Education and Morality

There is a common narrative that tells us the better educated one is, the better decisions one will make in life.  I think there was a time that was more true than not, but it is looking like that simply isn’t the case anymore.

One thing education cannot do is provide morality unless morality is part of the education curriculum and the atmosphere of the educational system.  These days, it isn’t true.
We could make an argument that our educational systems are providing a type of morality, which is, by historical standards, rather ‘immoral.’  College is now more about sex and intoxication as important cultural experiences rather than critical thinking and learning the aspects of good character.
Here’s an example of what college students are really thinking about:
Yes, folks, an ‘alcohol enema.’  What does this tell us?
Well, not much on its own.  But, when held up with the other many examples we have from colleges, we are seeing young people who have be purposefully subverted from entering adulthood by being kept as ‘teenagers’ mangle themselves with horrid experiments in immorality.
They are not being prepared for adulthood, but rather for excess.  By introducing debauchery and putting off the growing specter of adulthood, maturity becomes harder and harder for young adults.  Like Adam and Eve in they are being given the choice to indulge and avoid maturity or take on the hard lessons of life, with all the encouragement going to the former.
Colleges are laying the foundations for a whole generation that will struggle with addiction because they are teaching that adulthood and responsibility are to be avoided (except when it suits administrators) and that morality is an ‘inconvenient truth.’  Students are not being taught critical thinking but rather to repeat the ‘critical thoughts’ of their professors.  On their own, they make horrible decisions, like alcohol enemas.
Adulthood requires the ability to think critically and understand morality, but since we now depend on ‘the system’ to provide these, and they are not, college students are thrust into the world with a number of rude awakenings:
1) the world expects them to be responsible, even though they have been taught not to be responsible.
2) the world expects them to be honest and upright, even though they have been taught that needy people can’t be expected to do those things, and who is needier than a college grad with no life experience?
3) the world expects them to earn a living and pay taxes by working hard and showing up on time, when their experience of work before graduation has been partying punctuated by a few classes.
Tossing the coddled into the cold water of reality makes adulthood all the more painful.  Where do we turn when we are in pain?
We see it already: alcohol, drugs (legal and illegal), food, porn, sex, gambling… is their really any difference between the addictions of the ‘underclasses’ and those of the ‘college grads?’  I would say very little.  Addiction is addiction.
I think our educational systems are part of the larger social problem of addiction.  Things need to change.


  1. When I was chaplain at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh the dean of students came to one of our meetings to talk about (among other things) what was called at the “date rape.” After listening to his presentation and the University’s response I asked why he was surprised that mixing men & women with alcohol in a room with a bed and a lock on the door lead to rape. It seems to me, then and now, that the problem was universities neither expect nor seek to cultivate the classical virtues necessary for a free people. In the place of a robust love of truth, of self-restraint and pursuit of wisdom students are offered the rather thin gruel of tolerance.

  2. we are raising a generation who feels they do not need to work,they can party all the time and need not have any resposiblity..everything is handed to them on a silver plater and they feel no need to work or pay for their college loans,everyone else is supose to be responsible for their debt,even if they end up with great paying days we don’t raise the bar,we lower it.

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