Tag Archives: feelings

Is this the death of democracy in America? (Part 2)

In the previous blog, I wrote about the kind of government America has and the convention that brought about that government showing that the losers in the 2016 general election are traders to that convention by refusing to lose. If that becomes the norm, democracy in America will be dead. I concluded the blog by saying, “The losers are not submitting to their obligation to lose under a constitutional democracy. They are submitting to their feelings”. That brings me to the second ongoing event that I see as destroying democracy in America.

A democracy is predicated on certain freedoms the citizens in the democracy have, by law, given themselves. The most basic of these freedoms is the right to free speech. The citizens themselves have agreed to limit their freedom of speech by making it against the law to falsely accuse someone else or to make false claims about a product. These are objective claims that can cause harm and can be proved or disproved in a court of law.

In America today, the right to free speech has been limited much further, not by a majority of the citizens imposing limits or restraints on their own speech, but by a few judges and public and academic administrators labeling certain speech as “hate speech” spoken only by “haters” and, by declaration, making it against the law in their particular domain. The problem I see for democracy in America is that these types of restrictions on free speech are subjective and predicated on people’s feelings and emotions. Feelings and emotions are subjective and impossible to prove in a court of law. In America, no one has the right to slander or libel another person. But in America, a person used to have the right to call someone a creep if they thought they were a creep. In America, people used to have the right to say “I think you are wrong”, if he thought the person was wrong. Those are subjective statements, expressing an opinion,  but were not against the law. They had to be ignored if offensive to someone’s feelings.

How that has changed in America! So many people are not secure enough in themselves to be able to ignore someone else’s opinion. They get their feelings hurt and they must be protected. Feelings now dictate the laws and when one is governed by feelings the intellect is shut down. Once the intellect is shut down preferences become phobias because definitions, being of the intellect, are ignored. Nowhere in American society is this more obvious than in the area of sexual preference (by definition meaning to like better or best). One person’s sexual preferences has become another person’s phobia (by definition meaning an exaggerated or illogical fear), and only the ones with the “preferences” have a right to speak against the ones with the “phobia”. It is against the law for the ones with the phobias to speak against the ones with the preferences; that would be “hate speech.”

What is ignored, because the intellect is ignored, is the fact that preferences and phobias are based on feelings and are therefore, subjective and are impossible to govern by law. Feelings are governed by what is inside a person. Also ignored is the fact that everyone has preferences. To label those that have the opposite or different  preferences to yours as “phobic” and “haters” is as childish and immature as a 5 year old, and when these subjective emotions dictate the speech laws, the freedom of speech and freedom of our democracy is doomed. Preferences are personal and cannot be legislated.

For example, people on both sides of all social issues have dogs and/or cats in their homes. However, none (or certainly few) have pigs in their homes. Why? Is it because they have piggyphobia? Or that they hate the idea of pigs and, therefore, are haters? Are they discriminating against pigs? No! People have dogs and cats, but not pigs, as a matter of preference. To prefer one and not the other does not make the person bad. Democracy gives the freedom to have personal preferences and to act on those preferences. When someone does not like, or agree with, someone else’s preference, that is freedom. If, by law, they cannot express their dislike, or lack of agreement, i.e. their opinions, that is repression. That is how people in Russia, China and North Korea live.

Rosseau did not get everything right in The Social Contract but he did understand what holds a society together as a body politic. He states:

            In fact, each individual, as a man, may have a particular will contrary, or dissimilar to, the general will which he has as a citizen. His particular interest  may speak to him quite differently from the common interest: his absolute and naturally independent existence may make him look upon what he owes to the common cause as a gratuitous contribution, the loss of which will do less harm to others than the payment of it is burdensome to himself; and, regarding…the State…, he may wish to enjoy the rights of citizenship without being ready to fulfil the duties of a subject. The continuance of such an injustice could not but prove the undoing of the body politic.

That is what I see going on in the aftermath of the 2016 general election. The losers have determined that the cost of losing to them is greater than the harm they are doing by preventing the winners from governing. Are they right? Time will be the judge and America will be the ultimate loser.

Rosseau states on page 1 of The Social Contract: “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.” That about sums up the natural human condition. Natural man is born with a body of flesh that is never satisfied and an ego that is never subdued. Therefore, man is in chains to both. Those chains are destroying democracy in America. The ego of the losers will not permit them to acknowledge the reality that they lost. The flesh’s appetite for sexual pleasure will not permit those with unnatural appetites to say “no”. Not being willing to submit one’s flesh and one’s ego to something greater than oneself is itself a bondage to flesh and ego. It keeps them thinking that it would harm them more than it would harm society if they broke those chains. Therein lies the deception of their bondage and the danger to democracy in America.

The Kind of Old Man I Want to Be: A paradigm for 65 and beyond

The_Kind_of_Old_Man__Cover_

Back when I had my 65th birthday I realized that the majority of the people in the world would consider me an old man. I am in the minority (i.e., in denial), so I got to thinking about what kind of old man I wanted to be when I got to be one. I did not want to just morph into an old man, so I decided to be proactive and choose the kind of old man I wanted to be and then to take steps to be that kind of person. This book presents a paradigm for contentment in old age regardless of one’s circumstances. Its basic premise is that the kind of old person you are will determine your contentment level. After surveying books available on aging, all of which have to do with doing and coping rather than being, I deal with character traits that I want to have as an old man. Then I present how I want to live out those traits by being fun to live with, being loquacious, and one who can carpe diem. This book deals with writing the rest of one’s life story, the end of one’s life story (facing death and beyond), and putting meaning to one’s life story. These are things that older people think about a lot. The findings of my research in the areas of literature, philosophy, psychology and religion pertaining to dealing with death and the meaning of life are presented in the last two chapters.

The book contains humorous quotes, antidotes and illustrations throughout the text pertaining to the topic addressed. Examples of doing what I say I do not want to do are given tongue-in-cheek for illustrative purposes.

“Easy mix of humor and an erudition lightly worn. St Augustine meets Josh Billings.”
Chris Murray (Editor)

Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: Antioch Publications (September 2016)
Language: English
ISBNs:
978-0-9967929-3-6 Print
978-0-9967929-4-3 Mobi
978-0-9967929-5-0 ePub

 

You can find this book at major booksellers including:
Amazon USA
Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble
Books-A-Million

Feelings trump truth

“The truth hurts” is an old saying that describes telling someone the truth when the truth is perceived as negative and makes the recipient feel bad. The meaning behind the saying is the truth may hurt, but it does not harm, and it should spur the recipient on to be better or do better so that the truth will no longer hurt. The saying was popular when people wanted to hear the truth. Not so today! Why? Because people do not want to feel bad. Why? Because life is feelings brought on by experiences. People, especially young people, do not want to experience anything that makes them feel bad. They are willing to sacrifice truth and knowledge in order to avoid feeling bad.

An article in the September 2015 issue of The Atlantic magazine titled “The Coddling of the American Mind” shows the extent that young people today want to avoid feeling bad. The article begins: “Something strange is happening at America’s colleges and universities. A movement is arising, undirected and driven largely by students, to scrub campuses clean of words, ideas and subjects that might cause discomfort or give offense.” The movement is fueled by the “emotional well-being” of the individual. Of course, like so much in the world where bad is called good, the movement to avoid negative feelings in the name of emotional well-being will have the opposite effect. A person who cannot deal responsibly with negative feelings will never have emotional well-being.

The article gives the example of a law professor at Harvard who was asked by law students to not to teach rape law or to use the word “violate” (as in “that violates the law”) fearing that it would cause some students distress. Who knows? Maybe some student might think that they had been violated in some way in the past. That is absurd enough and the article gives some examples that are more absurd.

Mental reasoning has been replaced by emotional reasoning. Emotional reasoning assumes that your negative feelings necessarily reflect the way things really are: “I feel it, therefore it must be true!” Lord help us! when feelings are the sole basis for interpreting reality. Is this generation being coddled or what? And to think that these young people will someday  be adult babies and will run the institutions of our society. It will indeed be a world of woe.

Here is an excerpt from my book Living Right in a World of Woe which will be released soon:

We have moved from the belief that everyone has an equal right to their own opinions, to the belief that everyone’s opinion is equally right. Everyone determines what is right for them. Everyone is their own god. Everyone is a fool (Ps. 14:1). Evil has become good.

Fifteen years ago we talked in terms of “floating anchors.” The things that held society together and that anchored one’s life to his history and identity were no longer secured to anything. Today the anchor rope has been cut at the boat. There are no anchors wanted. Society is adrift with no destination in mind.

The folly of this twenty-first century culture is that there is no foundation to one’s life. There is only an emotional freefall. There is no family, no love, not even a faithful friend to land on before you reach the total despair of suicide. When the music stops there is silence—nothingness, hopelessness, despair, death. With no music the body has no life because the human spirit has already been killed. It died when God died.

In thirty years the youth of today will be middle-aged. They will have no choice but to continue on with the culture they created and with what they have been doing. They have no traditional family, traditional religion, or traditional culture to return to. The modern church has let them down. Instead of converting youth to be like Jesus Christ, the church is converting Christianity to be like the youth.

I have tried to describe the world we live in here in the twenty-first century, the world that Christians are in but not of; the world and things in it that we are not to love. It is impossible to predict what the world will be like at the end of the twenty-first century, if the Lord tarries. Current culture has no trajectory. What has been described will not apply to, or be the culture of, the small minority who still hold to the Judeo-Christian worldview and who live in obedience to the truths of the Bible. Christians must be prepared to live like a remnant in a culture that has repudiated the foundations of our faith. Living right in a world gone wrong will not be easy.