Dallin Oaks went. Second mistake.
Dallin Oaks said something. Third mistake.
Quick summary of what Oaks said: People in the US, generally, are ignorant about religion. He says that’s bad. Oaks then blames higher education for this, claiming that higher education has lost its focus now that it actually spends its time teaching students things like science, medicine, and engineering instead of theology. (Makes me think of Mencken on theology, “Theology is the effort to explain the unknowable in terms of the not worth knowing.” H L Mencken, A Mencken Chrestomathy, “Sententi: Arcana Coelestia” (1949).) I’m sure we’d have the technology we have today if all we did in college is just talk about the unknowable. Yep, this is genius. What a great idea, former law professor Oaks! (I wonder if he followed his own advice when he was a law professor; talk about worthless law school classes.)
Not having made a big enough fool out of himself, Oaks tries harder by claiming he knows ‘The Truth’ and is going to tell the students ‘The Truth.’ Though, apparently, ‘The Truth’ is really 3 ‘The Truths’:
- The nature of God, including the role of the three members of the Godhead, and the corollary truth that there are moral absolutes.
- The purpose of life.
- The three-fold sources of truth about man and the universe: science, the scriptures and continuing revelation, and how we can know them.
Maybe I’m just a jaded secularist, but it sure seems like: #1 is heavily debated and certainly not knowable; #2 has as many “truths” as there are people on the planet; and #3 is an oxymoron.
So, what have we gained from this? Oaks thinks all universities should teach just Mormon theology. I bet we could learn more if I simply put my 9 month old son in front of everyone and we all watched him for an hour; at the very least he’d be more entertaining.