Are we in an age of enlightenment? Are you enlightened? Are we modern, progressive or otherwise advanced over out past?
Is a policeman’s execution upsetting to your daily life? A Houston officer was shot and killed because he was in uniform. Hatred by some killed him, could you be next? Where do you or your family members gas up?
What do you think?
I suppose it makes sense that we’re more modern than centuries past. What with apps, science, technology and advanced university reasoning abilities one might expect by now hatred as a social ill would have been fixed.
How is it that we can’t even feel safe then?
Today’s news is unsettling, police executions in NY and yesterday in Houston.
“Hickman linked the shooting to anti-police rhetoric following protests against deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of white officers. Goforth was white, the suspect is black.”
Reuters, Sun August 30th, 2015, Houston police officer killed because of uniform: county sheriff
Isn’t the greatest social evil, evil itself?
Evil is a human condition, it exists and everyone knows it. But, no one talks about it. How can we fight evil if we won’t discuss it. Is that what you’d call enlightened?
How’s this happen? It happens in many ways, but here’s an example, a 2014 book about society and teachers discusses as much philosophy as teaching. It reduces religion by not even discusing it. And, likewise the word evil is not even present in the book at all. It is precisely, this kind of writing and teaching that has left us in our present predicament.
How is it that a youth of any age would understand right from wrong if it’s not taught. If they are educated by those who would not discuss evil when informing the “Re-schooling of society, how is it we would expect any youth to understand they shouldn’t shoot police?
George Soros’ actions are evil.
The shootings are paid for and instigated by the real evil doer. George Soros, a liberal, well funded individual is funding unrest and police shootings. They can say otherwise, but there’s plenty of proof. He’s done evil and is promoting it. Follow the money?
There’s a solitary man at the financial center of the Ferguson protest movement. … it’s liberal billionaire George Soros, who has built a business empire that dominates across the ocean in Europe while forging a political machine powered by nonprofit foundations that impacts American politics and policy, not unlike what he did with MoveOn.org.
“Our DNA includes a belief that having people participate in government is indispensable to living in a more just, inclusive, democratic society,” said Kenneth Zimmerman, director of Mr. Soros‘ Open Society Foundations’ U.S. programs, in an interview with The Washington Times. “Helping groups combine policy, research [and] data collection with community organizing feels very much the way our society becomes more accountable.”
The Washington Times – Wednesday, January 14, 2015, Kelly Riddell
Politics of money is more effective than the political right or left ever will be.
Quit arguing about which party you belong to. It’s irrelevant.
Where did this evil come from? I’d point to the age of enlightenment. Here’s a quote from a thought leader in 1784 (well quoted even to this day) on the subject of enlightenment.
The motto of enlightenment is to “have courage to use your own understanding!”
“Thus a public can only attain enlightenment slowly. Perhaps a revolution can overthrow autocratic despotism and profiteering or power-grabbing oppression, but it can never truly reform a manner of thinking; instead, new prejudices, just like the old ones they replace, will serve as a leash for the great unthinking mass.”
I. Kant, Konigsberg in Prussia, 30 September 1784
My shortened version is the push away from the church. The Catholic church always points to the human condition, including human evils. In this age of enlightenment the church is replaced by a self centered view of the world. “Have courage to use your own understanding.” This trend continues today, Kant the author quoted and many today would say this has been occurring since 1000 ad.
It is indeed a miracle the church is still here to guide us, to point to human error. I see it neatly and tidy, evil is combatted by human virtue. To exert your own will to be virtuous is to call upon something greater than yourself to avoid evil. Our human condition is to know each of us can be evil and that it takes courage to combat our own evils.
Writers today, media, schools, politicians and generally our leaders avoid calling evil what it is, human nature. As long as we won’t admit to evils existence we won’t begin to fix the police shootings. And, likewise, we’ll continue to be consumed by our own enlightened ignorance.
Nearly 1800 years ago this quote came to us from a commentary on Matthew 11.14-15 homily by Origen of Alexandria. Yes, the church has taught evil to be real.
“These things are what ‘defiles the person’ when they come out from the heart and, after they have gone out from it, go through the mouth. Thus if they did not occur outside of the heart but were held by the person somewhere around the heart, not being allowed to be spoken through the mouth, they would very quickly disappear and the person would not be defiled any longer. Therefore the source and beginning of every sin is ‘evil reasonings.’ For if these reasonings did not prevail, there would be neither murders nor acts of adultery nor any other of such things. Because of this each one ought to keep one’s own heart with all watchfulness. (excerpt from COMMENTARY ON MATTHEW 11.14–15)
Love the sinner, hate the sin. Today’s readings tee’d this up for a thoughtful conversation.
“From within people, from their hearts,
come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder,
adultery, greed, malice, deceit,
licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly.
All these evils come from within and they defile.”
I’m open to any discussion about any of the virtues; Faith, Hope, Love, Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, Temperance.