Two doctorate - Your views!

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by chrisjm18, May 25, 2020.

  1. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    On another note, criminal justice is itself a kind of strange duck academically speaking. One can make a pretty cogent argument that society defines what are crimes and therefore who are criminals. So can there even be any objective science as criminal justice to study?

    This is not a trivial question. It is also not a question a mere JD is equipped to answer. I will say that I don't agree with Bentham that inalienable rights are "nonsense on stilts" but I don't know how to escape from the inevitable philosophical box. I didn't learn that even in my LLM studies!
  2. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    I suggest you do a bit of research on the social science discipline of criminal justice.
  3. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    This is not new. We've been discussing this since the 1970s.
  4. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    CJ is a social science. There are many solid social science theories that could be leveraged it studying that subject and, I'm sure, are.
  5. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Oh, I don't suggest otherwise so long as the subject maintains its, shall I say, clinical orientation? It's the philosophy of it that I find perplexing.
  6. not4profit

    not4profit Active Member

    I have my doubts about the objectivity of any research field that is not a 'hard science.' I think we are fooling ourselves to think researcher bias does not permiate all our findings and theory. I am interested in the logic you present, though, particulalry from a lawyer type. It seems to skip past the person's decision to take an action or not. A law being a law does not determine the person's role in choosing whether to break it or not. I would strongly question the value of the legal profession if it is all predetermined that way.
  7. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Well, that's sort of the problem. I don't really want to post in detail about the issue because it would be a very long post and many good books have been written on it. Besides, my own thoughts are rather muddled. Suffice it to say that law is morally neutral. It does not concern itself with justice or right or moral rectitude. Therein lies the problem. If an act is a crime because the state declares it to be a crime can you avoid the logical consequence that a criminal is a criminal because the state says he is? If there were universal human standards in all areas of behavior you might say that a crime is a violation regardless of the state's decree but there is no such agreement in large areas of the law.
  8. not4profit

    not4profit Active Member

    Yeah I see the perspective. I suppose I come from more of a classical CJ perspective where personal accountability is the emphasis. I definitely think there is some gray area there. I also agree that the laws are a social construct. But, I still cant get passed the step where the person decides to steal or hurt someone. I tend to think we should not have drug laws so I think there is some room for some of our social construct laws to be a little less socially constructed. But, I dont see much wiggle room when people hurt others or steal. In that case I am fine with society deciding who is a criminal.
  9. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    This is a bias that has been blown away for decades now. Qualitative research has proven valuable in advancing many forms of science, including (but not limited to) social sciences.

    As for your "hard science," it is subject to many forms of bias, from sampling errors to unconscious biases to errors in hypothesis selection and many more. Even a simple math test given in a junior high class can be biased.

    Logic? That's based in philosophy, a social science, and is almost always advanced by qualitative means. ("Soft science," I guess.)

    The terms "soft" and "hard" sciences, while still in use, are archaic.
  10. not4profit

    not4profit Active Member

    Lol. Maybe you dont understand the tone of your writing. I have no problem at all with qual research. I am actually working on qual research right now. I think it is necessary before we can even get into anything quant. We dont even know what questions to ask without first using qual research. Hard sciences are biology, chemistry, etc. Think experiments in a lab setting. Soft sciences are those that are super heavily influenced by people and interpretations and other variables that we cannot control for.

    I did not issue a judgment, nor did I even mention qual research. I simply indicated that we have to acknowledge researcher bias in the soft sciences.
  11. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Where is that? Is it pursuit of a degree?

    I've never heard of the need to to qualitative research "before getting into anything quant." They are separate methodologies, employed based on the nature of the phenomenon to be researched and what needs to be discovered and/or tested. I'm not aware of any paradigm where one is first necessary in order to "get into" the other. I'd love to hear more about this.
    You're referring to reviewing the extant literature. This is NOT qualitative research. Qualitative research is made up of a variety of methodologies (phenomenology, heuristics, grounded theory, case studies, ethnographies, and others. Each of them have their unique methods, processes, and forms of academic rigor.
    I cannot express how wrong this is. It completely misstates the purposes of each approach. Qualitative research does not require the same controls as does quantitative research because their purposes and goals are very different. Expecting qualitative methods to compare fully to quantitative methods is like being disappointed that your zebra has stripes. It's supposed to.

    Thinking that "hard sciences"--or the quantitative methods they employ--are less prone to bias is to reveal a lack of understanding of these processes. Just because you run a calculation and get a number doesn't mean it isn't free of bias. Even something as simple as deciding on a one-tail or two-tail test can introduce significant bias and completely change the conclusions drawn from the data. Or the decision to change the significance level of a statistical test after-the-fact so the data now support your desired outcome. Just because you have a number doesn't mean you have objectivity. Not at all.
    And I stated that there is just as much research bias in the so-called "hard" sciences. I brought up research methodologies because it is there that the biases exist and function.

    Finally, I don't appreciate the personal comments you've made. I haven't made any about you, and I'd appreciate it if you refrain from them. There's plenty to talk about without that stuff.
  12. not4profit

    not4profit Active Member

    I don't have time to deal with your ridiculous posts anymore. This is twice now you have mis-defined terms that you could easily find. Go look up hard and soft science and you will see I am right. You are just spouting a bunch of garbage without actually reading to understand. You jump down people's throats when they make innocent comments and then get your feelings hurt when you get even a little bit of push back.

    I never made a personal comment about you. I said you did not realize how your tone sounds to me and others. As an example, below is a personal comment about you. Take note of the subtle differences, since you like to mis-define terms like 'stereotype, hard science, and personal.'

    You are obviously like 5'1" tall and still living in your mom's basement, still mad that you got picked on by freshmen when you were a senior. So find someone else to mess with since that seems to be your hobby from the safety of behind a keyboard.
  13. not4profit

    not4profit Active Member

  14. Mac Juli

    Mac Juli Well-Known Member


    Why? Why?! WHY!!! can't we just get along?

    Best regards,
    Mac Juli
  15. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    And now, for one of my rare appearances here at DI.

    Rich Douglas certainly doesn’t need me to defend him and, quite frankly, he doesn’t deserve any defense at this point. He seems to have spent most of his time here at DI starting meaningless arguments with other members, pontificating on theories in which he presents no evidence, and engaging in useless bullshit. It’s a shame, since Rich actually has two doctorate degrees from legitimate schools.

    Not that his history is all that clean . . . After starting at Union many years ago, he crapped out of the program and hooked up with the Monterrey Institute for Graduate Studies (MIGS), a degree mill. He immediately identified himself as a Ph.D. candidate with MIGS, although he did nothing with them that would have earned Ph.D. candidacy status from a legitimate program. He also identified himself as a special assistant at MIGS, and became the school’s biggest shill right here on DI.

    Disclosure statement: I am also a graduate of The Union Institute. In addition to Rich and me, I believe there was one other Union Ph.D. grad here at DI but I don’t remember who it was. Both Rich and I graduated under the old Union Graduate School model, on which a doctoral committee that totaled seven members included two adjuncts nominated from outside the university. To his credit, one of Rich’s adjuncts was John Bear – you can’t do much better than John when it comes to a program in non-traditional education. But Rich’s other adjunct was Richard Crews, a physician who was the founder of Columbia Pacific University, another degree mill that was shut down by the state of California. For some of the funny dirt on them, see

    Another quickie disclosure: MIGS sued me many years ago. Not only did they not win the suit, as a direct result of their litigation they were fined close to a quarter million dollars by the Texas Attorney General. Rich was also sued – by Charisma University – but he took more of a chickenshit approach than I did and engaged legal counsel to get him off the hook.

    In short, Rich has always managed to associate himself with degree mills. He cleaned up his act enough to graduate with doctorates from both Union and the University of Leicester, but his history stinks to the high heavens.

    But Rich would have you believe that unlike his history, his shit doesn’t stink. He has not accomplished anything significant with his doctorates, has never written a book, the only teaching experience he brags about was at the University of Phoenix, and now he spends his timed here at DI starting useless arguments. You are virtually guaranteed that he will act like a snot-ass with you if you happen to be a Ph.D. student at Liberty, since Rich has consistently been anti-religion in his long history on these forums.

    So, if you’re looking for some entertainment and want to see Rich at his worst, read the MIGS forum here on DI – it’s at the bottom of the forums page, and provides one of the best examples you will ever see of a degree mill shill. Then, for more entertainment provided by Rich himself, check out his web site at

    Now, strange as it may seem, I actually wish Rich the best. Now that John Bear is in his senior years and I have retired from distance education, Rich is in a perfect position to become the elder statesman in this field. But, like a certain younger member who is pursuing his Ph.D. at Liberty (not not4profit, but the young millennial gentleman from Jamaica who shall go unnamed here, even though he doesn’t deserve it), Rich has mastered the knowledge that comes from his doctorate programs (although much of what he says about the nature of various doctorates and research methodologies is bullshit) but has not gained the wisdom that should come with earning one doctoral degree, let alone two. And attempts to have Rich mellow out have consistently failed over the years, leaving him in the ultimate position of being a rank amateur. Because, regardless of how many doctorates you earn, if you don’t gain the wisdom that comes with those degrees, you’re just a loser.

    Is it any wonder that I am still laughing at Rich after all these years?

    Back to my delightful retirement . . .
  16. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    Well, that escalated quickly. Haha! The idea that you have to explore qual before getting to quant is ridiculous. Qual and quant serve two different purposes. Neither is superior to the other, despite what proponents of both may argue. The problem to be studied or phenomenon to be explored will determine whether a quant, qual, or mixed methods approach is appropriate.
    Last edited: May 27, 2020
  17. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    I'll just make a few notes...

    1. Researcher bias is a problem even in the hard sciences. There are mathematicians who cannot agree on things and if you can't have an absolute 100% conclusion with math, then no other discipline can. The idea in a hard science is that an experiment can be replicated. But conditions don't always allow them that luxury. Assumptions still have to be made, for better or worse. To say that it's impossible to have a study of a discipline lacking these ignores history. Psychology evolved from demons in the head to many scientifically proven techniques that are well employed today.

    2. As noted earlier, a law degree is exactly that, it's a degree in law. CJ is not just the study of law and, even when it does cover law, is not the study of law such that you have it in a law school. So it shouldn't be surprising that a lawyer cannot just seemlessly teach CJ. It's a different field with different qualifications and a different perspective. Again, just like how an M.D., knowledgeable as they may be in biology, are not biologists and the two are not interchangeable in an academic setting.

    3. Neither Rich nor Levicoff require defense. Though I will make these two observations:

    a. Personal attacks aside, I agree with Levicoff's position about gaining wisdom rather than just mastering knowledge. In my MBA program a gentleman in my cohort had, what I can best describe, as a Rodney Dangerfield from Back to School understanding of business. He can clearly run a business, at least a business of a certain type. But we all would have had a much easier time of the program if he would have just sat back and tried to learn rather than focusing on how he knew better.

    Not that I think Rich does this. But I think it's a good observation, broadly, about the nature of education.

    b. It's easy to look back on something like MIGS, see Rich's defense of the same and think he really stepped in it. Realize, though, that hindsight is 20/20 and we have plenty of schools today that are just as opaque. SMC is probably the best one. Nations was also on the list. Any of those can turn around and surprise us. Remember that University of Atlanta was DEAC until they weren't. Then they took a very hard turn that is probably the nightmare of any alumnus of any school; that their formerly respectable school will turn toward the dark side.

    When it comes to foreign degrees, especially in countries other than the safe places we know (UK, Germany, Scandinavia etc) it's very hard to distinguish between an actually yellow/red flag versus a cultural difference.

    In short, it was a long time ago. We've all moved on. Can we stop bringing up MIGS? At least as a means to attack one another personally? Better yet, can we not attack one another personally?

    I disagree with Rich about plenty. I don't think either of us have ever pretended otherwise. However, I have no delusion that I will change Rich's mind as I'm sure he has neither delusion nor desire to necessarily change my mind, particularly when it comes to matters of opinion.

    This is a discussion forum. You don't need to "win." Put your thoughts out there. Some people will agree. Some will disagree. This isn't a debate contest. It's a discussion. And discussions very often end without consensus.
    Last edited: May 27, 2020
    Rich Douglas and Mac Juli like this.
  18. not4profit

    not4profit Active Member

    I was saying that, in my opinion, a topic in general should not be analyzed until it is explored. Part of that process is asking questions like 'what is this thing' in the broadest sense. Someone, not necessarily you, but some researcher somewhere should have done some observations or interviews and developed some form of broader idea of what is going on before diving into quantitative data.

    Ideally, that broader idea would be recorded in some form of grounded theory before other researchers get into the specifics of looking for specific associations, correlations, or differences. I agree that the individual researcher should not have to do qual first necessarily, but someone should have done it earlier or we are skipping past an important formalizing of the first step.

    I realize this often does not happen, but that does not mean it should not happen. This is all just my opinion from trying to build of the research of others and later trying to open the door into an area with almost no research. At the very beginning someone has to ask the question, 'what is this thing?' in the broadest sense. In my experience, qual does that better than quant at the very beginning of the inquiry into a topic.
  19. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    As I said, I don't appreciate the personal comments. It is unfortunate that you resort to them. You're not just wrong on the points, you're impolite.

    If you have trouble with my tone, perhaps you should look within you to find the source of your insecurities.

    As for what I am obviously, thank you for your WAG. But I'm actually 5'11", live in a fine desert home, and was never a freshman nor a senior. And "safety behind a keyboard"? I use my real name and you do not. (Which I'm normally fine with, but you brought it up in a weirdly self-contradictory way.)

    Your comments have been uninformed and universally wrong. Not just by a shade, but by huge margins. You don't know what you're talking about. You get defensive about it, and you issue personal attacks because of it.

    I asked you not to make personal comments, but you seem unable to refrain from them. I might ask you to be accurate as well, but that seems to be beyond your ability, too.

    Finally, if you decide to post on a public board, you should expect other posters to comment on what you write, perhaps even criticize it. Blowing up and acting like a child is not the most effective response.
  20. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    Unlesss you're researching something that has never been researched before (an exploratory study), there's no need to do explore "this thing (as you put it)." An exhaustive review of the literature will assist you in identifying what has been done, how it has been done, and what else needs to be done. Based on this deficiency in the literature, you should be able to determine, with the knowledge of the various quantitative and qualitative approaches, which would be the most appropriate to employ.

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