UVA Rolling Stone Hoax Lesson
Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – “Again, this is as a result of the fact that in today’s modern world, the philosophical subject of ethics is nonexistent. Ethics are no longer taught, and if they are, they are not taught from a Thomistic ethical point of view. Ethics are not hard to learn. Ethics prevent us from harming our fellow man and woman.” Check out today’s transcript for the rest….
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: This fairy tale that came out of the University of Virginia last year where this woman purported to have been raped by all these boys at this fraternity, Phi Kappa Psi, and come to find out the entire story was a hoax, was made up, there haven’t been any consequences for this. Just imagine this. You can fabricate an entire story, damn a storied university, UVA, all of its faculty, its fraternity system. Disrepute was heaped upon these young men. Questions were asked about whether or not faculty at the University of Virginia cared about co-eds being raped, etc., etc. These people’s reputations were questioned if not outright ruined in some cases.
Yet nothing will happen to the hoaxsters at Rolling Stone, nothing. No one will be fired, although there will be a lawsuit, I think an appropriate lawsuit, filed by Phi Kappa Psi. But if you tell a television station in a little town in Indiana to answer a hypothetical question about what you would do if you were invited to cater a homosexual nuptial ceremony, now your life is over. [mocking] “You’ve harmed people.” No, you haven’t. No one actually asked you to do it; it was hypothetical. But we’re going to drum you out of polite society. We’re going to economically imperil your existence. Yet Rolling Stone and its writers unscathed, seemingly unscathed.
Again, this is as a result of the fact that in today’s modern world, the philosophical subject of ethics is nonexistent. Ethics are no longer taught, and if they are, they are not taught from a Thomistic ethical point of view. Ethics are not hard to learn. Ethics prevent us from harming our fellow man and woman. That’s what ethics does. It also teaches you how to not harm and how to remain free from scandal. That’s what the purpose of learning ethics is. I believe it’s safe to say that Rolling Stone Magazine caused an enormous amount of scandal to be heaped upon the heads of many a student and faculty member at the University of Virginia.
Barring their actual commission of said crime, which they did not do, no one should have been calumniated or persecuted as a result of something that they did not do, yet that’s exactly what happened. The fact that ethical standards could not be applied and are not going to be applied in the aftermath, this is another shock. Kenney writes about this, and part of it is a review.
Charlottesville City Police conducted a four-month investigation and concluded nothing. The University of Virginia rallied as it typically does with candlelight vigils, hand holding, and statements of solidarity — but ultimately did so on the bases of feelings honestly felt. Phi Kappa Psi, the center of the media-driven maelstrom, was the victim of harassment in turn, both by the community as well as from well-intentioned folks in the “if it were true” spectrum of observers.
“Phi Kappa Psi, the fraternity at the center of the article, said it plans ‘to pursue all available legal action against the magazine.’
“‘The report by Columbia University’s School of Journalism demonstrates the reckless nature in which Rolling Stone researched and failed to verify facts in its article that erroneously accused Phi Kappa Psi of crimes its members did not commit,’ said Stephen Scipione, president of the school’s chapter of Phi Kappa Psi.”
UVA”s Cavalier Daily — recently enmeshed in its own controversy over insensitive April Fools Day jokes — had its own observations which ring true to my own:
“Where the Columbia report did not investigate, we hope we have filled in gaps as to Erdely’s presentation of our school. Coronel, Coll and Kravitz end their analysis as follows: ‘The responsibilities that universities have in preventing campus sexual assault — and the standards of performance they should be held to — are important matters of public interest. Rolling Stone was right to take them on. The pattern of its failure draws a map of how to do better.’ This is entirely true, and we hope future endeavors do, in fact, do better—not just at fact-checking, but at presenting information in its entirety.”
There sadly is the lesson.
Every day we are presented with a million little facts. Those facts eventually aggregate, but ultimately facts — no matter how well rooted either in experience or reason — are not truth.
The truth is based on the entirety of facts, comprised of both a priori and a posteriori connections (causation and experience), that allow us to gain a fraction of understanding. We are not gods — we cannot understand a thing to its core, but we can within the realm of certainty aggregate enough facts and analysis to arrive at conclusions.
Sometimes those conclusions are right.
Sometimes they are horribly wrong.
Mike: Let me just stop right here. I know Shaun Kenney and I actually sent this to a friend of his last night as a message. You cannot have a conclusion that is wrong. There can be no conclusion that is in error. This is why the study of philosophy and philosophia perennis is so important if we are to regain the high ground in discussing these things and winning these debates for Truth, in other words, for Almighty God and the moral code that he asked us to live under. It’s imperative that we do this. That’s not to vilify Shaun or anyone that – I wouldn’t have known this until just a few months ago. In the way that we present things, if you reach a conclusion using philosophical logic, which used to be required – there is no such thing, it doesn’t exist, as a conclusion that is false. If the conclusion is going to be false, that means that one of the terms – you have to have three terms – that means that one of the terms in the conclusion are false. There can be no conclusion that is false is the point. You can’t have a wrong conclusion.
You can have what’s called an anatheme. An anatheme leaves out one of the elements or one of the statements. It leaves it out because it leaves it out as – well, everybody knows that. See the GEICO commercials. That’s an anatheme. That is not a proper conclusion either. In other words, it’s not logical. This is part of the error, people running around thinking that they’ve made conclusions when in fact they could not have made a conclusion because a conclusion cannot be false; it can only be true. It can be negative but it can’t be false. You can affirm something or you can conclude that you can’t affirm something or you can deny something. A tree is not sentient. That’s a negative conclusion. It’s true. In any event, I just wanted to point that out.
By the bye, for those of you that have been inquiring about Brother Francis and the logic course that I’m taking, which will give way to cosmology and epistemology and psychology and ontology and all the other classic studies – these are liberal arts studies, by the way, of philosophy known as philosophia perennis – I talked with a gentleman yesterday who has granted us a 20 percent discount on the total cost of the course, which is significant. What I propose to do, if you’re interested, is to hold – Brother Francis used to give his talks on Tuesday night – to hold Tuesday night meetings once per week where, once we agree on a starting point, where we all agree that we’ll listen to one of the lectures in the series that we’re currently taking, and on Tuesday night we’ll meet in an online private chatroom and ask questions and discuss that chapter and help each other along to learn this most fascinating area of learning, philosophy. I’m not charging anything. I’m volunteering to do this, although if you want to make a donation to offset the cost, that’s wonderful. You can get a Founders Pass membership for the philosophia perennis chatroom. This is a content item on the page at MikeChurch.com. All the information is there. I just thought I’d throw that out, to make that available. I think we’ll start on Tuesday, April the 28th.
Observers in this are met with a myriad of different feelings at this rate. Sexual battery, sexual assault, rape, drug culture, hookup culture, underage drinking — all of these feed into problems that we as a society have demonstrated a strong desire to resolve.
Yet in the desire to resolve these problems, too often we try to personalize those feelings — whether through self-identification on one side, or through personalizing our intense revulsion at a single individual (or group).
FOLKS, a message from Mike – The Project 76 features, Church Doctrine videos and everything else on this site are supported by YOU. We have over 70, of my personally designed, written, produced and directed products for sale in the Founders Tradin’ Post, 24/7, here. You can also support our efforts with a Founders Pass membership granting total access to years of My work for just .17 cents per day. Thanks for 17 years of mike church.com! – Mike
That temptation towards a mob mentality — both at the Rolling Stone in the urge to print, the initial reaction of the University of Virginia, the reaction of the community towards the fraternity, and now the predictable repercussions of a story gone wrong — must be resisted at every impulse. That is the duty of a free society, ladies and gentlemen.
Mike: I would say – and I think Shaun is right in most of what he’s written here. I would say and I would offer that we should look at, again, ultimate causes. What is the ultimate cause of all these rapes or alleged rapes going on on college campuses? It’s the fact that we have unleashed now and don’t have the moral turpitude to stand up, hold your hand up and say: No, this is wrong. Stop doing it. What is wrong is what is known as “hookup” culture. This is just taken for granted now. You send your kids off so they can get drunk and have illicit, immoral, mortally sinful sex with people they’re not married to. [mocking] “It’s all fine. All the kids are doing it.” All the kids should stop doing it. Is it so hard to say that? Are we so divorced from thousands of years of recorded moral tradition and history? [mocking] “All the kids are doing it and you need to get with the program, Mr. Church.” Well, someone should tell all the kids that they should stop doing it. [mocking] “Mike, you’re being repetitive.” Good, someone needs to repeat this.
End Mike Church Show Transcript