Steve Finley (Finley@TTDCE1.COED.TTU.EDU)
Wed, 7 Aug 1996 08:50:55 +0000

Boy, are the analogies people use illustrative or what! Steve
Krause's idea that favorite colors (green and purple) are analogous
to one's choice and defense of a religion rest on the assumption that
there is no religion truer than another, and that, more importantly,
there's nothing for students to talk about in trying to establish one
as truer, wiser, or whatever, than another. This requires us, of
course, to be in the position to be so far above, or outside of,
religion and faith that we can say it's all just insignificant
squabbling about preferences that really don't much matter and don't
rest on any kinds of substantive claims at all. Some teachers would
be comfortable with that idea; I'm really not. It's true that some
classroom and academic operations require us to act as if one
religion is pretty much the same as another--vanilla v. chocolate v.
orange sherbet--but does that extend to the idea that there's really
no way for a student to try to make a claim about his own faith?

I know the argument is more about when a student uses something from
her religion as an a priori assumption, when her audience does not
share that assumption. I agree, that doesn't work. But that doesn't
make the whole question green and purple. Steve's made some good
points, but I don't know about this one. Besides, he's said he's a dang
pinko anyway, and here he is moving to Oregon to prove it, after you
guys talked him into it. . .

s. finley