Let’s Get Real: Part I by Jack Reagan

In 08 Musings by Jack Reagan on 2011/11/18 at 10:02 PM

We have come to the point where most thinking people (as opposed to those who merely react to events with little or no understanding of their significance) have concluded that the U.S. and  Europe are in a period of grave, and perhaps, irreversible, societal decline. Some attribute that decline to banishment of God from public life and the inevitable loss of a divine ethos. Others cite defective leadership at all levels of government and education. Still others cite the division of the population into groups and blocs . . . whites, blacks, Hispanics, gays, etc. We are members of a group before we are Americans. There are other suggested causes, too, and all are valid to some degree. I suggest, however, that these are effects of another problem, as well as causes of decline. There is one underlying or root cause of these secondary causes, and that root cause is the failure to deal with reality.

Too many ignore reality, redefine it to suit themselves or decide what it should be and act accordingly. They pretend the unrealistic is real. The idea of reality has been so abused intellectually that many have come to believe that realty is what they say it is. When you fail to deal with reality, it is almost impossible to have positive results.

Reality is the state, condition or situation objectively viewed regardless of what anyone thinks of it. Reality is what is, what exists objectively.

Reality may be physical, such as objects perceived by the five senses.

It may be intellectual or mental such as thoughts, memories, images in the mind. These are real, but not subject to sense perception. If you think of a person, that person does not become real.  Rather, the idea of him is real. This why Our Lord could warn us that thoughts can be the cause of sin. Intellectual products are probably the greatest source of unreality. Communism had not the least grasp on reality. Same-sex marriage is not a matter of equality, nor of objective reality (of which it has none), but rather a matter of perceived reality.

Modern man has rejected the Ultimate Reality which is God. The Bible tells us that God has defined Himself as “I am who am.” This means that God defines Himself as a being whose very essence is to exist, to be. His essence is not mercy, justice or goodness, but existence. No other created being has that property because each began and each will end. This is not an easy concept for humans to grasp because we dwell in time while God dwells in eternity.

Reality is also truth. What is true is real and vice versa. Thus, when we reject God, we reject the ultimate standard of truth. Without a divine standard, the new standard of truth becomes fellow humans; and we know how reliable humans are and how we often sacrifice truth on the altar of stupidity.

The effects of this rejection of reality (to ignore it, avoid it or pretend it is something else) is the endangerment of making sound judgments. Bad judgments will lead to bad effects that may last until that judgment is changed (if it can be) or even a lifetime. For example, the lazy student will experience failure until he decides to raise his grades; the drunk driver who kills someone may suffer for the rest of his life for his bad judgment.

Another effect of refusing or failing to see what is is that we lose the ability to think coherently. There is an increasing effort to impose assisted suicide in the U.S. The reasons offered are usually economic while ignoring the impact, the consequences, of that effort. For example, if we can legally kill the unborn and the sick, who comes next on the list? The impaired? The homeless? We like to tout “benefits,” but we forget or ignore the unforeseen consequences. We begin to think emotionally, rather than rationally.” We focus on “how something feels” not “whether it’s realistic.”  We’ve chosen to live in a perceived and subjective “reality,” not an objective and truthful reality.



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