Wednesday, September 12, 2007

the family-closing of the american mind-rambling thoughts...

Allan Bloom is a professor. When he discusses the student he discusses how a university professor can teach a modern student. As an aside he discusses how the modern student got to be the way he is...not really enjoying reading, or looking to books for wisdom and learning. As he talks about how a modern student became so closed minded to real classical learning he presents his view on the family. Some of his thoughts are:

"Its [meaning the family] base is merely bodily reproduction, but its purpose is the formation of civilized human beings"

"The parents must have knowledge of what has happened in the past, and prescriptions for what ought to be, in order to resist the philistinism or the wickedness of the present."

"The family, however, has to be a sacred unit, believing in the permanence of what it teaches, if it's ritual and ceremony are to express and transmit the wonder of the moral law, which it alone is capable of transmitting and which makes it special in a world devoted to the humanly, all too humanly, useful."

What fascinating thoughts! The third quote has been the focus of my thoughts. Moral law is extremely difficult to transmit without religion. The child or student comes to understand that the moral law can change with opinions and situations and is therefore practically meaningless. When moral law is connected to religion, that law is fixed, unchangeable and therefore powerful. Most religious people understand the concept of a rare exceptions, as those examples exist in most sacred texts; but what power is the moral ideal.

This stabilizing power is the basis of civilization and is best taught in the family! What a powerful thing a family is. That two people can meet and fall in love does not require education. The can marry, have children and become, for all intents and purposes a family. Somewhere along the lines education. Financial principles must be learned and applied, cooking, car maintenance, nursing skills, I frequent wish for drawing skills, along with a slew of other specific parental wisdom. In addition to this practical wisdom, history, science, geography, math, language are all applied in parenthood. Most importantly religious education becomes a necessity. Children come with a multitude of questions, create a multitude of moral dilemmas and demand to know the truth. What an inspiring and very humbling thought to consider a parents role to learn truth and teach a child how to then learn truth for themselves.

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