#117 Nukuler

#117 Nukuler

And now for something completely different – a photo comic! Call this an homage to A Softer World, one of the more interesting webcomics out there.

This one is directly inspired by an actual paper I graded today for the Contemporary Moral Issues course I teach. No joke. It was four pages long (the minimum length was 5 pages, of course) – an intro page about how homosexuality was wrong, 2 pages of essentially quoted Bible verse, and a concluding page that therefore gay marriage ought to be banned.

And before any easily offended conservative types write angry e-mails and comments (this will happen anyway, I’m sure), my problem with this paper is not its conclusion. Yes, I strongly disagree with the conclusion. But that’s not my problem. My problem is that he didn’t ARGUE for the conclusion in any way, nor to he respond to any possible arguments against his view – which was the entirety of the assignment. This kid just quoted a bunch of verses, and that was the extent of his intellectual engagement with the issue. So, so frustrating.

And no, not all of the papers are like this. There are good ones too, occasionally even genuinely interesting and novel ideas. But when you encounter a student this lazy and apathetic, it just makes you want to bang your head against the wall. Why even turn in a paper? If he’d turned in nothing at all it would have been better than this…

ANYWAY. Enough ranting. Time to see if I can catch up on a little sleep….


Discussion (21)¬

  1. Enzo says:

    I hope you failed him.

  2. chaospet says:

    You betcha.

  3. ADHR says:

    Is it an intro-level course? ‘Cause if so, that seems par for the course. There’s always some who don’t take the course seriously (’cause philosophy is easy). They’re not your problem; so why bang your head against the wall?

  4. chaospet says:

    Yup, it’s intro-level. But in this is sub-par even for an intro-level course (at least in my experience). I guess I care too much? I realize there are always students who don’t take the course seriously, but I guess it still bothers me when I encounter the ones who are THIS apathetic. Maybe it shouldn’t.

  5. Ramses IV says:

    Not necessarily apathetic. Suppose he felt extremely strong on the subject, but figured the Bible pretty much overruled any sort of counterargument one might have. I agree with you, of course, but just saying he’s not apathetic simply because of this paper. Of course, you’d know better than me, you’ve taught him for the entire course. So just ignore this, I suppose. Sorry, I tend to ramble a bit.

  6. chaos872 says:

    … damn, apart from the minor self doubt bit at the end Ramses succinctly sumed up all my thoughts. Religious people tend to view “faith” as a valid argument autowin. anyways i agree whole heartedly, good post.

  7. acolyte says:

    I don’t see what’s wrong with such a paper. This kid properly regards the Bible as the ultimate source of authority on moral matters! Be honest: the only reason this paper angers you so much is that he is quoting the Bible and that runs against the extreme radical liberalism you’re so fond of and no doubt propagate to your students like most other university professors do these days!!!!! Get off your liberal high horse and let students express dissenting views!!!

  8. chaospet says:

    If he had spent two full pages quoting Richard Dawkins and said “therefore gay marriage is ok”, I would be just as frustrated. This is why I call him lazy and apathetic – the whole assignment was to ARGUE for a view. This student didn’t even begin to attempt that.

  9. Mark says:

    I like the homage. More gay artwork, please!

  10. Abeo says:

    I could see how that would annoy you.

    A similar situation is when I take extra special care to state my argument thoroughly so that no one will misunderstand me. Trying to base it on evidence and logic. Then the first response is, “Oh ya? Well ur stupid so [removed expletive] yuo!”

    I don’t really mind that they disagree with me. I just wish they would do so in a reasonable fashion.

  11. Not relevant for this comic, but relevant for the page in general. A facebook fangroup has been created for Chaospet! Join up now.
    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=52825149736

  12. Liquid_Elf says:

    Don’t worry in my long experience of being in philosophy classes there as is always at least one person who completely and utterly misses the point of the paper and will be a terror to the rest of the class for the semester.

  13. chaospet says:

    @Mark: yay!

    @Abeo: exactly

    @Emil: That is too awesome for words. Is it bad netiquette to join a facebook fan group dedicated to your own work?

    @Elf: Happily this guy wasn’t a terror to the class. Quite the opposite – half of the time he wasn’t there, and when he was he never said a word.

  14. Enzo says:

    I agree! With EVERYTHING!

  15. jaron says:

    This is a perfect example of why I hate Christians. They simply believe things because they want to believe things. I believe things if I have a reason to do so, and if I WAnT to believe something I’ll try to find supporting reasons and check out opposing reasons… etc.
    Look at acolyte up there (who is probably out father). He disregarded the point of the paper, to argue something and provide reasons and counter-arguements, and just went ahead believing that you’re stifling christians.

    I honestly believe that religion is insidiously evil. But seriously quite evil. And all christians should be fed to lions.

  16. Wm Tanksley says:

    “This is a perfect example of why I hate Christians. They simply believe things because they want to believe things.”

    Wow. Just… Wow. You might want to get out a little, or stay in and read some books. Any should do, so long as you get a LITTLE more than just Dawkins.

    BTW: Good cartoon, although I can’t stand Softer Image in general. I prefer your own art.

  17. YT says:

    How demoralising, but chin up. I’m sure your words and teaching will one day come back into his mind and everything will become much clearer.

  18. chaospet says:

    @YT – thanks, I hope you’re right about that

    @Wm – to be fair to my bro, he’s a pretty well read fellow. Obviously not ALL xians are this way, but I think his point is that religion lends itself pretty easily to this sort of blind narrow-minded thinking

    @Jaron – I doubt that’s our pop, if only because the grammar and spelling aren’t poor enough

  19. liger says:

    maybe y ou should take it eays on the kid

  20. Kahn says:

    I like this comic style, funny one

  21. daftlittleinsomniac says:

    Dawkins is the athiest version of the he despises in the “christian” world. he really anoys the heck out of me sometimes.