Monday, September 8, 2008

The Bane of Learning

I made a remark during a mamak chat session recently. I said, "Christianity is Socialism."

Although it was in (half?)-jest, the responses were an expected mixture of shock, get-outta-heres', duh-ism and the like.

A senior member of the group then said I have a tendency to speak in unqualified terms and recommended that proper explanations must follow.

And of course I agree this is necessary - if one was teaching individuals who were incapable of exploration, self-learning, evaluation and networking with other learners. In a word, if we're dealing with small children.

The obsession with providing answers is a bane of learning. Unless you're teaching prep or junior school, it really should be the last of your priorities. When you give people full-blown answers, people stop thinking. But when you provoke them, a new journey can begin.

So, yeah, I'd join the Socialists because they best reflect Christian values. Go figure.


Bob K said...

I have a slightly different take to that statement. I'd say "Socialism is trying to take Christian teachings literally" :)

alwyn said...

and yet again there are 'good' and 'bad' forms of Socialism. Stalin's state was about the worst, Lee Kuan Yew's would be an examples of the former (grin).

Bob K said...

That's why I specifically mentioned "trying". God knows most experiments have not been particularly successful, even Kuan Yew's (double grin).

Augustinian Successor said...

"Christianity is Capitalism too" ... ;-)

"That's why I specifically mentioned "trying". God knows most experiments have not been particularly successful, even Kuan Yew's (double grin)."

In the case of Singapore, democratic socialism evolved to state cpaitalism. And the transition was not a rocky one.

So, Christianity is both Socialism and Capitalism. (double grin .....)

Alwyn said...

A.S., I can see the (superficial) 'ties' between Socialism and Christianity - sharing of assets, the community owning everything together, etc.

But how is Christianity like capitalism? Which aspects?

z said...

while i more or less agree with the comments on socialism, i think there is more room for thought on your comment on "teaching."

as a student who will be turning 30 soon, i know that i too often forget to qualify claims that i make. and the best teachers i've had are those who are able to explain their ideas without skipping steps.

taking the time to qualify and explain one's ideas is much more difficult and challenging than many imagine and it benefits both the teacher and the student.

i say this because i know that you are capable of explaining difficult theological ideas to those who are not familiar with the language and categories of theology. :)

alwyn said...

Hi Z, no way i can remove answers completely. only that I feel they should come sparingly, tentatively, and *after* a good R&D mini-adventure has happened (smile). Not only that, but unless we're dealing with hard-core facts, I have to allow for my answer to be modified.

And speaking of Socialism, hot news at

want to go to the registration office together? :)

z said...

okay, let's sign up!! i'll have to wait until the next time i make a trip home . . .