Missing the point of college and religion

Freakonomics had a podcast  in which one of the people interviewed mentioned something about college that got me thinking about church.

He mentioned that those who attend college do so to obtain credit hours, but too many attend college for a degree. Think about that.

College is that place where most students are not learning a set of skills but different ways of seeing. We learn what it means to be a product of the Enlightenment and how that influences a great number of things that we "know". We gain a new language with words like "post-modern", "historical-critical", "behaviorism" and "meta-narrative" in order to understand the world in new ways. We are invited to see that as we sail closer to the island of the known the broader the shore of mystery becomes. We have reduced going to college to getting a degree, a slip of paper, a certificate of completion. As a means to an end, rather than a end unto itself.

Similarly, many of us (religious and atheist) view religion in the same way. As a means to an end.

I hear that people don't need religion to lean to be a good person or a moral individual. True.

But this is not the point of religion.

Like college religion at its best is designed not to get you somewhere but to teach you to see.

It is a shame that so many of us view college and religion as only worth it if it will provide me something in the future. The fact of the matter is, neither religion or college is set up to do that. They are institutions that are in place to help people see in ways they could not get on their own.