Monday, January 15, 2007

Avoiding absolutes ... at all cost!

- Today's relativist quote:

"I like to participate in this program because the music is fun and seeing other people work out, makes you wanna join in ... at least I do".
That is after "you may sit down" (so as to avoid "you must". "Sit down, please" apparently being too much of an imperative).

- Crusader blog this morning surprised us with a beautifully written piece by Mark Steyn on the late Oriana Fallaci, which is really worth reading.

- columnist Kevin McCullough in a post yesterday on the subject of the Christian Left (and why it is not, in his opinion) cites a conversation he had with a spokesman for the movement, Dr. Tony Campolo. Asked why his new book "Letters to a Young Evangelical" seemed to have such great disdain for the Christian Right, Dr Campolo answered as follows:

"It's the sense that they come across as judgemental, they come across as being the people who have the whole answer to everything and are not willing to give credence to any other point of view, and it’s that absolute closed mind set that emerges from that context."
Let's analyze this for a bit: Dr Campolo feels, he senses, he gets impressions that come across him. His complaints are that the Christian Right is judgemental, they have an answer to everything, they are not willing to give credence to any other point of view and from that follows, they have an absolute closed mind set, which is worthy of disdain.

It seems to me that The Christian Right have thought things over for a bit and are pretty sure about their position. They may be judging other views, as we all do, including Dr Campolo: how else can we form our opinion? They have an answer to everything: well, good for them! - they must have a very good source. It is Dr Campolo's opinion and not fact that they don't give credence to any other point of view: I say that perhaps they do, but all are deemed inferior to their own. If they have a closed mind set: so what? So has Mr Campolo, for how else can he be so sure.

Of his own position Dr Campolo is less sure; he feels, has ideas, but it all remains kinda nebulous. And he's proud of it too - it conveys an open mind, you see! His complaints are more concrete. What then is the problem? Of course Dr Campolo would rather have the other party undercut their position up front, by having it followed by a question mark, rendering it based on quick-sand and an exercise in futility. The Christian Right apparently aren't willing to oblige on this point.

The remarks made by Dr Campolo are indicative of one of relativism's little peculiarities, a version of the tolerance trick. There's nothing wrong with the Christian Right's ideas, it's just the people that are at fault: they have a closed mind set! It is getting a familiar pattern: the people are attacked, instead of the idea. The latter of course would require a proper analysis, a lengthy weighing of pros and cons. In short: it would take a mental effort. Decibels are cheaper.

As we have seen, is the core accusation against the Christian Right, the closed mind set, by no means sure. Dr Campolo on the contrary, has proved that it is he who isn't willing to match an accusation with a mental effort.

Followers often seem to be moved by impressions and how things look, instead of the facts, the content, the point in question. That's why a proper debate is impossible: it soon turns to decibel production pure and simple. And it explains their obsession with the public image and trivia. It's an immature, superficial, mentally lazy and passive world view.

What is it then what relativists want? A compromise? A monstrosity like "we are a little pregnant"? We all know such a thing doesn't exist in reality. A cosmos in which nobody is sure about anything will go to pieces double quick from lack of coherence. God knows, we're well on our way, if we can't turn this cultural fallacy short term!

In the land of subjectivism everything always seems to be upside down and inside out: it is a sort of idealistic [1] neverland of paradoxymora and other strange creatures of an infantile imagination.

1 comment:

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