When I was growing up, I got by believing simple truths like one plus one equals two and if you jump off a tall building without a parachute or a giant air bag you'll die. As I listen to the litany of absurdities being propounded by so-called "experts" and believed by their devotees today, I feel the need to take cognitive leaps that would make Eval Knieval faint. Unfortunately, in today's politically correct culture, accepting the premise is a prerequisite for entering the discussion.
Someone will insist that Elvis is alive, that Sasquatch is real, that the Loch Ness Monster has been sighted again, that evil is good or that good is evil. Is it me, or is the society around me off its rocker? Most of the time I shrug it off and move on, but lately I find myself straining to understand, not the absurdities, but why so many people are so utterly stupid in their devotion to them.
I may have discovered one possible explanation this loopiness when I googled "examples of logical absurdities" and stumbled upon the Uncyclopedia. According to the website,
"Uncyclopedia is driven by a global community of more than 100,000 volunteers - 98% of whom are dedicated to vandalizing and destroying things for the remaining 2%. Over almost four years, these volunteers have vandalized, slandered and vanitized more than 11 million articles in 265 languages. More than 275 million [emphasis added] people come to our website every month to make our lives difficult, free of charge and free of advertising."
Sounds like the mission statement of today's mainstream media. But I digress. Two Uncyclopedia examples should suffice:
"Cows are unable to swim for anything but very short periods of time. This is due to the fact that they don't have complete control over their sphincter, so they 'leak.' When left in the water for even as short as 15 minutes, cows will fill up with water and sink."
"Because of an increase in carbon, a gas naturally present in great quantities in the atmosphere, the Earth mother will try to evict us by raising water levels 80 feet within the next two months and putting out the sun ... and creating a black hole that will engulf us ... and destroying all Wal-Marts."
Don't laugh; people actually believe this stuff.
After a few minutes surfing the Uncyclopedia, a light went on; someone must have misspelled Uncyclopedia as Encyclopedia and distributed millions of print copies to every educational and media establishment in the country.
A cursory review of current mental health statistics in the United States indicates an alarming epidemic. According to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, anxiety disorder, a common form of mental illness, affects 40 million adults in the US age 18 and older. If mental illness were a contagious disease, we would be facing an apocalyptic pestilence. The numbers continue to skyrocket.
If you think “people have gone crazy,” be encouraged; at least you aren’t oblivious. A society’s systemic mental state will deteriorate as its citizens become hostile toward truth and moral absolutes. As a society grows more hostile toward truth, it will become more hostile toward people and institutions traditionally associated with absolute values and standards of truth.
When a nation abandons love for the truth, it will spiral into cultural insanity and eventual cultural demise. Insanity indicates late-stage deception. Cultural death always follows metastatic deception. How is it that the people of Germany, a nation possessing enough scientific and technological intelligence to field some of the most sophisticated military technology in history, could be deluded into following Adolph Hitler, like the Pied Piper of Hamelin, into national ruin? Deception eventually left Germany in a heap of rubble. The moral of the Third Reich is that superior intelligence and vast amounts of knowledge will not save you from stupidity born of deception.
History is replete with similar examples of megalomaniacs who rose to power on a throne of lies, out of a citizenry left defenseless by ambivalence toward the truth. During many years in professional and volunteer Church work, I have had countless opportunities to spend time with people who would be considered mentally unstable. Not one of them possessed a healthy grasp of reality or the truth.
Only nations whose citizens fight for absolute moral standards and possess a love for truth will survive the tsunami of moral equivocation and situational ethics that is already undermining the nations.
Cultivate love for the truth! If you are unsure what is true, join the quest. Do not relax your grip. Do not yield. The way that leads to individual and societal stability and longevity is narrow; few find it.