Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Time may be running out

Time was when education followed a familiar pattern.  In elementary school, one learned the three basic elements of reading, writing, and arithmetic.  One learned to read so one could read the Bible, but if you could read the Bible, you could read pretty much anything else written.  Of course writing involved more than just the formation of letters, for one had also to learn the proper and logical construction of sentences and paragraphs, and proper grammar.  Arithmetic was essential in every form of commerce and thus would be needed by any student no matter where life would take him.  At the end of a complete elementary education, one found oneself and the beginning of what was termed "the age of reason."  If you continued your education, you would now be schooled in the classics which included great liturature, philosophy, history, and of course was designed to produce a well rounded adult able to take his place in society and to reason and think.  One was expected to continue his education throughout life.

"Education," in the sense of training one to think and to reason is not pursued today.  Today what is done may more accurately be described as vocational training.  I remember a fellow civil engineer complaining about the fact that all he really needed to do his job was mathamatics, science, and then to be shown how to use these tools.  He didn't need all that history, or English.  Thus, what he wanted was a vocational training.  He didn't want to hear how a civil engineer's job impacted the community; how one need to have an understanding of politics, law, sociology, psychology, geology, and economics in order to fully do his job.

I was thinking of this as I read Eileen Toplansky's piece entitled  Authentic Rebellion today at the American Thinker. In an earlier age, perhaps, students at an institution of higher learning at least, would have understood instinctively, and would have been able to reasonably argue against the current calls for a socialist president. Perhaps those with only an elementary education might succumb, but someone with even a rudimentary grasp of history and economics would have to know that socialism has failed everywhere it has been tried, and that the argument that it would work if only we had the right man in charge is refuted by a reading of the Bible.
One cannot enter a classroom of higher learning today without walking into pitched battles and extreme positioning. University students deride the idea of consensus-building and seek to run administrators out of town. Any student daring to express an opinion different from the politically correct one of the day is frightened into mental subservience, so much so that logical argumentation is in tatters. Aristotle's classifications of ethos, pathos, and logos rarely make their way into classroom discussions as shouting matches become the rule of the day.
So much so that in an English composition class, a discussion ensued where a student mentioned an article from Slate entitled "Confused by All the New Facebook Genders." The 56 options of gender self-identifiers were understandably confusing to a number of these 18-year old students. But another student asked "what is wrong with all these designations?" implying that they were quite logical. The teacher responded by stating that "at this time, a man is designated as having an 'x' and a 'y' chromosome while a female has two 'x' chromosomes. The student angrily accused the teacher of "transphobia and of being inhumane and on the wrong side of history."

So the student engaged in an ad hominem attack on the perceived failings of the teacher rather than on the merits of the case based on currently accepted scientific canon. The ever popular straw man fallacy was used where an individual's actual position was either exaggerated or misrepresented. In fact, the teacher never actually took a position; all she did was ask a question of the entire class which was "do you feel it is okay for a man who identifies as a woman to go into a little girl's bathroom?"
Having been the victim of similar circumstances, I can sympathise with the teacher. The student above has closed all doors to reason arguments and ideas, and it is happening more and more as Leftists, sensing blood in the water, grow bolder. The ignorance of Western Civilization, coupled with deceptive sloganeering makes for a people cock sure of the rightness of their ignorance. It is a situation ripe for a full on revolution, with all the horrors and affliction that entails.

God help us!

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