What’s critically absent from today’s education system is the development of a deep respect for the thought process itself. How should one think? What are the benefits of thinking about things one way versus thinking about them a different way? How do we assess the validity of our conclusions?
If we don’t learn how to improve our approach to thinking early in life, we stand a chance of missing many opportunities to produce great thoughts throughout our lives. Great thoughts don’t often happen completely at random, and if they do, they probably aren’t recognized as great thoughts, and therefore don’t benefit mankind in the same way.
Imagine for a moment what could happen if every young man or woman in High School became a diligent student of the science of thought. These students would go on to apply this science to every thought process and every argument they considered from that point forward. Those that devote themselves to a specific field would become more observant in order to develop their ideas to their own satisfaction. No idea, or status quo would be accepted on faith, yet all tradition would be given due respect.
Within a short period of time we would see progress contributed by each of these better-equipped students. Discussions between people would take on a much more interesting level of depth, and would very rarely conclude without offering a real sense of satisfaction. This dedication to improving thought cannot be separated from a similar vocation of seeking the truth. Fortunately, studying thought itself is a great aid in discovering the truth in any situation. A focus on discovering the truth or essence of truth in any situation would do wonders for personal relations and good will between men.
Eventually, and perhaps within one generation, the great influences of our times, television, the media, music, internet, and special interest groups, would begin to align themselves with this new way of thinking. Statements of fact would be scrutinized carefully before being presented to others, since the point of an argument would now be the discovery of truth, as opposed to victory over another party.
The single subject that would lead to this new paradigm is philosophy, or the love of wisdom. The very good teachers of philosophy would become like mustard seed. It would be difficult in the beginning to see the result of the careful methods planted by these teachers, but before the end of each season, or life, those seeds of thought would grow into important revelations ten thousand times their initial size.
Many disciplines of study have relatively little impact on a persons contribution to the world, or their quality of life. The argument for philosophy as a mandatory subject presents the possibility of permanently improving the potential of every participating student. I believe that every human was created with the seeds of wisdom waiting to be nurtured. A mandatory philosophy class would ensure every young person acquired the equipment needed to fulfill their potential.