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What you believe determines how you act

Posted By: Richard Noone on June 2, 2004
I agree with the original poster that the philosophical aspect of education is crucial. Perhaps it is the most crucial at this point in time in the history of human development as this aspect of human thought has seen little real evolution in thousands of years as it applies to education.

I'm sure that sounds like a radical statement, but I believe it to be true. Fundamental concepts about the true nature of human beings, human knowledge, and the purpose of life are what underlies and informs every other thought we have about what education is.

For example, the answer to the question of whether human beings are sinful and evil or essentially loving and good will completely alter the way one approaches education. With one answer education becomes something that requires many rules, controls, regulations, and guidelines so that the evil nature of humans can be controlled. If left to their own devices, students would revert to their evil natures and chaos and pandemonium would ensue, so it is neccessarry for adults to control students. Punishments are also a part of this kind of thinking about life. Another answer suggests that freedom and creativity and unrestricted self expression should inform educational practices. If human nature is essentially loving and good, then to let people act naturally would only result in exactly that -love and goodness.

Is life meant to be a struggle until we get rewarded when we die, or is it meant to be joy to be experienced today? Are human beings actually the source of their own knowledge, or is knowledge placed into them from outside? What is truly within human beings?

All of these questions will shape how you approach education and what you imagine it is about.

One poster mentioned something about putting philosophy into practice. The fact is that it is impossible not to put what your true philosophy is into practice, but it is possible not be aware of the fact that you are doing that. Simply and truly ask yourself the question, why am I doing this? and discover what your philosophy is...if you have the courage to do it.

Another poster mentioned that it is difficult to enter into such questions and spoke of the rigidity of science regarding evolution. My observation is that scientists are much more open to new ideas, on the whole than religious people who have been holding on to the same concepts for over two thousand years even tjhough the sources of these concepts are doubtful. I concede that both groups tend to get stuck into being "right". I also agree that it is hard and that people tend to get emotional and irrational when discussing these issues. Part of the reason for this is that a great many of them were told when they wrere children that they could be eternally punished for being wrong.

My suggestion is that the human race simply grow up. The time has come for people to start examining these questions and looking to see what results from applying different answers and then deciding which ones serve us best. Hiding behind the idea that your philosophy is right while ignoring reality or that your religion is right while ignoring reality is childish. We need to start looking at reality as it related to what we believe if we want to create a truly beautiful future for this world.

Finally, the current state of education in the world today is a direct result of what the majority of people currently believe education is; it is a reflection of that. Look into the mirror and decide if you like what you see.
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