Keep discussing tough questions

I would like to commend the Tech editors for their editorial on Sept. 6. It reminded me that MIT students are willing to raise difficult questions. Let me offer some resources that may be helpful to you and others wanting to round out their education. The Technology and Culture Forum (TAC) has been asking hard questions for over 40 years. Last year they sponsored, among other programs, a campaign to discover “What are the most important questions ….” Their ethics seminar is offered again this year. It is 24.190J — Doing Right: Ethical Choices in Literature. Over the course of this year they will also sponsor programs addressing tough topics that demand ethical reflection.

The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT is also a resource you might wish to investigate. They bring to campus a variety of programs that try to raise issues of value that may not be discussed in the classroom. Last year I especially enjoyed the Reverend Mpho A. Tutu discussing her book, Made for Goodness. Her thoughts — and those of her famous father Desmond Tutu — offer a bracing contrast to the views presented in Ryan Normandin ’13’s fine opinion piece about SeekingArrangement.com.

Keep up the good work. What we are about here at MIT is too important for us to be allowed to drift into the ditch of irrelevance, and the role of the press as a corrective is critical.

Robert M. Randolph
Chaplain to the Institute
Housemaster, Bexley Hall

1 Comment
Anonymous almost 11 years ago

I agree we should keep raising difficult questions, however, I believe it is just as important to be impartial and unbiased when doing so, and to present a balanced view of any difficult topic.

I also believe there is a fine line between Ryan Normandin's pointedly negative opinion piece, its risks to our civil rights, and the oppression of a minority by a majority that may be swayed by unjust stereotypes.

Just remember what the ultra-conservatives would have us all believe. That being gay is immoral, or that a woman's right to choose is immoral...

So, while I agree with your point that one should always be unafraid to raise difficult topics, I also urge writers like Ryan Normandin to take it one step further by being impartial and unbiased when he expresses his opinion.