Human Progress, Education and the Heart

progress, education and the heart

Centuries have come and gone and once again we stand at yet another crossroad unable to decipher the direction in which we must move. Or are we inclined to think that human progress is making it’s way through? Having secularized most of the modern culture, mankind aims at a natural utopia, a super civilization of perfection. This he aims for without truly knowing how to get there. We look for the answers without really knowing what exactly we’re looking for, and find nothing but an incredible amount of fragmentation between the various voices, we sink deeper and deeper into confusion about how exactly shall we live.

We witness what we perceive to be evils and injustices, but we reason that there are no such things as evils and injustices. We press on that if only we can civilize and educate the world, that all our troubles would be over, that we will achieve a society in which the educated man will behave as a model, law-abiding citizen. This we aim for while at the same time expelling religion from culture. But, if we think the answer lies in educating a man so that he may overcome his religious “superstitions,” we have not paid attention to the 21st century. After all, were it not the idealized education and indoctrination of the Marxist and Darwinian ideologies that swept over this planet during the last century and resulted in the cold-blooded murder of more people than all previous 19 centuries combined? Was it not the formation of these thoughts throughout the lecture halls of our universities? Have we not constantly bombarded the culture with the notion that man is simply an elaborate beast? How then should we act but as beasts?

Educating a man does not give ample reason for him to choose to do good instead of harm, and if what he learns is that there are no rights and wrongs, to begin with, what we should expect of this man is nothing but what he prefers to do in his actions for his own personal gain than for the betterment of society as a whole. Within the paradigm of survival of the fittest, altruism must be one of the most ridiculous notions ever imagined. If I must do all I can to survive and thrive why then would I consider how another creature feels? Why would I ever want to help him with something to my own detriment?

Human Progress and Education

Contrary to the beliefs of modern utopianists, education does not change the way people behave. This has been exemplified by various instances of white collar crime where ivy league university graduates are the ones committing the crimes. What then is the difference between the common street criminal and the thoroughly educated high-class criminal? Method and magnitude! The common street criminal will employ crude weapons to steal a car from the other end of town. The educated criminal will employ his academic degrees to gain prominence and steal millions of dollars from the corporation that he runs. The uneducated criminal will break into a house and rape a woman. The educated criminal will use position and power to rape a nation. As D.L. Moody put it,

“If a man is stealing nuts and bolts from a railway track, and, in order to change him, you send him to college, at the end of his education, he will steal the whole railway track.”

It is a snobbish assumption that the ignorant are the dangerous criminals. The most dangerous criminal is the educated criminal. All education does is to make the criminal more sophisticated.

The reason for mankind’s problems is that as a whole we do not know God. The answer to the problem is not more and more education. The answer is to give people a reason to think differently. But in order to allow for such a paradigm shift in one’s thinking, you need to change his heart. The man must not only understand that there is a right and wrong, he must then do the right thing. And he must not only do the right thing he must want to do the right thing. The transformed heart is, therefore, the only means by which we can ever be changed, and this is precisely what Christ offers us. When God takes a hold of a person’s heart that person is forever transformed inside and out, able and willing with joy to condemn himself in order to conform to the moral law he now clearly sees in his conscience, now caring more for his fellow man and more willing to lessen his own gains for what he now deems to be an intrinsic equality with his fellow human beings.