Every day we are besieged with information. Some is
useful…much is mere advertising. Our internet world often confuses data
with knowledge and knowledge with wisdom. Soundbites and click-throughs
are replacing research and reflection. On the American scene we already
have nearly 20 presidential candidates vying for attention. Here are
some observations from the last several weeks that I hope will prompt
correctness and cynicism are two sides of the same coin of fear. The
first aims not to offend at the expense of humility and reality. The
second avoids debate with caustic declarations that only widen
Let’s choose critical thinking with mutual respect –
our civil institutions depend on people of character looking at reality
and finding wisdom, not parroting talking points or practicing stand-up
reflecting on the powerful movie, “Unplanned” that Kathy and I saw
together. Without hyperbole, this may unveil for abortion what
Schindler’s List did for the Shoah. I recommend parents and teens pray
and see it together. Not for children or the unprepared. There is divine
grace for all ensnared in this tragic issue.
someone today. Everyone needs one person saying, “You can!” In a world
of flattery and insults, genuine, positive encouragement is a gift. Our
word in season may be just what someone needs in the midst of life’s
challenge all aspiring Presidential candidates to offer doable
solutions, not irresponsible speculation. Balance a budget (tax revenues
are at an all-time high), secure a hospitable border, continue
improving private/public healthcare and work on infrastructure and
economic opportunity. President Trump is easy to criticize – but can
opponents offer viable policies that have all Americans in mind?
must start negotiating on important issues such as immigration reform, a
balanced budget, infrastructure, improving access for economic
opportunity, fixing student debt, and many more. Interpretations of the
Mueller Report and investigations will never end…meanwhile,
constituents deserve attention to solvable issues that promote human
flourishing. Will we choose posturing or productivity; positioning for
2020 or practical help in 2019?
I entitled this piece, “Inversion” because we have a world in which what was previously morally clear and obviously true is no longer seen that way, especially by purveyors of identity politics and anarchistic philosophies. “Parallel universes” is a phrase that describes the lenses through which people see the same events, ideas and trends…and it is stunning how different these visions are!
Two crises dominate the public square, especially in the USA and the West. The first is anthropology: what does it mean to be a human being, and, what is the future of male and female identity? The second crisis is the foundation of the first one: how do we “know” anything? In a world of competing “memes” and “narratives” where is the room for empirical research and critical thinking? Emotions rule the day and how particular persons and groups “feel” trumps careful research and reflection.
Let’s begin with how we “know.” Philosophers and religious leaders have debated for millennia about the nature of reality and the sources of our knowledge. Much of this was confined to the academy and esoteric circles. Most of humankind wakes up to a challenging world of laboring for daily bread and they do not need a lesson of whether or not their toil is “real.” The importance of events has always been debated, but not the reality itself. Historians love gathering different perspectives; however, all but a few would affirm, “Some events really happened.”
For the past 20 years, we have allowed feeling, political agendas, and image- and social media-driven communication to eclipse careful evaluation. From former President Obama’s fictionalized autobiographies to current debates on climate change, gullibility or suspicion is driven by ideology, not research. The very people that scream, “Science matters!” about climate change ignore advances in science completely as they promote abortion and infanticide. Gender confusion is a psychosocial pathology – science is clear that 99% of humans are born with particular DNA designating them male and female.
We need a return to reason and research, a willingness to subject ideas to scrutiny and adapt our understanding after careful reflection. Such progress will not be politically correct or conform to everyone’s feelings. It will, however, help us solve real problems and promote human flourishing.
Next week: human identity up for grabs.
Life and Death.
In my posts, I aim for love,
kindness and thoughtfulness. I have convictions, but I value hearing all
sides and discovering some common good convergences. I will work hard
to avoid personal attacks while affirming the right to dissent on
Recent abortion laws enacted or proposed represent a clear and present danger to vulnerable life. The occasional tragic moral choice is one thing but discussing the fate of a viable person being born is inhumane and morally repugnant.
I oppose abortion in principle; however, the New York and Virginia laws move from President Clinton’s, “safe, legal and rare (and he opposed partial-birth infanticide)” to celebrating the destruction of a human life.
Some progressives celebrate science when speaking of climate change or evolution but ignore it completely when abortion or infanticide are mentioned. Becoming the defenders of the weak and vulnerable in and out of the womb will help validate other compassionate concerns.
When exceptions become the rule, finding common first principles becomes challenging and the loudest voices win over sanity and truth. We can do better than this.
Friends of conscience of all political persuasions, please pray, reflect and humbly love every person from conception to coronation.