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Humanist control of education


Modern American State education is based on the Prussian Education System – influence for this system came from the German philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte, who wrote, “The schools must fashion the person, and fashion him in such a way that he simply cannot will otherwise than what you wish him to will.”

Frederick II began the introduction of compulsory education in Prussia in 1763. The purpose was to instill loyalty and obedience to the crown and state through education and make the people fit for service in the military and public administration. The Prussian Education System was first introduced into American Schools by Horace Mann in 1852.

There is a strong streak of Plato’s Republic in this system. Plato wrote in the Republic that an ideal city state should be governed by philosopher kings, educated to think freely, and protected by a high class military. The majority of children should be educated only to the level of productive workers with family ties broken as possessions of the state. If there is a feeling in America that education for the majority is being ‘dumbed down,’ it does not come from IDers or creationists, but it is part of the humanist controlled system itself, only training children to be obedient, subservient economic units who belong to the state.

I would suggest that those of us interested in education need to develop a fresh vision for education based on respect, freedom, including freedom to discuss spiritual values, and equality. A complete and well rounded education for all children should ideally go beyond turning out economic units to include philosophy and theology so that children can think freely across different realms of thought. Wasn’t that the original vision of the founding fathers?

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Contrary to claims by Scott and Branch in Scientific American, it is the humanist dominated education system that is holding back the real education of children because it is based on state control not freedom.

Further reading
Sheldon Richman ‘Separating School and State: Liberating America’s Families’
John Taylor Gatto ‘Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling’

"Humanist control of education" Actually, the destruction of American education was ushered in by John Dewey---a Darwinist. His Atheism ideology (Humanism) said there is no such thing as eternal truths. We only have the here and now. This ideology then catered to student or constituent interest. Students were taught that their interests were the only thing that mattered; contradicting and eliminating the interests of God (= eternal truths). Every major university and college in America and England was founded originally to teach Theology. As the poison of Materialism-Darwinism spread the interests of God were displaced. Humanism is Atheism ideology, as is Darwinism, that is, the idea that the observation of design seen in every aspect of nature does not correspond to the work of invisible Designer, but a mindless materialist process. Darwinism was regarded. Theology was discarded. The only persons to blame are "Christian" evolutionists. For without them Darwinism would not have been able to take control of education. Ray R. Martinez
You could argue that it was influenced by Luther who linked church and state very closely together in the German psyche. Obedience to the Lutheran church and obedience to the state were considered the same thing. However, the Prussian rulers were more Calvinistic pietists than Lutheran and sought to make obedience to the state of supreme importance. The American system seems to have completely removed any religious involvement in state education, but seeks to maintain an obedience to secular humanism instead. I think Fitche's influence was also quite strong in the development of the Prussian system. The American founding fathers did not want any one religion to dominate in America through an 'Establishment' of one denomination over another, but neither did they wish to remove religious, spiritual values from the education system either. Nor did they ever wish secular humanism to become the dominant religion in American education. Andrew Sibley
The strength of the Prussian system lay not in the desire for state control, but its origins in the Lutheran pietist movement. Pestalozzi is the real father of the system and Johann Herbart was the principle developer of it. Fitche was not employed by the Prussian state as cabinet offical. St John Grad
Good discussion! Especially love the following: As a graduate from one of the governemt schools was saying to me just the other day —-”and she goes, ‘who says,’ and I go, ‘me’, and she goes, ‘Who?’, and I was like, ‘woah’—you know what I am sayin–like, I was totally freaked–she thought I was, like, stupid or something.” We do need to privatize the education system altogether. Gives teachers the incentive to actually give a rats @$$. Ron Paul without a doubt seems to be the only guy in full support of that. F2XL
Nice post Allanius! Domoman
What is not generally understood is that the modern age is a Platonic age. Yes, we have negated “the good” and the notion of self-existent ideas, but we are Platonic in the sense that we have embraced theory and the notion of ideal states and rejected dialectic as the path to happiness. Ideal states require the negation of the complexity of being. Just as Plato equated intellect with the good and attempted to obtain happiness by negating sense—a method that leads to nothingness—so we moderns negated God and embraced nothingness itself. Nietzsche claimed that our unhappiness was caused by looking beyond ourselves to a transcendent state of being. The way to go “beyond” unhappiness, supposedly, was to negate God and embrace the transcendent principle within—the will to power, which was based on the survival of the fittest. Embracing the negation of God was supposed to lead to “new gods and new ideals.” But Plato’s Republic should have been a warning to us all. The only way to obtain an ideal state of being is through negation—through the elimination of dialectical means for an ideal end. This method leads to totalitarianism. Plato’s ideal state requires ideological purity. There can be no dissent, which detracts from the ideal. Darwinism has the same strengths and weaknesses as Plato. The republic of Darwin is populated by true believers who try to create an idyllic intellectual climate where hearts and minds are not troubled by nettlesome dissent. Like Plato’s dualism, Darwin’s theory makes this ideological purity possible through its sheer simplicity. All that is needed for evolution is time, competition and change. The problem with this totalitarian façade is that being is not simple. The dream of the congenial warm pond and simple cell has now turned into a nightmare for the Darwinists. The very simplicity of Darwinism—which is its ideological bulwark—also limits its ability to account for the bewildering complexity of life. The more we know about microbiology and genetics, the less ironclad Darwinism seems. What is seen now in the academy, then, is a reactionary movement. The conservative status quo—the totalitarian republic of Darwin—must be preserved at all costs. Dissent must not only be confronted but violently crushed. Darwinists recognize implicitly that their theory is totalitarian. Any crack at all in the wall could prove fatal. allanius
What would be the alternative to Humanist education? Platonist
Modern American State education is based on the Prussian Education System - influence for this system came from the German philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte, who wrote, “The schools must fashion the person, and fashion him in such a way that he simply cannot will otherwise than what you wish him to will.”
Well that makes a helluva lot of sense! BTW, thanks for the Lewis quote, Clive. The Abolition of Man is a classic if there ever was one! crandaddy
...they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Earlier this year, the president-elect of the United States was asked in public "...at what point does a baby get human rights, in your view?". He answered: "Well, you know, I think that whether you're looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity, you know, is above my pay grade." The PEOTUS is a product of the best schools in the country. But he doesn't know when an American citizen acquires the rights with which we are endowed by our creator. russ
C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man: "The final stage is come when Man by eugenics, by pre-natal conditioning, and by an education and propaganda based on a perfect applied psychology, has obtained full control over himself. Human nature will be the last part of Nature to surrender to Man. The battle will then be won. We shall have `taken the thread of life out of the hand of Clotho' and be henceforth free to make our species whatever we wish it to be. The battle will indeed be won. But who, precisely, will have won it? For the power of Man to make himself what he pleases means, as we have seen, the power of some men to make other men what they please. In all ages, no doubt, nurture and instruction have, in some sense, attempted to exercise this power. But the situation to which we must look forward will be novel in two respects. In the first place, the power will be enormously increased. Hitherto the plans of educationalists have achieved very little of what they attempted and indeed, when we read them—how Plato would have every infant "a bastard nursed in a bureau", and Elyot would have the boy see no men before the age of seven and, after that, no women,1 and how Locke wants children to have leaky shoes and no turn for poetry2—we may well thank the beneficent obstinacy of real mothers, real nurses, and (above all) real children for preserving the human race in such sanity as it still possesses. But the man-moulders of the new age will be armed with the powers of an omnicompetent state and an irresistible scientific technique: we shall get at last a race of conditioners who really can cut out all posterity in what shape they please. The second difference is even more important. In the older systems both the kind of man the teachers wished to produce and their motives for producing him were prescribed by the Tao [Traditional Morality]—a norm to which the teachers themselves were subject and from which they claimed no liberty to depart. They did not cut men to some pattern they had chosen. They handed on what they had received: they initiated the young neophyte into the mystery of humanity which over-arched him and them alike. It was but old birds teaching young birds to fly. This will be changed. Values are now mere natural phenomena. Judgements of value are to be produced in the pupil as part of the conditioning. Whatever Tao there is will be the product, not the motive, of education. The conditioners have been emancipated from all that. It is one more part of Nature which they have conquered. The ultimate springs of human action are no longer, for them, something given. They have surrendered—like electricity: it is the function of the Conditioners to control, not to obey them. They know how to produce conscience and decide what kind of conscience they will produce. They themselves are outside, above. For we are assuming the last stage of Man's struggle with Nature. The final victory has been won. Human nature has been conquered—and, of course, has conquered, in whatever sense those words may now bear. The Conditioners, then, are to choose what kind of artificial Tao they will, for their own good reasons, produce in the Human race. They are the motivators, the creators of motives. But how are they going to be motivated themselves? For a time, perhaps, by survivals, within their own minds, of the old `natural' Tao. Thus at first they may look upon themselves as servants and guardians of humanity and conceive that they have a `duty' to do it `good'. But it is only by confusion that they can remain in this state. They recognize the concept of duty as the result of certain processes which they can now control. Their victory has consisted precisely in emerging from the state in which they were acted upon by those processes to the state in which they use them as tools. One of the things they now have to decide is whether they will, or will not, so condition the rest of us that we can go on having the old idea of duty and the old reactions to it. How can duty help them to decide that? Duty itself is up for trial: it cannot also be the judge. And `good' fares no better. They know quite well how to produce a dozen different conceptions of good in us. The question is which, if any, they should produce. No conception of good can help them to decide. It is absurd to fix on one of the things they are comparing and make it the standard of comparison. To some it will appear that I am inventing a factitious difficulty for my Conditioners. Other, more simple-minded, critics may ask, `Why should you suppose they will be such bad men?' But I am not supposing them to be bad men. They are, rather, not men (in the old sense) at all. They are, if you like, men who have sacrificed their own share in traditional humanity in order to devote themselves to the task of deciding what `Humanity' shall henceforth mean. `Good' and `bad', applied to them, are words without content: for it is from them that the content of these words is henceforward to be derived. Nor is their difficulty factitious, "We might suppose that it was possible to say `After all, most of us want more or less the same things—food and drink and sexual intercourse, amusement, art, science, and the longest possible life for individuals and for the species. Let them simply say, This is what we happen to like, and go on to condition men in the way most likely to produce it. Where's the trouble?' But this will not answer. In the first place, it is false that we all really like the same things. But even if we did, what motive is to impel the Conditioners to scorn delights and live laborious days in order that we, and posterity, may have what we like? Their duty? But that is only the Tao, which they may decide to impose on us, but which cannot be valid for them. If they accept it, then they are no longer the makers of conscience but still its subjects, and their final conquest over Nature has not really happened. The preservation of the species? But why should the species be preserved? One of the questions before them is whether this feeling for posterity (they know well how it is produced) shall be continued or not. However far they go back, or down, they can find no ground to stand on. Every motive they try to act on becomes at once petitio. It is not that they are bad men. They are not men at all. Stepping outside the Tao, they have stepped into the void. Nor are their subjects necessarily unhappy men. They are not men at all: they are artefacts. Man's final conquest has proved to be the abolition of Man. Yet the Conditioners will act. When I said just now that all motives fail them, I should have said all motives except one. All motives that claim any validity other than that of their felt emotional weight at a given moment have failed them. Everything except the sic volo, sic jubeo has been explained away. But what never claimed objectivity cannot be destroyed by subjectivism. The impulse to scratch when I itch or to pull to pieces when I am inquisitive is immune from the solvent which is fatal to my justice, or honour, or care for posterity. When all that says It is good' has been debunked, what says 1 want' remains. It cannot be exploded or `seen through' because it never had any pretentions. The Conditioners, therefore, must come to be motivated simply by their own pleasure. I am not here speaking of the corrupting influence of power nor expressing the fear that under it our Conditioners will degenerate. The very words corrupt and degenerate imply a doctrine of value and are therefore meaningless in this context. My point is that those who stand outside all judgements of value cannot have any ground for preferring one of their own impulses to another except the emotional strength of that impulse. We may legitimately hope that among the impulses which arise in minds thus emptied of all `rational' or `spiritual' motives, some will be benevolent. I am very doubtful myself whether the benevolent impulses, stripped of that preference and encouragement which the Tao teaches us to give them and left to their merely natural strength and frequency as psychological events, will have much influence. I am very doubtful whether history shows us one example of a man who, having stepped outside traditional morality and attained power, has used that power benevolently. I am inclined to think that the Conditioners will hate the conditioned. Though regarding as an illusion the artificial conscience which they produce in us their subjects, they will yet perceive that it creates in us an illusion of meaning for our lives which compares favourably with the futility of their own: and they will envy us as eunuchs envy men. But I do not insist on this, for it is a mere conjecture. What is not conjecture is that our hope even of a `conditioned' happiness rests on what is ordinarily called `chance'—the chance that benevolent impulses may on the whole predominate in our Conditioners. For without the judgement `Benevolence is good'—that is, without re-entering the Tao—they can have no ground for promoting or stabilizing these impulses rather than any others. By the logic of their position they must just take their impulses as they come, from chance. And Chance here means Nature. It is from heredity, digestion, the weather, and the association of ideas, that the motives of the Conditioners will spring. Their extreme rationalism, by `seeing through' all `rational' motives, leaves them creatures of wholly irrational behaviour. If you will not obey the Tao, or else commit suicide, obedience to impulse (and therefore, in the long run, to mere `nature') is the only course left open." http://www.columbia.edu/cu/augustine/arch/lewis/abolition3.htm Clive Hayden
Andrew has it right. This educational fiasco was no accident. Anyone who cares enough can read, "The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America" by, Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt." The last I checked the whole thing was on the internet. StephenB
The German philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte, wrote,
“The schools must fashion the person, and fashion him in such a way that he simply cannot will otherwise than what you wish him to will.”
That is downright creepy! Talk about brainwashing! I knew the school system was messed up, but if this man truly influenced the current public school system it gives even more reseaons to dislike it. Domoman
Re Sheldon Richman's ‘Separating School and State: Liberating America’s Families’ I think he still has it wrong. We need to recognize a separation between society and state. The term "state" traditionally can mean "government". I wholeheartedly agree that government should not be in the business of religion. However, somehow we have come to see that state equals society. If so, then the first clause of the first ammendment should block all religion from the public square. If society is separate from state (government), however, then what is government doing dictating to society what educational topics society should avoid. I support the voucher concept, where the state assures that all children, even the disadvantaged, can afford a free education. However, the details of that education should be left up to the parents to decide as the parents choose which school to send their child to. I would support some school regulation. I think schools should have to be clear about their philosophical bent. I think it reasonable that standardized testing be done and published. I don't find it unreasonable that schools be required to be run by people with a reasonable level of qualification. Separation of society and state would be wonderful by me. bFast
As a graduate from one of the governemt schools was saying to me just the other day ----"and she goes, 'who says,' and I go, 'me', and she goes, 'Who?', and I was like, 'woah'---you know what I am sayin--like, I was totally freaked--she thought I was, like, stupid or something." StephenB
A fantastic post, thank you. If you are interested in seriously furthering this cause, please ask your Congressman and your Senators to support the Bills that Congressman Ron Paul keeps introducing to allow home-schooling and independent school systems free of Federal control or mandates. You can find more here: http://www.ronpaulforcongress.com/html/education.html Gods iPod
it is the humanist dominated education system that is holding back the real education of children because it is based on state control not freedom. BINGO!! tribune7

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