Ls&Cs: Training, Education, Belief

Two items today. The first is a post by Jerry Coyne about an article from Inside Higher Ed about the difference between training and education. Here’s his post: Training versus education.

Here are the ten points the authors of the linked article say are key:

Training makes assumptions; education challenges them.
Training is packaged; education cannot be contained.
Training rewards compliance, education curiosity.
Training is having to say something, education having something to say.
Training tells you what to think; education teaches you how to think.
Training answers questions; education poses them.
Training is generic; education all about context.
Training simplifies the world; education reveals its complexity.
Training promotes conformity, education independence.
Training is performative; education is transformative.

This could of course just as well apply to religion vs. science; the former tells you what to think, not how, and certainly not to be able to draw provisional conclusions and change one’s thinking based on changing evidence. (The famous aphorism about this is that science contains questions that can’t be answered, while religion contains answers that can’t be questioned.)

Second item:

Slate: Even Republicans Don’t Believe Their Arguments Against Biden’s Vaccine Mandate subtitled “They’re contradicting themselves on every point.”

Because they’re not thinking; they’ve been trained, through group thinking or even cult thinking, to respond to every Democratic proposal with hostility, without considering such proposals on their merits.

Once upon a time Americans reflexively dismissed everything about the Soviet Union as evil, not for any kind of reasons, but just because they were the enemy, and it sets many people’s minds at ease to have a well-defined enemy. (Us vs. them; basic tribal politics.) Now it’s Republicans who do that about Democrats. Not because of reasons.

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