Note: To listen to this blog on KWON or KYFM radio go to http://www.bartlesvilleradio.com/caffeine/uploads/files/ON%20Demand/Ideas%20Matter/Ideas%20Matter%205-3.mp3 . To get Dr. Piper’s new book Why I Am a “Liberal” and Other Conservative Ideas go to www.okwu.edu or www.everettpiper.com .
Today is a time of very big questions:
- Life: When does it begin and when does it end?
- Global warming: Is it a scientific fact or a political fad?
- Sexuality: What is healthy and best for our bodies and our culture?
- Tolerance: Are all worldviews equal and do all religions lead to the same place?
- Justice: If we are all products of Darwinian evolution, then how can there be any moral reason to object to the “fittest” among us surviving at the expense of the “weak”—majorities over minorities, wealthy over poor, masters over slaves, and adults over children?
Questions, questions, such important questions. But do we really want answers? Do we assume the existence of right and wrong, accuracy and inaccuracy, in our asking or do we care more about silencing our opponents than we do about correcting our own opinions? Do we want to learn or do we hope to lecture? Are we willing to work to find answers even at the possibility of being wrong or are we too easily satisfied and, thus, resting passively in our own personal ideologies or political agendas?
In The Great Divorce C. S. Lewis challenged our intellectual laziness. “Our opinions were not honestly come by,” he said. “We simply found ourselves in contact with a certain current of ideas…and we just started…saying the kind of things that won applause… Having allowed [ourselves] to drift, unresisting, we reached a point where we no longer believed [anything anymore].” He concluded, “Once you were a child. Once you knew what inquiry was for. There was a time where you asked questions because you wanted answers, and were glad when you had found them. Become that child again… Thirst was made for water; inquiry for truth.”
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