The ability to reconcile one’s emotions with the truth has been lost to an entire generation as illustrated by the recent “protests” over the outcome of the election. Politics and religion have blurred the lines in which feeling good and doing good are mutually exclusive. Taking a closer look at what has fueled this phenomenon is essential if the restoration of truth is going to be successful. In order to do so, a moral argument must be emotionally reinforced. The culture has been emotionally motivated for decades. Leftists have swung the pendulum of expression towards rash behavior. If those on the intellectual right prepare to manage for the upcoming pendulum swing, the ability to manage morality and reason can occur.
Fear and pleasure are two of the strongest influences on behavior. Nothing inspires self-preservation like fear does. Leftists are extremely aware that if they can fabricate a motive to fear something, they can also fabricate the remedy. By contrast, the assertion of pleasure after a desired behavior can perpetuate that behavior. The veneer of virtue has become the reward for those who have adhered to the philosophy of the left. Those who oppose the left are threatened with defamation. Similar to domesticating a pet, the desired behavior is rewarded while the unwanted behavior is disciplined. Conditioning is complete once the pet anticipates a reward and repeats the reinforced behavior.
Within a healthy emotional expression, a thought should prompt a feeling that influences the behavior, but this is not so for most of the millennial generation. They have been conditioned by culture and academia to feel first, then think, and behave without the element of reason which serves to connect them with all three processes.
Reason is vital to processing information. There has to be a root for that reason, and there must be an emotional connection with it. The Judeo-Christian worldview asserts that reason comes from a logical God that loves. A god that only consists of one of these attributes at a time is either brainless or heartless. Followers are urged to worship in spirit and in truth. In other words, they are to show reverence with an emotional connection, as well as with verifiable reason. From the atheistic worldview, reason is rooted in man’s pursuit of perfection through logic. Worship is shifted from the giver of reason to the seeker of reason. Atheistic reason acknowledges that man is imperfect, and worships him anyway. When one worships the imperfect, they end up with the profane.
Our culture has made imperfection sacred. Very similar to France’s “Age of Reason” that led to the revolution, they gutted God from culture, and eventually associated virtue with terror. When a society idolizes mediocrity–no matter how lofty–over excellence, it will devour its beauty, stupefy its intellect, and nullify its purpose. People of a purposeless society will constantly contribute that which means nothing to them.
The British evangelist, George Campbell Morgan, stated, “Sacrilege is defined by taking something that belongs to God and using it profanely. But, the worst kind of sacrilege is taking something, and giving it to God when it means absolutely nothing to you.”
Society is the same, in that it loses its validity if its citizens continue to give it what means nothing to them. Much of the millennial generation, and the iGeneration that follows, do not understand what is sacred, or what has inherent value. They do believe that society is important, but they don’t know why.
The founding father, Thomas Jefferson, stated, “Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear.”
Advocates for liberty must be ready and willing to give a moral and emotional response to the call for truth and justice. The act of doing good should not be absent from the sentiment of generosity. Preserving one’s freedom should be paired with conviction, and the pursuit of justice ought to be coupled with empathy.
Let us romance a society with both reverence and reason.
By: Rosemary Dewar