The other day I ran across this quote from C. S. Lewis.
Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.
C. S. Lewis
There are certain strains in our society that tell us that education is the solution to all the ills of our society. As someone who actually believes in sin I disagree with this position. The problem isn't uneducated people, the problem is people. As a society we've been reminded of this with the recent economic abuse enacted on regular people by Bernie Madoff and his ilk, but we also see it in the political sex scandals of Wiener and Strauss-Kahn. These were all well educated people who commit wrongs against others, abusing their position and justifying there wrong doing. All of this lines up with this quote and what ultimately underlines humanity. Sinful and corrupted human beings to serve self first. Sadly when the educated sin, it often has the potential to hurt many more people.
This TIME article reinforces this idea that its not only the uneducated (or entitled "celebrities") who sin. The author points out that the rich steal more often than the poor. From an economic and needs standpoint that doesn't make sense at all. Yet this is the reality, educated people easily rationalizing why they don't need to follow the rules. Why they can do as they see fit.
I think its the unwillingness to submit that is at the heart of all sin. We rebel against God and his ways, we put ourselves on the throne and proceed to serve self above all. For some of us those sins might express themselves in shoplifting, or sex scandals or financial indiscretions, but for all of us we stand against God rather than at his feet. Education (while extremely important and highly recommended and something my kids had better commit to or else) doesn't help us submit our will to God. Instead it gives us more tools with which to rationalize and justify our self serving nature. Scripture says since knowledge puffs up and as we are grow ever prouder it becomes harder and harder to submit. So lets pray that God would give us humble hearts, that we would see our sin for what it is, and that we wouldn't pin all of our hopes on the answers and pathways the world provides. Instead lets pin our hopes on Christ and walk humbly and act justly.
I'm hoping to post a follow up relating to awareness as the hipster answer to social problems related to this idea that education is the answer to everything...