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Is Education the Magic Bullet? posted 07 February 2005 in Philosophy DiscussionIs Education the Magic Bullet? by H, Auditor

Argued well.

Sorry, i should have defined my use of both culture and education at the onset.

Allow me now to clarify.

Culture: The totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought. (From This is the sense in which i use culture, in the social transmission sense. Yes, it is a form of education, but i believed that we were referring to education as institutionalized education.

I agree in your point that culture is dynamic. No, i do not believe the same things as my parents, but they were (and are) not the sole transmiters of culture to me. Peers, others, TV, radio, art are also transmitors of culture. Sure, the culture of my upbringing is not the same as the cultrure of my parents day. Hell, i can barely relate to my step-brother and sister, and they only about 8 years younger than me. But why am i more liberal than my parents? It certainly was not education in my case. My school didn't say, "Gay people should have equal rights." My teachers didn't say, "Pro-choice is the way to go!" My liberal values were created socially, culturally. I didn't read a book on the "evil's of conservatism" to arrive at my decision to be liberal. What i experianced socially, however, did change my mind about how to shape my own morality and ethics. Meeting new people, understanding thier points of view, and amalgamating them into my own understanding of the world. I don't belive it was the education i recieved at college that changed me, but the social understanding it fostered within me.

Don't get me wrong, i think education can have a profound impact, if it can be uses to reap a cultural (social) change. All the intellectualism and knowledge in the world does not make someone a more understanding person. I know plenty of well educated people who are still racist, sexist, or just generally hateful. The problem of hate, violence, and such is not an intellectual problem. It's not that violent or hateful people are stupid. Take Charles Manson for example. It rather scary to me to see how smart that guy is. All the education in the world isn't going to make that man anymore peaceful. In fact, i think its his intellectualism that makes him dangerous in the first place. The problem of hate is a social one, and it must be delt with socially in my opinion.

For example, let us pretend that we are children, and we go to school and our teachers tell us that men and women are equals, and should be treated as such, no discrimination. But the second we exit that classroom, we are thrust into a world that culturally (again socially) does not support or reinforce this view at all. For the most part boys play with the boys, girls play with the girls (yes, by thier own volition). In every facet of life, we are reinforced that the 'equality' we are supposed to believe in does not exist. Those who have a sister or brother, are your parents expectations of your oposite sex sibling different that those for you? In most cases they will be. We hold females to different cultural standards than males. All the education will not remove this social conditioning in the vast majority of people. Imagine trying to change this. Look at how those who grow up in an abusive environment tend to become abusive themselves. Culture is hard to shake with just education, just saying "hitting is bad" and showing a film about it is not enough. This is not to say that abused people will become abusers. That is a blanket generalization with no merit. But statistics prove that alot of people who were abused at some point relapse back in that culture of violence, becasue they were never socially educated to anything different. Some things cannot be learned from books or films.

But those of us who can look at things in a (relatively) objective way in regards to social issues are not the majority. We intellectualites are the tail attempting to wag the dog here. Most people will follow their culture, not thier intellectualism. Why do you think most people follow the religion of thier parents? It takes much strength to shake off the hands of where we have been socially driven.

I believe that you are also correct in stating that the true 'power' lies with the working class, as Marx said it did. But this post is a beast already! Let me just adress that by saying that while the bag boy does have the power, he neither knows this, nor belives this, not itellectually but socailly. He has been indoctrinated by western culture, and he can read all the Marx he wants, but he can not and does not see how he can make a social change. Not to mention he probably culturally identifies with the upperclass anyway, just as the working class did in 1831 when DeTocqueville wrote Democracy in America about why democracy hadn't failed in the US as Marx had predicted it would.

OK, i'm sorry this post is waaaaay too long, and its 1 AM. I look forward to your replies though. And i pre-apologize for my atrocious spelling, and for any typos i missed. view post


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