Here’s an e-mail I just had to send to my professor informing him I have requested a transfer out of his classroom (Because he’s stone freaking crazy!!!!)
COPY & PASTE -------------------->
I am sorry, but I must respectfully and categorically disagree with your responses to certain discussions this week, specifically, two statements that you made both to me and (NAME REMOVED) in discussion two. Now first, let me quantify my credentials for objection. I spent many years in Religious studies and hold certifications in both Business and Situational Ethics. I also spent many years teaching Ethics in a corporate environment. You have made statements to both me and (NAME REMOVED) that I absolutely object to. Please, let me point out clearly my disagreements with commentary to specific points in your responses:
It may be a profitable exrecise [sic] for students to compare the Code of Hammurabi with the Biblical code or the Laws of Moses as found in the Books of Leviticus chapters 18 through 20, Exodus chapters 21 and 22, and Deuteronomy chapter 19.
Now this statement is good, it is made as a historical reference. Pointing out framework that appears in both texts has historical context. Using both Hammurabi’s code and biblical examples of Hammurabi’s code being repeated thousands of years later in the Torah (Old Testament) and should have ended here as a sidebar. However you continued:
This exercise may help to enlighten someone to the idea that the the [sic] Hapiru People (Hebrews) were Semitic people who arose in the Mesopotamian River Valley between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in Southern Iraq. Thus, in the place where Abraham was born and lived, and where Hammurabi ruled with his Code of Laws, the God who appeared to Abraham long before he got to Palestine or Canaan, may have been the same God of Eternity who was teaching not only Abraham or Moses but also Hammurabi.
In any case, even if you do not imbibe this knowledge, you will not be able to deny the fact that Scripture in Genesis 2: 8-14 names the Euphrates River of Iraq as one of the boundaries of the Garden of Eden ( Gen. 2: 14). Thus, Iraq was a part of the Garden of Eden.
This ethically crossed the line from Historical to personal theological ideology and was presented as fact and not opinion. Where is your citation of historical corroboration that Yahweh (The Christian-Judeo God) spoke to Hammurabi? There is none, therefore, this is a personal belief and belongs in a theological class discussion and not a historical one. The same applies to the assertion that Genesis (or any Old or New Testament claims) can be historically proven true from other historical texts, which it cannot, such as your belief of the supposed location of the Garden of Eden. However much we believe or do not believe in the validity of the Bible as the Word it cannot be presented as supportive historical evidence. The Bible is a religious text, but even Christian apologists readily confirm and concede that no contemporary historians such as Titus Flavius Josephus (37 – c. 100) ever made mention of the events chronicled in the Bible. The one point that was purported to be in Josephus’ texts (“Testimonium Flavium”, Book 18, Chapter 3, 3 of the Antiquities) was confirmed to be an interpolation of the historian Eusebius, who used Josephus' works extensively as a source for his own "Historia Ecclesiastica." In layman's terms he added supportive evidence into the Antiquities documents for the Catholic Church who routinely edited and forged documents and the interpolation in the Antiquities was admitted to be a forgery in the Twentieth Century by numerous religious scholars such as Louis Feldman and Zvi Baras.
This argument of my disagreement with your statement is simply a matter of belief without evidence, because there is no historical evidence. Faith is, by definition, belief without evidence.
Now onto your statement to me:
“You made an excellent list of comparative scriptures, which demonstrates a connection between Hammurabi's Code and the Laws of God that were also being articulated to other people in other places like Kung-Ftz-zu (Confucius).”
Again, instead of being presented as your opinion, you have presented this as fact by use of the words “…Laws of God that were also being articulated…” Not, “may have” or “in my opinion also”, but “WERE also”. You are a figure of authority in a classroom and you are making statements without citation and therefore are not generally challenged to provide historical corroboration that God did indeed speak to or influenced Confucius. You state personal belief as fact with impunity and I find that ethically irresponsible. I respect your beliefs, I share many. Nevertheless, I cannot condone statements like this outside a theological arena. Because you are a respected authority figure in this classroom and people will take your statements as fact because you have authority and are the Instructor and therefore, will not be asked to source your claims for historical corroboration.
This is a HISTORY class and all statements made must be cited and evidenced with historical support and accuracy. I would not make this disagreement if this were a theological class. I do have to make them ethically because this is a history class.
Now, I have said my piece and I should also inform you respectfully that I have requested my Academic Advisor for a transfer from this class to the same class with a new instructor. I cannot in good conscience continue when I fear you and I will fundamentally disagree on what is and is not ethical when it comes to personal ideology presented as historical evidence. I have a 4.0 GPA and I will not risk my grades when I feel there will be more severe conflict of opinion as this course progresses. I cannot be sure that my dissenting opinion will not reflect in my grades if your beliefs are “fact” to you and not so, necessarily, to me. I apologize if this offends you, but it is a genuine fear I have and cannot academically risk. I also chose to respond to you privately as to not affect your position of authority in the classroom.
Thank you for your time and understanding in this matter and I wish you please consider my words in the vein intended, an academic logical argument of opposition, and I hope you have a successful class.
See? This is where all my fun time goes, SCHOOL and writing god damn letters like this one! O_o