Wrong questions always lead to wrong answers. Humans differ from other species of animals because we have the ability to reason and also to choose between options of what seems reasonable to us. I have given up watching television news of any kind because of the hatred and factions that are so evident and an insult to my reasoning.
People ask the wrong question because they assume various beliefs are true, while other people can look at the same thing and have a quite different opinion. Those who hold to the relativist theory say that all opinions are correct (which means that no one is correct), while those who hold that there is only one truth say that we have reason for a reason that we have the ability to choose whatever we want. To take it a step further, it is not that anything we choose is correct because we choose it but that, because we have reason, we choose because it is correct. Ultimately, there are always consequences to whatever we choose, be it an atheist who is more fervent in his or her opinion that there is no God than some people are who actually do believe in God.
Here are five of the most controversial statements that I have encountered.
I AM FREE TO CHOOSE WHATEVER I WANT WITH MY LIFE. Well, that is a YES and a NO. The YES is that you are free to choose what you want, and the NO is that the wages of sin are death. There are consequences to every choice I make. We are, in large part, defined by the choices we make. Being free to choose doesn’t mean that what I choose is automatically correct. Choose God and live. Choose hatred and die.
FREEDOM OF SPEECH MEANS I CAN SAY ANYTHING I WANT. If you believe that, you must not know of the thousands of people who have been slandered and lied about when they say what they think. One word can sink a career or a joking remark taken out of context can shipwreck whole families. We have a double standard here.
EVERYONE HAS A RIGHT TO THEIR OPINION. No, they don’t! When opinions face the wall of hatred and lawlessness, humans face some choices about what their values are. The Preamble and Constitution of the United States are such principles. When some people use some principles to their own advantage but refuse to allow others the same freedom, principles go out the window. We are becoming a nation where violence and hatred have replaced the foundations of mercy and justice for all.
JUSTICE IS WHAT I SAY IT IS. That depends on who is talking and what they are saying. It is ironic to the nth degree that some elected officials want to arrest people for not wearing a mask or maintaining social distancing and we see new clips of thousands of people marching together in the peaceful but sometimes violent destruction of property. The product of hatred and rage is almost always either fatal to individuals or results in the destruction of the property of others. Justice without mercy is a limp noodle because it depends on the emotion of the moment rather than self-evident principles that all are created equal.
WE DON’T NEED GOD TO HELP US. Again, a false assumption or question. The Constitution of the United States is not the whim of the moment which waxes and wanes with each ideology. Rather, it sets forth the principles against which all of us are measured. It states that all men and women are created equal and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights and that among those rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. What riots and anarchy achieve is a replacement of principles with their own ideology. It will never result in peace nor happiness. The principles are not there. God doesn’t help us by intervening in our history as much as giving us those principles that lead to freedom and equality. Love one another, says Christ, as I have loved you.
As always, humans must trudge through the Tower of Babel to reach some accommodation that does not kill each other. Some things never change. I guess that is why we call it Original Sin and why we must rely on a power outside of ourselves to find the energy to ask the right questions and choose wisely.