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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Smarter Devils

Why do we teach others, and learn things for ourselves? Why is education so highly esteemed by the majority of people, in a majority of cultures, in a majority of countries? Why do we speak of educated men and women as though they are better than uneducated men and women? Do we truly believe that more knowledge is the answer to the world's problems? Are we learning more and doing more? Are we knowing more and loving more?

Knowledge is not the ultimate goal of education. The Bible says that knowledge "puffs" a person up with pride when it is pursued as an end in itself. If then, education should be a means to an end, what is it we are attempting to achieve? What is the end?

Humanists believe that increases in knowledge lead to improvements in society. The more we know, the better able we are to avoid problems or to fix them when we can't dodge them. Education makes people better and therefore leads to a better, more efficient, more caring, more peaceful society. That's the theory. Reality tells a different story. But even allowing for this beautiful albeit Utopian ideology, I want to ask why. What is the point of striving for the betterment of mankind? Why bother? Don't say education is a universal right. It may well be, but that is not an answer to the question. In fact, it only leads to another question about the basis for human rights.

The fault in the argument put forward by Humanists and arrogant athiests like Dawkins is that it has no moral foundation. Humans are intrinsically moral, and to remove morality from education is to render the latter, an exercise in futility. Education does not produce angels but rather, as C.S.Lewis puts it, "education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make a more clever devil."

All education should have as its goal, the edification of mankind which is itself ultimately for the Glory of God. God has given me a brain so I should use it to learn and grow but I must also share and apply my knowledge to help and encourage others; not to become better people but to recognize their need for God. To accept weakness and failure is to become complete. The purpose of life is to know God and to make Him known. Education alone will never achieve this objective, never fulfill this purpose, and it will never make the world all right. The world is all wrong and education is only a treatment, not a cure.

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