Training the Will to Want the Good

Jun 9, 2022

The Christ Who Knocks by Brandon Vogt and Bishop Robert Barronon Word on Fire Show (episode 336). One thing that has struck me about the classical model of educating young people is how it involves the education of the will. It’s teaching young people to want the good and to pursue the beautiful. The way I was raised—I went to public schools and received a progressive education—if morality was taught at all, it was just a list of rules that you would follow…. There was no training of the will to want the good. How do you think we can train people to have our wills be aligned with Christ’s wills? What does that look like as a pastor, teacher, parent? How do we train the will? (Brandon Vogt speaking to Bishop Barron) Listen on Spotify or Apple Podcasts

A Break from the Doom and Gloom about Free Speech by Mark Grannis at The Heights Forum. I worry a lot about the current state of free speech. It’s literally my job to worry about it, because I teach a class on the topic of free speech. But after reading through my students’ final exams, I’m feeling a lot better. If you’re also a worrier, maybe you’ll feel better if I share the good news. Read

New York Private School Regulations Threaten Religious Freedom:Jewish Groups by Jeremiah Poff at Washington Examiner. A proposed regulation expanding oversight of private schools by the New York Department of Education has set up a clash between the state government and the state's Orthodox Jewish community, who see the proposal as an attack on religious freedom. Earlier this year, state education officials released a proposal requiring private schools to provide "substantially equivalent instruction" to the public school system. The proposal would substantially increase the amount of state oversight of private schools while tightening curriculum requirements. Read

Throwback Thursday

Thinking Critically about Critical Thinking by R.R. Reno at First Things on January 29, 2015. When it comes to the intellectual life in our day, the fear of error—believing things as true when they are in fact false—far outweighs a desire for truth. Whether it’s the big questions of religion and morality, or even those concerning history and literature, we have developed an intellectual culture of exaggerated circumspection in which large, long-standing truths are questioned and only small, fashionable truths affirmed. “Critical thinking” has taken on a new meaning in recent decades, one more associated with critique than constructive criticism, and it has become an end-in-itself for many educators. We put a great deal of emphasis on learning how to interrogate, challenge, and criticize. But, while these are all useful skills, and in many cases necessary to help us avoid falsehood, first and foremost we need to be trained in assent. Unless we learn how to affirm beliefs as true we can never arrive at the truth. To do this in a reliable, responsible way requires a pedagogy of piety, for we can only hold as true those things we believe to be true. Read or Watch