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How Homeschooling and Classical Christian Schooling Could Alter the Leadership of the Future
By Tom Gilson
I have a risky prediction to make today. Maybe it’s more of a hope than a prediction, maybe even an impossible, hopeless hope, but I don’t think so. I think there is substance to it.
Here is my prediction and my hope. Elite leadership in Western society today leans strongly toward the secular end of the polarization spectrum. I think that could reverse itself in the next generation.
I believe it’s possible, maybe even likely, that 15 to 25 years from now, America’s leadership will be heavily influenced, if not dominated, by men and women who were homeschooled or attended schools with curriculums based on a classical Christian education model including logic and rhetoric. The reason? Unlike far too many young people in too many other educational situations, these students are learning how to think and to communicate.
Unreason Running Rampant
We have all seen the far-too-common contrasting results of much contemporary education. I am convinced that it one effect of it has been to clear a path for new atheist irrationality. That’s an impossible case for me to make in a short article such as this one; it was, however, the subject of a book I participated in producing, titled “True Reason: Responding to the Irrationality of the New Atheism.”
Allow me to focus for a moment on a more recent manifestation. Peter Boghossian, a teacher of “critical thinking” among other subjects at Portland State University, has written “A Manual for Creating Atheists” (reviewed here). In spite of Boghossian’s professional interests and qualifications, the book is badly beset with logical blunders, some of which were deftly yet respectfully exposed by Christian philosopher Tim McGrew in a recent radio debate with Boghossian, although others had pointed them out earlier.
Nevertheless, prominent atheists including Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Michael Shermer, and Jerry Coyne have endorsed both Boghossian and his book. I find it hard to fathom why they haven’t instead shouted, “Stop! We’re trying to build a reputation for reason here, and you’re not helping one bit!”
Why aren’t they doing that? The best explanation I can think of is this: Too many of us—not just atheist leaders, but too many of the rest of us as well—don’t know how to tell manipulative rhetoric from sound reason…