The modern educational system as opposed to proper upbringing


Leniency encourages bad qualities in a student or son, and strictness helps develop good qualities. Therefore, a teacher or parent should not pamper a child but administer punishment for bad behavior.

True education is supposed to cultivate good qualities in the students. This is not possible unless there is appropriate punishment for bad behavior. Simple as it may sound this is a major problem for modern educational system. Main reason is that the contemporary society lacks scientific moral standards. The criteria for moral and immoral, good and bad, constantly change. Is there a universal moral standard for all people in all times? (That is besides producing and consuming goods, the slogan of the contemporary civilization.) Modern society does not offer a clear answer to this question. As the French Nobel laureate Jacques Monod solemnly declared,

The ancient covenant is in pieces: Man at last knows that he is alone in the unfeeling immensity of the universe, out of which he has emerged only by chance. Neither his destiny nor his duty has been written down.

When there is uncertainty in such key area as moral values, the result is that the training in good character becomes extinct. How can you base the educational system on imparting moral conduct and administering punishment for immoral conduct when you do not know, or doubt the existence of, the universal meaning of good and bad?

This “enforced neutrality” of modern culture, which tells us “we must remove ourselves from values in order to understand them” has become known as “scientific liberalism”.In his book, Understanding the Present—Science and the Soul of Modern Man, the British journalist Bryan Appleyard writes:

Because [scientific liberalism] offers no truth, no guiding light and no path, it can tell the individual nothing about his place or purpose in the world. In practice this is seen as liberalism’s great, shining virtue, for it is the one way of avoiding what the liberal sees as the horrors of the past.

Liberal history says that societies that did tell the individual who he was, what he was for and precisely how he should behave have almost invariably been cruel and destructive. Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia were the great recent European examples…People suffered and died for their national religious or moral differences…Liberalism, institutionalized tolerance, would seem to be the only way of constructing a stable society that would sustain rather than oppress such a healthy plurality. This is the key defense of liberalism’s refusal to be spiritually committed…But, sound as that defense is, it does not end the debate…For, as I have said, science is not neutral, it invades any private certainties we may establish as a defense against the bland noncommittal world of liberalism. It saps our energy…Tolerance becomes apathy because tolerance in itself does not logically represent a positive virtue or goal. So a tolerant society can easily decline into a society that cares nothing for its own sustenance and continuity. The fact that democracies constantly seem to have a crisis in their schools is important—it is a symptom of crucial uncertainty about what there is to teach, about whether there is anything to teach.

At the heart of this spiritual problem lies the lack of a sense of self. Just as scientific liberalism holds back from the moral or the transcendent, so it also holds back from providing the individual with an awareness of his place in the world. On the maps provided by science we find everything except ourselves.

“Decadence arises”, concludes Appleyard, “from the obvious failure of liberalism to transmit any value other than bland tolerance.” Already in 1998, a group of British and American researchers profiled the cult of bland tolerance in a provocative book entitled “Faking It—The Sentimentalization of Modern Society”. The central thesis is that modern society is a colossal fraud rendered tolerable by an ethos of creepy niceness that, like perfume, masks the rot. A “sentimental fascism” controls public opinion by “a hammerlock on all the caring cliches.” People have become “empathy-junkies” who wallow in a great hot tub of self-indulgent emotions even as they listlessly hand their lives over to:

…fake schools that spoil rather than teach children; fake religions in which a new commandment, “feel good,” has replaced traditional moral codes; a fake social policy based on the evasion of personal responsibility; a fake political system that takes taxes from the people and gives back gestures and poses; fake counselors and therapists who pretend all pain can be hugged away; a fake environmental program that adds to pollution; a fake news media that manipulates its audience through emotional blackmail by promoting feeling over thinking, fake love that is really just a form of politics; faked feelings, whereby virtues like compassion, friendship and kindliness are imitated at opportune moments and then spat out like mouthwash; fake justice that decides guilt and innocence not by deep feelings about the violation of moral principles, but by how people today feel about moral principles. In other words, there’s no justice—there’s just us…

Modern societies face rising crime rates, falling standards in schools, family collapse and widespread confusion about morals and manners. Despite our enormous economic success, something has gone wrong. Two diagnoses are common. One blames bad ideas, theories and policies. The other blames interests and structures and the way society is organized. But really the source of the problem is neither of these. It is something much more basic than organization, funding or precise policies; more fundamental even than ideologies and philosophies.

According to the ancient Vedic sages the true problem lies in our revolt against the divine order behind everything in the Universe. To secularize reality means to redefine the answer to all vital questions of existence without the help of the eternal truths found in the scriptures. This has proved an impossible task for modern man; failing toinvent universally accepted moral values he retreated in phony doctrines like scientific liberalism claiming his defeat to be a victory. In the area of education the lack of clear moral standards has resulted in leniency. However, according to Chanakya Pandit, leniency encourages bad qualities in a student or son and therefore should be rejected.


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