A while back I came across this infuriating story (via A Little Lower than The Angels) of a man who did not send his children to a public school against the law of his state and so was shot dead by the agents of the state. Since I have written a bit lately on the moral and political implications of public education, this is a good time to relate this story to that debate. The legal murder of John Singer is the logical conclusion to any arguement that advocates public education. Here’s how.
a) The state has the power to tax me to provide public education.
b) Therefore I have a legal responsibility to the state for the welfare of others.
c) Therefore the state may decide that my children’s education is essential to the welfare of others (free and compulsory education)
d) Therefore the state may decide what this education must consist of.
e) Therefore the state may punish me (ultimately by death if I resist) if I refuse to accept the state’s requirements.
Do you agree with (a) but not with (e)? Examine your premises. Logic has a way of catching up with people even if they do not choose to be logical.