by Kenneth Justice
~ Here in the United States we suffer from a disease called Ongoing Political Election Syndrome. It can literally be 20 minutes following the election of a new President, and our press will already start asking the question “which candidates will run next time around?”
Set in the fabric of our political culture gone mad, is the constant rhetoric spewed to us by all the different political parties, with each politician promising us that if elected, they will make our lives better. Of course, we know that there is nothing new under the sun and that a best case scenario when it comes to electing politicians is the faint glimmer of hope that they simply won’t make things worse.
Many people believe there is no hope and that our lives can’t get any better. Many people believe we are doomed to the situation we are born into and the various external factors of our immediate surroundings. My blogger friend Chandler Klebbs is a self-described “Anti-Choice Determinist” which is a fancy way of saying that he believes you have NO free will. That everything you believe is based on the way you were raised, the experiences you have had, and that you don’t have the ability to freely choose or make up your own mind about life.
A lot of psychological research would appear to support Chandler’s worldview as various studies have demonstrated that when certain antecedents are identified, researchers can predict with a lot of accuracy what behavior will occur. Take for instance Pavlov’s dogs; with the simple “DING” of a bell, Pavlov could predict his dogs would salivate for food as they had been pre-wired to do so.
In the face of politicians who offer us empty promises and empty hope and lost in the psychology of pre-conditioned behavioral responses, can we really believe that our lives will ever get better? Can we really have hope that things will turn around?
For many people, life really sucks,
—) Millions of single mothers are overworked and overstressed, struggling to provide for their children and pay the bills, coping with absent fathers and a work culture that seems to favor men over women
—) Millions of young adults have massive student loans and can barely find a low wage job
—) Million of elderly people find themselves on fixed incomes, struggling with loneliness and a lack of social connectivity
The problems in Western Society are endless. In an era when we’ve discovered how to produce enough food in the United States to feed the entire world, we somehow end up wasting massive amounts of it that end up in the garbage, and don’t even seem to try to export the food to starving children on the other side of the world.
We live in an era where contraceptives cost less than $9 per month, that’s less than two Carmel Macchiato Latte’s at Starbucks, yet the United States alone is still home to approximately 1.2 million abortion per year. No Virginia, the vast majority of those 1.2 million babies were NOT the result of a young woman being raped. They were the result of women AND men, who were irresponsible in their sexual behavior.
When we start to pull back the veil of Western Culture we begin to see a plethora of problems, there are so many of them a simple article like mine can’t even begin to address them all. And with each new problem we face, the question continues to stare us straight in the face; is there any hope? Can our lives get any better?
I believe the answer is yes. I don’t buy into the hysteria that our lives are predetermined and that we are powerless to choose otherwise. My faith in God embodies the philosophical perspective that there is something (or someone) out there, rather than no one.
I believe that in the face of your upbringing, your personal biases, your personal frustrations, and your personal experiences, that you still have the ability to seek the truth. Whether it is the truth in art, beauty, your vocation, science, religion, or philosophy, the truth is out there.
It is when we stop seeking the truth that hopelessness overwhelms us. It is when we stop asking questions and no longer talking with each other in positive dialogue that we become enveloped in blinded hopelessness.
The truth is out there, and I’m going to bloody die searching for it, because the truth is all that matters.
Just a few thoughts as I sipped my coffee,
Categories: Culture & Society