who challenged her was in attendance. When no-one spoke up, she made her claim that this student must have been an Israeli spy sent to infiltrate her classroom and spread disinformation.

That told me so much about her.

Hubris. Paranoia. Hate. Unwillingness to have her views challenged (as a professor!)

I did not protest her position at the University. Just made sure no more classes I took had her as my prof.
 

matt404au

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Apr 25, 2009
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#32
It is not a religious issue. It is call preservation of mankind.
Look, if humanity is practically wiped out and there’s only one dude among the remaining survivors and he’s gay, I’m OK with telling him to suck it up and plow some poon for the survival of the species. However, at this point in time, our population is so high that it makes no difference if a fraction of dudes bat for the other team.
 
Oct 5, 2015
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#34
While i fully understand the point this comic is trying to convey (and its worth making), it is too simple to be useful. Specifically, frame 6. "Showing you the door." Who gets to decide what the appropriate level of response is to someone's view? Often, the mob justice of the internet imposes a far too harsh retaliation (their life is ruined, gets fired, etc. etc.). Its rarely "showing them the door." Its doxxing, public tar and feather, ruined life, losing job, etc.

In other words, while this comic can be used to make the distinction between the 1A and just social speech, it is far to simple to use in the social construct.
 
Feb 25, 2017
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#36
It is not a religious issue. It is call preservation of mankind.
The courts have already ruled that procreation is not a good argument for prohibiting gay rights. It has to do with older people and sterile people also having the same issue.

The good argument against gay rights is when the government are forcing other citizens to abandon their religious beliefs because gay people find it offensive/archaic/intolerant. This is one area where government is beginning to step back on and I believe the turning point as to how far gay rights can go before it crosses the limit.
 
Likes: hariseldon
Jun 13, 2014
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#38
There's certainly a line between simply thinking/believing something and having those thoughts published in essays.
He expressed an opinion about the purpose of marriage in public life. He did not declare anyone as genetically subhuman or call for their extermination.

These students are going to come across many people in life who share different opinions than them on important and sensitive subjects. They're still going to need them to take out their trash, process their paperwork, or, even, teach them college- level courses about education and academic freedom.

There is no internationally-recognized human right to remain insulated from people who disagree with you. In higher education in particular, having people who think differently than you is an asset and not a liability.
 
May 19, 2010
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#39
These students are going to come across many people in life who share different opinions than them on important and sensitive subjects. They're still going to need them to take out their trash, process their paperwork, or, even, teach them college- level courses about education and academic freedom.
There's certainly a line between simply thinking/believing something and having those thoughts published in essays.
 

Arkage

Gold Member
Sep 25, 2012
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The problem is that he teaches mandatory college courses, so students who take up a particular degree in the field he covers are forced to have him as a professor even if they (rightly) view him as human garbage. And in particular, if gay students take his class they will be under the assumption that he views them as no better than a pig fucker in terms of their contribution to society. If I were gay there'd be no fucking way I'd want to pay to learn and be graded by such an individual.

And to say students should argue about gay sexuality with a professor who has no expertise in the subject, regardless of his armchair analysis over the psychological underpinnings of homosexual discrimination, is ridiculous. Students don't go to college so they can debate with a professor over whether gay sex is as similarly damaging as fucking animals to society at large. Suppose a Professor is found to have been spouting Jewish conspiracy theories, or supporting Nazism. Are free speech defenders in this thread really trying to say there are no lines to be drawn for a professor? What about a professor who's discovered to be an advocate for pedos or genocide? Should students really be spending their energy and money attempting to convince a grown ass man out of these types of beliefs? Maybe if their degree is in sexual studies, but not if it's in much of anything else.

A solution to this that might reach a middle ground is make none of his courses mandatory. Make him an electives professor and let the free market dynamics of student enrollment into his classes decide his fate.

Separately I feel compelled to address the current attempts some are making to whitewash the professor's claims as just a normal academic analysis. Spark notes version: gay sex is unable to "actualize [....] devotion"(lolpsychobabble); that gay sex "harms their personalities" (I want to see those causation charts between amount of sex a gay couple has and the increasing damage it causes); that gay sex is "surrendering responsibility for the future of mankind"(adoption? billions of humans already? no meaningful effect upon population growth nor societal stability to begin with?) - and finally that gay sex is "deeply hostile" to heterosexual couples that are seemingly obsessed over how hetero marriage (not even just sex) is the exclusive means to real connection and fulfillment between two people. His entire premise relies upon the norms (subjective morality) of community precedent and sneaks in the assertion that those norms are grounded in biological and factual claims. They are not.

That is to say, there is nothing more absurd than pretending that anyone arguing for a sexual ethic that privileges heterosexuality is committing an egregious violation of some common principle that all sexual avenues are equal. The progressive factions in these debates aren't even slightly less censorious than any past regime, they merely have a new and inverted pseudo-religious morality backing their desired order.
The progressive factions, the ones that complain on the internet about a song, aren't even slightly less censorious? They're just as "pseudo-religious" as "any past regime"? TIL progressive who complain online about a song are just like Nazis forcing gays into gas chambers and executing them en masse. Truly astounding.
 
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Jan 9, 2018
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#42
The progressive factions, the ones that complain on the internet about a song, aren't even slightly less censorious? They're just as "pseudo-religious" as "any past regime"? TIL progressive who complain online about a song are just like Nazis forcing gays into gas chambers and executing them en masse. Truly astounding.
I believe it was pretty clear in context that "regime" was referring to "dominant system of sexual ethics". The discussion is over whether the very recent and still ideologically volatile (meaning: shifting against even its own orthodoxies of one decade prior) new sexual ethics regime of progressive libertinism is in fact somehow more neutral--or less censoriously opinionated as to the proper uses of sex--than the prior ideological frameworks around sex that dominated the civilized world.

And although more actions are today endorsed, there is an even greater obsession with arming legal or other powers at every level to enforce newly created norms of non-toxic / non-tainted sex, by reducing sexuality to contractual language (explicit consent, per act, non-relational or dependent on family formation etc) with Title IX investigators armed at major institutions, and by importing radical individualism (new ideological language of sex as personal identity, possession, expression). Harmless courtship dances of old popular culture are on the block now to be made problematic, and the insistence is that any product of the old dispensation be carefully disrupted or "queered" in order to express the new mandatory sexual ethic.

No prior regime (major era-defining ideological regime of bioethics / sex; no, the Nazis are not at that level) so obsessively insisted on editing language as the current one--which, for instance, has insisted that all girl's school teachers drop the use of "girl" so as not to alienate possible trans pupils, just as Planned Parenthood now endorses saying "menstruators" rather than "women" when addressing care for female anatomy, to sidestep identity. This is all radically invasive social engineering.
 
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Arkage

Gold Member
Sep 25, 2012
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#43
I believe it was pretty clear in context that "regime" was referring to "dominant system of sexual ethics". The discussion is over whether the very recent and still ideologically volatile (meaning: shifting against even its own orthodoxies of one decade prior) new sexual ethics regime of progressive libertinism is in fact somehow more neutral--or less censoriously opinionated as to the proper uses of sex--than the prior ideological frameworks around sex that dominated the civilized world.

And although more actions are today endorsed, there is an even greater obsession with arming legal or other powers at every level to enforce newly created norms of non-toxic / non-tainted sex, by reducing sexuality to contractual language (explicit consent, per act, non-relational or dependent on family formation etc) with Title IX investigators armed at major institutions, and by importing radical individualism (new ideological language of sex as personal identity, possession, expression). Harmless courtship dances of old popular culture are on the block now to be made problematic, and the insistence is that any product of the old dispensation be carefully disrupted or "queered" in order to express the new mandatory sexual ethic.

No prior regime (major ideological regime of bioethics / sex) so obsessively insisted on editing language as the current one--which, for instance, has insisted that all girl's school teachers drop the use of "girl" so as not to alienate possible trans pupils, just as Planned Parenthood now endorses saying "menstruators" rather than "women" when addressing care for female anatomy, to sidestep identity. This is all radically invasive social engineering.
I mean I generally agree with your premise that the pendulum is swinging too far in cases of consent contracts, particular language modifications and particular Title IX investigations. But that doesn't seem particularly related to the gay community or the claims this professor in made in relation to them decades ago. It depends on where you want to define the previous and current ideological frameworks as taking place. I.E. my sweet spot would probably be right after the legalization of gay marriage, generally speaking.
 
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Jun 13, 2017
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#45
So this was published how long ago?

Is the professor treating homosexual students any diferent than the rest? No? Are they taught the same as everyone else? Yes? Great there's no reason to fire him.
 
Likes: hariseldon
Nov 5, 2016
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#48
I honestly don’t know what the line is, or what the line should be, when it comes to teaching. On one hand, I don’t want every teacher in every college to think like me. That’s not how growth and progress are made.

On the other, I feel bad for people in classes of teachers/professors who openly think very little of them due to race/sexuality/gender, or whatnot.

I typically don’t advocate for firing people unless something truly egregious occurred. Being fired sucks, man. I don’t wish that feeling on anyone.

If I was smarter I would have an answer, but since I’m not then all I can say is it’s up to Oxford. Whatever they deem appropriate or inappropriate in their institution is what it will be.
 
Nov 20, 2018
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#49
He can have whatever opinion he wants, it should not influence his academic credibility in anyway. Its ok not to agree with personal viewpoints.
Homosexuality was considered a mental disorder for the last 2000 year, and its only recently that it was removed from the medical books on disability, and it seems that transgender is going to be next. Still doesnt mean this is some sort of fact of nature that its normal.
I heard an argument from one gay person that homosexuality exists in animal kingdom, so it makes it normal. Incest, interbreeding and cannibalism also exist in animal kingdom, does that make it normal in human society?
 
Jan 12, 2009
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#50
The case for him being fired is strong.

He can't be trusted to grade a particular class of students fairly, and he can't provide a safe learing environment for a class of students without changing his fundamental behaviors.
 
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