Thursday, November 16, 2006

Education and Freedom vs. State Enforcement of Rightness

I homeschool. The other day on a forum on which I participate someone asked...

"Do you think you should have the freedom to not educate your children?"

Our local troll/expert in everything no matter what, added to that honest question...

"Or teach them pseudo-svioence creationism ionstead of real science?
Or bible myths instead of history?
Or Jesus Jingles instead of music?
Or God Ads instead of literature?
Or biblical maths (1 + 1+ 1 = 1) instead of real maths?"

My reply:


Because I don't want to live in a world where thought is controlled.
I don't want to live in a world where someone decides what is best
for me and what I must know and what I am allowed to believe.

I don't desire the power to enforce others to teach or believe what
I know is true, the approved curriculum, a tyranny of experts and
those who qualify for ideological purity. It doesn't matter if those
tyrants are in agreement with me and if they implement everything
that I would implement if I had to decide, because the means and
the structure would be one of control and oppression. A test of
"Truth" can be perverted by those in power deciding that a different
truth will be enforced and the means and structure will be in place
to make that new truth the law.

I have two ways to ensure that I get my way.

I can make darned sure that *I* am the one in power and no one
can remove me. Despot, tyrant, dictator.

Or I can make sure that I have the freedom of my own thought
and own conscience by doing everything I can to make sure that
everyone has the same freedom, no matter how misguided they
are, no matter how differently from me they believe. No matter
if some of them are wrong.

I have to trust and believe that *most* people will be freely
persuaded by truth and facts and data. Most people will
carry on competently and nearly all of them will raise children
able to contribute constructively to the community, even if
they are idiologically very different from myself.

That trust is the basis of all freedom and tolerance.


The troll snipped everything after "Yes." and scoffed at how only a
Christian homeschooler could possibly say such a thing.

I don't care because I wasn't responding to him. I was talking in
general about freedom and how people just don't seem to think
about what it means or what freedom or liberty require.


Blogger Ymarsakar said...

You certainly hit upon the core principle behind the First Ammendment, Synova. However, it seems there are only a minority of people that fully understand what freedom truly is. I cannot say I agree fully with you, but you do not say anything that I think false. I am just too much the Jacksonian, too much a believer in "peace through superior firepower" to put all my hopes on the 1st Ammendment and the principles you spoke so eloquently concerning liberty.

6:32 PM  
Anonymous sinmantyx said...

It simply sounds like he (or she) is making a generalization based on who he believes Christian home schoolers to be. He's not making a point. He is simply expressing his unhappiness with the actions of people that he cannot control.

To him, it seems that miseducation is worse than noneducation. In some ways, I tend to agree. I've even heard the act of indoctrinating children described as "child abuse" and in extreme cases I can even agree with that.

However, what he fails to do, is to listen to what you are actually saying. Instead he attacks a straw-man stereotype, and never gets to the heart of the issue.

The same freedom that allows *some* Christian home schoolers to isolate their children from accepted scientific theories and historical accounts that may seem to conflict with their chosen dogma; would certainly also allow someone such as himself to home school his children if the aformentioned "Pseudo-science, myths," and pi = 3 were to become what public school happen to provide in his community. Frankly, I don't think that's too far fetched at all.

I don't think he realized that you were standing up for his rights just as much as your own. He wouldn't be the first person who simply assumed other people are acting purely out of self-interest; because the idea of anyone standing up for anyone else is so completely alien.

4:13 PM  
Blogger Synova said...

Dang, this is what I get for not checking my e-mail (it's a spam disaster) and not scrolling through to check comments. I was playing EQ2. Which is fun, but...

I would treat the person who asked the original question as kindly as you describe, the second person less kindly because of long association. There are worshipers of expert authority and then there are worshipers of expert authority who believe themselves experts. When you consider yourself part of the ruling authority there's not much reasoning that can be done.

As for self interest. Standing up for others, making sure they have freedom, *is* self interest.

Anyhow, I forgot that I told you where my blog was. Eek! LOL!

I must send e-mail. :-)

1:08 PM  

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