Whatever Happened To Thinking?
Once upon a time people used to think, reason, reflect, discern, and evaluate – they used the ol’ bean in other words. But such an ability is quickly becoming an endangered species in much of the West. Instead of actually thinking, most people today are emoting.
They are running purely on feelings and emotions, instead of critically evaluating and thinking things through carefully. And that is always a recipe for disaster. When we simply offer emotive knee-jerk reactions to things, instead of engaging in proper reflection and logical appraisal, we will fall for anything.
And this lack of discernment, this inability to actually think, and this refusal to use our grey matter is tragically not just a hallmark of the world around us, but of the churches as well. So many of our churches today have degenerated into feel-good entertainment centres where people are amused and their fancies are tickled.
Solid teaching and serious reflection on the Word of God and how it intersects with the issues of the day seem to be the exception to the rule. No wonder R.C. Sproul could say decades ago, “We live in the most anti-intellectual era of church history”.
Secular observers also note our decline in thinking. As William James once remarked, “Most people think they are thinking when, in fact, they are only rearranging their prejudices.” Yes, there is a whole lot of prejudice rearranging going on of late.
I get it on a daily basis. Being involved in an interactive blogsite means I get plenty of examples of this all the time. People who refuse to think but are happy to open their mouths anyway are a dime a dozen it seems. Not just on my own website, but elsewhere I experience this on a regular basis.
Consider this exchange which recently took place on another site. Someone had posted a piece on a petition about Islam. I forget the actual situation, but if I recall correctly, it pointed out how bad things are elsewhere with a non-integrative Islam wreaking havoc in the West.
I made a brief contribution to this post, and then things started to get interesting. Here is an actual exchange from this post:
Critic: I think the aim of the petition is to incite hatred and violence against muslims. Mohammad lived over 2,000 years ago when people died somewhere between 30 and 40 years old. So marrying 9 year olds was not considered abnormal. The muslims don’t worship him because of this act and to imply they do is blinkered, to say the least. I agree with Chris that this whole thing is being taken out of context. Don’t we have better things to do with our time than worry about this crap?
Myself: Umm no, he did not live over 2,000 years ago, and no people did not die between 30 and 40 then, and no making excuses for pedophilia is never acceptable, and yes creeping sharia is certainly something to worry about in any democracy.
Critic: Well, 1500 years ago Bill Muehlenberg – so I was not too far off, and people did have very short lifespans in those days. I am not making an excuse for pedophilia at all, I am saying that it wasn’t considered as such during those times, and judging people retrospectively is very closed minded.
Myself: So we should not judge Attila the Hun, Stalin or Hitler because “judging people retrospectively is very closed minded”? Sez who? And why?
I am not sure if this gal came back for more, and I assume she is not a Christian. But plenty of things can be pointed out about this short encounter. Notice how she managed to get just about everything wrong. Her facts were way off, her logic was non-existent, and her reasoning abilities were evidently on vacation.
This utterly clueless girl had Muhammad actually living before Jesus Christ! And being off by over 600 years (he actually lived 1400 years ago) seems to be no biggee to her. And given that Muhammad himself lived to be 62 years of age, where did she come up with this foolishness about folks dying at 30 or 40?
And taking a girl at 6 and consummating that relationship when she is 9 (as Muhammad did with Aisha) is normal? Sorry, but most people would take a different view of things. While Muhammad made it a common practice for himself and his followers, not everyone would have embraced this.
And of course the whole point of this is that creeping sharia and stealth jihad are very important things indeed to worry about. They are inimical to freedom and democracy, things which this not very rational gal is enjoying. She would not have the luxury of making such comments if Islam did indeed fully extend its reach to where she is living.
And what about that sheer inanity about not judging people retrospectively? What kind of warped cultural relativism is that? As I pointed out, by her twisted reasoning, we would then have no right to judge someone like Hitler. Indeed, going by her silliness, we would have no right to judge someone if they slapped her in the face last year, or called her a bonehead ten minutes ago.
Just where in the world do people come up with such utter nonsense? How can people be so badly misinformed, so woefully under-educated, and so clearly unable to think coherently and consistently? Sadly we already know the answers to these questions.
She undoubtedly is just a product of her secular culture and her dumbed-down education system. Both are inimical to thinking, analysis, and logical vigour. Both are turning out a nation of mindless zombies who will simply parrot whatever their ideological masters have told them.
They are slaves in other words – slaves unable to think, reason, or question anything. They simply take the PC slop they are dished up with and peddle it far and wide. No wonder the West is going down the tubes so quickly. These zombies are the perfect citizens for radical social engineers like Obama and others who would radically remake Western civilisation into their own corrupt image.
Big Brother would be so proud.
7 Replies to “Whatever Happened To Thinking?”
Yes Bill, some mothers do have them! But oh, how many mothers? How many of them? And how many years of education does it take to reach that standard of intelegence? I guess a lot more money needs to be poured into the education revolution!!
Lately the “truth” often deteriorates to “what the Left/progressives think is Good and what the Right/traditionalists think is Bad. Much like the Aryan prejudices of Hitler’s Germany, the pressure is on to think a certain way in society or be marginalised, according to the zeitgeist of the age. Recently a newspaper was advertised as “the paper you are not ashamed to be seen reading” – which was pretty pathetic.
I have often heard people make a statement which is patently not true, but they are not bothered about researching the facts and simply want to boost their own argument. The corollary of that laziness is when people with what could be considered a spurious argument will argue zealously till the cows come home that they are right and so the onus is on the person with a different view to stoop to arguing and bickering the pettiest point.
It might be easier to shut your eyes and block your ears but the inconvenient truth is still out there somewhere but you are swimming against the tide to find it.
The lack of thinking is aided by communication devices like mobile phone texting, the pressure to abbreviate words can change the meaning and project the wrong meaning which could have unintended consequences all adding to an alarming dumbing down of words and meaning.
Rachel Smith, UK
As well as the decline in theological and moral standards documented so effectively by Francis A Schaeffer, I wonder if this might have something to do with it?
From Catallaxy Files a comment/reply by Steve of Glasshouse posted on July 9, 2013 at 5:27 pm under “Lac-Megantic: Another Green tragedy”:
Sadly these zombie like people are everywhere and it’s very frustrating. Seriously! you feel like slapping them around a bit just to wake them up. You just know the responses you’ll get to questions on same sex marriage and abortion and other issues. You know what they will say before they say it, they just repeat what has been pumped into their brain washed PC heads. From the air heads on the air waves to the breakfast show simpletons you get cluelessness from all angles. One morning I caught a nugget of brilliance from one of the morning show presenters, someone that I think could be a game show host said that Christians shouldn’t have a problem with homosexuality because the Bible or Jesus doesn’t even mention the word homosexual. That’s fairly typical and the sort of thing we are up against and even Christians don’t guard the avenues to their soul anymore and are now holding positions that are totally contrary to the Bible which is of coarse God’s word and God’s will. To try and use the Bible to support their position is impossible, that’s why they resort to wishy washy mumbo jumbo. It seems that whatever the devil doesn’t twist and distort he counterfeits and people aren’t awake enough to see it. We have been lulled to sleep in the arms of the devil and are at risk of never waking up. Jesus say’s watch and pray, remember He questioned the disciples in Gethsemane at a time when Jesus needed them most and He found them asleep. He said “could you not stay watch with me one hour?” It breaks my heart to think that when Jesus needs us most many are very deep in sleep Christians and worldlings.
Bill, just this morning my meditations were on Isaiah 8:20: “To the Law and to the Testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them [no morning in them].”
There can be no logic, no soundness of argument, if we begin from any other premise than the Law-Word of God.
We should expect nothing less from a generation that seeks other infallibilities than the Bible.
Bill, you are a good man. Thank you for your faithfulness to the Word of the Living God.
Lance A Box
Bill, I thought this would be something you and the readers would appreciate. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnJCvKA-oEU
Hello Bill, I had a similar experience recently, and not from one of the younger generation. This person, known to me for decades in real life, posted an extraordinary blog stating he no longer wanted to be known as a Christian, basically because of what a bad witness Christians are. Included were comments about Moslems killing Christians and Christians killing Moslems, giving the impression they were each as bad as the other.
Several people posted comments back, as did I. But I couldn’t let the Moslem/Christian comments go unchallenged & posted a link to one of your articles about the nature of Islam, and also a link to a Creation Ministries article called “What Good is Christianity?” detailing many of the historical positives about Christianity. I checked back late to see if there were any more comments and to my surprise my comment had been removed! I suppose I should have sent a message at this point to ask if he had a problem with it, but I didn’t.
Then more recently the same person posted a short, emotive, sweeping general statement entitled “On Guns” which stated, “In the wrong hands they murder. In the right hands they simply maim, wound and kill.”
The next poster put a comment that gave a bit more balance, then I put a comment regarding totalitarianism & disarmament. My next comment was about my (limited but legal) experience with guns, in which I did not maim, wound or kill anyone or anything. I guess it made the original comment look pretty silly, and the end result was that I was totally blocked!
We all in my family had a good laugh but the sad thing is this was from an otherwise intelligent, successful, happily married & Christian family man. So while some of the younger generation don’t even know what the plot is, unfortunately some of the older generation are losing it. I suspect this person has spent too much time in the rarefied air of motivational writing/speaking and strayed into Lefty La-la Land.