San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Thursday, May 4, 2017

The "Feel" Generation

I was reading an article the other day in which the author was pointing out that nobody thinks anymore.  He placed the blame for this condition upon the government schools.  He believes that government schools have long ago stopped attempting to teach kids to think, believing instead that it is far more important to teach them to have the proper feelings.  Proper feelings, as defined by government schools, are those directly related to the role of government and business in our society.  The author believes, and I concur, that government schools seek to inculcate feelings of affection for civil government and all that it does while, at the same time, building powerful feelings of anger and hatred toward profit seeking businesses.  I know from experience that it only takes a brief conversation with many of the high school graduates receiving diplomas this spring to discover that most of them have learned their lessons well.  They perceive government employees and career politicians as saviors of the universe and profit seeking businessmen as evil destroyers.  Thankfully some of them will eventually grow up and abandon their erroneous beliefs but most of them will persist in their delusions and become good citizens of the Socialist Democracy of Amerika.
I just finished reading my Denver Post and was intrigued by a letter to the editor that perfectly illustrates the point made by the author I was reading yesterday.  This observation is not earth shaking.  Indeed, I have been making this observation for decades.  But this one article poignantly illustrates the point that nobody thinks anymore so I have to quote it for you here.  Carol Cook, of Lakewood, writes asking a series of questions of Trump supporters.  Here are some of her questions, "How do they feel about Trump's outright lies?  How do they feel about his accusations of wiretapping by Barack Obama with absolutely no evidence provided?  How do they feel about Trump's multiple conflicts of interest with his many business dealings, not to mention his family's conflicts?  How do they feel about the multiple connections to Vladimir Putin and Russian throughout Trump's campaign and administration?"  The bold print for emphasis is mine.  Carol clearly feels bad about King Donnie.  King Donnie must therefore be evil and supporters of the King must be idiots.
Language means something.  Language changes throughout time for a reason.  The fact that the word 'feel' has replaced the word 'think' in our vocabulary is not an accident.  Carol's malady is not unique to her.  No doubt most readers of this blog have also noticed that nobody says "think" anymore, that word having been replaced by "feel."  What can we conclude from this fact?  I believe the most obvious conclusion is that people no longer use the process of rational thinking to arrive at the conclusions about life they believe are factual.  Instead they have replaced the rational process with an analysis of their own inner feelings about something as their source of truth.  Something is true if it makes me feel good.  Something is false if it makes me feel bad.  In the meantime, don't talk to me about facts since I have already made up my mind by following my sovereign feelings.
Replacing ratiocination with emotional self-analysis has crippled communication to the point where nothing ever really gets said anymore.  When a rational person talks with an emotion based person there is no ability to communicate whatsoever.  It is as if they are speaking two different languages.  Even when an emotion based person speaks to another emotion based person there is no possibility for real communication because each person is using his own unique emotional experience in response to life's stimuli to determine what is true.  In the absence of rational, factual and logical truth statements there is no possibility of real communication.  When men are awash in subjectivity it is impossible to even conceive of objective truth, much less believe it.
Many people these days seem to be wondering why the public dialogue has become so hateful.  They can't understand why people just can't get along.  They remember the good old days when Democrats and Republicans would fight on the floor of Congress and then dine together later that evening.  Today it seems as if you are either support someone or some thing or you are worse than Hitler.  I don't know if things are really worse today than they were in the past but I do know that using each individual's emotional perspective as the primary avenue for assertions about truth is at least partially to blame for the lack of civil communication among us.
Feel talk is the perfect language for socialism.  Socialism crumbles under logical scrutiny.  I can ask a socialist why it is moral to do something as a member of a group that would be immoral to do as an individual and he has no answer to that question.  I can ask a socialist why it is morally right to make one person pay the bills of another and he has no answer for me.  I can ask a socialist how it can be moral to have a political and economic system built upon the sinful emotion of envy and he has nothing to say.  But if I ask a socialist why he believes in socialism he will fill their air with colorful and emotional stories about how socialism is compassionate, loving, kind and cares for people.  He will tell me tale after tale of people he knows who have been helped along the way by the beneficent administration of socialistic programs designed by career politicians and bureaucrats.  He may also sprinkle in a few stories about how evil profit seeking businessmen try to thwart the benevolent activities of his many saviors but are unable to overcome their loving compassion for humankind expressed through the socialist system.
I make a point to say I feel something only when I am talking about my feelings.  I also make a point to say I think something only when I am talking about things I believe to be true.  My practice of distinguishing between thoughts and feelings makes me a very odd character in most places.  I have made few friends, and quite a few enemies, when I inform the person I am speaking with that I am not interested in his feelings but would much rather know what he thinks.  One man once accused me of being hateful and evil because I insist upon talking about facts and arguments in the context of logic whenever discussing issues about the real world.  When I refused to repent he cut me off and we have never spoken again.  I don't mind though.  We never really spoke in the first place.

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