A Leaking Ship of Fools
Thinking -- and doing it well -- is tricky business. This is especially true if by “thinking” you mean eventually arriving at the truth. In order to do so one must have reliable facts and terms, some understanding of the rules of logic, and, most importantly a clear understanding of how one thing differs from another. Unfortunately, we seem to be losing any ability to do that. I don’t know if this lack of specificity and discrimination has been trained into us via propaganda and indoctrination, or if we’ve just become lazy and don’t want to bother. One way or another we no longer practice the 3 Ds of thought: discernment, differentiation, and distinction.
Most surprising is our inability to discern the differences between male and female. One would think that one would be easy, but not so. A recent study showed that nearly a quarter of those canvassed thought it possible for a man to give birth. Well, the studies hedge a great deal and say that “anyone who has a uterus and ovaries” can give birth. I thought a woman was a person with such organs. Silly me, since sex is determined by our DNA, by our chromosomal arrangements -- XX or XY. That can’t be changed with either surgery or hormones. Our bones will still be what they are; the Adam’s apple will remain, the thinking styles won’t change. But few understand that in today’s world.
We’ve even gone so far in this jumble to have confused our language. The pronouns “he” and “she” are on the way out, in favor of the neutral (but plural) “they,” Even the whole concept of pronouns is getting confusing as so many of the transmaniacs have chosen nouns as their pronouns. Pardon me if this makes no sense -- but that’s the point. How can we make sense of our thoughts if our language has been garbled?
Even the concept of sex itself (what we used to call “making love”) has morphed into anything tantalizing that can go on between/among any number of creatures of any age, of any sex. Schools are now trying to train up our children to be not only confused, but traumatized. The truth is that gender is binary, with clear distinctions, but now “binary” itself is a pejorative term.
A spinoff of the sex confusion is our failure to differentiate between childhood and adulthood. It’s not just that we’re forcing sexual behavior onto increasingly younger children, but we are tolerating more and more childish behavior from adults. Not long ago I was in my bank, and standing several customers in front of me was a woman wearing fuzzy-bear slippers, all wrapped up in a blanket. When did slovenliness become socially acceptable? Rudeness in traffic, fit-throwing in fast food restaurants, a Senate candidate dressed always in sweats -- has no one ever told such people to grow up?
Our schools certainly haven’t made being grown up, accepting responsibility, and working hard a part of their sub-curriculum. We have failed to clearly understand the difference between educating our children and indoctrinating them. The average high school graduate may not be able to read (in my state only 60% can), but they seem to know how oppressed they are. They’re angry, but don’t really know why. They don’t know how their government works, or how the country was started, or what we’ve accomplished. They’re sure there’s no such thing as truth. But they hate rich people, white people, the police, and the military. I haven’t been in the public schools for 15 years, but even back then, nothing shocked my students more than to discover that I was conservative. Teachers were never conservative. We need to shake loose our mental cobwebs and relearn the difference between actual teaching and proselytizing or no one in this country will be able to think.
Case in point -- we no longer have a clear idea of the difference between winning and losing. We give out trophies for everything. How can Lia Thomas think ”she” has won anything as “she” swims in competition with women? How can he be proud of his trophies? How can weightlifters, or track and field athletes, or golfers feel like they’ve won anything when they only compete against people smaller and less muscular than they?
This win/lose confusion however goes way beyond athletics and the transgender mess. We can’t even determine the outcomes of what are supposed to be free and fair elections. Despite the clear logic and solid evidence to the contrary, we’re stuck struggling along with a president who clearly did not win the 2020 election. That’s an uncertainty we can ill afford.
Speaking of that, we seem to conflate image with reality. If a plurality of the population can be convinced that something is true, that means it is true. Really? If the people surrounding our illegal president say he’s on top of his game, we’re obliged to believe that is so. If no one admits to running the country behind the scenes, then we’re to assume that all is well. This problem doubles back into the transgender kerfuffle in that we’re all supposed to play dress-up with those who want to pretend they are something they’re not. Distinctions are not to be made.
Part of that mess happened because we can no long differentiate between sin and sickness. It’s true that sin eventually will cause sickness -- cellular addiction or venereal disease, or liver cancer, but disease is a result, not a cause. At some point in each of our lives we have to choose between wisdom and self-indulgence. And if we choose the latter it’s hard to retreat. As Robert Frost said in his famous poem "The Road Not Taken": “Yet knowing how way leads on to way/ I doubted if I would ever go back.”
Not only are we conflating sin and sickness, but now, after COVID we’re finding that our ideas of good and evil are all tangled. We all thought our doctors were the good guys, the pharmaceutical companies were in business to cure people. We thought medicine in general was there to be of assistance when we most needed it. But not so. How silly of us.
In fact, the weaving together of evil and good is much of the problem. Everywhere we go we find that inside-out thinking. How can so many of us think that “depopulation” (a euphemism if there ever one was) is good, that the planet is more important than the people on it? How can we equate confiscatory taxes with true charity? How can we think that sexual exploitation of our children is good, but teaching children biblical thinking is abuse?
Isaiah 5:20- 21 lays it out well,
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
And prudent in their own sight!
We have made the deadly mistake of believing, in spite of the self-refuting nature of the statement, that there is no such thing as absolute truth (i.e. God). If there is no truth, then there is no right or wrong, and if there is no final authority to determine the difference, then we can no longer discern evil when it stares us in the face, we can no longer differentiate between compassion and enabling, we can no longer draw a distinction between fact and wishful thinking. If we lose those abilities then we can no longer think and we are, indeed, on a leaking ship of fools.
Deana Chadwell is an adjunct professor and department head at Pacific Bible College https://pacificbible.edu in southern Oregon. She teaches writing, logic, and literature. She can be contacted at email@example.com.