If you’ve ever seen “Naked Gun 33 1/3,” you’ll remember the “Thelma and Louise-esque” spoof scene following “Jane’s” (Priscilla Presley’s) stun-gun takedown of an overly friendly, redneck trucker. Jane’s gal pal rushes to Jane’s aid and, grabbing her firmly by the shoulders in overly-dramatic style, attempts to quite literally shake some sense into the now murderous Jane. While Jane’s loyal friend diligently shakes Jane with melodramatic gusto, the darling Jane’s hairstyles keep magically changing with each firm jolt. It always makes me laugh. Watch:
Well, that very movie scene has been replaying in my mind for the past few minutes as I attempt to mentally digest the behemothic amount of deleterious imbecility I have just observed, courtesy of a University of Tennessee – Knoxville student. I’d like to get into my car, drive myself all the way to the other side of the state, find that young man, and then give him a good, hard shake by the shoulders until his hairstyles start changing a few times!
In an interview with Students for Life of America’s Appalachian Regional Coordinator, Brenna Lewis, the UT student, the stultus magna – “great fool” – announced his support for infanticide… for the infanticide of two-year-old children. Lord help us! There is trouble in Rocky Top! (Or, at the minimum, there’s yet another prime specimen proving himself fit to wear orange – that is, UT orange.) To be honest, as an aunt, this makes me a bit nervous, considering UT-Knoxville will be gaining my smart, hard-working, handsome and precious nephew this coming fall. Is apathy toward infanticide a standard part of the curriculum? But, I digress…
Though alarming, this college student’s morbid apathy toward the murder of toddlers is not the real problem here. What should haunt every American in our beds at night – shaking us awake with night sweats and parched mouths – is this college student’s colossal, stupefying and credulous stupidity? I recognize the harshness of this statement: I am identifying a young man, a college student as ignorant. My statement is not sweet or nice. Then again, a mindset that is accepting of the killing of children is not a sweet or nice mindset. So, please, make no mistakes about my sincerity regarding this matter. Though harsh, I mean every single word.
Let’s examine why…
Evidence for Ignorance:
Stultus Magna’s argument in concurrence with infanticide appears, based on observation, to be a result of (a) his painfully obvious inability to exercise critical thinking or deductive reasoning, or to merely formulate cognizant, coherent assumptions and conclusions; and (b) his preoccupation with an erroneous understanding of “sentience.” It can also be said that this college student appears to be unaware of the various modes of communication that humans have employed for millennia; both verbal and nonverbal. Thus, in essence, this poor young man is essentially functioning as a highly literate moron; it is as if he were little more than a trained monkey banging together two brass symbols. A loyal pup, Stultus Magna simply follows the script of the academic bioethicists, the death educators, and the Malthusian euthanasia enthusiasts. Original thoughts are for the birds.
Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, online, has an excellent explanation of what it means to be sentient. After watching the video of this college student (below) and given the easily comprehensible concept of sentience (quoted below), we can confidently declare Stultus Magna to be ignorant regarding the term’s meaning; ignorant beyond a reasonable doubt.
“You may have guessed that sentient has something to do with the senses. The initial spelling sent- or sens- is often a giveaway for such a meaning. A sentient being is one who perceives and responds to sensations of whatever kind – sight, hearing, touch, taste, or smell. Sentient ultimately comes from the Latin verb sentire, which means ‘to feel’ and is related to the noun sensus, meaning ‘feeling’ or ‘sense.’ A few related English words are sentiment and sentimental, which have to do with emotions, and sensual, which relates to more physical sensations.”
If an infant is hungry, does he not feel that hunger? If so, is he not sentient? Will the hungry infant cry out to be fed? If the infant does cry out to be fed, is not this cry a form of communication?
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If a toddler falls upon rough pavement, will she cry? If she cries, are not her cries a form of communication?
Do some young children, not yet verbal, attending day care not bite peers in frustration? Would this be an expression of nonverbal communication, as well as a clear indication of emotion?
Would not each example above clearly indicate sentience?
The Child Development Institute’s 2017 chart, “Ages and Stages: Birth to 5 Years,” provides examples of typical behaviors observed in young children in several developmental categories (also referred to as domains): physical, linguistic, emotional, social. As stated on the chart, babies 2-3 months in age smile [at faces], and babies 4-6 months of age visibly “enjoy being cuddled.” At 7-9 months old, a child “protests separation from mother,” and “enjoys peek-a-boo.” Between the ages of 10months to 1 year, children will begin to show “fear of strangers,” and will respond to his name, wave goodbye, understand the meaning of “no,” and play Pat-A-Cake. At 18 months, those infamous temper tantrums begin. Combined, a clear progression of development emerges: the development of clearly sentient little people.
In my years of teaching, every child who passed through my preschool classroom knew the difference between a toddler and a tree, between a two-year-old and a plant – an ability that Stultus Magna, on video, declared himself to be without. Not once have I met a Kindergartener who believed toddlers were incapable of communication, regardless whether that communication was done in verbal or nonverbal fashion. Not a single precious first grader was foolish enough to consider toddlers or infants to be anything other than, as I put into the adult language of this subject, conscious persons, responsive to sensory input, persons capable of experiencing and communicating emotions. Kids get it! I’ll say that again- kids get it!
Are we being untaught?
My Junior-Kindergarten students may not have been able to button their pants or tie their shoes, but every one of those awesome little kiddos was a thousand times more intelligent than this UT student. So, what’s the deal? How can a simple concept – the sentience of a human being, a concept so easily understood by children – prove so difficult for adults to comprehend? Is it perhaps possible that adults might be unlearning the obvious? Are we perhaps being taught, being instructed in the denial of our own senses? I believe the possibility should at least be considered.
Stultus Magna isn’t the only articulate, young, credulous college student to use sentience as an acceptable excuse for ending another’s life. The Young America’s Foundation (YAF) is a conservative college student organization that often hosts speakers at various college campuses. At a YAF question and answer session following his speech, conservative thinker Ben Shapiro was approached by a student who used sentience to justify abortion. The exchange is quite interesting in several ways: (a) it demonstrates how easy it is to disintegrate any argument which is in congruence with justifying the ending a life on the grounds of sentience; (b) the video serves as evidence that young people are being instructed in intellectually weak, insubstantial theories and that educators are not providing the proper, academically necessary activity of weighing, examining, and deconstructing those theories; (c) the video is also chilling in its foreshadowing: as we sadly now see, thanks in part to Stultus Magna, sentience is now being used to justify the killing of post-birth humans. Watch:
“There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Collected Works
Being instructed in weak, insubstantial theories have very real consequences long term, as do misunderstanding of or changes to the meaning of words. The demonstrated elephantine, deleterious ignorance may be a luxury for Stultus Magna, a grown adult, but it is precisely this very willful idiocy and a baneful dose of toxic apathy that is dangerously raising the stakes for our society’s toddlers. Ignorance has raised the stakes to life or death. Accepting infanticide can only come from a hypnosis-like idiocy. Stultus Magna is a young man whose mind has been infected with relativism, as he has quite evidently been taught to deny and to second-guess what his own eyes can see. Stultus Magna may be one student, but, in our tragic reality, he in many, many students. He is a generation untaught.
The plight of Stultus Magna is unacceptable ignorance, life-changing ignorance, and, potentially, life-ending ignorance. Think about that…