The referred article claims that studies have shown that increased exposure to analytical thinking may weaken ones’ tendency to be religious, or, to have faith. They also found that “each extra year of schooling led to a decline of four percentage points in the likelihood of identifying with a religious tradition”. The article also claims that the studies explain the increase in non-affiliation with any religion in Canada, which increased by twelve percent between 1971-2001. Based on this article, it would seem that the education system is actually playing a role in the removal of religion from our society – at least in diminishing it. This seems to be occurring because it is focused on analytical thinking, and is shutting out theological thinking. From these studies, it would seem that these two paradigms – analytical thinking, and faith-based thinking – are in opposition to one another.
One question to be asked is why the school system, which was at one point almost entirely theological, has become almost entirely analytical. According to Thomas S. Kuhn, it is because analytical thinking currently has consensus support. Consensus support, he says, is what causes analytical thinking to be viewed as the correct method of discerning truth (or, learning). That is to say, the reason the current school system emphasizes analytical thinking as the correct method of discerning truth, is because that is what is currently supported in our society. He suggests that it takes a scientific revolution to change this perspective, or rather, to cause a paradigm shift – which is what arguably had occurred historically, when the education systems shifted their focus from theological truths to analytical truths. As these are two (seemingly) contradicting methods of discerning truth, it makes sense then, that, at this point, one must almost entirely replace the other in the school system. If the school system is to focus on analytical thinking in the way that it currently does, it leaves very little room for theological thinking, and according to this study, will lessen the amount of religiosity in our society.
One may wonder whether this is at least somewhat intentional by our government, or, if it is merely by chance. Evidently, based on the format of the current school system, our governments’ belief is that religion is not meant to be in schools. Perhaps, though, this is a representation of a larger view – that religion is not meant to be in society. On the other hand, it could very well be the case that our government believes that religion just does not have a place in the school system – but the intention is not to say anything about religion on a larger scale. No matter the intention, based on what the article has said (and the studies it cites), our school system is playing a role in lessening the amount of religiosity within our society.
-A.E. #349 #uwreligions