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Reason Is Not A Natural Human Gift

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Seriously, The Washington Free Beacon carries a story about a panel discussion held during this week’s DNC:

The Atlantic and Refinery29 hosted a panel discussion entitled “Young Women Rising: America’s Next Top Voter?” during the Democratic National Convention, Tuesday evening.

Following a 30-minute conversation on “intersectionality” and millennial feminism, a reporter asked the panel for its thoughts on reproductive rights and women’s health issues for men who ascribe to a female gender identity.

Ayanna Pressley, a Boston city councilor at-large, said the issue of men who identify as women getting abortions is all about “elevated consciousness.”

Think about that for just a minute – someone asked a question about “reproductive rights” for individuals that by definition cannot reproduce and a panelist saw that and raised by discussing abortion  for an individual that cannot carry a baby.  To be fair, if you watch the video of the questioning, the printed titles seem to indicate that the question was asked by a Free Beacon editor – so this was a set up, but I have to say the panelists took the bait with energy.

I have little doubt that if you got the panelists into a private conversation they would tell you they were just trying to be polite to the questioner, but in so doing did they not grant credence to a ridiculous question?  Does not reason demand simply saying to the questioner, “Thank you for your question, but transgendered women cannot reproduce, so it is impossible to answer your question.”  There is an idea among the left that reason is not the application of logic, both inductive and deductive, to a proposition to determine that propositions validity, but rather “reason” is all about attitude and conduct.  Apparently to the left if you treat a silly person nicely you are reasonable, but if you point out that they are silly you are not.  Thus a question about the impossible gets answered with gobbledygook, rather than reasonably and politely dismissed.

There are really two things at core here.  One is the idea of objective truth and the other is that such objective truth trumps personal perspective or feeling.  If you are travelling up in an elevator and only have your eyes with which to gather data (assume the elevator is moving slowly enough that your your inner ear, which gives you a “sensation” of movement, is tricked) you are not moving – but the objective truth is that you are in fact moving.  You can stand in the elevator all day long and protest that you are not moving – but eventually the doors open and you realize you have moved.  No amount of “reasonable” discussion that from your perspective you did not move can possibly change the fact that you have moved.

The mind can be tricked and often we trick it ourselves, generally because we do not want to face the reality of some circumstance.  It takes training and energy and practice to overcome the trickery of the mind, whether self-induced or otherwise.  Most of us fail at some point in that effort.  But if we do not keep trying, if we do not make the effort, the kind of nonsense that spewed from that panel is the natural result.

We tend to think about that religious concept of “sin” as being about morality, and certainly immorality is symptomatic of the state of sin.  But there are other symptoms as well, and I would argue that this seemingly natural tendency to escape reason is one of those other symptoms.  Sin really is nothing more than separation from God, when we are apart from God we may engage in immorality.  Certainly when we are separated from God, we are separated from the ultimate objective reality and it becomes that much easier for us to deny that the elevator is moving.

The answer to the nonsense that came from that panel is no different than the answer to so much that plagues us right now – a return to faith.


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