Sunday, September 3, 2017

The Origins of Dysfunctional Education

From Crisis:
Consequently, the word “sin” has utterly disappeared from educational discourse. My colleagues acknowledged that students make mistakes and commit wrongs but only as something unlawful, against the rules, or breaking the social code. Not surprisingly, students themselves put stealing, cheating, driving without a license, burping, promiscuity, and lying all in the same class: behaviors that might be permissible under another set of rules or laws, when they were grown up and free and in college or self-employed.

Finally, the word “love” was missing. The idea of sacrificial self-giving agape, unrequited and unbidden, however, enjoining corporeal and spiritual works of mercy (rejected as meritorious by Luther and Calvin), and the saintliness of “supererogatory acts” have been ridiculed and replaced by the ubiquitous and chilling service requirement: a hundred hours of approved community service, certified by the Student Activities Director, in order to graduate with a stuffed résumé, to look good and virtuous, and, of course, contradictorily, to help our fellow man overcome the ignorance and misfortune of his fate. If love is simply a whimsically determined “swerve” of atoms or the mere infusion of transcendent grace, if the will cannot be trained, charity is accidental and best quantified by a bureaucracy. If all that stands between the human person and evil is “irresistible grace,” then when God also disappears in the culture are we left with what Ivan Karamazov calls “artistic cruelty,” which he imputes to adults but which I heard about in teenagers and about which I was told we could do nothing except punish after the hideous fact: duct taping underclassmen in trees and leaving them for hours, exploding small animals in microwaves, and “pulling trains” of sexual customers for drug money? (Read more.)

1 comment:

julygirl said...

This is what becomes of a culture where 'Situation Ethics' prevails. One makes up the rules to suit oneself and whatever 'moves' one. It was also predicted many many years ago by somebody wise enough to know what becomes of a culture that does not regard an unborn fetus as a human being. It loses its respect for all forms of life.