A reader sent me
an interesting story bout St. Vincent College using Internet
filters to block porn and gambling sites on campus.
“I realize that we are in the
minority of Catholic colleges and universities, but I like where we
are,” he said. “I think our Catholic identity and mission compel us to
give this witness to our students that our community is not going to be
complicit in this spreading of pornography.”
Academic freedom has
been used to justify a lot of
things on Catholic campuses and I will think that you will not be
surprised that an argument of academic freedom is used here in
opposition of the filtering along with other arguments such as made by
George Leiner, chair and associate professor of philosophy:
“I do think it has a chilling effect on
the exploration young adults
need to make as they are determining what positions to take on
important matters in culture, whether they are academic, political,
moral,” he said.
Yes, access to porn sites is needed to
learn what “positions” to take. It is pornography that has a
chilling effect in its moral destruction.
The president of the college applied to
this line of reasoning saying.
think academic freedom is an extremely important issue, but it’s not an
absolute,” he said. “When you come to a Catholic college … you have
to look at the moral content of the education.”
article mentions that Franciscan University of Steubenville also uses
filters in some of their systems, but that University of Notre Dame and Boston College don’t.
Update: Marcel LeJeune has a good post in response to this subject.