December 15, 2012
School Shootings From a Christian Perspective
One of the main questions we see on the Internet is, "What was the motive?" This is an illusive question that is still being asked with respect to school shootings as far back as Columbine. There often does not seem to be a clear-cut motive. This implies that the more relevant question is, "What were the main influences that led up to this?" And, another question arises, "Is it possible that negative influences on a young man can influence him towards killing others without him even considering the nature of his motivations?"
In the case of the Connecticut school shooting, all that we know about Adam Lanza is that he was "a bright and painfully awkward student who seemed to have no close friends." There may have been influences dating back to public school that helped to form the mindset of the 20-year-old shooter. The motives of the Columbine shooting are still being debated. USA Today Journalists have continued to try and make sense of the slaughter by reading and discussing private journal entries.
"According to Cullen, one of Harris' last journal entries read: "I hate you people for leaving me out of so many fun things. And no don't … say, 'Well that's your fault,' because it isn't, you people had my phone #, and I asked and all, but no. No no no don't let the weird-looking Eric KID come along." As he walked into the school the morning of April 20, Harris' T-shirt read: Natural Selection. Klebold, on the other hand, was anxious and lovelorn, summing up his life at one point in his journal as "the most miserable existence in the history of time," Langman notes."
Personal feelings and strong emotions obviously played a big role in the Columbine incident. Many people have experienced these types of feelings as a kind of 'right of passage' into mature adulthood. The question is, "Why are some young people unable to manage these extremely painful feelings without violently attacking others?" A possible clue to this answer was written on the T-shirt that Eric Harris wore during his massacre at Columbine. The phrase "natural selection" on his T-shirt is a phrase that is well-known to every public school student.
Every day in public schools children are taught that we are all merely products of an a-moral process of evolution, and the ramifications of such a teaching are quite far reaching. There is no hint or suggestion allowed in school that life might have a deeper significance or a higher purpose. And, though the most prominent atheist apologists in the world cannot seem to defend their positions logically against prominent theists, this secular-atheist hegemony of ideas remains in public schools. There is overwhelming evidence that top atheist apologists cannot hold their own in debates with theists, as noted here, here, and here. Nevertheless, children are unfortunately left with the false impression in public schools that atheistic secular humanism is the most logical explanation of existence.
Gallup Polls have demonstrated that more religious countries have lower suicide rates. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to determine that, for example, a worldview that teaches we are created with great value and purpose would offer more reasons for respecting life than a worldview that suggests life first occurred basically by accident as a random occurrence. A major problem with public school system is that it does not address the question of worldviews. By avoiding an objective discussion of worldviews, a lopsided, atheistic-materialistic approach to education is offered by default.
For example, students in public schools are not taught that Charles Darwin believed God was responsible for life on Earth. In the conclusion of the sixth edition of Darwin's classic work, The Origin of Species, Darwin specifically used the word "creator" to define the one who "breathed" the first breath of life into living beings on Earth: “…having been originally breathed by the creator into a few forms or into one..." This 6th edition was the final version, the final result of years of editing. This quote by Darwin would not be allowed in public school textbooks today because science today generally follows what is known as methodological naturalism. This simply means that academia has chosen to limit science to natural causes. An accurate preface to a public school textbook would read as follows:
"This science textbook is based upon the process of methodological naturalism. This basically means that science today has been limited to the description of natural causes. If your worldview ascribes potential to supernatural causes, such as the creation of the universe and the creation of life, keep in mind that this textbook does not address these questions philosophically, but simply presupposes materialist explanations."
Public school curricula and textbooks today present ideas from an exclusively atheistic-materilaistic perspective, while there is an underlying pretension that the education is philosophically neutral. Eviscerating education of all worldviews except for one is not true neutrality. This is philosophical censorship. The censorship of all other worldviews is all the more deceitful because this censorship is never addressed and discussed in class.
Instead of offering an appropriate introduction, textbooks are presented in public schools without describing the philosophical framework and context. The underlying presupposition is that 'Science can and will answer all the important questions." This presupposition, however, is quite false. This approach is known basically as 'scientism' and 'positivism' and is actually a philosophical belief framework. Practically all secular reference sources state that positivism as a philosophical position is a "dead" one. For example, the New World Encyclopedia, "Today, among most philosophers, positivism is dead..." Nevertheless, atheists at my blog continue to say, "Science possesses all the instruments that philosophy has for that [addressing foundational questions]."
If adults do not even recognize how to distinguish between scientific truth and very basic philosophical understandings, how can we expect young public school children to make these distinctions and affirm their philosophical autonomy in the midst of this type of pressure? If we don't allow racism in public schools, why should we allow scientism? The system is rigged against any children who hold any view other than the promoted materialistic-atheistic one. This is not limited to the general approach, it pertains to the text in the chapters as well.
When public schools touch on the theme of life's origin, the Stanley Miller experiment is often cited. However, the films and textbooks fail to mention the many negative aspects of the Miller experiment and the fact that the experiment did not even come close to producing life. At best, the experiment produces a mixture of complex organic compounds, which are not organized. It may be likened more to a dead body than life.
1. By implication, public schools present a form of positivism as a supposed valid philosophical approach towards acquiring knowledge.
2. Most secular reference sources agree that positivism is a "dead" philosophical approach.
3. Therefore, pubic schools present a dead philosophical approach to students by default.
When you consider the big picture, it's easy to see how public schools teach materialistic atheism as true by implication.:
1. Contemporary science is based on methodological naturalism - the avoidance of the supernatural as a possible cause.
2. Public schools present science as the best (and only) systematic explanation of reality and the world in which we live.
3. Public schools do not qualify atheism and scientific knowledge in the context of philosophical limits, in the context other worldviews, or in the context of updated criticisms waged against specific theories.
4. Therefore, public schools teach atheistic-materialism as factual by implication.
1. P presents A as true in S.
2. P presents S as the most reliable (and only) authority on what constitutes reality.
3. P does not qualify A or S in P, w or C or at all.
4. Therefore, P implies A is true always.
Public schools skip over logic and philosophy and offer curricula and textbooks that wrongly imply that materialistic atheism is the most logical approach towards understanding the nature of reality. The opposite is more likely the case as top atheist apologists cannot hold their own and logically defend atheistic materialism in debate.
In researching for a brief article on religion in public education, I noticed that even secular organizations are beginning to officially recommend classes on religion in public school. A Position Statement of National Council for the Social Studies states, "Study about religions may be dealt with in special courses and units or wherever and whenever knowledge of the religious dimension of human history and culture is needed for a balanced and comprehensive understanding."
As US school massacres continue and corruption in US society increases, hopefully people will understand the need for a broader presentation of ideas for students to think about. Sadly, many public school teachers have been fired for simply stating what they believe about life's meaning when asked by students. This has been well-documented in the film, IndoctriNation. The debate on God's existence and the meaning of life is far from over with regard to philosophical and logical arguments. Nonetheless, many secular humanists believe that no such discussions should ever take place in a public school.
Deuteronomy 30.19 states, "This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live."
If children are not allowed to even discuss the meaning of life and teachers are not allowed to explain their beliefs when asked, in what manner does this represent a free society where choice exists? As a missionary in Ukraine, I was impressed that public schools there did allow for the discussion of such questions and one approved textbook actually presented atheistic materialism as one explanation of the origin of life and divine creation as another explanation. The pre-K program at a Ukraine was actually teaching logic to kids. However, what I've found in the US kindergarten is an avoidance of critical thinking and emphasis on following directions.
To remove choice is a choice. And, in answer to the questions posed at the beginning of the post, I would offer that influences on young people can help to move them towards committing heinous acts, even if they are unaware of such influences. Nature abhors a vacuum. This principle also applies philosophically and spiritually. I am not claiming that the Connecticut killer was influenced overtly by these types of reasons alone. I am claiming that this is a factor that should be seriously considered.
When it comes to killing massess of people, atheistic and secular humanistic socities have taken the prize in history in terms of shear numbers. As a political leader, Mao Ze-Dong takes the prize as the greatest killer. Joseph Stalin is not too far behind. Instead of viewing all subjects through the lens of materialistic atheism and banning any and all spiritual-philsophical material, there should be a more objective and open-minded presentation of subject matter.
By objectively considering history, it may be understood that atheism and secular humanism have been used to logically justify both racism and extreme genocide and still may be used to justify such actions today. And, the fact is, more people have been killed by atheistic and secular governments when guns had already been taken away and people were defenseless.
I am not in any way suggesting that transcendent worldviews are true because they offer better societies or better psychological results. That is a logical fallacy known as an appeal to consequences. I am simply offering that a fair and objective approach to education should be available to public school children. That's it.
Don't neglect the effects of education. Scientific positivism is a dead philosophy. The fact that public schools continue to present science and atheistic methodological naturalism as the "be-all and end-all" for determining the nature of reality is deceitful. Until there is a fair and balanced view of history, philosophy and religion in public schools, the negative aspects of secular humanism and atheism being taught by default will continue to negatively affect society on many levels.
Tags: motive for Newtown, Connecticut school shooting, causes of Newtown, Connecticut school shooting, vacuum of meaning in public education, the influences of atheistic, materialistic secular humanism, censorship of worldviews in public school, secular humanism and genocide, logical positivism is dead, nonreligious people are more likely to commit suicide, philosophical censorship in public schools, scientism and racism, how public schools teach atheism