Monday, March 4, 2013

Chapter Ten – Segmental and Tangential Realities

-->Whoa, what happened? Did we just delve into a mathematics book? Are we studying quantum physics? No, dear reader, let me explain the chapter title.
I recently saw a billboard, in fact, it's been there for a while - and I may not remember it perfectly. The billboard shows a picture of a sun, and then has several lines coming from the sun, to different types of lights – candles, stars, bulbs, etc. Under the sun is the caption, “God”. Under each of the other lights is caption naming a different “religious” figure – Allah, Buddha, etc. The billboard states, “One Light, Many Lamps”.

Segments, like the line segments leading from the sun on the billboard, are what people are following. People have escaped the thought of one truth. They have manipulated truth for the sake of their own “feelings” and to validate their actions and attitudes. People get off on tangents, thus the title of this chapter.

Acceptance is an erroneous attitude. Acceptance and tolerance are wrong. If that sounds preposterous to you, stop reading. I'm not talking about race or equal rights here. I'm talking about accepting those things which are, and can be proven wrong against truth.

Let me give you some examples. Suppose a teacher instructs students that there is a law that says A + B = C. This law is true in every circumstance. Little Billy turns in his test and for the question, “What does A + B equal?”, Billy writes 'D'. Measured against the truth, Billy's answer is wrong. However, Billy really wants D to be the answer. He gets upset. He gets offended. For Billy, the right answer is D. He is convinced and convicted of it. What does the teacher do? Mark it incorrect, or understand Billy's perspective and only deduct half the points possible? 
When I was young, my older brother was obsessed with his hair. He had almost an OCD over whether his hair was falling out. Everyone he met, he would ask, “Is my hair falling out? Do I look like I'm going bald? Am I getting thin on top?” He would drive you crazy, leaning over in your face, asking you ten times a day about his follicular challenges. All he was looking for was someone to tell him he was alright – you are not going bald! Looking for acceptance, he sought it until he found it.

You decide going to church is a good thing to do. You pick one, based on some random reason, and start going. They tell you that you have to stand on your head four times a day to pray. You have neck problems, so you decide that this church is not for you. You seek out a church where part of the prayer routine is to get a neck massage. Stupid example, I'll admit, but a parallel one, nonetheless. Substitute any issue you want – baptism requirements, music styles, preaching style, definitions of sin, and you see the point. You seek out like-minded people to be around. 
It is all a matter of you seeking validation and acceptance for your feelings and your definition of who you think you are. It is not about you measuring yourself against standards or laws or rules and conforming where necessary. Our worldview has become one of “different things are acceptable for different people”. Yes, people are different, but there are some minimum standards all people must follow. Does this mean a “moral code” exists that all people should follow? I think it does. You decide for yourself.

Christianity is the only religion that views man as a sinful, fallen and lost creation, for which redemption is needed. When you begin to view the world through that filter, whether you are Christian or not, a lot of things begin to make sense. If we take the opposite view and say that the only law is the law of the country where you live, and that man is inherently good, then you contradict yourself. If man is inherently good, he would not need laws. Man is inherently bad and needs laws.

Where do laws come from? Who first said it was wrong to murder? Who says it is wrong for me to murder someone? The law? Where did the law in the U.S. come from? Let's take religion out of the picture. Let's say that the idea that murder was wrong did not come from any religious teaching. Where did it come from? There had to be an existing majority opinion that murder was wrong. This opinion was held by a majority of the population. Where did that opinion come from? Are you beginning to see that there was a pre-programmed moral code inherent within the majority?

Where did this come from? Do monkeys have a moral code? Do single celled amoebas? Did we get this through evolution? How about from rocks out in space that collided together and exploded into the universe we know today? Once again, I digress. I will present the arguments for creation in a later chapter. However, I hope you see the point of this discussion. Our moral fiber provides us with a right/wrong sense that is built into us. Religions and national laws build upon that sense.

What we have seen in society is that we have gravitated away from the idea of one truth, and have come to believe there are many truths. This idea within society has begun to affect the laws within our countries and states. When did this happen? Many people point to the free love of the sixties, but the seeds were planted before then. I can't and won't pinpoint the origins, as I am only commenting on the effect. Whenever it started, the idea is to get away from casting blame and guilt on someone for breaking a law (national example) or sinning (religious example). We no longer blame the responsible person. We blame things. Yes the thief stole some food, but he shouldn't be accountable, since he lost his job. We should blame the housing market, the stock market, the company he works for, his circumstances – anything but him! Stealing, for him, in that circumstance, was not immoral or wrong.

Do you see where this takes us? Little Billy may not know how to spell correctly, but the teacher understood what he was trying to convey, so he got an A+. After all, an F may offend him.

Key Number Eleven as to why we get stupid: We do not allow ourselves to be judged by a solid truth.

Key Number Twelve as to why we get stupid: We no longer accept responsibility for our actions.

(Author's note: Somehow this post was never published correctly, I found it saved as a draft. I'm sure it was online for some time in 2009 because it had pageviews, but somehow got saved as a draft when I made a future edit, so here it is again. Because of today's date, it will appear as the last post, so I rearranged the chapter numbers and Key numbers too! ALSO don't miss the previous post (chapter nine), as it was published moments before I found this issue, so use the blog archive on the right side to navigate to 2013 and read the first post!)