- Oct 2017
In conformity with the principles of our constitution, which places all sects of religion on an equal footing,
In my engagement, "Can a Text be Ethical?", we have been studying the importance of religion in regards to government and policies. For our final assignment, we have to analyze the logic behind when it is important to use religious texts, such as the New Testament, to make ethical decisions. I think this line in the document perfectly encapsulates the whole point of this class: all religions should be considered equal. But the difficult question is when do we take religious beliefs into consideration? Jefferson believed his university should uphold the same values that his country upholds, which are that of freedom and equality for all. However, this then dives into the question of how far equality extends. If equality was so important to Jefferson, why was it only relative to religion? He is widely-known for keeping many slaves, so it is obvious that social equality was not of relevance to him. Then again, we must wonder if it was because he wasn't trying to make a political statement with the founding of a university. The amount of funding and support that a university requires is unimaginable, which is why it would make sense that Jefferson would pick his battles to allow for a new university instead of fighting for racial equality.
The considerations which have governed the specification of languages to be taught by the professor of Modern Languages were that the French is the language of general intercourse among nations, and as a depository of human Science is unsurpassed by any other language living or dead:
It is interesting to me that French was considered to be superior to all other languages, whether or not they were still in use. Latin is thought to be an extremely important language, since most of our historical documents were originally written in Latin. As far the sciences go, which is emphasized in this document as critical to the learning of all students, Latin is used to describe most everything. The names of plants, animals, and medical terminology are all Latin, which is why it is unusual for the text to refer to the French language as the "best".