Should I confront my professor on this?

My philosophy professor is non-religious but is otherwise a very friendly, nice, and good professor. Needless to say some of the things he says aren’t totally kosher but I accept that given his religious preferences and almost all of what he says about philosophy isn’t bad at all. And when he does discuss religion he tends to be correct in what he says about it, although he does get certain things wrong here and there (can’t remember any good examples right now).

He was talking today about Musonius Rufus and his view that sex should only be for having kids and never for pleasure, then made a joke that it was similar to the Christian view of sex (he got a few laughs too). I’m wondering if I should confront him on the subject 1) because this is the 2nd to last class; and 2) most of what he says isn’t bad even despite being non-religious. I don’t think I should bother responding at this point because I don’t see what it will do other than cause a stir in class.

Keep in mind also that this is a secular school. Thoughts?

[EDIT] The professor is a humorous guy who is more than capable of being humorous in class…he just cracked a joke about engineering here. So I don’t think there is any malice on his part whatsoever (in fact, when I have approached him in the past on subjects like this he acknowledges the truth of the matter willingly, it’s not that he believes it’s wrong and wants to degrade it).

Leave it be. It would take too long to explain how sex for children can also be sex for pleasure, and vice versa. He “gets” that for Christians, sex is supposed to be open to life, and that’s a good start. If you have a chance to take him out for a beer after the classes are over and your marks are in, you can bring it up then, but for right now, just leave it.

I agree with jmcrae on this. I wouldn’t get in his face over a smart comment.

On the other hand, it sounds like you want to let him know that you aren’t in total agreement with him. If it were my philosophy prof, I would say something along these lines:“You know, that comment about Rufus vs Christian views on sex got me to thinking about what is really taught by the Church.” And then I’d tell him what is actually taught, limiting it to no more than 30 seconds though! I don’t think this prof deserves a lecture because of joke he made. :stuck_out_tongue:

I don’t know how much you know about the Church teachings on this subject, (I must admit I know little about it myself…it was never really discussed at home!), so here’s some stuff to help you back up what you’re saying! Here’s an extract from the CCC (this is a link to the Section that covers it more in detail):

2362 "The acts in marriage by which the intimate and chaste union of the spouses takes place are noble and honorable; the truly human performance of these acts fosters the self-giving they signify and enriches the spouses in joy and gratitude."145 Sexuality is a source of joy and pleasure:

The Creator himself . . . established that in the [generative] function, spouses should experience pleasure and enjoyment of body and spirit. Therefore, the spouses do nothing evil in seeking this pleasure and enjoyment. They accept what the Creator has intended for them. At the same time, spouses should know how to keep themselves within the limits of just moderation.

If you want to know more yourself, CAF has this book online, Good News about Sex and Marriage; it could help you get a clear understanding on the whole matter.

Anyway, I’m sure the guy won’t mind being “challenged” just a little! Good luck! :thumbsup:

Definitely leave it alone.

Give him Hell!!

Just kidding, he sounds like a nice person. I sincerely doubt he meant any harm with what he said. :slight_smile:

Choose your battles carefully. I don’t think this one is worth the trouble.

Sometimes you have to let the other guy be right, even when he’s wrong.

I used to work as a university/college professor and academic counselor for many years.

Here is my advise. "DON’T CONFRONT HIM OR REPORT HIS COMMENTS to the administrators while you are a student in their class. It can totally affect your grade if the professor gets angry at you. They have the power to slam dunk you especially when you see that the "A’ grade overachiever students are better students than you may be. If you are an “A” student already in your class… your professor can state that you messed up on your final test. The administraters will take the side of the professor most of the time.

Meanwhile… You could get an “F” final grade from the professor and you may not get into the university of your choice for your Masters or Phd.

So lets say you get your grade changed after you win your case… approx. 6 months later and get the grade changed to an "A’ grade. The University that you may want to attend may reject you anyway because your professor has called that university stating you caused him a lot of grief. Universities don’t want trouble makers.

I am ON YOUR SIDE…here is my advise. After you receive your grade then you can have a talk with your professor in private and state how you feel. Your professor will be kind to you and maybe state he is sorry about what he said about Christians. You may have a wonderful conversation and both can learn something new from eachother.
If he turns out to be a real jerk then you haven’t lost your real grade and you will still be in good standing with your school records.

SORRY TO SAY that is the real world in Universities. Some students win and some students lose. Some students take their revenge on a professor who was not fair to them
by giving the professor a bad review as a professor and making it public.

There are many stories I could tell you on how some students messed up their final grade
by reporting the professor on something or causing an argument in front of the class.

I notice from the title you want to “CONFRONT” the professor. It would be better to have a private “discussion” to air out in a friendly manner. PEACE, Retired Professor Lucia
You may even be able to ask your professor to write you a reference letter when it is time to move on to another university or a career job.

Aren’t universities supposed to be about colleagues in the academia exchanging information and views? And isn’t this supposed to include students?

For the sake of intellectual honesty, I’d want to say something, but that’s just me. When I was a student, I was known as a ‘troublemaker’ in that respect, but never had any problems because of it.

And I wouldn’t necessarily ‘correct’ him, as he does have a point - there certainly have been thinkers in the history of Christianity who have held that view. Look at St. Gregory of Nyssa, for example. It’s just not as simple an issue as he makes it out to be. Although, to be fair, a joke normally does not allow much time for expressing nuances of complex issues. :o

Hello Litcrit, The major problems between students and professors is how they choose to communicate with eachother.
When a student chooses to CONFRONT a professor they can get in trouble. But when a student chooses to put their own point of views in a classroom… they are saying this is what I think on that subject. The professor is left with their own point of view on the subject.

Litcrit, you say you were known as a “trouble-maker” student. But I think you were able to put your point of view across by not trying to correct a professor’s point of view. That is why you were able to survive as a student. You must have had a great time in your university being outspoken on your own views. It showed your professors that you were not afraid of stating your views. You must have made the class experience great for other students to learn to speak up too on their own point of views or just ask questions of the professor.

Too many students chose to play it safe and stay quiet because they don’t want to look stupid or uninformed. They may end up with an “A” grade but when they need a reference letter from their professor… I have heard of some professors stating in their reference letter… “the student got an “A” grade but I really didn’t know him”. “Cruel shoes”.

All of my professors knew who I was because I never confronted them but I was very outspoken in class in a respectful manner.
I don’t consider myself as a very intelligent person because sometimes I do say stupid things here on our forums. But I do learn from people here on what I have stated on some subject that I may be wrong in my distored thinking. I do that a lot. LOL. LaLucia

Since he wasn’t teaching Christian sexual ethics, and it was just a side-joke, I wouldn’t mention anything about it. If he was seriously teaching Christian sexual teachings, then I might bring it up, but not for a joke. Plus, the best defense is a good offense.

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