Teach A Man to Reason, And He’ll Think For A Lifetime

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4 Responses to “Teach A Man to Reason, And He’ll Think For A Lifetime”
  1. RickD says:

    Firstly, I must thank Depleton for this wonderful ,very important and quite entertaining piece.

    Educated people are an essential component of a democratic society. If people are to lead and not be led then they must perforce be educated enough to be able to see and understand the choices before them. Far too often we succumb to appeals to our baser instincts rather than making calm, rational and studied judgements before forming opinions.

    “If a man begins in certainty he will end in doubt.” Francis Bacon

    I am not prone to conspiracy theories but it does seem that the decline in our system of pubic education, coupled with the rising costs of higher education, has a sinister design, to keep an uneducated populace more manageable.

    “The death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush. It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference and undernourishment.” Robert Maynard Hutchins

    We live, today, amidst a cacophonous political climate in which our candidates for the highest office rarely if ever appeal to our minds, seemingly never enumerating the details of their campaign promises, instead, and in one particularly heinous case, make nakedly blatant appeals to our hatreds , our bigotry, our darkest fears. This is made far easier by working towards an under educated voter.

    “People are mostly afraid of reason. They should be afraid of stupidity. If only they knew what was really fearful.” J.W. Goethe

    Thanks again, Depelton, for a very thought provoking piece.

  2. Don Pelton says:

    Thanks RickD.

    I appreciate your thoughtful and well-reasoned comments. I couldn’t agree more.

    I’m not sure exactly how a conspiracy to erode education would work, but there seems to be no doubt that dumbing down America works to the particular bipartisan benefit of the money party (most Republicans and, sadly, a majority of the Democrats).

    But the times they are a-changin’ … I hope.

    I’m about — I hope — to post an article from the Campaign for America’s Future that talks optimistically about the growing influence of the Millennial generation on our politics and democracy.


  3. RickD says:

    Thanks for the props, Depleton, much appreciated, as is this forum as well, keep up this important work.

    I do not claim the mantle of education expert but must respond to your query as to how the erosion of our public education system is occurring. I would start with the declining budgets, year after year less money is being allotted to our schools, to their literacy programs, after school projects and a myriad of other, very important functions.
    The growth of Charter Schools, many of which are simply profit centers abjectly failing our children. Others are disguising religious education as liberal arts., is yet another brick in the wall of a less educated populace.
    The textbooks chosen nationally to be used in our schools mostly are decided upon by the Texas School Boards…a fact please look it up, amazing as it sounds its truth! These books omit much scientific knowledge as well as slanting history itself.

    Sidebar alert:
    I am fortunate enough to share my life, and my political activism, with my beautiful and intelligent redhead, a woman with only one flaw, her bad taste in men, obviously…;-) She is a co-founder and current president of a local neighborhood activist group that has been doing good works for over ten years and counting.
    I bring this up only to make a point. A local school district had to cut several programs, one of which supplemented its free lunch program by distributing food on Fridays to students who might otherwise not eat all weekend..these children, as sad as this sounds, depended solely upon the free lunch programs for their only meals!
    .This was discovered by alert teachers noting dramatic changes in a students behavior and attitude on Mondays, as heartbreaking as this sounds it is the truth. The aforementioned neighborhood group sprang into action, getting contributions of food from individuals, markets and other sources in order to supply the kids with food over the weekends. The program has been a success and is ongoing, and teachers are noting increased participation from these kids.
    I ask you, shouldnt our children not have to depend upon the good will and activism of the few to eat enough to be able to be educated?

  4. depelton says:

    Rich (Rick?):

    I agree with every word you’ve written (and yes, I’ve heard that about the textbooks and the Texas school boards).

    I’m also concerned about the charter-school movement, another stealth privatization strategy..

    Your partner’s weekend food-for-kids initiative is wonderful, an expression of the best in human nature, but I agree with you: in a rational, humane “we” society, this wouldn’t be necessary!

    BTW, aside: I’m not sure why the WordPress software managing this website keeps requiring you to get approval for your comments. I have a general setting that previously approved commenters are automatically approved, so this seems to be some sort of bug (I just upgraded the version level of WordPress, so it probably has something to do with that). I’m working on it. In the meantime, i appreciate your patience. (I even get prompted to approve my own comments! 🙂 )