16 Mar The True Nature of Reality: Valid Education – Part 29

“To claim omniscience is to deny our purpose as seekers and discoverers.”

Valid & Invalid Education

If knowledge is the key to addressing the problem of Relativity, then we should take some time to think about education. In an earlier journaling exercise, we briefly mentioned two different types of information. These were Valid Education and Invalid Education.

In that exercise, we distinguished the two by saying Valid Education was information which reveals more Ultimate Truth while Invalid Education was information which moves us away from truth towards ignorance. Although this provides a basic distinction between information that is valid or invalid, it does not provide any practical way to discern one from the other. As we contemplate the following example, we discover that validity is a fluid concept, and the overall validity of our beliefs are highly dependent upon the systems of thought which create them.

Practical Example

An example of Valid Education is the theory that the Earth revolves around the sun. An example of Invalid Education is the idea the sun and planets in our solar system revolve around the earth. The first example is true and verifiable through scientific measurements while the second example is speculative and contradicts physical evidence. Although a geocentric view of our planetary system is invalid, we should note this theory used to be at the forefront of scientific thought. Therefore, it stands that any type of progress in education will involve letting go of old ideas while embracing new ones as they emerge.

The idea of Valid and Invalid Education describes the process by which we develop and pass on correct or incorrect information to others. It is important to remember the information believed today may be proven wrong tomorrow. In the case of a geocentric view of the solar system, these changes were pretty dramatic once evidence that the Earth was not the center of the universe was presented, a fact that was quite shocking to the people of that day and age.

Information Systems

So if information is constantly being updated as technology progresses, the validity of the independent pieces of information becomes less significant than the system of education that produces them. A system which is conducive to theorizing, researching, verifying, and teaching new information must have specific characteristics in order to function. It must allow for research and be open to change. What happens if this system finds new and better information? Are we ready to discard the old information? Will the new information be accepted? Will there be some people whose beliefs lie in preserving the same old ways of thinking? What kind of evidence will be taken as proof of valid change? These are all important questions for creating a system of education that purposefully remains in a constant state of forward flux.

During this contemplative journaling exercise, we will contemplate the major characteristics of a thought system that promotes valid education and the discovery of accurate information. These characteristics are indicators  that show which types of information systems are likely to produce more true results.

Valid Systems Produce Valid Information

A valid system:

  • Points towards the truth we are constantly discovering. It is, by its very nature, open-ended. A valid system must leave room for discovery and change. It never claims to be all-knowing.
  • Provides elegant solutions to problems. It is not so complicated that it creates gaps in understanding or provability. It usually brings clarity and simplifies the things we already know.
  • Has a method of searching out unknown or inconsistent information in the current knowledge base.
  • Has a standard method for researching and testing new ideas.
  • Has a system for validating and implementing newly discovered information.
  • Is not stagnant. It is reactive and breathes as we gain more information and understanding. If teachings remain the same in the face of opposing evidence, then the system will lose validity.
  • Is measurable and knowable. It does not operate in vague terms that mask jumps in logic and reason. It is valid precisely because it can be measured and repeated.
  • Leads towards a more balanced sense of fairness and justice on a global scale. It improves our social situation. New discoveries of valid information should promote more safety and equality for all people, even if their beliefs lie outside the valid system. A valid system points toward a higher global standard of ethics and equality.
  • Encourages the progress and empowerment of the individual. It teaches all people to do the right things for the right reasons, with the greater good being the improvement of humanity on a global level, without impairing individual rights.
  • Is based on tangible evidence.
  • Presents workable solutions to problems and promotes hope in humanity.
  • Removes conduits to Ultimate Truth and informs people that truth is available to all who search for it. There is no human conduit to pass through to gain more understanding of Ultimate Reality.
  • Is based on a conglomerate experience of humanity, that is, it takes into account the many viewpoints of several people around the globe in order to gain a better understanding of the world within and around us. It takes into account the beliefs and needs of those groups who do not share its beliefs.
  • Seeks to lessen the white noise of information overload and stands out from the rest with its directness, simplicity, and adherence to good judgment and common sense.

Exercises:

Give three examples of information that was once widely believed, that is no longer held to be true.

The fact that the Earth was not the center of the solar system (and universe) was widely disbelieved, even after evidence was presented because of the religious implications that man was not the center of God’s universe. Write about resistance to new ideas that do not conform to our personal expectations of reality.

Pick three of the listed characteristics of a valid information producing system and contemplate where these types of characteristics exist in our world today. Are there systems of information that are opposed to these characteristics? Give some examples and explain why you think a system that produces valid information might be undesirable to some people.

Do you believe progress in technology and human understanding have improved or worsened the overall condition of the world?

Michael Ken
writingblade@yahoo.com