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Author Topic:   Education and Violence
Yaro
Member (Idle past 4913 days)
Posts: 1797
Joined: 07-12-2003


Message 1 of 17 (105629)
05-05-2004 4:32 PM


Recently WT had a thread where he was claiming that education did not lead to enhanced morality, or something along those lines, entitled “The New Neo-Nazi's”.

Anyway, it got me thinking, I believe that statement to be wrong. I would propose that the nations which are the most educated enjoy the most peace, stability, and highest quality of life than those that are uneducated. I would also propose that most atrocious acts perpetrated by nations, and peoples, can in someway, all be linked to a lack of education. For those who are uneducated, are easily controlled.

A good education encourages a critical mind, one that thinks for itself and does not follow blindly.

In keeping with the previous threads focus on the WWII Axis powers, let me illustrate two of the nations with the highest qualities of life in the world right now:

http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/ja.html

Note that Japan is marked by an incredibly high literacy rate (99%), world famous competitive students, technological prowess, and economic force.

Japan also has one of the highest standards of living in the world. Incredibly low crime, a large middle class, and an overall wealthy populace. It is a rather overworked nation, but none the less peaceful and stable.

Now, post WWII Japan was a different story all together. Japan was a nation driven by nationalism and xenophobia. Its people were bound to age old ancestral beliefs in the divinity of a hereditary emperor. They were feared in Asia for committing some of the bloodiest atrocities the world had ever known.

The educational system in these times was no better. Essentially it was employed as a nationalistic tool used for indoctrinating youngsters. The classes were rigorous, filled with wrote memorization, and little student teacher interaction.

The Military saw the schools as little more than factories for producing the imperial army's laborers.

I tried to look up some literacy statistics, but all I could come up with was a %40 literacy rate at the turn of the century.

The second country I would like to note is Germany. Once a powerful fascist war-machine, it is today a well grounded, peaceful nation with a happy well educated populace.

Pre WWII Germany was in a sorry state.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germany

Germany was the remnants of a crumbling empire with a crumbling economy, and a suffering populace. The demoralized Germans readily embraced the Nazi party who promised to fix the German economy, and re-invigorate the pride of its people.

One of the first things the Nazis did was ruin the school system:

http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/fink.htm

The correlation between education and morality, I think, is evidenced here.

While education does not guarantee morality, or a lower level of violence in a population, it certainly does nothing to aid it. It would seem that an education that seeks to strengthen the mind and exercise its rationality, rather than indoctrinate it with dogmatic ideologies, would lead to a more compassionate, humane, nation.

This message has been edited by AdminSylas, 05-06-2004 02:25 AM


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AdminSylas
Inactive Member


Message 3 of 17 (105809)
05-06-2004 3:29 AM


Minor clean up edits applied. Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.

This message has been edited by AdminSylas, 05-06-2004 02:30 AM


  
Yaro
Member (Idle past 4913 days)
Posts: 1797
Joined: 07-12-2003


Message 4 of 17 (105969)
05-06-2004 2:38 PM


*bumpity bump*


  
jar
Member
Posts: 32167
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 5 of 17 (105972)
05-06-2004 2:59 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Yaro
05-05-2004 4:32 PM


Question then comment
First, don't you mean Pre-WWII Japan instead of post WWII Japan?

Now the comment.

I don't think there is any correlation between either Education Level or Religion when it comes to violence.

There are far too many examples of educated people committing atrocious acts of violence as well as similar acts of violence committed in the name of Religion.

WWII is a classic example.

Despite what many believe, Pre-WWII Japan was a very well educated nation. It's science and industry was as good as any in the world. Simply look at the quality of products they produced and you can see that technologically, they were the equal of the US or Great Britain.

The same can be said of Germany. Again, education was superb and science and industry were as good as any other nation.

Yet these very well educated people, both Germans and Japanese committed some of the most horrific acts in the history of the world.

What is at least as important, both committed those acts in the name of religion. In Germany, the Nazis used Christianity as their primary justification while in Japan, it was a belief in a GOD/Emperor.

So neither Education or Religion is the Cause or Cure for violence.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Darwin Storm
Inactive Member


Message 6 of 17 (105976)
05-06-2004 3:35 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by jar
05-06-2004 2:59 PM


Re: Question then comment
Actually, the Nazi's used desperation as their primary motivation. After WW1, the allies put such strict sanction and demanded such large restitutions that Germany was in an economic depression, lacked national pride because of being stripped of much of their national sovernty, and was filled with people who were desperate for a change. The nazi's intially offered the country hope, but financially and promised a restoratiohn of preeminence. Once in power, the Nazi's started ignoring and violating many of the sanctions placed on Germany. Since most in Germanythought such sanctions were unjust, the national populace of germany gave their full support to the Nazi's. Of course, once the Nazi's were entrenched, we all know what happened. Many of the Germans were horrified with the direction Germany took, but by then, it was too late to change anything. I think especially intersting that President Woodrow Wilson foresaw something of ww2 occuring right after ww1 if the allies tried to punish Germany to harshly. The orignal plan of Wilsons would have limeted restitutions and implemented various policies that may (or may not) have prevented ww2, but he at least foresaw the problem and tried to deal with it. Of course, the european allies, who had been most bloodied, wanted revenge, and ignored Wilson's 14 points. However, education, or lack there of, had little to do with ww2. I would even argue that religion played an insignifigant role in ww2, compared to the economic and social pressures that were placed on Germany at the time.

Japan's aggressions were more about expansion and natural resources than religion. While Japan did have a solid economy, they had a lack of natural resources. However, China and various other countries had a plethera of such resources, and Japan decided to take them by force. Culturally, their society had always embraced the idea of the warrior, which probably made their actions more acceptable in their society. that the emperor gave his support only solidified their sentiment, it didn't cause it. In this case, you could argue that culture and economic concerns ( here, education did provide a role, since their economy was based on advancing their economy in technical capacity) were the driving force for Japan's aggressions.

Alot of this can be easily argued, but I would say it is a gross oversimplifcation, if not outright incorrect, to blame education or religion as the main motivation for either nation going to war.


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1.61803
Member
Posts: 2928
From: Lone Star State USA
Joined: 02-19-2004


Message 7 of 17 (105978)
05-06-2004 3:36 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by jar
05-06-2004 2:59 PM


Re: Question then comment
jar writes:

Yet these very well educated people, both Germans and Japanese committed some of the most horrific acts in the history of the world.

Agreed, but do not forget The USA insinerated hundreds of thousands in Hiroshima and Nagaski. Which brings up a point. Some of the most brilliant minds in the world were gathered together to build the 'gadget' during the Manhattan Project. Dr. Oppenhiemer and his crew used the most cutting edge physics and resources the world has ever known all for one purpose...to build a device that would be used to end the war. Regardless of how one views the dawn of the Atomic age and President Trumans decision to drop The Bomb. It is still a polarizing topic. America is an example of how science and education can be used to do great destruction.

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jar
Member
Posts: 32167
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 8 of 17 (105990)
05-06-2004 4:08 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by 1.61803
05-06-2004 3:36 PM


Re: Question then comment
People always want to jump straight to Hiroshima and Nagasaki as examples of horrific acts.

Actually, they were both relatively mild compared to what happened in both theaters of war. The fact that they each were caused by one individual bomb is something to unique and frightening, but beyond that, neither has much significance.

For example, if you look at the damage that was done to Swinemuende, Dresden, Hamburg, Cologne, Kassel and Wurzburg, you find far greater loss of civilian lives and far more destruction.

But again, what you folk point out is that there is little correlation between education or religion and violence and even less correlation between the two and Evil.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion

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Yaro
Member (Idle past 4913 days)
Posts: 1797
Joined: 07-12-2003


Message 9 of 17 (105991)
05-06-2004 4:10 PM


Redux
Ok ok ok... you all have a point. I suppose it would be WAY to simplistic to place blame one one social ill over another, but I would still contend that good education leads to more peaceful nations. By education I don't only mean general knowledge, but actual educational quality.

In my initial post I pointed out that both nations (Germany, and Japan) had schools that taught dogma and nationalism as opposed to free thought and critical thinking. While their students may have been able to read and write, the type of education likely created some very narrowminded individual.

I don't think this is such a far fetched idea considering that when any regime, hostile or otherwise, takes power in a nation the first thing they usually do is institute some level of educational reform. Communist nations like China or the old USSR are pretty neutorious for Nationalistic "brain washing" schools.

The current crisis in the middle east has allot to do with the sort of education the radical Islamists come from. Just read up on the Madrassas and the way the students there are educated.

So again, it seems to me, that an uneducated public (by this I mean, non-critical, indoctrinated masses) are a heck of allot easier to control and manipulate than a populace which is used to, and even encourages, deserting voices.

IMHO education means allot more than your ABC's and 123's.

[EDIT:] fixed some spelling mistakes

This message has been edited by Yaro, 05-06-2004 03:15 PM


  
Loudmouth
Inactive Member


Message 10 of 17 (106031)
05-06-2004 6:12 PM


Perhaps education and religion can give us knowledge and truth, but will never rid us of evil. And by us, I mean humanity as a group. This seems to be the only commonality that I see between atrocities recorded over the last 5000 years of civilized human populations. The face of evil may change over time, but not one era has clean hands. To blame current ideology for current atrocities is a fool's erand at best. Evil uses ideology to further itself, not the other way around.

  
Stipes
Inactive Member


Message 11 of 17 (108661)
05-16-2004 3:43 PM


Quality of Education
Quote from Yaro: "A good education encourages a critical mind, one that thinks for itself and does not follow blindly."

I completely agree, however I don't think ANY country has accomplished this. The public education system promotes following authority. I don't know how it is structured in other countries, but I am assuming in a similar fassion.

The fact that "educated" people followed blindly after Hitler might support this. But there are other factors. The horrible situation Germany was in, and the prospect of a strong leader really did appeal to the people.

Those are my thoughts. I gotta split.


Replies to this message:
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Denesha
Inactive Member


Message 12 of 17 (108978)
05-18-2004 7:08 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by Stipes
05-16-2004 3:43 PM


Re: Quality of Education
Stipes,

You mean brainwashed not educated?
Hitler's theories had nothing to do with knowledge.
He hated scientists.


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Dr Jack
Member (Idle past 522 days)
Posts: 3507
From: Leicester, England
Joined: 07-14-2003


Message 13 of 17 (108985)
05-18-2004 7:37 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by Stipes
05-16-2004 3:43 PM


Re: Quality of Education
As evidenced, of course, by the fact that students everywhere are noted for their complete and continued compliance with the ruling bodies and their complete lack of showing in protests of all kinds - throughout history.

This message is a reply to:
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Stipes
Inactive Member


Message 14 of 17 (109132)
05-18-2004 7:47 PM


Alright my bad, I needed something to support my little philisophical theory. =) And thanks.

Those people weren't brainwashed when they were born. I percieve Germans as being educated before the rise of Hitler. They weren't brainwashed before Hitler came to be. They were "brainwashed" as a result of Hitler. I think the reasons why they followed them were just because of the conditions made by the Treaty of Versai. Hopefully I spelled that right. I have a spelling problem, I think it is a disease.

I don't care if he hated scientists, I don't know if that is true, but he hired lots of scientists. He advanced technology to get his edge in the war. The fact that he hated scientists has nothing to do with him believing in the scientific method. They probably smart mouthed him or something, I have no clue. I am making speculation assuming your statement is true.

The main point is that in my opinion the public school system promotes following authority. You get a reward for doing so. You get good grades, praise from your parents, get accepted to a good college and then it starts over again. If you follow the system, you follow rules, you do what you are told, and that is what companies like. Who knows, that is my theory. Unless educated isn't independent, I don't think education can create a mass that doesn't follow blindly.

Ah well, those are my thoughts. Later.


Replies to this message:
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Loudmouth
Inactive Member


Message 15 of 17 (109306)
05-19-2004 5:55 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by Stipes
05-18-2004 7:47 PM


quote:
If you follow the system, you follow rules, you do what you are told, and that is what companies like. Who knows, that is my theory. Unless educated isn't independent, I don't think education can create a mass that doesn't follow blindly.

Do you think you have recieved a good education?

Are you brainwashed?

If brainwashing were as effective as you claim, then why are there people preaching AGAINST brainwashing? It seems that it isn't as effective as you think it is.

And also, companies like independent thinkers and rule breakers. They may try and rein them in from time to time, but in the long run independent thought is the engine of business (and science too).


This message is a reply to:
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Lammy
Member
Posts: 3616
From: Chicago
Joined: 03-29-2004


Message 16 of 17 (109348)
05-19-2004 7:44 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by Stipes
05-18-2004 7:47 PM


Stipes writes:

Those people weren't brainwashed when they were born. I percieve Germans as being educated before the rise of Hitler. They weren't brainwashed before Hitler came to be. They were "brainwashed" as a result of Hitler. I think the reasons why they followed them were just because of the conditions made by the Treaty of Versai. Hopefully I spelled that right. I have a spelling problem, I think it is a disease.


In the contrary, I don't believe that the german adults were brainwashed at all. Yes, the harsh terms of the treaty of versailles contributed much to Hitler's rise to power. However, anti-semitism had already been present. Hitler's use of the Jews as scapegoats gave the perfect excuse for people to act out their most hidden desire to be cruel to others. I think that rationalization (or the irrationality of rationalization) played a big part in it.

Brainwashing came when they began to teach the german youths to act the same way.

So no, I do not buy in any of the excuses gave by the defendants at the war crime trials like "we were only following orders" and "we were brainwashed."

You want a current example of such injustices? Look at the Japanese. While it is illegal today in Germany to not believe in the holocaust, the japanese people are still worshiping the generals in WW2 (the same generals that ordered the extermination attempt on the Chinese race) as gods. The Chinese and Koreans have made many attempts to get the Japanese to put accurate information in their textbooks, but the Japanese are still refusing to do that. According to their history textbooks that they use for their children today, Japan was attacked by the rest of the world and it was only defending itself. There are sections where they kept saying Japan was a victim of this and Japan was a victim of that.

Anyway, what was my original point?...


The Laminator


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