Sunday, June 21, 2015

What is the characteristic blindness of our age?

When we read the writings coming from previous centuries, we say "Typical Victorian. Typical Medieval. Typical eighteenth-century." But then we have to start wondering what the characteristic blindness of our age is. We can see the problems with other ages because we aren't in them and we haven't absorbed the typical prejudices of that time. We have, however, absorbed the typical prejudices of our time, and those are hard to see. How much of what we say is going to be read by people in the future as "sooo early twenty-first century?" That's what C. S. Lewis talks about in his introduction to a fourth-century theological treatise:

14 comments:

B. Prokop said...

The characteristic blindness of our age?

Child labor and other forms of slavery in "developing countries", in order to supply the "developed world" with frivolous products, the demand for which has been artificially produced by cynical advertising, filling the shelves of Walmart, etc. (while ironically impoverishing our own workers through outsourcing, and despoiling our planet through ultimately unnecessary industrial activity).

oozzielionel said...

The most prevalent blindness of this age is the mistaken idea that we have solved those injustices of the past.

Ilíon said...

The most prevalent blindness of this age is the mistaken idea that we ... are more righteous than God


... and the first post above is actually and example of this blindness.

B. Prokop said...

"The most prevalent blindness of this age is the mistaken idea that we ... are more righteous than God"

Sorry, Ilion, but what you just posted is a "Duh!" comment. That statement could be made about any age, which makes it about as meaningful as saying "The characteristic feature of today is that the sun rose this morning." For something to be characteristic of this age, it ought to be, if not unique to it, at least something that distinguishes it from other ages.

Jeu ufam tobie!

toddes said...

The cultural blindness of our day is that constant change always moves us toward improving as individuals and as societies. The phrase would be Typically Progressive.

Ilíon said...

me: "The most prevalent blindness of this age is the mistaken idea that we ... are more righteous than God."

not-me: "Sorry, Ilion, but what you just posted is a "Duh!" comment. That statement could be made about any age, ...For something to be characteristic of this age, it ought to be, if not unique to it, at least something that distinguishes it from other ages."

On the other hand, those interested in reality know that it is *not* true that my statement can (honestly) be made of all ages, and that the widespread false belief than one is more righteous than God is indeed characteristic or this age (and of passing few others).

As one example: the moral posturing demonstrated in this little piece of performance art is repeated continuously in this day and age -- and treated as being worthy of respect even by those who not strike the pose themselves -- but would never have happened in most times and places precisely because its absurdity is so apparent to those who do not imagine themselves to be more righteous than God.

Another example is the need of so many ostensible Christians to hide Paul down in the basement behind the furnace, lest those who hate Christ condemn them for insufficient gynedolatry. The condemnation of the leftists/feminists and secularists of Christianity as being "misogynist" is, of course, an example of the prevalence of imagining oneself to be more righteous than God. *BUT* so too is the Stockholm Syndrome acquiescence of the supposed Christians, for the meaning of their bowing to the idols of the age is, “They’re right! They *are* more righteous than God

Another example is veganism.

Another example is blanket opposition to capital punishment (which is, of course, ultimately followed by blanket opposition of *any* punishment of the guilty, coupled with enthusiasm for punishing the innocent).

======
Wouldn't it be nice if people were to stop and think for a few minutes before they set themselves to disputing, especially in the manner done here, what I say?

B. Prokop said...

Just got through humming the last line of your posting to the tune of The Beach Boys' Wouldn't it be Nice. Had to shift the word order around a bit before it would scan.

Saints and Sceptics said...

That Downton Abbey is serious, thought-provoking historical drama.
As opposed to Dallas with thespians.

Dave Duffy said...

Our generation's madness is our complete and total failure to live up to the teachings Christ gave us as recorded in The Gospel According to Matthew chapter five through seven. Worse, after our total failure to live up to this, we did not seek someone to save us from our wretched state. Same as every other generation.

John Loftus said...

That homosexuality is unnatural and a sin.
That the universe did not evolve.

oozzielionel said...

That morality is identical to legality.
That we have to choose between science and God.

planks length said...

That "political correctness" is correct.

planks length said...

I've recently heard a great deal of misinformation spread in the media that the Confederate battle flag was basically not seen anywhere between 1865 and the reaction to the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. Then how does one explain this?

B. Prokop said...

From Thomas Merton's Introduction to Prison Writings by Alfred Delp, SJ. (slightly edited to make sense out of context)

"Though we may perhaps still seem to be living in a world where business goes on as usual and Christianity is what it has always been, somewhere in the past decades we have crossed a mysterious limit set by Providence and have entered a new era. We have, in some sense, passed a point of no return and it is both useless and tragic to continue to live as if we were still in past times. Whatever we think of the new era, there has been a violent disruption of society and a radical overthrow of the natural order of things.

In this new era the social structures into which Christianity had fitted so comfortably and naturally have all but collapsed.* Secular thought patterns have now so deeply affected and corrupted modern man that even where he preserves certain traditional beliefs, they tend to be emptied of their sacred inner reality, expressing instead the common pseudo-spirituality or outright nihilism of the age."

There is more, but I'll leave it at that. You can find much valuable information about Alfred Delp on various websites.

* Note - it is not Christianity which has collapsed, but the surrounding social structures.

Jezu ufam tobie!