[ Question ]

Efforts to develop the caring emotion and intellectual virtues in people rank where on EA's priority list?

by Jeffhe1 min read14th Mar 20201 comment

3

Frontpage

Those involved in EA are

1) caring of other sentient beings and

2) humble, critical and clear thinkers

Wouldn't focusing on the development of these things in children via the education system solve the root cause of a large portion of the suffering in this world (i.e., suffering that is inflicted or allowed by human decision-makers)?

In a world where the average person had such qualities, we would have substantially less suffering. For example, video game developers would put in place safeguards against video game addiction even if it meant smaller profits. Casino owners would do the same. Cigarettes would have been illegalized as soon its harms were known. Many more people would not eat meat (assuming an inhumane way of producing it). No one would die of hunger or malnourishment. There would not be human trafficking, torture, and other terrible crimes. Etc.

Having said that, where does [efforts to develop these qualities in people] rank on EA's priorities?

New Answer
Ask Related Question
New Comment

1 Answers

I think schools already try to do 2, but perhaps not well. I would like to see mandatory courses on critical thinking and logic in primary and secondary school, rather than just sneaking it into English and humanities courses. Maybe formal/symbolic logic could be part of the math curriculum, and it could be covered each year. Switching to Socratic method-style teaching might help, but I think it's harder to do.

Getting 1, including for nonhuman animals, might require a public shift in attitudes towards animals first. Humane education might be what you're looking for.

Schools try to do 1 for humans to some extent, but also perhaps not well. They have religion classes, and history and fiction can foster empathy. I went through a Catholic school system, although I was never really religious. Do they teach ethics in public schools?

I'm not optimistic that we could have much influence over these, though.