I am often asked for my take on Critical Theory and related issues (such as “Social Justice” and “Identity Politics”). Last week I offered a brief summary of these ideas. This week I’ll offer my response.
This thirteenth shift in thinking since the Enlightenment is much like the air we breathe–so pervasive that we have a hard time even noticing it. To bring it into focus, last week I surveyed “the way things used to be” prior to the Enlightenment. This week I’ll begin comparing this with how things are after this fateful period of history, and how we are deeply influenced by the Enlightenment’s ideas about science, history, philosophy, ethics, and theology each and every day in our modern world.
In my last post I identified the common ground existing among all involved in the LGBTQ+ conversation—the desire to see all people live full, rich, and meaningful lives. However, this also surfaced the ultimate point of tension: two views of how to reach this shared goal of human flourishing. Only one of these views can be correct. And we must choose wisely, in order to help everyone experience life to the fullest and foster the common good.
We continue to search for a reason for the Las Vegas shootings. So far, no “traditional” reason has emerged. Last week I suggested that the reason may be no reason. I outlined a philosophy that is becoming increasingly popular in our culture: nihilism. Is this ringing any bells as we learn more and more about Stephen Paddock? Might it be that he had obtained all which he thought could bring him meaning “under the sun,” and found it was meaningless after all? Might he be someone who so thoroughly embraced the Enlightenment that he lived the nihilistic worldview consistently? And if so, what should we learn from this?
My brother-in-law, sister-in-law, nephew and his friend were on their way to the Life is Beautiful concert in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 1, 2017 when Stephen Paddock began shooting. Had they not been delayed while on their way by just a few minutes, they would have been in the line of fire. Though I am thankful they were running late, I continue to grieve over the 58 who were not so fortunate. In my grief, I ask the same question everyone else is asking: Why? The answer may be right in front of us, but it is not one we want to acknowledge.