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Graduating college seniors say professors in the U.S. consistently teach a post-modern philosophy that there are no uniform standards of right and wrong, according to poll results released by the National Association of Scholars.
A majority of seniors – 73 percent – chose the statement “what is right and wrong depends on differences in individual values and cultural diversity” as the message college and university professors most often transmit. Stephen Balch, president of NAS, says he was surprised by the number of students who were receiving such a message from their teachers.
“We’ve long had an interest in how cultural trends affect higher education and how higher education, because of them, affects the rest of society,” he said. “One of the things that interested and bothered us as an organization is the influence of post-modern thought.”
Post-modern thought, Balch says, is the belief that people can have whatever ethics they like, an “anything goes” attitude. The poll, conducted by Zogby International and released on Tuesday, surveyed 401 college and university seniors across the nation. Balch says it showed how “predominant” post-modern thought is among higher-education professors.
“There’s deep debates going on in our culture about whether right and wrong has any type of objective standard,” Balch told WorldNetDaily.
The professors pass on their personal philosophy of “anything goes” to their students, and to fix the problem you have to go back and change the way professors are being educated, he says.
Students also reported that “recruiting a diverse workforce in which women and minorities are advanced and promoted” is being taught more by professors than is “providing clear and accurate business statements to stockholders and creditors.” Balch believes it’s “worrisome” that professors are teaching workplace diversity as the most important corporate policy over “old-fashioned honesty.”
The belief that right and wrong are “socially constructed” has been conveyed to students for about two decades, says Balch. This type of philosophy may have already taken effect in our current society, he says, as can be seen with the Enron and WorldCom scandals.
Fifty-six percent of students surveyed said getting caught was the only real difference between Enron executives and executives of other big companies.
“That reflects on both our colleges and certainly is disturbing in respect to what the future may hold to basic honesty in American society and business,” Balch said.
“Surely in the future, if we send our students into the world with a kind of easy conscience, with the belief that if it feels good it’s good, that can’t bode well for how any of our institutions are going to perform, whether they be political institutions or business institutions.”
Since America’s market economy is built on trust, Balch says, the future doesn’t look bright for our current economy when the future executives of America seem to have an untrustworthy and undependable attitude.
“One way to better the situation would be to try to get back to the old-fashioned notions of right and wrong,” he said.
Although post-modernist professors play a part in molding students’ views of ethics, Balch says, the home, early school and church have the primary role in teaching morals.
“Unless we shore up those ethical foundations both at home, in school and in college, I think we may be in some real trouble further down the line,” Balch said.