Sunday, September 7, 2008

Too Many People Today are Passionately Wimpy

Okay I admit, I’ve been blogging a bit on the political side lately. Maybe it’s just because I was hyped about the Palin pick but was in Canada the big weekend and away from a computer and cable TV.

Sad I know.

But I think it’s more because the people I’ve been hanging around lately have been average Americans. Not that Americans are bad – it’s just that so many people lack spirit, zeal, and passion these days. Too many go through life, day in and day out, with absolutely no purpose. I bumped in to a Ph.D. the other day who said the purpose of philosophy was not (1) to learn more about the purpose of life, or (2) to become better people, or even (3) to create a more just society.

His purpose for philosophy: to entertain ourselves before we die.

It amuses me that people who cry out for social justice cower from a real challenge to be just. They live to satisfy their own pleasures and seek out their own delights – after which they turn around and call themselves wise and enlightened about the world.

They are passionately wimpy and dogmatically skeptical.

I have to agree with the Lutheran philosopher Soren Kierkegaard who said over 150 years ago about culture then:

“Let others complain that [this] age is wicked; my complaint is that it is paltry; for it lacks passion. Men’s thoughts are thin and flimsy like lace, they are themselves pitiable like the lacemakers. The thoughts of their hearts are too paltry to be sinful. For a worm it might be regarded as a sin to harbor such thoughts, but not for a being made in the image of God. Their lusts are dull and sluggish, their passions sleepy. They do their duty, these shopkeeping souls, but they clip the coin a trifle… they think that even if the Lord keeps ever so careful a set of books they may still cheat him a little. Out upon them! This is the reason my soul always turns back to the Old Testament and to Shakespeare. I feel that those who speak there are at least human beings: they hate, they love, they murder their enemies, and curse their descendants throughout all generations, they sin[!]”

I’d take Hitlers and Mother Theresas before some of the people I meet today. Great sinners and great saints are far preferable! Or as Jesus said to the Laodiceans (first century Americans I should think): “So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth” (Revelation 3:16).

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