Wednesday, September 3, 2014

One day in the life of a student

I was explaining that we really cannot talk about history.  We cannot explain or discuss history because it is, very much, all subjective.  Events are categorically factual, but almost all else is subjective and open to interpretation and opinion.  Therefore, we cannot study it, or rather, should not be able to due to our inability to set aside opinions and bias.

One student stood up and said we could study history, and that he tries very hard to be objective and he didn't believe it would be that difficult.

The issue of Palestinians and Israelis was raised as an example of how difficult it is for people to set aside their opinions and bias when discussing a situation.  The student responded that no, he prided himself on knowing what was happening 'over there' because he was Palestinian and he prided himself on being able to see that there was a difference between the great power of Israel and the rag tag Palestinians who were (not his words but his sentiment) simply wanting to be free of the Israeli oppression.

Later the issue of Libya came up and the aircraft and al qaida seizing the airport and this student stood up again and asked why all Arabs were being lumped together with bombs and terrorism.

Hmmm.  Maybe that was the original point raised, and maybe this is exactly why studying history is difficult.

Make Mine Freedom - 1948

American Form of Government

Who's on First? Certainly isn't the Euro.