Monday, January 29, 2007

So my essay students

are showing a scary tendency. In reply to an essay prompt asking whether or not lying is ever justified, a scandalous number of these homeschooled kids cited Jack Bauer as the prime justification for why lying is, indeed, necessary in some circumstances. Usually that example was bookended by the ever-popular lying about someone's appearance so as not to hurt their feelings and lying to offer encouragement to an athlete or actress or pianist who is not performing up to snuff. Rahab would be proud.

8 comments:

brian said...

Julie,

I don't see this as a scary tendency. What is scary to me is blind loyalty to any code.

My brother and I were discussing whether lying was ever justified. I asked him if he was in Nazi Germany and hiding a Jewish family in his house, and a Nazi officer came to the door and asked "Are you hiding any Jews?" would you lie to save lives? He actually hesitated, not only hesitated, he never did really answer the question.

I'd make that decision in a heartbeat and not think twice about it. His hesitation is what I find scary.

Peace,
Brian

Dave said...

I know that Jack Bauer is the lead character in 24, but I haven't watched that show since a few episodes into its first season. Does he routinely lie as he goes about his task of saving Western Civilization from the Terrorist Bad Guys? How many of us find ourselves in similar circumstances in any of our typical 24's?

Margaret said...

I think what's scary is if the students are using that idea plus a relativism to make it all right for them to lie.

How many of us are in Jack Bauer's place?

julieunplugged said...

Oh you guys! I meant scary about the fact that they knew so much about Jack Bauer and had not a single REAL historical event to cite (i.e. the Holocaust)!!

That's all. Totally agree about lying when under those conditions. :)

brian said...

Oops. I totally missed the point of your post. Yes, it is scary they cite Jack Bauer rather than real historic figures.

my15minutes said...

Jack Bauer, arbiter of contemporary morality. Ah, yes. And homeschoolers, no less. What's the world coming to? :-) It kinda cracks me up the conservative types I know really are into 24, when I'd think the violence itself would be enough to keep them against it. I guess it's that John Wayne typology that wins every time. Someone actually told my mother (My. Mother.) she should watch Jack Bauer.

julieunplugged said...

Brian, in rereading the original, I can see how I omitted the essential detail about why I thought this tendency funny and scary. :) You are gracious.

And Beth - hilarious to think of your mom watching 24! That beats all, as they say.

Matt said...

I've started watching "24" since this most recent series started, and it's pretty interesting. Kids (and many of my friends) know infinitely more about the show than I do. You should do a Google search on Jack Bauer and see what you come up with; one of my favorites is a list of 30 ways that Jack Bauer could beat Chuck Norris.....

- Matt