2 February 2016

It came from Facebook: 'Debates'.

For months now I have been getting one video or link after another in my feed which claims that this so and so utterly 'destroyed' that so and so in some sort of exchange.  Every one of them has been a lie. No one was destroyed. No one has won.  Indeed, no exchange or debate has even happened.

CS Lewis noted back in the forties that, three hundred years ago, an educated man knew when a point was proven and when it wasn't, and that man was furthermore ready to change his life on the basis of a chain of reasoning. Not so the modern man, said Lewis. Modern man is used to carrying around ten utterly contradictory ideas in his head at the same time. It isn't logic or reason that persuades him, but cant, jargon, slogans and nonsense.

That was seventy years ago. Post modern man makes Lewis' modern man look like a rank amateur when it comes to holding contradictory garbage in their head. Even worse, post modern man is also immunized and inoculated against any new ideas: the members of any group will not bother to defeat any new or outside idea; rather, they will treat that idea as though it is already defeated. They don't engage, they dismiss. 
And so it has been with every single one of these 'watch so and so destroy s o and so's. T hey do not argue, they dismiss. They do not create a chain of thought, they repeat a slogan. They do not persuade others, but preach to a choir. No one is convinced by them except those who were convinced without them, and who are seeking not new ideas but to be confirmed in their rightness. And most of all, nothing is destroyed except the time spent watching these things, and the credibility of those who push them to anyone not in their closed circle.

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