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Updated: May 25, 2013 6:07AM
Perhaps schools should be competing for students
It is in the interest of the public, in general, to educate the public, in general, to be able to interact with the public, in general. So vouchers are to pay for the public, in general, to be able to interact with the public, in general. That is in everybody’s interest. Everybody pays for that to happen. Education above and beyond that level is not necessarily in the greater public interest, so to speak.
Public education may choose to educate beyond the minimum level of education but it is not required. All educational institutions do not all have to try to teach to the same educational level. As with private educational institutions, it may be more valuable to society if public education systems chose to educate to different levels of education. We have technical schools, arts schools, and so on.
Maybe the concept should be to pay for the general education of all students to a specific level and education beyond that level is upon the shoulders of the student and/or parents. In a system like that, schools would compete for students to achieve their funding. Think about that. Schools competing for students!
There is no one ‘truth,’ so learn to accept others’ views
My political philosophy professor at Illinois State University, John Gueguen, was convinced there was Truth. Although he was a rather frail and gentle man, his demeanor burned strongly with sanctimonious pride: he had figured it out. And he taught us to feel the same sanctimony and self-righteousness when we argued a philosophical viewpoint with alleged Neanderthals incapable of comprehending the mind of a philosopher king. One’s youthful indiscretions, we hope, eventually fade and turn to more mature thinking, because there is no one truth after all.
Popes, cardinals, and other like-minded persons who see the” light” try to convince us the Bible is the sole expression of a morality intended to guide imperfect human beings. And they would have their theology reflected in our culture and laws. The Bible can be an illuminating book. But it is not the only narrative out there. Alternative voices shout or perhaps surreptitiously whisper in our ear.
Jean-Paul Sartre tells us we are “condemned to be free” and that “Hell is other people.” The Dalai Lama asks us to do no harm to others. Robert Frost wrote that he took the road less taken, and “that has made all the difference.” So much to read and learn. Yet some want our lives relegated to what Richard Rorty calls a “grand vocabulary” that expresses a clear and unified narrative. Rorty writes that philosophy itself does not find something “real.” It merely uses language in new ways, as alternative expressions of illumination that clothes the world in a new light. And it works. .
Use the Bible freely to interpret the world for yourself. Some of us, however, are creating new vocabularies.