Saturday, January 16, 2016

Presidential Nominee Debates and American Values

The candidates from both Democrat and Republican debates often referred to "American values," mostly in the negative, as in, "Those are not our American values."

The idea of values is a slippery one, originating from old, worn out sociological ideas from Germans like Friedrich Nietzsche, Max Weber, and Sigmund Freud. The terms passed into everyday use in the universities, then into common parlance. Terms such as "value" or "value judgment" left the narrow use within the academic world and became general, nebulous ideas, difficult to pin down. Within my lifetime, the concept of values replaced long-held ideas of good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice.

Modern progressives thrive on undefined terms such as values, preferring to use value relativism in order to create the illusion of a better world. Of course, whenever a new idea springs up among the progressives, it too becomes a value. Because the term is so broad and undefined, trying to pin down progressive values is like trying to shoot a target that keeps moving up and back, and side to side.

Unfortunately, our schools now teach values, instead of moral and ethical standards. Schools reject teaching history and philosophy, as those disciplines help people learn how to think for themselves and show that there is value in struggling to choose good over evil. Modern education rejects any discussions of good and evil, right and wrong, preferring instead to measure student success against the moving target of relative values.

Schools refuse to teach students how to think for themselves, once the backbone of higher education. This is because thinking beyond the mutable progressive system of values is dangerous. Such education has become a Catch 22: We must not question our American values because that is not our American value!

The cure is to come to a real understanding of the intellectual history that created the self-inflated system of values. Knowledge of this history is required in order to understand ourselves and to provide ourselves with real alternatives.

Whenever a progressive argues, red-faced and spewing the most vile invective against anyone who disagrees, remember that progressives have been indoctrinated to avoid thinking at all costs in order to support their values.

It's a shame that they will never be able to understand any alternatives to the doctrines they've been fed. They've lost the ability to choose good over evil, preferring instead to mire themselves in a world of vapor and illusion.