Tuesday, January 1, 2008

choices

there is a sense of entitlement in our culture. no kidding. you may not have noticed, and if you haven't, don't read any further.

the entitlement we feel we have is that we should have choices. i've written on choice before, but i was just struck again at the mess we've made in society by demanding and offering too many choices. i do understand that the things that i want to choose and the things you want to choose are going to be different, but at some point there is general agreement and beyond that it just creates chaos.

so where did choice begin? it began several thousand years ago with eve, the serpent, and the garden of eden. how long were adam and eve in the garden before this event occurred? once God told them NOT to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, reverse psychology as a human characteristic was uncovered. i suspect it was there, but it showed its face at that point.
i really hadn't given it too much thought, but sometimes i'd wonder "what's wrong with knowing good and evil?" well, good was the "default" mode of humans until this point. there was no evil as far as adam and eve were concerned. they were truly innocent and in a good way, ignorant. evil didn't exist, so they never "chose" evil. it wasn't on the list of things to choose. so once eve ate the apple, so to speak, we were doomed to continue to add choices and choices to life until we've arrived at today.
i think i've written on my favorite bumper stickers before, but one is "question authority" and the other is "subvert the dominant paradigm". both are dependent on authority, someone or some entity to rebel against. of course, God is the ultimate authority we question, and HIs is the paradigm we so try to subvert. but we've tossed God out, sometime in the 60's or 70's, and now all we have are our own authority and paradigms on which to exercise our opposition.
at least when God was the ultimate authority, there was pretty much no question as to where He stood on most subjects. sure, we could muddy the waters on some issues, but the 10 commandments are pretty much written in stone. therefore, to try to subvert God's paradigm or question His authority one was limited to His Word as the "other" opinion.
today we have many authorities to question and many paradigms to subvert. some should be questioned and subverted, true, but to state the idea that one must always find problems with any authority or paradigm has led to the lack of any true authority in the world. there is no expert who cannot be found wrong on some point, no good idea that doesn't have a down side. there is no diet, no health food, no new drug, no government, no doctor, no procedure, against which there can be no question. and once questioned, subversion often follows.
my point? like growth charts for children, our current society, politically, morally, philosophically, is built on shifting sand. one is compared against another, like "curving" a test in school. if everyone did poorly, but you didn't do as poorly as the next guy, your grade is still good, regardless of the fact that you don't know the material well enough to pass. as long as we compare ourselves to ourselves, we will always find someone worse off than we are, and that makes what we do, the choice we make, ok, since they made a worse choice than us (based on our definition of good and bad). so...we need a point that doesn't shift. but we've decided (made a choice) to leave Him out, to pay no attention, to ignore the Creator of the universe. so we drift with our own ideas and choices, our own fallible authorities and paradigms to question and subvert. what was once considered vulgar is now commonplace, what was decidedly good is now illegal by the twisting of our constitution.
we have too many choices because we have chosen to have so many. before the garden, humans couldn't choose anything but good but there was no evil on the list of choices, but because we (i don't think we would do any better than eve) want choices, we have them. now we have to choose to do good. maybe when the dominant paradigm is evil, and the authorities all bad, our subversion and questioning will be justified.

1 comment:

IDnJC said...

You should call this "Kelly's rant." I love it! My only concern is that I am giving my children choices at a young age, but they are choices within boundaries that I can live with. However, they will be able to make choices someday - so I am using the choices today to teach them HOW to make right choices later.
I wrote on Jesus is Lord whether we choose to acknowledge it or not on my sheri blog..it should link there.