Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Orthodoxy Test #3: Higher Secular Education

Higher secular education is

a) assur
b) bad, but necessary for parnassa
c) good, but mostly because its necessary for parnassa
d) occasionally worthwhile but often full of apikorsus
e) something positive and worthwhile
f) Leave this question out of my results

I answered (c). Before you jump all over me, let me explain. I had a hard time with this one. I think the amount of higher secular education a person should obtain varies widely. Some people probably shouldn't go to university at all, and doing so may be spiritually perilous for them; for such people, (a) is correct. For people of a similar ilk who need a post-secondary degree to earn a living, (b) is correct. Overall, I think that the right kind of post-secondary secular education can be valuable for many people (that's my own personal experience). I also think that for many people, the same positive intellectual and religious ends attained via university attendance and adherence to a college's curriculum can be achieved in other, less expensive and more purely beneficial ways; but you need a degree to get a large number of jobs. That's more or less what (c) says, only I think I value the non-career benefits of a university education a bit more than (c) implies. I don't agree with (d) any more completely, though: university education is sometimes full of apikorsus, but I think a lot of that can be avoided by intelligent course selection, so I don't see that as being such a big issue. And I think a post-secondary education is more than just occasionally worthwhile. I'd be tempted to choose (e), except that as I mentioned earlier there are many people for whom such education is on the whole not positive and beneficial, so I don't want to endorse it too completely.

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