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Education & the Secularization of knowledge

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Education & the Secularization of knowledge

Post by OULGOUT Abdelouahed on Wed Sep 24, 2008 3:09 am

In a lecture I delivered in Moulay Ismail University, Méknes, for the students of English department, on the topic "the Philosophy of Knowledge between Science and Religion", one of the students intervened during the discussion and argued that secularism doesn't exert any sort of dictatorship over people, and that it grants the latter all the freedom they need to practice their religion without persecution. That young man's intervention was a criticism to what I said during the core lecture, that secularism constitutes one of the aspects of dictatorship, for it excludes religion out of the scene of power without any rational justification. It was clear that the young man didn't grasp well my arguement; or rather he was overwhelmed in the secular Marxist thought as told me latter on by one of my friends who knows him well.

Needless to say, secularism implies the separation between religion and state. That is, excluding religion out of all the sensitive spheres of power, including politics, education, economy, media, and judicature. Religion in the secular point of view is meant for the socio-cultural arena, and therefore it hasn't and shouldn't have any say as far as politics is concerned. This fact is plainly embodied in the constitutions of secular states, lived and experienced in the daily life of people in secular societies. Therefore my target here is not to recapitulate what is actually agreed upon, but to show the infrastructure of the concept education and values in the new secular perspective.

In the history of educational systems, one can broadly distinguish between two systems with much discretion to the conventional adjectives I may use to describe each one of them: (traditional) and (modern). The traditional system of education often refers to the ancient perspective and set of practices carried out in the name of education: it is usually known of putting stress upon knowledge and ethics. It therefore seeks to answer tow basic questions: what is education? And what is it for?

The first tends to identify, specify and determine what to know to learn it by heart, and the second pertains to justifying and relating the aims of education to the moral and utmost end of human existence. Knowledge and values are hence two basic standards and components of the traditional system of education. Consequently, the branches of knowledge pertaining to religion, ethics, philosophy, and theology are classified in the highest peak of the scale of the educational program.

The modern system, however, is a revolt against the traditional one, and it refers to the modern approaches, theories, methods, techniques and principles of teaching and learning. It always tends to base the educational operation on modern science and technology, imparting a set of central concepts closed to the scientific field like computing, management and communication technology.

This system came to make a sort of epistemological shift from religious education in the sense that knowledge and ethics, which were once the utmost aims of the traditional system, are downgraded from their standing as aims and ideals and positioned in the bottom among any positivistic technique which one may or may not resort to. As result the branches of knowledge pertaining to the empirical sciences, technology, economy and marketing are upgraded into the top of the educational scale and given much more value, concessions, and prestige.

It is here where the secularization of education, religion, values and knowledge begun. Religion from this secular perspective does no longer define itself by itself, but it is Man who does so in accordance with his material and instinctive desires, the elections campaigns, the market needs, and the trends of the USD…

The crime secularists did commit in the question of education is not merely the total suppression of values, religion, and ethics, but it is the secularization of all that by depriving the educational values of their divinely superior criterion and attribute them to human relative mind and grubby ideologies. They have realized at last that Islam is a great religion and can never be defeated by simple deceit. And when they failed to intrigue upon it, all that they could do is to pretend its values legacy.



OULGOUT Abdelouahed
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OULGOUT Abdelouahed
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