There is a proverb that goes: “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death” or as I memorized it a lot of years ago, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Prov 14:12, NIV & KJV). The proverb is a warning that we can only trust our human judgment so far. Human judgements, especially where human pride, desire, or brokenness are at work, are often poor. We need to maintain a healthy humility and skepticism concerning radical ideas, thoughts, and proposals. We need only look at some of the tragic failures of 20th Century political regimes to know that this is true. To a lot of people the rantings of Hitler and the strong-arm tactics of Stalin seemed entirely reasonable. It took a few million deaths before everyone could see the truth.
Our culture is based upon an unreasonable trust in human reason. The leaders of the so-called Enlightenment distrusted tradition, religion, faith, and institutions like the Church. Coming from the Middle Ages, this may not have been an entirely bad idea. Unfortunately, human pride being what it is, it was not long before the Age of Reason became the Age of Arrogance. Today, we are in the Age of Arrogance Taken to Extreme Foolishness.
Kant’s dicta, “Sapere aude! Have courage to use your own reason!” was the motto of the Enlightenment. Unfortunately it is now often used by those who seek an unreasoning rebellion against the wisdom of the past, against legitimate authority, against the entire experience of the human race, and even against reason itself. People everywhere conform to the latest intellectual and other fads on the notion that they are thinking for themselves, when in actuality they are simply following everyone else into the age of unreason.
We do not need to retreat to the Middle Ages, but we do need to recover a respect for tradition, for traditional wisdom, for faith, and for organs of society, like the Church, which preserve a tradition through centuries. It does not take more than a glance at the daily news or a bit of thought about much of what the media proclaims to see that this is the case.
This blog is dedicated to those who are journeying through life and desire to find the Path of Life along the way. I hope that it is helpful.
Blessings to all,