Against the fallacy of Education as a source of Ethics

MCDSARE 3:33-41 (2019)
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For centuries, the major story of enlightenment was that education is and should be the cornerstone of our society. We try to educate people to make them respectable members of society, something which we inherently relate to being "better persons", firmly believing that education makes humans less prone to evil. Today, modern research seems to validate that premise: statistics verify that more education results to less crime. But is this picture accurate and does this mean anything regarding morality per se? This paper tries to examine the facts with a more critical eye and determine whether education is indeed a source of ethics or not. The results of the analysis show that what we understand as education is not only unrelated to ethics but can also be a factor resulting in the degradation of morality in humans. Rousseau's arguments against science and arts are re-enforced with arguments stemming from other great philosophers and from modern experience itself. Using modern statistical analysis regarding the correlation of crime and education and through the examination of the modern regression in ethical issues, it becomes evident that education cannot and should not be a source of ethics. Knowing what is ethical is not as important as living an ethical life. Pharisees were the first to be denied the entrance to the kingdom of God. As Oscar Wilde once said, "Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught".



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Spyridon Kakos
National Technical University of Athens (PhD)

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References found in this work

Pensées.Blaise Pascal - 1670 - In Aloysius Martinich, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger. London: Blackwell. pp. 111-112.
'Ηθική'.E. P. Papanoutsos - 1951 - Journal of Philosophy 48 (23):731-733.
Eugenics and human rights.Daniel J. Kevles - 1999 - Bmj 319 (7207):435-438.

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