Personal Statement (Martin Luther King)

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Martin Luther emphasizes the fact that a good reasoning ability is not enough for an individual to make a success of himself, but instead it is very important for one to have proper character and moral development. In Luther’s opinion, building an individual’s character helps them to have critical intellect, which would in turn helps them solve humane purposes. Exploring the dual purpose of education, Luther feels that education should be given utmost importance because it serves to ‘discipline the mind’ and channelize human life with a set of morals. According to Martin Luther, the primary goal of a good education comprises of two chief characteristics, which are 1) Intelligence and 2) Character. If either of these two is missing then education cannot be said to be complete or wholesome. Speaking on the function of education Martin Luther states that, The function of education, therefore, is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. But education which stops with efficiency may prove the greatest menace to society. (Martin Luther, ‘The Maroon Tiger, 1947) Luther strongly felt that many people among his own circle had a misconception on the true purpose or function of education. … This dual function of education includes utility as well as culture. He strongly felt that education is a vehicle that enables man to achieve the goals he set for himself in life through efficiency and determination. In order to achieve these goals and make a success of oneself, education has to be a sort of training ground to help man think and act quickly and effectively. Shedding light on the so called educated people, Luther states that though they are educated, they allow themselves to be carried away mentally by believing in propaganda, half truths and other prejudices and, therefore, wonders about the true purpose of education and the extent it fulfills it. In his opinion, most educated people do not think and act either logically or scientifically. The chief aim of education according to Martin Luther is that it should serve to help people sift through the morass of half-truths and arrive at only the truth and nothing else. They should be able to segregate the facts from fiction and arrive at what is real, leaving aside things that are unreal in life. To achieve such a state in life, intelligence alone is not enough because the true goal of education is to have an education that includes both intelligence and character. QUESTION 2: Critical thinking is one of the primary goals of a good Jesuit education and there is no doubt about the values it is based on. Dr. Martin Luther King encouraged and emphasized critical thinking because he clearly understood its importance in our everyday lives. There are many definitions of what good critical thinking is. According to the NSCC (Nashville State Community College) Critical thinking is defined as ‘the careful and deliberate determination of whether