Breaking from Familiar Acceptance vs. Rejecting Reality

The way of fools seems right to them,
    but the wise listen to advice.
Fools show their annoyance at once,
    but the prudent overlook an insult.
An honest witness tells the truth,
    but a false witness tells lies.
The words of the reckless pierce like swords,
    but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Truthful lips endure forever,
    but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.
Deceit is in the hearts of those who plot evil,
    but those who promote peace have joy.

  • Proverbs 12:15:20

After the Lord had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has.

  • Job 42:7

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” …
Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!  Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”

  • John 8:31-32, 45-47

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

  • John 14:6

“Husserl wanted to explore first-person experience in a systematic way, while putting all assumptions about it to one side.
“Merleau—Ponty takes up Husserl’s approach, but with one important difference. He is concerned that Husserl ignores what is most important about our experience-the fact that it consists not just of mental experience, but also of bodily experience. In his most important book, The Phenomenology of Perception, Merleau—Ponty explores this idea and comes to the conclusion that the mind and body are not separate entities-a thought that contradicts a long philosophical tradition championed by Descartes. For Merleau-Ponty, we have to see that thought and perception are embodied, and that the world, consciousness, and the body are all part of a single system. And his alternative to the disembodied mind proposed by Descartes is what he calls the body-subject. In other words, Merleau-Ponty rejects the dualist’s view that world is made of two separate entities, called mind and matter.
“Because he was interested in seeing the world anew, Merleau—Ponty took an interest in cases of abnormal experience. For example, he believed that the phantom limb phenomenon (in which an amputee ‘feels’ his missing limb) shows that the body cannot simply be a machine. If it were, the body would no longer acknowledge the missing part-but it still exists for the subject because the limb has always been bound up with the subject’s will. In other words, the body is never ‘just’ a body-it is always a ‘lived’ body.
“Merleau—Ponty’s focus on the role of the body in experience, and his insights into the nature of the mind as fundamentally embodied, have led to a revival of interest in his work among cognitive scientists. Many recent developments in cognitive science seem to bear out his idea that, once we break with our familiar acceptance of the world, experience is very strange indeed.”

  • Sam Atkinson (senior editor), The Philosophy Book, Big Ideas Simply Explained

Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908-1961) not only broke from familiar acceptance of what we experience in the world, but he broke with long-standing philosophical traditions.  But without a religious perspective that looks toward the next life, his conclusion that mind and body are inseparable might be a legitimate conclusion.  As a Christian, I believe that while the brain is part of the body, the mind has an element of consciousness, thus mind and soul relate to an extent.  Our soul will live forever, and we will be given new bodies upon leaving this mortal existence.

The book went on to explain how scientists have made some fascinating discoveries when they followed Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy.  If we think that something will not work and it might even be harmful, we will not try it.  Great strides in medicine have been made when the medical researchers broke from traditional thinking and tried something radically different.

Far from strides in medicine, I was given some calculations that were determined by a college professor for one of the processes at the petrochemical plant where I worked while attending graduate school.  I first took the professor’s calculations and created a mathematical model of the process at the chemical plant.  The greatest limiting factor was that halfway through the process, the products that had been made passed through a compressor so that they could then be separated into individual chemical products and by-products, either for sale or for use as a raw material in other places on the site.  The brake horsepower of the compressor was the limiting factor.  I suggested to open a valve.  I was told that the valve had to remain closed because the brake horsepower of the system would increase, and the compressor would fail, a major maintenance concern.  But I considered that limitation and found that the brake horsepower went down.  It went down to such an extent that the company would make twice as much of the wanted product and much less of the unwanted byproducts and production could be increased overall.  But I had to do a lot of selling to convince those whose familiar acceptance of something that was in error could save the company money.  Once they tried my idea, the company had made $14 million more in petrochemicals the following year, part of that was lowered maintenance costs.

But while antiquated ideas can be found to be false, there is a lot in recent social change that has slipped from breaking away from familiar acceptance of the world as it is and instead of improving the world around us, we have rejected reality.  Will the world repent of their sins?  Already in Europe, some of the gender issues that are now hitting the USA are being rejected as people see the harm that is being done.

As Rev. David Robertson, the Wee Flea, suggests, women are being disenfranchised the worst.  When newly appointed Supreme Court Justices in the USA cannot define what a woman is, how can we adjudicate cases that depend upon that gender designation?  With Trans-women entering female sports, the playing field is often skewed.  In contact sports, it could be dangerous.  Then, since some claim that the very name “women” is a male-centric construct used to oppress women, they will then consider women to be “womxn.”  How do you even pronounce that?  And how does that promote women’s rights when there is no longer a word called “women”?

In some cases, many that are the hot topics of the day, we have jumped from taking a fresh look at our experiences, void of our familiar assumptions, and we have delved into a rejection of reality.

We will either collapse into chaos or we will awaken to see the insanity that this world has become and there will be a redirection to a more stable construct of society.  It will never be a true improvement in our society until we return to Jesus and repent of our sins.

If you like these Tuesday morning essays about philosophy and other “heavy topics,” but you think you missed a few, you can use this LINK. I have set up a page off the home page for links to these Tuesday morning posts. I will continue to modify the page as I add more.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

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