Wednesday, July 20, 2016

I'll Fix Your Education Problem for Ya

In real life, guys like this are fired daily.
When people talk about how to fix things, when they talk about how things are getting worse in society, it never ceases to amuse me how people can't figure out what's just so obvious to me: things got worse as people stopped being Christian; they can get fixed by going back to the Bible and the Church. This is an example of what I am talking about.

Why can't they see this?

Probably because Hollywood has done such a good job of discrediting Christianity. In Hollywood Christianity means dysfunction, hypocrisy and intolerance. That's it. I like how in the video I linked to above how it is mentioned that Hitler hated the Jews, the gypsies and the gays, but his persecution of Christians - of priests especially - is never mentioned! Why does Carolla not mention it? Because he doesn't know about it. Why doesn't he know about it? Because he is not well educated. He is educated by Hollywood, like most people are today.

People decry the loss of manners - but we were told to be ourselves.

People decry the decline in education - but we were told that it was not cool, that there is no objective truth, that you cannot punish bad behaviour and that self-discipline is not as important as self-expression.

People decry the objectification of women - but they told us all along that there are no wrongs in sex, except for repression.

People decry a loss of national unity - but criticized everything that was the basis of that unity, Western Civilization and its values and not its so-called victims, blacks, natives, women, gays.

In all of these things and more, if you want a society that works, that's pleasant, that's productive and compassionate, you want a Christian one.

Again, the problem is, Christianity has been discredited. And it wasn't by accident. If you look at what's been done to make our culture worse, you have to ask why - which is what I talked about in the last post. People tried to pretend feces was roses. They tried to say that 'being yourself' was better than cooperating, working hard and treating others in the way that you would to be treated. They tried to say that life is always a matter of conflicting interests, because people are always inescapably selfish, especially Christians. They tried to say that self-determination was better than selfless commitment to family. They set women and men against each other in families. They misrepresented our history, exaggerated the bad and skipped over the good. For example, we have all heard about the internment of Japanese during WWII, but can this be compared in any way to the treatment of foreigners by the Japanese during the war? The Japanese were the worst. We should be proud that this was the worst we did, not ashamed. Also, we wring our hands about residential schools but don't bat an eye when a child is taken away from his parents because he is home-schooled, not vaccinated, because his dad has an unregistered firearm, etc. For shame!

It's often said that Christianity is criticized by the selfish, by people who want to sleep around, get divorced, etc. I don't think this gets close to describing the motives of our enemies, as I did in the previous post. Henry VIII is not our enemy. His children are. Lust is not our enemy, embarrassment is.

Anyway, back to our civilization in decline.

If parents stayed together, lived according to Gospel values of love and self-sacrifice, taught their children the values of hard work, modesty, to blame themselves rather than society for their problems, taught them that the things they see on TV are not paths to happiness, that they have to cultivate courage, and that what really matters is how they treat others, not that they become wealthy, that what's important is personal integrity, then things would not look the way they do.

Have you noticed how outward focused leftists are? Everything is society at large for them. When are they going to look at themselves and develop any kind of virtue? They have no self-restraint because they believe they can force out the good by sheer shrillness. They are not well-educated - they have no knowledge of anything other than their propaganda. They are not self-disciplined. Actually, I used the word 'good' above. That is not really appropriate. They don't believe in objective morality; they are materialists: they believe there are good things, but there is no goodness per se. This is why they are such liars. Lying is justified because it can take power away from someone who doesn't deserve it and bring it to me who does. They believe in double standards for the same reason.

But this kind of materialism is what has ruined us. If we say that integrity is a culturally specific norm, then it won't be valued. If we say that our values are just our values, then they will not be lived out heroically, but as long as it's prudent to do so. Marxism is the view that people only act out of their own self-interest. What good can come out of this view for society? What comes to matter is what you have, not what you are.

People need to recognize that because our history is not perfect does not mean that our culture's moral ideals are not worth preserving. It's lazy to criticize rather than to serve. It never ceases to surprise me that such an unphilosophical people dare to criticize anything. It's juvenile. Unlearned people are indulged because politicians and merchants know they can manipulate them. How much money has MTV made off of young idiots?

This is part of what underlies the crisis in education - the need to be popular. This is the fatal flaw of democracy, that people's wills need not adhere to any objective truth. So, people have willed themselves to idiocy. Where are the breaks on this downward trend? What forces exist to stop it? People have made something of the incident at Yale where the undergrads (it's never the grads) petitioned to stop studying the white male poets of the English tradition. Another school is considering replacing their former math requirement for a diversity requirement. Why would schools do this? Money, always money. If a school has a harder program, you will not go there just to earn the exact same credential as you would if you were to go to an easier school. People = money, not goodness or insight.

The need to be popular isn't simply a psychological condition. It appeals to people with that condition; people with that condition will fall for it more easily, but this is not what it is about. It is about money. In other words, educators aren't all insecure; they are all motivated by money, though. Keeping students happy means keeping yourself in a job.

But this will always be so, so is there no help for it? I doubt there is help for it, but this is what it would take: valuing virtue. Market and political forces work against it though, because virtue is inflexible. It does no go along to get along. It is inconvenient and unprofitable. Put it this way: if Planned Parenthood didn't make money, would it still do what it does? Of course not. If a virtuous person suffered for his virtue would he change? No.

Education cannot be built in virtue's absence.

None of the great educators of the past taught otherwise, whether you are talking about Plato and Aristotle, the Stoics, the Doctors of the Church, the Renaissance humanists, Mill, Franklin, Newman...

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