Rhetoric without reason…

Because of the mindlessness of our culture, people do not persuade others of their views (religious or otherwise) on the basis of argument and reason, but rather, by expressing emotional rhetoric and politically correct buzzwords. Reason has given way to rhetoric, evidence to emotion, substance to slogan, the speech writer to the makeup man, and rational authority (the right to command compliance and to be believed) to social power (the ability to coerce compliance and outward conformance). The way we reach decisions today, the manner in which we dialogue about issues, and the political correctness we see all around us are dehumanizing expressions of the anti-intellectualism in modern society when it comes to broad worldview issues. Rhetoric without reason, persuasion without argument is manipulation. Might—it is wrongly believed—makes right.

J. P. Moreland

We can disagree, agreeably…

The whole American proposition, in many ways, is encapsulated in the first amendment (freedom of speech, freedom of religion), which means: an open forum of debate that we can disagree about the things that matter most, agreeably in civil society—that’s part of the American proposition. But you need a disciplined life of intellectual virtue to pull that off; and we don’t have that, largely, in our culture.

Douglas Groothuis, from “Worldviews, Truth, and Knowledge” Part 2 at 15:20

Invest a few days, or a matter of hours…

To be utterly lost in the woods in unfortunate. To be absolutely unconcerned about it is unreasonable. Yet so many people who spend weeks mastering a new video game, months learning a tennis serve, or years perfecting a golf swing will not invest a few days, or even a matter of hours, in the effort to understand better some of the deeper questions about life.

Thomas Morris, from Making Sense of It All: Pascal and The Meaning of Life by , p. 15

Our culture squelches deep thinking…

Our culture tends to squelch deep thinking, or else to label it as something that only superbrains or strange people do.

Susan Schaeffer Macaulay, from How to Be Your Own Selfish Pig, p. 14

Our own age is not likely to be…

Our own age is not likely to be distinguished in history for the large numbers of people who insisted on finding the time to think. Plainly, this is not the Age of the Meditative Man. It is a sprinting, squinting, shoving age. Substitutes for repose are a billion dollar business. Almost daily, new antidotes for contemplation spring into being and leap out from store counters. Silence, already the world’s most critical shortage, is in danger of becoming a nasty word. Modern man may or may not be obsolete, but he is certainly wired for sound and he twitches as naturally as he breathes.

Norman Cousins, quoted in Making Sense of It All: Pascal and The Meaning of Life by Thomas Morris, p. 36

Today we mourn the passing…

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as: Knowing when to come in out of the rain; why the early bird gets the worm; life isn’t always fair; and maybe it was my fault. Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge). Continue reading