» » The Emperor's New Clothes/the Naked Truth About the New Psychology

Download The Emperor's New Clothes/the Naked Truth About the New Psychology epub

by William K. Kilpatrick

The Emporers New Clothes
Download The Emperor's New Clothes/the Naked Truth About the New Psychology epub
ISBN: 0891073418
ISBN13: 978-0891073413
Category: Religion
Author: William K. Kilpatrick
Language: English
Publisher: Good News Pub (May 1, 1985)
Pages: 184 pages
ePUB size: 1609 kb
FB2 size: 1809 kb
Rating: 4.5
Votes: 591
Other Formats: docx mobi rtf mbr

This book flew in the face of everything I've known and have learned and experienced about psychology and therapy. The author made psychology sound like some kind of cheap trick made up to look religion bad. It didn't make sense. He seemed so angry, and it made me wonder if he had been hurt some time in his life. I mean, he himself TAUGHT psychology. How much sense does that make? Not a whole lot.

In short, I only read three chapters. I kept throwing the book across the room in angry outbursts and having to go pick it back up later to read it. Finally, I gave up and spared myself the hurt. Life is too short.
Christians have sold their birthright for a bowl of worthless pottage, contends Kilpatrick. In the volume of collected articles Kilpatrick uses both wit and sarcasm to shoot arrows into the heart of humanistic psychology, its main representatives being Rogers and Kohlberg. These philosophers of humanistic content and method have duped us into believing that they have made for us a beautiful garment of silk and gold when in fact we are naked before the world giving up our white robes of righteousness and truth based in God's Word.

Some of his criticisms of Rogers are well known but nevertheless true: people are naturally good, and society corrupts us; his belief in the noble savage and the divine child in each of us; his rugged individualism and belief in the American way; his radical subjectivism concerning values; his radical egalitarianism that suggests that not only are all people equal but so are all relationships. Kilpatrick points out Rogers' relativism concerning values, criticizing "the confusion about free will, the overemphasis on autonomy and self acceptance, the denial of guilt, the neglect and even hostility toward traditional and religious values, the lack of any meaning system to replace these, the transmutation of virtues into hang-ups and perversions into preferences, the undermining of all forms of authority except psychiatric and bureaucratic - all have helped to bring our society to a crisis of catastrophic proportions" (p. 15). He points out that Rogers, let alone many others in psychology, have moved toward the East for spiritual guidance.

Although Kilpatrick does not especially name names we must not forget that this journey has been taken by many of the greatest names of psychology, including Horney, Fromm, Jung, Perls, Kubler-Ross, Maslow, Rogers as well as many others.

This marriage with Eastern pantheism gives psychology the stamp of ancient wisdom, meets the religious needs of its own devotees, and gave these psychologists the chance to assume the character of wise men. Yet the results of this marriage has been an elitist attitude of psychologists, the denial of social responsibility, and evangelical fervor for revivalism mind cure and positive thinking, and the tuning in to the mystical depths of the Divine Self.

Kilpatrick devotes probably a third of his book to an evaluation and criticism of the content and consequences of Kohlberg's moral theory. Kohlberg's content is left wanting from the Christian perspective. His subjectivism advocates that the only truths are personal truths, that Divine revelation is merely self revelation. The good news of Christ's death and resurrection is reduced merely to "nice news." Content of moral virtue transmitted to the tradition of civilization as well as Christianity is reduced merely to process and opinion. As Plato might contend, we are becoming "men without chests," people who will believe and die for nothing. The individual and his divine mind capable of autonomous decision making have been lifted up over both the traditions of civilization and Christianity.

Consequently, due to Kohlberg's emphasis upon radical egalitarianism, a social contract view of authority has been substituted for the traditional lines of authority from parents through the schools. The family now has authority based upon consent, consent of the children, of society and ultimately the government. "Traditional modes of authority, once they are divorced from any concept of the sacred or natural order, will appear as arbitrary impositions of the will, with the paradoxical result that children perceive even the most lenient schools and families as oppressive" (p. 70). Childhood is beginning to disappear and as it does adults are beginning to experience increased resentment toward children since children are merely fellow citizens rather than a sacred trust. Family matters are being turned into civil rights issues: the rights of the parents versus the rights of the children. The notion that children owe any particular honor, respect or obedience to their mothers and fathers is rapidly being destroyed. Public schools also are becoming more depersonalized, less communal, less familial, teachers more hostile or indifferent, retreating from engagement and concern over their students, becoming more like civil servants or bureaucrats towards their clients since they are fearful of lawsuits.

Kilpatrick does not leave us with no alternative to values clarification. Rather than using group discussion, analysis of competing claims and the development of decision making skills (like Kohlberg), moral education consists in telling stories: Bible stories, stories from the lives of saints, stories from ancient myths and stories of chivalry. Whereas there is no attempt made to delineate character in Kohlberg moral dilemma, character is everything in the heroic story or saga. Whereas the actors in moral dilemmas are not tied to any social particularity, heroes are tied to traditions, loyalties, locations, and histories. Whereas Kohlbergian moral dilemmas are open-ended and unfinished, waiting for each individual to make his own ending, the heroic classical and Christian stories are about read people who make real decisions, implying "that adults have something to pass on to children, a valuable inheritance that children might not come by on their own," a moral treasure (p. 84).

Moral life is not mere decision making, but courage taking. "The heroes of such stories are not moral philosophers, nor are they stoic. They are virtuous, or they strive to be virtuous" (p. 87). Morality is displayed in actions not merely words. Stories give examples rather than alternatives. "Acquiring virtue requires not the exercise of moral autonomy, but certain forms of submission. It requires the acceptance of standards set by others and even submission to forms of arduous training. The initiate to the virtuous life is the bearer of a tradition that owes respect to those who bore the tradition before he was born. Virtue, therefore, is rooted in particularities - the particularities of certain traditions, communities, and families" (p. 88). Moral education is an education of the sentiment rather than the mind.

The Emperor's New Clothes reads like a collection of essays of C. S. Lewis. It weaves critical thinking into a tapestry of stories and tales about human life. Its content is not unlike Lewis' Abolition of Man. His caution to Christianity is that "he who marries the spirit of the age is soon a widower." Christians must not leave their tradition or heritage to the whims of contemporary ideology. As a Catholic, Kilpatrick's sources of authority are not merely God's law but natural law and the traditions of faith.

-- Journal of Psychology and Christianity, 1986, 5 (3), 117-119.