Thursday, November 29, 2012

Augustine:  Regarding the value of a college education.

The Economist has a follow up article on this topic.

"But, besides the punishments of childhood, without which there would be no learning of what the parents wish - and the parents rarely wish anything useful to be taught - who can describe, who can conceive the number and severity of the punishments which afflict the human race - pains which are not only the accompaniment of the wickedness off godless men, but are a part of the human condition and the common misery - what fear and what grief are caused by bereavement and mourning, by losses and condemnations, by fraud and falsehood, by false suspicions, and all the crimes and wicked deeds of other men?" - City of God, Book 22.

Yes, the pain and torment of reading City of God is nearing an end, although it hadn't quite crossed my mind that the miseries of life begin with the educational torments inflicted by parents onto their innocent offspring.  There is certainly something in here regarding the Tiger Moms.

In our modern enlightened era, we try to cause children to learn without punishments, which is a big reason for the failure of American education.  But do the children learn anything useful?  And if we had sensible discipline, would they graduate with any sensible learning, even if they actually did learn?  Undoubtedly there is no point to discipline, since there is little point in what is taught.  Finally, is it more of a sadistic punishment to spank the non-learners, or to put $1 trillion of student loans onto them whether they learn or not?

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