Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol 35 no. 22. 14th September 1972
University students screw
their feelings into little balls,
alternating between the Cafeteria and despair
not being able to relate to others
or come to terms with themselves,
while others carry on
cloaked in anonymnity inside the Library
(those walls of stone)
and, placing their emotions on
climb once more to
the fourth floor.
Though I am neither 'pro' nor 'anti' tour I find myself decidely anti-Hart. In a recent official publication Don't play with poison', of that movement they were very much anti-Nazi; yet the publication itself was so full of emotional crap it would have done the Nazi propaganda minister proud.
The contents reminded me somewhat, among other things, of the arguments typical of a fifteen-year old teeny-bopper. Instead of the time worn phrase "Mary-Jane is allowed why can't I" it was replaced by "We didn't put politics into sport in the first place - the South Africans did so why can't we". I gave up such logic six years ago.
South Africa, Hart exclaim with horror "try and shove it (their policies) down our throats" yet are disturbed by us stuffing our policies down theirs if we "invade grounds during games". Hart might like to know that my shit doesn't stink either.
My sympathies however don't belong entirely to Hart. Think how dejected the N.Z.R.U. must be after being told what the "South Africans really want to do is to get us alongside their policy of Apartheid" when over these last fifty-one years we have been faithfully interested only in rugby. Perhaps it was the ideals of apartheid that the Springbok forwards were trying to implant in Tiny White's head back in 1956!
I wonder if Hart can mature six years in six months.
The other day in the caf someone handed me a piece of rubbish called "The Jesus Peoples Press" Among the fire and brimstone and "I saw the light" testimonials I was pleasantly surprised to find an article which appeared to contain reasoning. In case any readers were taken in by it, or led to believe that the ostrich-like views expressed in the paper are supported by a shred of reason, I would like to point out that the argument is completely fallacious. The article, entitled "Why morality?" purports to prove that there are absolute God-Given moral standards.
|1.||That moral standards are whatever standards are adopted as moral standards by the majority of people in a given society.|
That moral standards are whatever standards are dictated by a given person's conscience.
The author then quite rightly states that these views are refuted by the following objections.
|3.||That there is an absolute Moral Law. But in fact there is another alternative which he has not considered.|
That moral standards are whatever standards are adopted as moral standards by a given group. This view gets over objection (i) since a dissenter in a society will in general belong to some smaller group whose standards conflict with those of the rest of society, and thus his dissention may still be moral.
Now the author (who understandably does not sign his name) raises another objection which applies to both views (4) and (1):
Given view 4., such a thing as Anti-Semitism could be considered moral in certain situations. Since Anti-semitism is obviously immoral in all situations, view 4. is mistaken.
This objection hinges on an ambiguity in the word "moral" In the first sentence it is used in the sense of "moral relative to some group" and in the second sentence it is used in the sense of "What I or what most people nowadays consider to be moral." If the use of "moral" is made consistent in either of these senses the objection does not go through.
The last step of the argument fails for reasons which are almost too obvious to state.
There is no reason to suppose that absolute moral standards would have to originate from anything, any more than physical laws, and (b) if it is a universal truth that everything does originate from something else then the question "Where does this Moral Creator originate? remains to be answered. And is it moral to try and win converts to a position which must ultimately be a matter of faith by pretending it is based on reason by using spurious arguments like this one?
Mere Words Professor
Professor Philpott's letter of the 5th September, in reply to Mr Peter Wilson's letter certainly needs closer examination generally and further clarification by the Professor.
A Royal Commission of Inquiry into Social Security sat in N.Z. for 2½ years hearing submissions. If, as Professor Philpott asserts in his letter "my own preference is in this region for the highest possible level of social expenditure", why then over the period of 2¾ years did he not make a single submission to this Royal Commission on the principles he allegedly says he is convinced of and supports?
The Hon. Mr Justice McCarthy described at the opening of the Commission in September 1969 - "As being at the very marrow and heart of our N.Z. way of life". Could any statement be more clear and explicit of the significance of the Commission's job? I believe the learned Judge has been Chairman of some 5 Royal Commissions, and is known as a person for his wide social concerns.
"We were however, disappointed that a wider interest was not shown by the Universities in problems which we would have expected to have been of major concern to social scientists in the academic community"
Royal Commission reports are generally couched in careful conservative English but this conclusion is startlingly clear.
Will the learned Professor please therefore give some cogent reasons why, as a leading N.Z. professional living in N.Z. for this 2¾ year period and now occupying a major Chair at Victoria University, he failed to make a single submission in view of the professed views he holds? Also, has he yet studied carefully in detail in the time an academic has to do these things and, in fact, is paid so to do, compared to the lay person. Is this Report, and the submission to the Royal Commission by Dr. W.B. Sutch, called the Responsible Society in N.Z. and widely commented by the Commission for further study and wider reading required reading for his students?
It is unfortunate, but thoughtful, sincere people can only remain very sceptical indeed of the Professors so called social views or values, more particularly so from the position he occupies in N.Z.
|1.||The Professor is, to be blunt, merely mouthing words on the issues.|
|2.||Not at all genuinely interested in the subject.|
|3.||He approves of Poor Law 19th Century Supplementary Means Tests.|
"Contraceptive vending Machines are now in the Union Building, lost anything lately, come along to the House Managers office between 12 and 1, Monday-Friday - Weight watchers, we can help you with Student Travel Bureau to Fiji work camp or Papua- New Guinea village scheme.
If all else fails VUWSA Insurance Scheme, endorsed by your association for all students and staff seeking further life assurance."
Jansen 75 watt amplifier and quad-box. Very good condition. $375 or so. Ring Dave. 552476.