The problems in modern education

ht: The Feast of Booths

The basic cause of all the problems in modern education can be summarized in three words: Darwin, Marx, and Freud. The theories of these three men have pervaded all of modern thought. Their ideas are much alike in that they are narrow, materialistic, fatalistic, and utterly anti-Christian. Their influence has been felt far beyond their limited fields. Darwin’s ideas have contributed to a blind belief in progress…

Each of them took not so much a half-truth as a hundredth part of a truth, and then offered it not merely as something, but as everything. Having never done anything except split hairs, [each of them] hangs the whole world on a single hair [whether it be biology, economics, or psychology]. . . . It is yet another mark of this sort of agnostic that he is ready to assert his absolute knowledge of everything to the verge of a contradiction in terms. Just as he will always try to write a history of prehistoric man, so he will always struggle to be conscious of his own unconsciousness. . . . Just as it is the latest fad to prove that everything is sexual, so it was the last fad to prove that everything was economic.  The Marxist notion, called the materialist theory of history, had the same sort of stupid self-confidence in its very insufficient materialism.

As the one fad conceives everything about the bird to be connected with mating, so the other conceived everything connected with it to consist of catching worms. . . . These fads fade very fast, and it may seem hardly worthwhile to prick bubbles that will burst of themselves. Nevertheless, there is one consideration that makes it worthwhile. It is a character of all these manias that they cannot really convince the mind, but they do cloud it. Above all, they do darken it. All these tremendous and rather temporary discoveries have had the singular fascination that they were not merely degrading, but were also depressing. Each in turn leaves no trace on the true and serious conclusions of the world. But each in turn may leave very deep and disastrous wounds and dislocations in the mentality of the individual man…

… instead of finding forgiveness for our sins, sins that we committed through our own fault, we get the most amazing psycho-babble, wrapped in the mantle of science, which explains that our sins are not sins, and whatever it was we did, it wasn’t our fault. It was our parent’s fault, or our teacher’s fault, or simply nature’s fault. The evil perpetuated by this sort of counseling is twofold: we become less responsible for our sinful actions even while we long for a forgiveness that never comes. It is the marriage of Freud and Darwin, of one pseudo-science to another.

~G.K. Chesterton


  1. Seriously have to check out his work. I have never read anything by him.

  2. Elizabeth M. says:

    I have GOT to get me some G.K. Chesterton. I follow a few blogs, and I think every single one of them has mentioned him in the last month or so.
    As a former teacher, I can definitely agree that these ideas are SO pervasive – even in our parochial schools!

  3. You are such a radical.

    It’s why I love you.

Don't just think it: say it!

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