Ideas are not to be merely entertained or conversed but judged based on their merit. Our postmodern society is working very diligently to discredit the reality that ideals have any moral implication or truth value. This is extremely evident here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4S0gHlKiho. Would these college students be willing to tell me that a rock isn’t an apple? Or if I claimed to be a monkey would they be willing or able to tell me I am not? At what point is relative thought intolerable?
If you went to purchase a car and the used car salesman tells you the old beat up, paint-pealing, piece of junk before your eyes is a new 2017 Ford Explorer which you can snag for the great price of $31,600, your jaw would drop in sheer amazement. Once you recovered from bewilderment you would either laugh in the guy’s face or sternly correct him that the car in front of you is actually a 1987, a grand thirty years older than he had told you. That would be unacceptable. Well the same type of absurd redefining is happening before you and it’s unacceptable. No, I’m not alluding to homosexual marriage, I’m directly speaking to the content of the video. It’s unacceptable that we cannot tell a man he isn’t a little girl. No one can deny patrons drinks if someone can identify as a different age. Thirteen-year-olds could rent cars, and forty-year-olds could get the elderly specials at Cotton Patch. I’m not arguing that this level of mental-illness or logical inconsistency is the norm but the ground for its denial is swiftly washing away.
The popularity of ethics: would verses ought
The brilliant Peter Kreeft gives some insight into this popular trend. It’s common for Christians to talk about the erosion of morality and the disappearance of ethics but they haven’t vanished at all, at least Kreeft is confident they haven’t. He argues that ethics have continued to be a popular subject, however the issue is that ethics are popular in discussion only. He states:
“We believe instead in discussion, in moral ping pong, in value clarification. . . “Facilitators” (no longer teachers, for there is no longer anything true to teach) encourage students to state and clarify their own personal values by asking questions. . . the only thing forbidden is for the facilitator to suggest that his beliefs are true, or even to suggest that there is objective truth in the realm of values, for that would mean that some of the students are wrong, and that would be “judgmental”, the only sin.”
The discussion of ethics continues to flourish while firm beliefs in right, wrong, ought, or ought not are being eradicated. There is only so much usefulness in asking people, “Given the ability, would you have killed Hitler when he was a child?” At some point there needs to be a conversation about whether you should or should not have killed Hitler when he was a child. While the point of teaching is to stir up the thoughts of impressionable minds, the ultimate goal of teachers is to logically persuade hearts and minds toward virtue. Impressionable minds need to hear the difference between right and wrong because “what would you do?” questions only get students so far. Our generation of “I would” and “I think” ethics is an echo chamber where emotions are reinforced as correct foundational beliefs. Echo chambers that reverberate hallow and malnourished opinions only deafen the ears of those who should hear the sweet sound of real substance.
G.K. Chesterton said, “an open mind is like an open mouth: useful only to close down on something solid.” When I was a child my parents could have held seminars where they asked me what my diet should consist of. They could have allowed me to participate in lengthy discourses about how many hours of television would be acceptable for my eight-year-old self. Like the child that I was I probably would have asked for thirty hours a week. But there is a reason my parents told me what I ought to do and ought not to do. The existence and importance of truth (and rightness) must be more than discussed, they must build a foundation that is utilized as a launching pad for action.
“I feel” must turn back to “I should.” We can sit around college class rooms and give ethical propositions where students respond with “I would do this or that”, or “I would feel comfortable doing so and so.” But we shouldn’t do that, we should have teachers that have reasons for saying, “Students you ought to do so because it is right to do so.” We need teachers who want to hear what students think and desire to shift their thinking to what is correct, instead of encouraging error. Of course this is assuming students have the mental strength to hear they are wrong for the sake of good intellectual discourse and can appreciate that disagreement is a good, challenging thing.
G.K. Chesterton (sorry, I’m on a Kreeft and Chesterton kick) also said the primary danger of human intelligence is that it has the capability to destroy itself, meaning a generation can decide that the reasoning skills of humans are no longer a reliable source. If neither God or man can be trusted, suddenly everything falls into obscurity. “There is a thought that stops all thought. That is the only thought that ought to be stopped. That is the ultimate evil against which all religious authority was aimed.” If our own reasoning cannot be trusted and if there is no God, everything is permissible and nothing matters (thanks Nietzsche). Aside from wanting to remain in our sin, that’s precisely why we don’t teach ought and why we love to discuss should.
The danger: we know not our own weakness or strength
In addition to the potential daily absurdities, there are very real dangers before us: “Exactly when our toys have grown up with us from bows and arrows to thermonuclear bombs, we have become moral infants. If a child’s moral growth does not keep pace with his physical growth, there may soon be no child.” Kreeft says we’ve advanced in our scientific and technological capabilities, yet, we’ve remained young and ignorant in our morality. We have not mentally or morally matured with our bodies. A three-year-old is quite the danger in superman’s body and a child with nuclear launch codes is a scary sight. When we have the capability to wage war, stifle free thought, or supposedly reassign gender, we must bare these abilities with a greater responsibility. We don’t understand that we are playing around with power and using it in way we shouldn’t. Five-year-old girls are being encouraged to transition. There is a very small group of people who think they are animals. There is a young woman who has chosen to live as a baby, and a 40-year-old man who thinks he is a little girl (an example from a previous blog). These are real life examples, and honestly, I don’t know if the modern mind has any grounds to resist or denounce these matters. Reality has been intentionally shattered. There is no end to the fall when there is no ground.
It is not my aim to make an airtight argument for the existence of God or use the moral argument to convince you of Him. My aim is to get you to look, to think upon what is happening now, right now in your world. I want you to consider the ideas and the absurdities that are being taught to your children. If I can get you to see that there is something such as crazy, you just may see that there is something such as sanity, and that is my hope.
In the shattered and discarded pieces of ethical imperatives, duties, implications and moral obligations, we can recognize the need for virtue and truth. If you only look, the desperate need for rightness becomes painfully visible in man’s common misalignment with reality. Meaning, when a girl thinks she is a cat, there is something obviously wrong. If there is an acknowledgement of moral infancy, the clear need is for leadership. There is trustworthy guidance and moral imperative because there is immaturity (for immaturity is meaningless if there is no maturity). Likewise, the existence and appearance of craziness points to the existence of rationality. If we search, we will find truth, and as Chesterton said, we will find something solid and worthy of closing down on, for after all that is the purpose of a mind. Though we have been given faculties that can indeed reason and reason well, we should reason from the perfect constant: God. Morality derived from human emotion has proven itself quite useless. That clear and obvious uselessness oddly provides me with confidence. The wrongness gives me hope that there is a rightness; I don’t want to just think about what I would do, I want to know what I ought to do. The virtuous discourse belongs to those who breathe, think and walk. Ethical conversations do not belong in graveyards, they are to be breathed out amongst the living.
 Kreeft, Peter. Back to Virtue, 28.
 Ibid. 26.
 G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy. 29.
 Ibid. 20.