Monday, September 8, 2008

Anti-nihilistic effects of "classical" education

One of the reasons put forward for teaching the classics in school is that it teaches children the right moral code. By reading Socrates and other more contemporary writers, schools expect students to logically decide that all humans are meant to live the good life. Many people deride religious education in public schools, but stand by idly while secular moral systems are imposed.

It seems strange to me that these moral codes are taught so unabashedly in school. If our moral system is in large part a function of cultural and societal mores, then why do we impose a homogeneous one on nearly every student? A more practical, skills-based education would not only boost our nation's productivity, but it also would be the right thing in promoting the freedom of our citizens.

After all, if somebody wants to adhere to nihilism, who can tell him that he is wrong?