Month: January 2012

Tolerance and Relativism in Education

When speaking to atheist, especially those heavily indoctrinated, many traditional concepts of truth are simply beyond their world view’s understanding. In response, here is a strongly worded, yet poignant statement:

“Have you ever attempted to find, or better yet, examine any of the philosophical positions you take? I’d be willing to bet you just followed the pack, went with whatever was the most fun and somehow ended up believing a philosophy about life that “made the most sense”.

I’d be willing to bet that any philosophy of life would make sense to you if it allowed you to do whatever you wanted, crushed your enemies and recreated the world so that you would not be personally inconvenienced nor be expected to take on too much responsibility.”

Dr. William Lane Craig gave a wonderful speech on education at the beginning of 2010.  He claimed that academia in general had given up on the concept of “right” and “wrong”. I would agree and add that, instead of “right” and “wrong”, they have invented a series boogie men called “causes” to placate our moral senses and fill the void that God once occupied.  With the sole exception of the philosophy departments, which are being marginalized as unnecessary vestiges of our vain search for truth, any concept of “absolute” truth has become meaningless in much of academia in the western world.

Although this view point is self refuting and incoherent, the indoctrination of our secularized education system is only reinforced by the constant drone coming from the popular media.  This alone is what keeps such a ridiculous view alive.  As a result, few, if any, students bother to question their own assumptions and are, instead, self shackled slaves to popular culture and popular views of morality.  Claiming to be free, they are slaves to a philosophy that, if examined, collapsed at the slightest touch under the weight of its own self-refutation.

William Lane Craig quoting from Professor Micheal Blume on why our education system is failing:

“… if this belief [all truth is relative] is put to the test, one can count on the students’ reaction; They will be uncomprehending that anyone should regard the proposition [that there is no absolute truth] as not self evident astonishes them. As though he were calling into question two plus two equals four. These are things you don’t think about.

The danger they have been taught to fear is not error … but intolerance.

Relativism is necessary to openness. And this is the virtue, the only virtue, that all primary education has dedicated itself to inculcating for the last 50 years. Openness, and the relativism that makes is plausible, is the great insight of our times.

The study of history and culture teaches that all the world was mad in the past. Men always thought they were right and that led to wars, persecutions, slavery, xenophobia, racism and chauvinism.

The point is not to correct the mistakes [of the past] and really be right, rather, it is not to think you are right at all.

Since there is no absolute truth, since everything is relative, the purpose of an education is not to learn truth or master the facts, but rather simply to acquire a skill so that you can go out and obtain wealth, power and fame. Truth has become irrelevant.”

Here is the original video from Dr. William Lane Craig:

Here’s is my favorite quote from Dr. Craig in this video:

“… nor does a commitment to truth make you intolerant as Blume’s students thought. The traditional understanding of tolerance is that while I may disagree with what you say, I will defend to the death your right to say it. The problem is that the understanding of tolerance in our politically correct society has now changed.

Today, tolerance means, ‘I dare not disagree with what you say lest I be branded bigoted and intolerant for daring to do so. But this new definition of tolerance is logically incoherent if you think about it.

Think about it. If you tolerate a view, then the very concept of tolerance presupposed that you think the tolerated view is not true. Otherwise you wouldn’t tolerate it; You would agree with it. You can only tolerate a view that you regard as false. So the very concept of tolerance entail a commitment to truth …

The correct basis or tolerance is not relativism … but love.”