What Is It?

Do we think about what things are anymore? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

If you are a cat owner, you understand the curiosity of a cat. Many times when I open my closet door to get out clothes for the day, my cat will just happen to wander in and I wait as he explores a little bit before he comes out again. After all, it’s been a few days since he’s been in there and something might have changed. Cats are curious. They want to know.

Yesterday, I wrote about how people don’t talk about what marriage is. Today, I saw someone post on Facebook Seth Dillon of the Babylon Bee asking why some people hate jokes more than child porn? This about Balenciaga and their advertising activity lately whereas the Babylon Bee can get banned on Twitter for a joke. I also had someone respond to my blog on TheologyWeb about how words like marriage are pretty much meaningless in our society today.

There is a case to be made that marriage is our third most meaningless word in society today. The others are God and love. When normal people talk about these terms, they never define them. They just talk about them as if everyone knows them when really hardly anyone does. The terms become whatever the speaker thinks they are.

Our culture sadly abandoned metaphysics long ago. Because of that, we no longer think of what things are. Why should we? After all, Kant came along and said we can’t know the things in themselves, but only how they appear to us.

Now it could be said that science is the exception to this. Don’t we go out and discover reality? That’s the goal, but that’s also the goal of most every other field out there as well, just done differently. Every field has its own methods, but each is aimed at truth to some degree.

Yet nowadays, even that has been lowered. A lot of people look at how “Follow the science” worked in 2020. We also see science being used to control in the case of something such as climate change controversies. We see how science is selectively ignored when it comes to abortion as all of a sudden, it does get closer to metaphysics supposedly asking “Well what is a person really?”

If we are the ones who are ultimately at the center of reality, then words are what will matter the most to us. If we determine reality, it goes a step further. It is not just what the person said, but how we feel about what the person said. It doesn’t matter what the other person meant to say. It is how we see the words that matters and if I see your words as violence, then they are violence.

This is especially the case in the area of sexuality. We talk a lot about the topic, but we don’t think about it. We don’t ask what it is, how it came to be, and what we should use it for. This is the last thing our culture wants to do.

After all, if you define something and talk about a purpose of it, you have to talk about a right and a wrong way to use it, and that cannot be allowed. We might  say “Well, we don’t allow XYZ yet”, but it’s easy to respond that we are allowing activities today that we never would have dreamed of allowing years ago. Every step that has been taken by those on the left to push the envelope has led to it being pushed further and further. It’s easy to claim the slippery slope fallacy, but the truth is sometimes slopes are slippery and people do fall down them.

What is needed in our culture? A return to learning what things are and to watch the terms that we use. Defining terms is not just good for debate, but it is also good for society. We use so many words without thinking about what they mean. Kierkegaard once said something about how we care so much about the freedom of speech, but think so little about the freedom of thought that gives our speech meaning.

Until we learn what we’re talking about, maybe it would be best to just not say anything at all.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

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