Morality? Whose Morality?
One day, our professor began class by asking us whether or not we should teach morality in public schools.
It took about 12 seconds for my credential class to decide that yes, we should. We wouldn’t want our little rapscallions running in the streets, taking baseball bats to our windshields and setting fire to hobos just because they didn’t get taught morality at home. In true Socratic fashion, he almost immediately posed another question.
We thought it was another gimmie.
Why, Judeo-Christian, we said. That’s pretty common and acceptable, and we don’t need to add in all the theology when we teach it.
In true Socratic fashion, that was another setup.
Who here doesn’t think they subscribe to this Judeo-Christian morality, or something close to it?
Just about everyone grunted in the affirmative.
Hah. I bet you guys are a bunch of hypocrites.
We insisted we weren’t.
Alright, then. Let’s prove it. Could I have everyone who is married or was married come and stand up in the front of class for a moment?
We did so.
O.K. This question isn’t for the people standing up. This is for the people sitting down. How many of you are virgins?
One of us raised a hand.
The rest of you are hypocrites. According to Judeo-Christian morality, if you weren’t married, you should be a virgin. Therefore, according to Judeo-Christian morality, there is only one moral person among everyone sitting down in this class.
Now my question to you is: How can you teach morality if you don’t practice it?
Good question. Awkward way of showing his point, but a good question nonetheless.