Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, September 24th, 2020

Knowledge without Virtue

Education is the key to the future: You’ve heard it a million times, and it’s not wrong. Educated people have higher wages and lower unemployment rates, and better-educated countries grow faster and innovate more than other countries. But going to college is not enough. You also have to study the right subjects,” these words are spoken by Alex Tabarrok.
Education and learning are tools of empowerment; they matter. They enable analytical thinking, innovation, and adaptability. True education and learning are essential elements of 21st century society for every individual, every beginning and lifelong learner. Education and learning bring zest to life, for as writer and educator Edith Hamilton indicated, “To be able to be caught up into the world of thought – that is being educated.”
The annual rush for admissions to schools and universities in our society is a satisfying matter. Thousands join every year and many graduate from these educational centers. The younger generation, both males and females, want education. The ambitions of the students fill one with great hope. Moreover, private universities are expanding every year. Thus, a vast learning opportunity is provided for Afghan youths.
Currently, the main desire of an Afghan youth is to graduate from a university so as to find a job. In other words, economic constraint is the big challenge ahead of Afghan people. Education is aimed at serving one’s financial needs. Don’t you think that such education lacks moral standards?
I believe that whenever education is used as a tool for mere material needs, it will certainly lack moral values. For example, when the rich attend university for getting higher positions in life, and the poor want to get rich, it shows a mundane need rather than a spiritual one. The fact is that an appetite for knowledge is hardly felt and is overshadowed by the desire for economic progress. Education is relegated from a sacred level to worldly desires.
Knowledge is supposed to quench one’s spiritual thirst. Indiscriminate learning will poison one’s mind and spirit, just as poison in food result in death. It is said that knowledge causes either positive changes or negative ones. Helpful knowledge is of great value. A person may get a high degree of education but experience no positive change in characters. It is the same as a torch used by a thief for stealing things. In such a case, education plays a destructive role in the society.
Miguel Angles Ruiz says, “Humans believe so many lies because we aren’t aware. We ignore the truth or we just don’t see the truth. When we are educated, we accumulate a lot of knowledge, and all that knowledge is just like a wall of fog that doesn’t allow us to perceive the truth, what really is.”
Knowledge should be combined of virtue and morality so as to form a confection to meet the needs of a society. A society which lacks knowledge and morality will be hibernating without lifeblood.
In addition, it merits blaming when one is too busy in many fields of knowledge to ponder over his own characteristics. Making weapon of mass destruction for annihilation of human societies rather than building humanity is a curse. Isn’t it the destructive role of knowledge?
Worse of all, some educated individuals show tendency to fundamentalism. What will be the reason? The answer is that such knowledge lacks virtue. Just think of pouring clean water in a dirty glass. Soon the dirt will muddy it as you will never want to drink. Same is the case with education. When one’s mind and heart are affected with immorality, the knowledge learnt will also be like poison. Therefore, it will be used to destroy society.
An Irish poet William Butler Yeats said, “Education is not filling a bucket, but lighting a fire.”
Those who seek knowledge, should also listen to the call of their conscience and consider the moral values and social norms of that society. Acquiring knowledge indiscriminately and filling one’s minds with all what they encounter with may lead to horrible consequences.
In the country, the government should have control over education institutions in general and religious seminaries as well as Sharia departments in universities in particular. It is feared that students are radicalized by fundamental ideology injected into their minds in some institutions.
The main objective of the education is to build a society and broaden the horizon of the public, which should also be pursued by our younger generation. Knowledge should be integrated with spiritual values and moral standards so that it will not be exerted negatively.