Dear students and parents of Arizona,
If your students are enrolled in Arizona’s tax-funded public education system, including K-12 or public colleges and universities, they are not receiving an adequate education. They are receiving a free indoctrination – in moral relativism, so-called “progressivism,” naturalism, and more. They are immersed in slanted, biased, one-sided agendas. They are not being prepared adequately for the labor force. Nor are they being prepared to engage in their civic responsibility as informed voters.
The damage being done to America’s rich history and heritage of liberty is suffering serious damage as legions of young men and women are emerging from this educational monopoly without a balanced understanding of the disciplines that shape our culture. It’s no wonder the culture is in a sharp decline.
Your students are not getting a true, thorough, or unfiltered education. They are getting gypped. It wasn’t always this way, and it doesn’t have to continue this way. The purpose of The Arizona Conservative University is to provide an alternative and a more historically based and accurate education for all, in several key disciplines necessary to maintain a society based on ordered liberty.
Please read the coming education series, starting with Lesson One on Ethics, and please share it with your children and friends. Watch for additional lessons to follow in the weeks ahead.
The Arizona Conservative
Lesson One: Ethics
“Ethics deals with things to be sought and things to be avoided, with ways of life and with the telos.” Telos is the “chief good.”
Epicures, quoted by Diogenes Laertius, “Lives of Eminent Philosophers.” Sissela Bok, “Lying: Moral Choice in Public and Private Life,” p. xix.
“A man without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon the world”
The underlying ethic in public schools is situational ethics, which is the natural result of moral relativism. Students are encouraged to decide on their own what is moral, what is right or wrong. No clear moral standards are taught. And what results is that students default to positions of situational ethics, in which their “moral code” is based on what personally benefits them most. It does not weigh the good of the whole. In a school of 500 students, the potential exists for 500 separate “moral guidelines” – which creates chaos and confusion. For students, the assumption is that anything goes, and immorality has no resistance. This is the sad and often tragic lesson from the legacy of education in the 21st century.
Teachers and administrators often operate without the assumption that anything goes. Many of Arizona’s (and America’s) teachers default to secular humanistic, naturalistic, and so-called “progressive” assumptions. All of which are dominant and prevailing in their classrooms. On the faculties, groupthink reigns – with precious little diversity of moral positions.
The resulting behavior of students and faculty is often downright shocking. But what would you expect when children are not taught about the value of human life, true tolerance, civility? What do you expect when tolerance is only a one-way street, and diversity of thought and beliefs are lacking?
You come to expect news about students being arrested for bringing weapons to school. You come to expect news about violence and bullying in the schools and the classrooms. You expect graduates to march into college or the labor force without a healthy respect for the Constitution or liberty.
And you see more and more community leaders and decision makers default to left-wing positions which were once unacceptable in America. You see judicial activism. Along with slanted, biased media defaulting to so-called “progressivism.”
The jury is in, and the verdict is guilty. The schools have guided a radical leftward cultural shift which is eroding personal freedom, harming the business climate, punishing achievers, degrading marriage and family – all resulting in a less civil society and a diminishing quality of life for the younger generations.
Dr. Wayne Grudeum, of Phoenix Seminary, concludes: “Once any society loses an agreed-upon set of moral values and standards and fails to transmit clear moral standards to succeeding generations, evil will continue to increase there.”
Furthermore, Dr. Grudem writes, “If children are merely left to ‘decide for themselves what is right and wrong in their own opinion,’ they will mostly end up being selfish and utilitarian in their decisions—doing whatever seems to bring them the most benefit at the moment (including widespread cheating on tests, rampant dishonesty, disrespect for authority, sexual promiscuity, drug and alcohol abuse, and other manifestations of short-sighted self-centeredness run wild.)”
Where can children learn true ethics and morality? In private schools, where religious and biblical values are taught just as public schools taught for most of America’s history. Now the courts are hostile of biblical morals. And the American Civil Liberties Union constantly bullies and threatens to unload ruinous lawsuits on public schools, which then typically default to abstaining from any moral teaching.
By rebuilding the ethics culture, we can rebuild our culture. Moms and Dads, you must get involved with this effort – with your children. The schools are defaulting on the teaching of ethics, and it’s up to you to assure your children learn genuine ethics.
Doing the Right Thing
The Colson Center is one of the most respected leaders in calling America back to an ethical foundation:
A Framework for Ethical Decision Making
SOURCE: Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, Santa Clare University
Recognize an Ethical Issue
- Could this decision or situation be damaging to someone or to some group? Does this decision involve a choice between a good and bad alternative, or perhaps between two “goods” or between two “bads”?
- Is this issue about more than what is legal or what is most efficient? If so, how?
Get the Facts
- What are the relevant facts of the case? What facts are not known? Can I learn more about the situation? Do I know enough to make a decision?
- What individuals and groups have an important stake in the outcome? Are some concerns more important? Why?
- What are the options for acting? Have all the relevant persons and groups been consulted? Have I identified creative options?
Evaluate Alternative Actions
- Evaluate the options by asking the following questions:
- Which option will produce the most good and do the least harm? (The Utilitarian Approach)
- Which option best respects the rights of all who have a stake? (The Rights Approach)
- Which option treats people equally or proportionately? (The Justice Approach)
- Which option best serves the community as a whole, not just some members?
(The Common Good Approach)
- Which option leads me to act as the sort of person I want to be? (The Virtue Approach)
Make a Decision and Test It
- Considering all these approaches, which option best addresses the situation?
- If I told someone I respect–or told a television audience–which option I have chosen, what would they say?
Act and Reflect on the Outcome
- How can my decision be implemented with the greatest care and attention to the concerns of all stakeholders?
- How did my decision turn out and what have I learned from this specific situation?
This framework for thinking ethically is the product of dialogue and debate at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University. Primary contributors include Manuel Velasquez, Dennis Moberg, Michael J. Meyer, Thomas Shanks, Margaret R. McLean, David DeCosse, Claire André, and Kirk O. Hanson. It was last revised in May 2009.
A Natural Law Ethic and Why should it be the standard for ethics in the 21st century
Natural Law asserts that we all have common ground as individual human beings, no matter where we live, how we were reared. While several factors no doubt produce many differences among us, those differences do not erase our essential value as we each are a child made in the image of God. As image bearers of God, we also have been imbued with the ability to reason, to discern right from wrong with that reason.
In short, we each possess conscience, a gift from God. Some irreducible aspects of right and wrong result, which we all know by the the time we are adults. This common ground — as image bearers of God and possessors of conscience — give us a platform to establish a standard for ethics in our culture today and in all generations. Once this standard is accepted again, as it was before, we will be better able to discern solutions for professional and personal challenges as they come to us today–both across our country and, in time, around the world.
The ChuckColsonCenter for Christian Worldview, Doing the Right Thing Ethics Series
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Eberhard Smith Bethge, H. Neville, “Ethics”
John Maxwell, “Ethics 101: What Every Leader Needs to Know”
C.S. Lewis, “The Abolition of Man”
Chuck Colson: Doing the Right Thing — It’s Spreading
Doing the Right Thing