Here we are mid-river and we can hear the rumble of approaching rapids. The river drops fast as we skim over an occasional sub-surface boulder. We know if we stay on this course, we’ll tumble over the falls, but if we can veer to the right and take it down through the slough we’ll be OK, but to do that we need every hand to paddle and paddle hard in unison.
Let’s talk about how we do that – how do we discuss clearly, quickly and powerfully the necessity of making that hard right? It can’t be done by shouting or making wild accusations or by attacking people personally. It has to be done with logic and with love.
Logic is God’s way of thinking, for He is not the author of confusion. He is a rational God and if we are, as Paul tells us, to “take every thought into captivity for Christ,” they have to be logical thoughts. And here’s where our national problem lies – the thought patterns on the left, the thought patterns that got us into this mess – are not logical, are not rational and the approaching rapids are proof.
So is the anger and irrationality coming from the left. Think Chris Matthews. I can’t imagine the pain of hearing that impending torrent of doom and having to choose between saying, “You know, Marx was an idiot,” or trying to convince yourself that plummeting to your death is what you always wanted to do. That’s bound to make people testy and we’re starting to see some folks in the public eye crumbling around the edges. We have to reach across the rapids and grab as many as we can and pull them to safety. We’ll be better off with their help paddling and they’ll have a chance of living and living well.
Let’s do a crash course in what is wrong with leftist thinking:
You see, logic is a two-oar affair (I’m still playing with my metaphor). One starts with assumptions, which may or may not be true, and then one puts them together according to the rules of logic, which one may or may not do correctly (There’s a couple dozen logical fallacies one can slip into.). If either your facts or your process is in error, the results will be wrong. The main problem with leftist thinking is that most of its assumptions (logicians call them premises) are demonstrably bogus. In the next six posts we’ll explore some of the left’s most damaging theories – damaging to us all. Let’s look first at their most important presupposition:
Part 1 – There’s No Such Thing…..
The There’s-No-Such-Thing-As-Absolute-Truth mythology underlies all leftist thinking. This motto should be engraved on our institutions of higher learning instead of the traditional “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” It’s a delightful conceit that appears at first glance to simplify tolerance issues and smooth over pseudo-intellectual discussions. After all, if nothing is true then no one can be wrong, including me, even if I have no idea what I’m talking about. Instead of actual learning, and learning to genuinely care about others, in the particular, not in the safely vague and general, we can, with this anti-truth doctrine, dismiss all differences, erase all need for moral judgment and color the whole varied and stimulating world an uncertain shade of gray. Then we don’t have to think or get too riled up about anything – unless someone dares to question our dogma.
So what’s wrong with that? You have your truth; I have mine; no one is offended and please pass the joint. Of course, it’s a free country – for a little while longer perhaps – and people have a right to believe whatever they’d like, for the time being, but I also have a right to point out how nonsensical those beliefs are – especially since they’re pulling me over the falls too. The TNSTAAT myth is a self-refuting statement, which breaks one of the key rules of logic. If there is no absolute truth then that statement can’t be true. Period. It’s horsefeathers.
And it has cost us all a great deal.
No-Such-Thing-As-Absolute-Truth means no Bible – even though all the evidence points to it’s having an origin way above and beyond this world. TNSTAAT means no Constitution – even though that simple 20-page contract is easily the single most pivotal document ever created by mere mortals. If nothing is true in any authoritative sense then we must go forth into the world without the guidance of the world’s greatest voices. We’re alone and rudderless on a very dark sea; it’s no wonder that our young, and our not-so-young, have turned to sex and drugs to numb that lonesome feeling.
That’s how TNSTAAT hits thinking individuals, but what about society? It’s even worse. If one does not believe in truth, then what are the chances that one is going to limit one’s self to telling the truth? Zilch. This has not only destroyed our faith in one another and made us a cynical nation, but it has in turn produced a group of politicians who are comfortable, who even feel self-righteous, falsely accusing others of lying. Recently Stephanie Cutter, a top Obama aide, said Republicans “think lying is a virtue.” And this was just a few days after she was called out for lying by a leftwing pundit, and both feel just fine stumping for the Liar-in-Chief whose truth score is now into negative numbers.
TNSTAAT means no morality and it means no law. A nearby school district just did a presentation for the faculty, which featured 4 illegal immigrants who spoke of all the things the district had done to help them. Their illegal status was not ignored; it was celebrated. Only in a society no longer anchored by truth and objectivity can something so appalling take place. Which law will be officially ignored next? Could be anything. No anchor, remember?
Note the similarities between the words truth and trust. No society can function without trust. All we have to do is look south across the border to see that one. Mexico’s government thrives on bribery and that’s worked so well that the place is overcome by drug cartels and each year several million Mexicans run away from home. Yet, right here in Oregon we’re starting to see the same thing. Our blueberry farmers had to bribe national officials for permission to sell their crops.
No number of laws can make up for truthful citizens who elect truthful officials (As I typed that I realized that truthful officials is becoming an oxymoron.). We’re drowning in rules and regulations partly because trust is no longer woven into the fabric of our culture. Trust and responsibility is draining out of our society. Note what is happening to a small company that manufactures toys for grown-ups – magnetic desk gizmos. They are being driven out of business because of what 12 children were allowed to do with them.
This falseness is crumbling our strongest foundations – leading us into corruption usually seen in only third world sinkholes.
Another foundation stone that has crumbled is education. We wonder why our children don’t know anything – but why should they know anything when nothing is true? Why should their teachers teach them facts if they don’t believe in them themselves? Education – I spent over thirty years in the public schools so I know – has long ago placed more emphasis on process than on information – a librarian once told me that kids don’t need to learn facts – they can just look them up. But without background information how can you tell if what you look up is true? Oh – never mind. There is no truth. And without information – without enough knowledge one can’t even form premises, let alone combine them in logical ways. In fact (no pun intended) without information, nothing is very interesting, so we’re right back to why learn anything if nothing is true? Or is it that everything is true? I lose track.
This anti-truth myth has placed its followers in the untenable situation of being unable to argue for their point of view – they can only attack their opposition, personally and untruthfully. You see, if you don’t respect truth, you don’t respect facts, evidence, or data, and if your most fundamental belief is a self-refuting bit of drivel, you have nothing noble you can do. You are, whether you want to be or not, aligned with the Prince of Lies.
The allegiance to untruth has also eaten huge holes in our language. Within leftist thought there is no respect for the social contract that is language. Words mean something, something specific, and communication can only happen when we honor the integrity of our words. Only in a society that denigrates truth could quantitative easing mean inflation. The word progress, for instance, means to move forward in a positive way. Therefore, one would expect progressive to be positive, but the progressive is now the cover word for socialism, which history has shown time and time again, doesn’t work. Progressivism is neither positive nor forward. Forward – another word that’s been appropriated by the left. It really means backward – backward into societies that practice eugenics and euthanasia, societies where human life is only an incidental inconvenience. And, of course, my recent fave – Chicago now means racism. Who’d a thunk it?
The worst result of this leftist negation of truth is that it has destroyed our faith in God, the ultimate absolute truth. Without God we have no morality, no ultimate authority, no reason for existence beyond ourselves; we become mere blobs of protoplasm, made in no one’s image, purposeless and disposable. Which brings me to my next installment – Monkey Men and Unicorns. See you next week.