Here is yet another example of how modern, progressive education puts children on the path to moral relativism at a young age. A philosophy professor writes in The New York Times of his son’s encounters with portions of Common Core, the reigning curriculum model for nearly all U.S. public and private schools.
When I went to visit my son’s second grade open house, I found a troubling pair of signs hanging over the bulletin board. They read:
Fact: Something that is true about a subject and can be tested or proven.
Opinion: What someone thinks, feels, or believes.
Hoping that this set of definitions was a oneoff mistake, I went home and Googled ‘fact vs. opinion.’ The definitions I found online were substantially the same as the one in my son’s classroom. As it turns out, the Common Core standards used by a majority of K12 programs in the country require that students be able to ‘distinguish among fact, opinion, and reasoned judgment in a text.’
This fellow then proceeds to demolish this false, simplistic, anti-science, mind-numbing, and morality-undermining view of the world.
So what’s wrong with this distinction and how does it undermine the view that there are objective moral facts?
First, the definition of a fact waffles between truth and proof — two obviously different features. Things can be true even if no one can prove them. For example, it could be true that there is life elsewhere in the universe even though no one can prove it. Conversely, many of the things we once ‘proved’ turned out to be false. For example, many people once thought that the earth was flat. It’s a mistake to confuse truth (a feature of the world) with proof (a feature of our mental lives). Furthermore, if proof is required for facts, then facts become relative. Something might be a fact for me if I can prove it but not a fact for you if you can’t. In that case, E=MC2 is a fact for a physicist but not for me.
But second, and worse, students are taught that claims are either facts or opinions. They are given quizzes in which they must sort claims into one camp or the other but not both. But if a fact is something that is true and an opinion is something that is believed, then many claims will obviously be both.
Go ahead and read the whole thing to better understand the argument he’s making. Another key point that he does not make, but which is crucial for Christian parents to understand, is that all schools teach children major religious and philosophical truths or untruths such as these, with mechanisms as small as a “fact or opinion” worksheet.
This is why we at C.S. Lewis Academy believe founding our school is so crucial for our own children. Foundational beliefs, such as whether truth exists and we can know it, must permeate everything about a school. A Christian school cannot merely follow the format of a traditional secular school while adding some Bible pictures on the wall or Jesus-themed stories and songs. What we believe shifts things as small as worksheets and as large as architecture. And what these things teach children has eternal consequences.