One of the most disturbing aspects of the troubles of 2020 has been the confusion and bewilderment caused by so much uncertainty. When it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic every other news report or social media link or comment has been contradictory. “Masks are useless. Everybody must wear a mask! Only sick old people will get this disease. My friend knows a guy in his forties who is an athlete and very fit and he nearly died! You can get it just from touching your groceries. The virus doesn’t transmit that way. The threat is global. Only New York City is being hit. Not us.”
We’ve seen the most amazing contradictions over the last week with the massive demonstrations. We’re supposed to observe social distancing, but thousands are encouraged to meet up and protest. There was one instruction fro the authorities circulating that said: “Outdoor meetings for social gatherings: no more than twelve people. Out door protests no more than 100” No wonder everybody is scratching their heads in not only bewilderment, but confusion fear and anxiety.
What interests me about all this is how it is reflective of the relativism in our society. For decades now some intellectuals have been telling us there is “no such thing as truth” or “if there is such a thing as truth you can’t know it for sure and you can’t state it with certainty.” The attack on truth has especially been an attack on religious truth. What no one seems to understand is the relationship between relativism, irrational rage and violent revolution.
It’s not rocket science to figure out. It works like this: if there is no such thing as truth, then all that remains as a foundation for decision making is utilitarianism and sentimentality. Utilitarianism is simply the philosophy that what works is best or what will bring the most pleasure to the most people is best. I’ve written at length about it here. Utilitarianism is what is most efficient, most useful, most practical and effective. It has no deeper moral sense or higher sense of good. Sentimentality is emotion–feelings. Without any firm basis of authority the only criteria left for decision is sentimentality and utilitarianism. These two are conditioned by propaganda. That is to say a person’s sense of what is useful and good and their emotions are determined by the people who teach them, the media they consume, the books they read and the people to whom they listen.
The result of this combination of sentimentality, utilitarianism and propaganda will be irrationality. People will have a very loose grasp of knowledge, will not be able to synthesize information in any coherent way and will paddle around in a shallow pool of emotion, social media opinion, half formed ideas and notions–all of which are coming at them from a whole range of sources of varying authenticity and evidence. So a person’s ideas and emotions will be formed from a mishmash of video games, comics, a philosophy course, a book on self help, a chat show about self awareness, greeting cards, horror films, yesterday’s news and a story their grandpa told them once.
Consequently we will see an increasing number of people who simply have no idea about anything at all responding to world events and their own circumstances like crazed animals–not having any idea of truth, any idea of manners, any idea of good behavior, right thinking or common sense at any level. Here’s an illustration of what I mean: a Tweet from some young gal who thought Hitler was better than Winston Churchill because Churchill was a heavy drinker, smoker, adulterer and racist. Hitler was a vegetarian, faithful to his one partner and a non smoker, so although he was a racist too he was a better racist than Churchill the racist. Such shallow lost sheep with their irrationality are prime fodder for any revolutionary who comes along to stoke their rage.
Where does rage come in? Well, the whole relativism schtick is nice enough when everybody is indulging in nice emotions. But we seem to forget that there are also some rather nasty emotions, and the nice emotions are all well and good when the sun in shining, but when things turn bad the nasty emotions rule the day. The rage is lurking just below the surface. The snarls are right behind the smiles. The results of relativism are that, (since there is no such thing as truth) everybody must simply be tolerant of everybody else’s truth. The problem is that people simply can’t live that way for long. They must have a truth to live for and a truth to fight for. If they are right, then the other people must be wrong, and if it is good to be right and bad to be wrong, then the wrong people must be bad people and good people should defeat bad people.
Thus the irrational rage erupts in individual hearts and in society. Furthermore, since it is irrational rage it will lead people to do irrational things. So we see people protesting racism vandalizing statues of Abraham Lincoln or we hear calls for the abolition of the police or we hear the loud lament for George Floyd, but nothing is said about the black retired police officers killed during the riots–nor do we hear of the black Christians in West Africa being kidnapped, tortured and killed by Muslims. If black lives matter surely all black lives matter.
When the irrational rage erupts, then it will come into conflict with other people with similarly irrational opinions who are equally angry, and when that happens revolution begins to roil, and since there is no recourse to truth because “Truth” has died long ago, the only way for the conflict to be resolved is for the person or party with the most firepower to win. If two insane strongmen fight there will be no reasoning, no discussion and no dialogue. There will be no discussion because discussion can only be based on a shared assumption that there is such a thing as truth that can be discovered. If both parties do not believe in truth and have stopped believing the silly nonsense of “you have your truth and I have my truth” then the only outcome is violence and the only resolution is the dominance of the strong over the weak.
Join me and Dan Burke for a free webinar on Immortal Combat- Discernment of Spirits this evening (June 8) at 7 pm Central Time. Go here to register:
Thank you for the excellent post. As usual, you go straight to the point. God bless you and Mary keep you. Myriam