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Posts Tagged ‘Self-deception’

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.

Continued

Let’s Get Real: Part II by Jack Reagan

In 08 Musings by Jack Reagan on 2011/11/18 at 10:00 PM

We are in decline because of decades of refusing to deal with reality. The United States was not founded to make citizens equal, but free. Today, we have reversed that premise; we try to make everyone equal and the result is a gross erosion of liberty. If a man has ten times as much money as I do, acquired legitimately, I have no problem with that. He had more talent. Today,we call him evil and say that he owes others some of his money because they lacked what it took to acquire it. This is why we have a progressive income tax (an idea right out of Karl Marx). One atheist and an irrational judge can override the religious sentiments of hundreds or thousands of people.

The three main sources of the cult of the unrealistic are:

1. Civil governments at all levels. (Remember the “bridge to nowhere?”)  Crazy, unworkable schemes abound.

2. Public education at all levels. We took God out of the schools and replaced Him with police officers.

3. The media which is so biased (with few exceptions) that they are often ludicrous when, without any facts, they attribute events to the “right”, to Christians, to racism, etc. Apology for errors is just about unheard of.

So abounding are the errors, stupidities, false ideas, distortions and lies that rather than deal with it all, the dreamers have come up with another absurd idea: that we must not be judgmental. Nothing is right or wrong, good or bad, useful or useless, necessary or unnecessary, true or false, moral or immoral. According to these people, one should not complain that during WWII, we built 1000 ships a year and the Bureau of Ships had 1000 employees. Today, we build 17 ships, and the Bureau of Ships has 25,000 employees. If you complain, the retort will be that you are trying to put people out of work.

A good example of modern insistence on unreality concerns evolution. It used to be the “theory of evolution.” “The theory” has been dropped, and evolution is now presented as proven fact even though it has not only not been proven, but there are serious scientists who have mounted rational challenges against it. Why the persistence? Because if I am the cousin of a monkey, then like my cousin, I am an animal with no moral responsibility; I can live on instinct and whim.

The first humans to try to ignore reality were Adam and Eve. They thought that disobedience would lead to divinization of themselves. (Note that Satan always offers “pie in the sky” which, when obtained, is just mush.) They soon found out that God does not think much of those who ignore reality.

Another Bible person who was a realist was Noah. His grasp of the real was to obey God while everyone else snickered and sneered. We know how that turned out.

If we’re in decline, is there any hope? Probably not, barring divine intervention, which I would not count on. The world is a cesspool of sin; what would be God’s incentive to save us? Besides, history tells us that no declining society has ever saved itself.

Pessimistic? Of course!  But, the individual does not have to decline along with society if he has a sincere, consistent and productive relationship with God. That is the only hope for any person.

God is real. If you want to be a realist, realize that His is the only way, the truth and the life.

Some Truths About False Gods

In 08 Musings by Jack Reagan on 2011/08/20 at 7:00 AM

The Creator-God, because it is His nature to be good, wishes that every human being who has ever lived or will ever live should be able to fulfill his or her purpose of life and come to eternal happiness after death by being in the presence of God Himself. Not everyone has been exposed to Divine Revelation, but everyone does have a means of determining that there is a Supreme Being who has also implanted in the human soul a sense of moral right and wrong (conscience). This human reason can deduce the existence of a Supreme Being without any reference to anything religious. The most obvious and easiest way is to simply observe the wonders of nature and the universe, realizing that no one on earth could create it all. There must be another being outside the universe that brought it all into being.

The ancient peoples, without the aid of divine Revelation and millennia of human experience to build on, sensed that there was a Supreme Being, but usually ended up worshipping false gods, distortions of reality. Without science, some groups explained natural phenomena by inventing rain gods, moon gods, fire gods, fertility gods and others (polytheism). Still other groups concluded that things did not merely exist in a religious milieu, but were part of an all-absorbing deity, of which all things were a part (pantheism). Many did not see things as part of a godhead, but rather each individual thing that existed was divine in itself (animism). A few became so perverse that they invented gods that were evil in themselves such as those that demanded human sacrifice (Aztecs of Mexico) or the Middle Eastern god, Moloch, who demanded the sacrifice of children. (Remind you of anything going on today?)

We can assume that early man was attempting to find the true God, but he usually failed because every person is burdened with the effects of Original Sin whether he knows it or not. The only ancient people that did find the true God were the Jews of the Old Testament.

Contemporary man is different. He is not looking for a Supreme Being; he has already found one … himself, and his false god is himself and his ego. All truth resides in him. No truth exists outside of him. He decides what is good or bad, moral or immoral for himself. If you disagree with him, you just have to live with it. Feelings, not human reality, are his guide. Because he fails to deal with reality (or Truth), he has set up a core of sub-gods among which he is free to chose whichever one suits his fancy. Thus modern man adores such entities as the body, and his religious rituals are gyms, exercise, diets and health fads. His goal of life is fitness to avoid as long as possible the unspoken dread: death.

Another of his sub-gods is what used to be called illicit sexual activity (or even further back, sin).  But his god has deceived him and left him with disease, death, frustration, impersonal relationships and all the ill-effects of rejecting Divine Law.

Many have come to worship sports and entertainment (one of the causes of the decline of Rome, according to Arnold Toynbee, a British historian). My TV has dozens of channels dedicated to every sport known to man and a mere 4-5 religious channels. One city in NC has wasted millions of tax dollars in artificial white-water rafting, a racing museum, new stadiums while old ones still functioned. Children are urged to compete at an early age on teams of all types.  Baseball used to be referred to a “pastime.” No sport is anything but all-consuming today.

Political parties have become false gods to many. They have become an end in themselves, rather than a means to influence elected officials. “This is MY party: right or wrong.”

Presidential politics has become on-going in the media. As soon as one presidential election ends, the media start right in on the next one. There is no respite. Sometimes a party, to curry favor with the “correct” people, will support immoral and/or stupid ideas. This does not seem to have much impact on membership roles at all. “Christians” will vote for a candidate who openly professes his non-Christian moral values. “MY party: right or wrong.”

In education and science, the great false god is Darwinian evolution, as yet, far from proved, but nevertheless is  new religion. I read that any professor who balks at evolution will not be hired by most college biology departments. Evolution is an egregious error perpetuated by those who claim to seek truth in science. Apparently, the truth must coincide with preconceived ideas; if not, too bad for truth.

The list of modern false gods could go on and on…money, power, prestige, popularity, etc. It is important to note that there is NOTHING wrong in themselves with any of these things that become false gods to many. They become false gods when their adherents exaggerate their importance and will do too much to attain them. Money is not evil, but greed is. Sex is good, but only within the context of Divine Law. Those who deny objective truth lose their ability to think logically and systematically; therefore, luring them to false gods becomes relatively easy.

The problems with any false gods are:

  • The worshipper must first invent the false god. That makes the inventor the god’s creator.  He then worships what he himself made, thereby relinquishing his role as superior to his creation. (The true God is always supreme.)
  • False gods are fickle and undependable. Sometimes they please, and sometimes they annoy or outrightly fail to deliver on promises. (The true God is always consistent and never fails to give what we need.)
  • False gods promote of all kinds of immorality, especially physical and social. (The true God never endorses any sin for any reason.)
  • False gods are by their nature very, very temporary. Illness, age and frustration can end your “religious” life. Death will certainly end it. This is the problem with all habits of sin: Those habits rule you until some circumstance alters the situation. (The true God is eternal and is present before and after death and through all the ups and downs of life.)
  • False gods are anti-human because a person who refuses to think reasonably is not acting fully as human beings. To fail to act in a human way is to fail to attain the goal of human life which none of the false gods can offer. (The true God offers an eternal destiny fully in accord with human needs.)

In the long run, false gods never satisfy because they are incapable of it. Even in the short run, they often fail to give the worshipper what he is looking for. There is always a pennant “next year”, another dollar to be made, another man/woman to be seduced, another election to be fought and so on. The reason they don’t satisfy is relatively simple: As St. Augustine said, “Our hearts were made for Thee, O,Lord, and they will not rest until they rest in Thee.”

We were not designed to be satisfied for long by false gods. If we persist in idolizing them (and they are idols), even up to the moment of death, we will be unknown strangers in the eternal world of the after-life. Our former gods will simply be setting out to lure other fools.

Are we  so blinded and deafened by the siren lure of those false gods in this life that we don’t hear the quiet knocking on the door of our hearts by the One Who is the Way, the Truth and the Life? When we’re stopped by death and face the eternal gate of heaven, what will we say to St. Peter….if we even recognize him?