Thursday, March 15, 2018

Are We Really Being Tolerant and Do We Listen?

   Those who claim tolerance often behave very intolerant, but they do not seem to be aware of the contradiction.  When we encounter those we disagree with, our goal should be to educate them.  If we try to silence them, or punish them, or insult them, then we are not being tolerant or compassionate.

“Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.”
― Rick Warren 

 (!) Do not fall for those lies!

Don't Prejudge me and I won't Prejudge you
   If I hold some view you disagree with and you want to judge me, draw your conclusions, and end our conversation; that is up to you.  It is your loss that you will never get to know the real me.  Peoples views are complex and we can only know what someone believes by asking them about their beliefs..... all of them.  If we assume that since they believe A they also believe B; we are judging them prematurely. If we assume someone holds certain views just because of who they associated with or once quoted on Facebook, then again, we are judging them prematurely. I can like one quote that someone said without endorsing every action they have ever done!  I can call myself a follower of Christ without agreeing with every action every taken by Christians throughout all of history.  If you want to know my views on a topic, ask me. Then we willing to listen for a while. My views won't make a good headline.  Any well developed belief on a topic will require a significant amount of time to convey.  If you ask my view on a topic, but start writing your rebuttal in your head after my fifth word, then you really didn't want to know my view.  You just wanted to tell me I was wrong.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Saving a Sick America

I just listened to this podcast. It was good.

Saving A Sick America With Dr. Michael Brown

The podcast was about this book:

Saving a Sick America: A Prescription for Moral and Cultural Transformation
By: Michael L. Brown

Could America's best days be ahead of us? Could we turn our country back to God?

Near the end of the podcast the author mentioned how predictions can be wrong. He mentions these magazine covers:

Time Magazine
April 1966

Time Magazine
June 1971

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Can We Have Too Much Democracy?

   Our culture is obsessed with majority rule and democracy as the best, most just way of making decision for a nation. Well at least we seem to be until the majority votes against what we wanted. Then we seem to insult the majority or say that somehow the results are invalid. When things do not go as expected, our culture's dislike of rule by the majority is fleeting. Soon they will have forgotten about the time "rule of the majority" did not go well and they will be back in love with determining what the majority wants so we can pick a direction.  This would be great if the best direction is always what the majority decides. However truth, reality, and the best outcomes are often not what the majority votes for. There are many times where we ought not to do what the majority wants.

Tyranny of Majority
   Our founders wanted a government for our country that was authorized by "the people", but they knew this came with risks. They feared tyranny of the majority in similar way that they feared the tyranny of government structure they were replacing. Our founding fathers decided to give us "A constitutionally limited representative democratic republic". This is a hybrid form of traditional government structures with specific parts to help avoid the majority of the people abusing their power against the minority. The most obvious part to this being that each state gets two senators, regardless of population size. This helps a small state to have equal power in the senate as a large state.
    Another thing to mention is that I have heard some people posit the idea that our founders would have created a pure democracy if our current technologies had existed to allow all citizens to vote instantly on an issue.  I can't say that I know their thoughts, but based on what we do know and how they structured our government, I have many doubts that this would be true.  Our founding fathers were not perfect, but they were not fools either.  They knew that what the majority wanted, would not always be what was best for the country. Also, I've seen the majority to be fickle at times, which does not fit well with law making.  Laws need to be well thought out and given time to be implemented and evaluated.

Polls and Data
   News and current events frequently mention statistics and polls. You ever wonder why? This is because most of our culture believes that what the majority of people want is what we ought to do.  If we take enough polls and gather enough data we can figure out what most of Americans want. Then we can ignore the minority and proceed with pursuing what Americans really want. The polls and statistics rarely deal with determining what we should or ought to do, but rather what most of Americans think or want to do.

How Shall We Decide Then?
   So if pure democracy is not the best way to run a country, and our current form of government while good in theory has become paralyzed, what is the answer? The short answer is that there is no easy quick solution.
   Corruption and moral failure like we have now did not grow over night and cannot be fixed with any new form of government. All forms of government fail to function if the people running it our corrupt and immoral. We first must change ourselves at the individual level and then let that transfer to our government as one generation replaces another. We can only change ourselves in the right direction if we align ourselves with The standard of rightness, God. Having a proper view of reality and a proper view what ought to be done and then spreading that to others is the only solution to our lost, confused, and apathetic generation.  Once we have a proper view of God, we can develop a proper view of reality. Once we have a proper view of reality, we can start heading in the right direction that we ought to be heading in.