How is your moral compass?

Dennis Prager relates in an article at RealClearPolitics his experience at the Oxford Union debates over the Christmas period.

In it he talks about knowing where people’s moral compass is at by how they react to what is described as “The Israel Question”.

His three observations of his time participating in the debates are as follows:

Three conclusions:

First, these statements accurately represent the moral and intellectual level of Oxford and nearly all other Western universities. The moral compass at Western universities is simply broken. The moral north points south and the moral south points north. Thus, the good — most especially America and Israel — are regarded as villains, and the worst are portrayed as victims.

The situation is the same regarding truth. “Israel is behaving like Nazi Germany” is, above all, a lie. Outside of the natural sciences, truth is not pursued at the university — indeed, the existence of objective truth is largely denied.

“Truth” (it is likely to be put in quotes) is a function of race, gender and class. There is, therefore, no truth about Ferguson, only white truth and black truth.

Second, as George Gilder has written in his superb book, “The Israel Test,” how an individual, institution or nation reacts to Israel provides a good guide to their values. Those with an intact moral compass and who are life- and success-affirming admire Israel. The immoral, the morally confused, and those who resent success loathe Israel. The university is in the latter categories.   

Third, if you do not share the universities’ values, it could be a big mistake to send your children to college before they are intellectually and morally prepared for the indoctrination-rather-than-education they will receive there. Therefore, prepare them morally and intellectually and, if possible, do not send them to college right after high school. Let them work for a year, or perhaps travel (for example, given the antipathy to Israel on campuses, a trip to Israel would be both morally clarifying and maturing). The younger the student, the less life experience and maturity they have, the more they are likely to embrace the rejection of your values.

The sad fact is that if you love education, revere the life of the mind, care about the pursuit of truth, think young people need to receive wisdom from their elders, and value moral clarity, the university is the last place you would want to send your 18-year-old.

Sadly this problem is the same the world over.

For me it is simple…there is only one functioning democracy in the Middle East, where gays are treated equally, women too, where the rule of law is followed and freedom of speech exists. That is Israel. All the rest are either run by the Army, controlled by terrorists or despots and are in reality a human rights disaster zone. For me it is that simple.

So where does your moral compass point?

With the universities and academics and liberal elite?

Or with logic and reason?


– RealClearPolitics


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  • Salacious Crumb

    Logic and reason = Friend of Israel

    NZ Media stop supporting genocide.

    • Coffee Connoisseur

      Logic and reason.
      Great glad we are finally looking at things from this perspective. About time too.
      Who is the system for?
      What is its purpose?
      You don’t end up with Capitalism in the current day and age if you apply logic and reason.

  • Kendall

    Logic and reason.

  • Randy Thaddeus Prosepon

    The problem with democracy is that it is the will of the people. If the will of the people is with the liberals and the academic elite, well then, it is the will of the people. Morals, ethics, logic and reason have little to do with it.

    • Morse

      <> Logic and Reason

  • jude

    There is certainly a level of indoctrination within the University environment.
    I know this is a generalization, but how many “capitalist,right wingers” take political science and media studies at Uni ?
    These tend to be taken by those already of a certain political persuasion in my opinion. So the lecturer is probably preaching to the converted.
    The sciences, law and accounting, I have not heard, are as politically driven.
    As for opinion for or against Israel.
    The never ending efforts of the MSM to try to influence public opinion is failing.
    With a large number on social media and online news,It is becoming increasingly easy to spot “opinion from “news”.

    • mike

      I went to Auckland Uni as an adult student at the tender age of 25, I was amazed at the naiveness of my fellow students. How can someone with no real life or work experience fully understand the reality of Ethics or Philosophy? These are subjects where you need life experience in order to formulate your argument.

      Probably why I didn’t do well though as they didn’t want my opinions or arguments, they wanted me to parrot long dead philosophers and use their arguments to support my claims.

    • Meep Meep MEEEEP!!!

      Yeah, I studied science at waikato uni and my husband engineering, i’m pretty sure we both encountered a greater number of right wing thinkers. But my sister is doing a joint law and soc sci degree, and she cant believe how many academics and and students are radical leftwingers.

    • conwaycaptain

      My son did Pol Sci and he is v R Wing

      • jude

        Did he feel though that he was in the minority?
        I thought the lecturers were considered very left wing. I remember part of our commerce degree included one political science paper.
        The compulsory textbook was written by the lecturer:)

        • conwaycaptain

          And at High school doing economics he had a Welsh teacher and Matt was tom the right of the students and he would stand and argue his point, he had been home schooled for 4 yeas
          The teacher told us and say this in a welsh accent,
          I used to ask a question and Matthew would answer and I just stood back and stirred. He is a bit right wing your son!!!

          • jude

            That is great that your son was allowed to have a voice and not be punished or ridiculed for it:)

          • kehua

            yacky da

  • Isherman

    Logic and reason of course.
    Speaking to Israel being the only functioning democracy in the middle east, also ponder this. Israel, being a parliamentary democracy of proportional representation is required to hold elections every four years, though few governments have actually gone the full term. In contrast, Hamas like to remind the west that they were democratically elected, and international monitors reported that the election that brought them to power was largely free and fair. (lets just assume that’s true for a moment). The election was in 2006, they have never held elections since, they have never announced any plan or timetable to hold elections. And yet, Nobody, not the UN, the Arab league or anyone at all has ever held them to account for it, if they are so democratic, when do the people of Gaza get to have an opportunity to remove them…they wont is the answer. King Abdullah of Jordan was right when he said “democracy means different things to different people.”

    edit to correct term.

    • Albert Lane

      I understand that the PLO candidates in that election in Gaza were put to death. It sounds credible, as it’s obvious that Hamas don’t tolerate dissenting views. If they ever hold another ‘democratic” election in the future, I’d be surprised if any other party fields any candidates.

      • Isherman

        Correct, in fact ISIS appear to have borrowed a method that Hamas have employed agains Fatah, and other PLO aligned groups and suspected collaborators, that is, throwing them off buildings. There was plenty of well evidenced intimidation going on, and Hamas were not playing to lose. As long as Hamas control the Gaza strip, I cant see any prospect of elections, why would they.

        • Albert Lane

          And the next election results will all be ready to publish when they are required.

  • johnnymanukau.

    Great advice for all Western people living and enjoying democracy and not realising or wanting to know why. If these people do not come to terms with their morals and common sense logic and do some serious research in to what is happening around them and[ really] the whole world situation then we are doomed to repeat the same mistakes that started world war 1 and 2. The start to this realisation and what will occur starts with the MSM,
    doing their research with clear morals and reporting the truth, NOT WHAT THEY THINK PEOPLE WANT TO READ or going for brownie points. Who and how many NZ reporters come to mind at this time?

  • cows4me

    “with the universities and liberal academic elite”. Certain university courses run by academic liberals are just factories that push out mindless liberal drones. Look at our media, liberal zombies , regurgitating lefty poison like muck pumps. They tried and tried to sway public opinion and failed horribly, did they learn anything, nope, the thicko’s are still pushing the same crap even when it’s clear the public are no longer listening. One only has to watch a few of the Hamas hugging news items on the national news to realise where these people’s moral compasses lie. Liberalism is a mental disorder and this mental disorder is easily caught by the feeble minded.

  • R&BAvenger

    I studied Modern World History in my first year at Canterbury in 2009. This covered the events in world history post WW2, including the formation of the state of Israel.
    In our main class and tutorials it was a topic discussed in some depth.
    Pretty much the key points were that Israel came about due to promises made by the British government pre WW2 (the Balfour declaration) I think, to go some way toward assuaging Christian guilt over the treatment of Jews in Europe.
    Post WW2 it became imperative (for obvious reasons) to ensure Jews had their own homeland)
    The state of Israel was created in 1948 and all of its Arab neighbours immediately declared war upon it.
    There have been many conflicts since.
    That was pretty much what was covered in that paper and the way it was covered was looking at the historic events without apportioning blame or taking a political or moral stance over any aspect of it.
    That is certainly as it should be, I think, when it comes to history.
    People’s moral stance now seems to be based more on political correctness, moral outrage based on ‘fairness’ and complete ignorance of historical fact.
    Any mistakes in the recall of what was covered in this course are my own.

    • conwaycaptain

      I did British History 1900-45 for GCE in the UK and had a great history teacher.
      The Balfour Declaration was just after WW 1 and the Sykes Picot Treaty which divided up the ME was signed in 1917.
      The Jews got Israel because of European Guilt but the Arabs were given opportunities to be part of the settlement but declined and so we have had never ending conflicts since.
      The Arabs look on themselves as the result of the problem not part of the problem and they could be far better off by living in peace and doing joint ventures with the Israelis.
      However as TE Lawrence said the Arabs are a cruel and lazy people

      • Bartman

        It’s a shame that the Arab world lacked a visionary leader at that crucial time in our past – how different the ME could be today!

        • R&BAvenger

          I think Nasser was the only visionary Arab leader of any note, although his vision was not a accepting one towards Israel either.

    • Albert Lane

      From what I understand, is that when the war started, the Arab leaders told the Arabs in Israel to leave the country, and that when the Israelis were defeated, they could safely return to their homes. But the Arabs were defeated, and the ones who left, and had gone to live in refugee camps in various Arab countries, are still in those camps, and are not allowed to become citizens of those countries, nor are they permitted to live outside those camps. This enforced refugee status seems to have been ignored by the UN, and I’m sure that if any western country made refugees remain in camps for almost 70 years, the UN would step in. So why is the world so quiet about these huge injustices? Could it be that the refugees are continually being promised that they will be able to return home one day soon, and that they are being used as political pawns in the middle-eastern quagmire?

      • R&BAvenger

        The other problem with the initial declaration and treaty is that they were, by and large made by the Colonial Power(s) in place at the time, mostly being a promise that they couldn’t really guarantee to keep.
        Post the events of WW2, it became imperative for Jews in Europe to have a homeland and with the UN’s blessing and input the modern state of Israel was created in 1948.
        Defenders of the Arab aggressors in this day and age, conveniently forget that, as well as the fact that land acquired post the 6-Day war and Yom Kippur war has helped Israel keep itself much safer than it otherwise may have been.
        Apart from the pre-emptive strikes of the 6 day war, there are fewer occasions where Israel has been the aggressor, rather than defending itself and responding to aggression.

  • Dairy_Flat

    Liberals are very long on talk and short on action. As long as there is talk they have opportunity to influence the narrative but as soon as action is taken they are forced into adopting an actual stand. The UN is a utopia for them as it is an endless talk fest and tries hard to avoid making decisions. Israel on the other hand just gets on and sorts stuff out, and oh how the liberal left hate that.

    • Isherman

      Yet the delicious irony, and a big dead rat for the Israel hating liberal left to swallow, is that between 1948 and 1977, in which Israels ‘existential’ wars were fought, the country was dominated by …left wing and Labour led coalition governments.

  • 1951

    Our youngest not only had a gap year but also had a few months traveling through parts of Asia which included rubbish-collection at Base Camp. His out-look is obviously broader than the older two that left home for university at the age if 17. It takes many good arguments to undo that indoctrination.

  • jude

    I have not seen the film yet.
    But this person criticises Clint Eastwood pretty much for the same thing. Glorifying America whilst ignoring some inconvenient truths.
    I will not comment but I am still going to see the film on Sat.
    It is an interesting perspective against the overwhelming positive responses to the film release.

    • mike

      I saw it the other day and I thought it was a great movie. It shows the moral dilemma faced by soldiers in a war zone and the emotional issues they face when they cone home, and how ptsd can destroy your life and your family.

      Eastwood has ignored the more outrageous claims made by kyle in his book and focuses on these core issues.

      It’s not a war movie, it is a story about a Patriot doing what he can to serve his country and his fellow soldiers.

  • Nige.

    Having our morals dictated to us. Again.

  • I couldnt give a rats behind about a persons religious beliefs and much the same about a persons sexuality – on the basis that they dont give a rats about mine – accept that we can all have different beliefs (and none of them worth killing each other for) and happily go about our lives…….

    however if i lived next door to a person that hated my religious beliefs, and spent their days throwing stones at my house and terrorizing my kids, im sure first step would be building a bigger fence……… and if the stones kept coming then sooner or later id throw a few bricks back and possibly jump the fence to take away their rock pile

    • Hans

      I cant understand why the gay community need to introduce themselves and sexual preference in same sentence. I would have thought this would only be an issue if you were going to have sex with them. I’m a man and like women, i don’t go around advertising this to all the women i meet, they are smart, they figure it out for them selves. But if i were to start with the line hey I’m heterosexual they may get the impression i want to sleep with them – and i may only want to talk.

  • Eiselmann

    Before I left Auckland I lived for over a year in Central Auckland and its fair to say I encountered a number of University educated liberal elites despite my best efforts to avoid them. There were in general four topics of conversation
    1) how awful John Key is and why everything is his fault
    2) how awful Israel is and why everything is their fault
    3) how awful it must be to be poor.(followed by..I met a poor person once.)
    We normally got to the fourth subject when they realised I didn’t agree with them on subject 1 and 2 (and could argue my point )and knew a lot more about the poor in this country than they could ever know.
    Subject 4) lets talk about what I’m studying …or in other words’ I bet I know a lot more about one topic than you ‘….its at this point they found out life experience often tops learning a subject in a sanitised way with ,at best, limited critical thinking.
    I miss university educated liberal elites but they do cry and scream a lot when they get flustered . They are however fun when they go red in the face, because you know they want to rage and lash out, but can’t when they are dealing with a 6ft4 South Auckland boy

    • Hans

      Great read and enjoyed the humour, thanks

  • timemagazine

    Enlighten academics view Christians doubtlessly as yahoos.
    Academics have afforded Islam more than any other religious group. Academic bias against Christianity is because it is part of the western culture and supposedly imperialistic, while viewing non-western religions as victims of colonialism and modern discrimination meriting reparation.

  • Hans

    Funny how they all say the Religion is the cause of all wars, and especially the Pagan Christian Crusades. Only problem is we have WW1, WW2, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Polpot, North Korea, etc don’t see any Christians in that lot – especially North Korea because its in your face now if you have your eyes open, you don’t need a history book to figure out it has banned Religion, except for worshipping the little man with the silly hair cut. So N Korea should be a utopia where all the left wing degenerates would be gagging to emigrate to!!!

    • Eiselmann

      And you think they would all head to the paradise that is North Korea…theres been enough offers of free airline tickets made on this site alone , that anyone who wants out of all this horrible freedom of choice could leave today…and yet they stay miserable in Godzone

  • philbest

    There is an amazing debate between Dennis Prager and Christopher Hitchens, where Hitchens to his credit, concedes “Touche” to Prager at one point, over an incisive test question from Prager over the difference between Islam and Christianity. Hitchens had been tending to conflate all religion – his book was titled “God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything”.

  • Bartman

    Logic & reason thank you very much. Having watched a variety of YouTube clips on the middle east history, Israel and her aspirational efforts to develop a modern functional society, I cannot understand how they can be so demonised, when what they aspire to is exactly the same as most western nations. The academic and liberal elite can get stuffed, they are deluded and dangerous in equal measure.

  • Ilovelife

    The truly worrying thing is that most teachers never leave school. They go straight to university where they are indoctrinated with this sort of rubbish and then back to school where they carry on the indoctrination of their students. I have academics in my family and I can honestly say they are a bunch of “know all know nothings” and so self righteous about what they think is good for the world.