America’s Soft Thinking Problem

I’m thankful for my parents, teachers, and pastors who taught me along the way that there is such a thing as absolute truth. They taught me that there are things which are clearly right or wrong; that God’s Word is our standard by which we judge the worthiness or unworthiness of an idea or theory; and that logic and reason are to be favored over emotions and popular opinion.

It seems that today in America, however, we’ve lost the notion of truth. We’ve become a society which operates according to our feelings. “If it feels good, do it.” “If it makes you happy, it must be right.” We tolerate everything except for the truth. We don’t even know what the truth is anymore. I call it America’s soft thinking problem. The number one problem in America is the same one as in the book of Judges. Everyone does what is right in his own eyes. People no longer subscribe to a universal accepted standard of right and wrong.

What really alarms me is that many in the upcoming generation cannot think for themselves. They blindly swallow whatever their professor, the news media, or their friends tell them. Where are their critical thinking skills? Where is their application of reason and logic?

This phenomenon was exhibited clearly in the recent hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Many on the left automatically believed the accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, simply because she was a woman. Evidently in the #MeToo era, every woman is to be believed and every man is guilty of sexual assault. Even though the witnesses whom Ford claimed were at the party denied that it happened, those on the Left said that Kavanaugh must be guilty. Facts no longer seem to matter, because feelings trump facts in post-truth America.

Liberal Senator Cory Booker used the phrase “her truth” at the hearings as if there were more than one truth. Kavanaugh and Ford gave conflicting testimonies. They both could not be telling the truth. Senator Booker later said that it didn’t matter if Kavanaugh was guilty or innocent…he shouldn’t be appointed. But shouldn’t the truth matter? If Kavanaugh was telling the truth, that means that Ford was lying. Why should Kavanaugh not be appointed due to false allegations? And if Ford is lying, why should she be considered a hero? It most definitely does matter whether Kavanaugh is innocent or guilty, but in this post-truth bizarro world that we live in, it’s as if both can tell “their truth” and be equally respected. And Ford is automatically right and Kavanaugh is automatically wrong because Ford’s a woman and Kavanaugh is a man.

We hear a lot about the “Snowflake Generation” and how they must be coddled so that their feelings aren’t hurt. They cannot bear to listen to a speaker on college campus who challenges their left-wing views. Orwellian measures are taken against anyone who dares to speak against the accepted line of thinking. Dissenters to liberal orthodoxy must be labeled as haters or bigots. Minds are closed, and thinking is almost non-existent.

These trends extend to religion as well. The ecumenical idea that “all roads lead to heaven” is also becoming more accepted, even though the different religions make conflicting truth claims. Logically, they cannot all be correct, but because tolerance is the chief virtue, no one can gather the courage to tell others that they are wrong. So everyone must be right, right?

This soft thinking problem extends to evangelicals as well, especially those who promote social justice. Those who promote open borders say it is unloving to limit immigration and control our borders. Yet is it loving to not protect your own citizens from danger? Loving your neighbor doesn’t just mean letting everyone in the door. It also means protecting your family from harm.

The reason why so many people hate President Trump is because he often gives the raw, unvarnished version of the truth. He rarely gives the politician’s answer, the politically correct version that the liberal media want to hear. He usually tells it how it really is. And since people are responding with their feelings and not logic, many of them get upset.

Isaiah 59:14 mentions truth being fallen in the street in ancient Judah. That’s where we are today in America. It is due in part because many in our nation have rejected God and His Word or they are ignorant of it. But another contributing factor is soft thinking. What is the solution? It is fourfold. One, we need to teach the upcoming generation the Word of God. Two, we must teach them that there are such things as absolute truth and right and wrong. Three, we need to teach them that we cannot make emotions our guide for decision making. Feelings change and are often unreliable. Finally, we must teach our kids critical thinking skills through the use of logic and reason. If we do these things, we can start to reverse this soft thinking trend and get back to the bedrock of unchanging truth.

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