OK, this is a somewhat misleading title. The tragic truth is, many folks today aren’t thinking at all. We are doing a great job of dumbing people down – and we seem to be proud of it as well. Sadly people are not being taught to think nowadays – they are simply encouraged to emote.
Emotional knee-jerk reactions is what passes for thinking and careful reflection so often today. The ability to actually reason, think logically and critically, and deal with facts and evidence has gone missing from much of the world. Instead we parrot mindless clichés and bumper-sticker ethics picked up from MTV or from the wit and wisdom of Lady Gaga.
On most cultural and moral issues being discussed today, far too many folks will just throw out utterly mindless clichés, and when solid evidence and facts are offered in response, they will simply ignore them and keep right on emoting.
The inability to offer rational debate and informed thinking on the many hot potato issues of the day is simply staggering. And it is not just non-Christians who are unable to think – regrettably far too many believers are also in this camp.
I could fill up a small library of books containing examples of all this. Let me just appeal to one such recent example, as found on another site. A friend had posted something about how homosexual activists are pushing their radical agenda in a most frightening manner.
One gal – let’s call her Kate – weighed into the discussion, claiming it was not really happening, and if it was, it wasn’t a big deal anyway. I was not originally a part of this discussion, but someone asked me to provide more examples of this, which I did.
Since I had now become a part of this lively debate, which continued to go back and forth, I started paying a bit of attention to it. It certainly revealed some classic examples of how the other side “thinks”. Early on “Kate” offered the following remarks:
“i hardly think this happens often!”
“It happened in one school why dont u all calm down! My mantra is love not judgement! This incident is sad and most gay people would also agree! Live and let live”
“homosexuality is hardly up there with murder! It is not a sin! It is a natural part of this life! Children should b educated about it! That it is a completely normal and natural thing! I dont get it! Why dont u as christians put all this energy into more philanthropic pursuits!!!!”
“Such as homelessness poverty childhood illness womens abuse cancer research blah blah”
By now I thought I had better offer a few remarks in response. Indeed, another person came along and offered this zinger: “get over it,are you christians or moral police”. Leaving aside the clear inability of ‘Kate’ and her buddies to offer actual sentences free of spelling and grammar mistakes, I offered a quick reply to this fellow:
“When Wilberforce sought to love his neighbours by freeing the slaves, he got the same moronic criticism: ‘Are you Christians or moral police?’ It is a good thing he ignored such senseless advice and continued to be salt and light in a very needy society.”
But getting back to ‘Kate,’ I offered this brief comment:
“You might as well argue that rape is a natural part of life – so just get used to it! Sorry, there is nothing natural about homosexuality. Two men cannot conceive. It is as un-natural as two bowling balls trying to conceive. Sex of course is nature’s way of procreation.”
Another person rightly added these remarks:
“The rectum isn’t a sex organ. Nothing ‘natural’ about that.”
“I don’t know if you realise, but Christians have ministries for all those things and many other things.”
“We’ve been around for 2000 years with our ministries yet you don’t affirm a lifestyle choice and you’re accused of forsaking starving children (?) LOL.”
To which I added, “Yes they are doing all these things already, while also seeking to keep marriage and family from being destroyed by the militants.”
Much more could have been said of course. This gal was right about one thing at least: when she said her mantra was “love not judgement”. A mantra is a phrase repeated over and over again, in an almost magical fashion. It can be just a mindless repetition.
And that is certainly the case here: regurgitating meaningless and vacuous clichés over and over again – as if that is going to win an argument and settle a debate. The secular left is of course full of such meaningless mantras. They are churned out with regular monotony.
Moreover, the idea that Christianity should only be about engaging in various charitable pursuits, and not dealing in issues of truth and morality, is another zinger. But that is how many folks mischaracterise Christianity: simply being nice to people and doing nice things.
Sorry, it is far more than that: it is a set of truth claims about all of life. It is an exclusive worldview which offers the answers to the big questions of life, and also offers us a personal relationship with God through Christ. As a by-product of all this of course there will be plenty of good works and charitable deeds. And there have been millions upon millions of these done over the past two millennia.
But by now all this was getting to be too much for our friend, so she came back with another comment:
“Oh please! Honestly this is all so radical and stupid! Everyone has a place in this world and choices! Let gay people be!”
Spoken like a typical secular humanist. I could only respond as follows:
“Oh please! Honestly this is all so radical and stupid! Everyone has a place in this world and choices! Let racists be! Let arsonists be! Let baby killers be! Let people who think those with the name ‘Kate’ should be imprisoned be! After all, choice is all that matters! Hitler made his choices too – just let him be!”
“Sadly ‘Kate’ began this debate with these words: ‘i hardly think this happens often!’ We offer heaps of links showing that this is happening all the time, and instead of dealing with the evidence and facts we provide, she now launches into an attack, saying ‘this is all so radical and stupid!’ Actually, ignoring the data when it is staring you in the face is what is really stupid here.”
But as I have already said, this is the normal way in which the other side tends to operate. They make some wild claim; you respond with a pile of evidence; and they change the subject or just launch into another ad hominem. That about sums up how they think and how they argue.
Oh, and another person decided to join in the debate with these words of wisdom:
“I think you should all leave ‘Kate’ alone as it doesn’t make you sound like nice Christian people at all. Let her have her own beliefs as you feel you have the right to have hers. Make love not war!!!!”
Yep, now there’s another great conversation stopper. I think I just discovered what the title of my next book will be: “The Jumbo Book of Mindless Secular Left Clichés”.