Just Briefly: Contemporary Thinking

Posted: 04/06/2011 in General

It strikes me as the height of self-serving hypocrisy and totally intellectually bankrupt the way people treat sentiments and views based on their vintage.

On the one hand, we have people, largely motivated by their own personal and trendy social politics, vibrating with sanctimonious outrage at the fact that someone should have the infernal temerity to quote an idea that was mainstream thought thirty, forty, or fifty years ago. Such obviously indefensible viewpoints are derided and demonized as out of touch, old fashioned, and no longer having a place in modern society. This is on the implied basis that we now have better ideas based upon having several additional decades to develop and percolate. The latest thinking *must* be better, surely?

And yet. On the other hand, we routinely see thinking and ideas that pre-date our grandfather’s obviously outmoded mindset by millennia being preserved and trotted out, and yes, positively revered, on a daily basis. We quote the ancient Greeks and Romans, the Chinese and the Tibetans, and many other historical figures, chapter and verse, we by default assume that Ancient Knowledge is somehow of a much finer ilk than the mucky, plastic thinking you get These Days(tm), and we model our very society on a single, very old, book, that is by its very nature apocryphal: The Bible.

Both of the above attitudes can’t be right. Whomever mixes both of them in their personal philosophy marks themselves as in severe need of a blow to the head.

But they can both be *wrong*.

Assessing thinking based upon vintage is the worst kind of stupidity if done in earnest, and a deplorable mendacity if done for any other reason. Ideas have merit, potential, malice, and menace. They do not have a use-by date. There is no such thing as old-fashioned thinking. And anyone who tries to tell you that is trying to manipulate for their own subjective ends.

Think, assess, accept or reject. But do so adhering strictly to the tenets of objectivity and reason. Any other approach……well……that went out with the ark, surely……?

  1. rfc1394 says:

    People are nuts. Denial is not just a river in Africa and most people are absolutely dripping with hypocrisy. They talk about how they want politicians to be honest, but will reject the ones that are, then vote in the ones who make the most promises they can’t possibly fulfill. (You can’t give people more government benefits, cut taxes, and not end up with deficit spending; the money has to come from somewhere.) People want a balanced budget but they want neither spending cuts nor tax increases.

    Paul Robinson

  2. Lucinda says:

    Wisdom has no expiration date. (I am going to remember this one, I hope)

    This is a favorite area of mine…so I will restrain the temptation and behave myself.

    Ancient philosophers have much to offer this era of mankind. Their wisdoms have not gone out of style, but seldom do people want to take the time, the effort, or mindset to improve their character regardless of their political or religious convictions, or the lack thereof.

    There are as many excuses for ill-behavior today as there are people demanding their rights above everyone else.

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