Can human beings and human societies be “fixed” so as to eliminate or notably reduce aberrant, harmful behaviors and produce flourishing lives?
Or must we believe, according to the Judeo-Christian premise, that we are rotten at our core, carriers of a vicious malady, Original Sin, and therefore naturally inclined toward malice and mayhem, beyond self-engineered salvation, and salvageable only by the grace of God?
Obviously, for all of contemporary humanity’s brilliant “advancements” on many fronts in the areas of science and technology, we still have failed to perfect ourselves and our social systems in the direction of fully humane and civilized functioning. While knowledge grows apace, wisdom—our reckoning of what is valuable and our commitment to realizing it in fact and action— languishes and fails to mature.
What hope have we collectively for wising up on our own, for cultivating reason and generosity, good sense and kindness, intelligent humaneness? Should not exactly that be the ultimate aim of educational programs at all levels? Divine assistance is welcome, but we’d be wise to pursue this educational initiative on our own.