25 January, 2009

Totalitarian Niceness


My friend, Cindy, wrote an excellent blog post on Generation Gaps and the Moral Imperatives of Totalitarian Niceness.


Here is an excerpt:


In a recent Mars Hill Audio Journal, Ken Myers noted in an interview that author Tim Clydesdale describes what Myers called the foremost moral priority of “totalitarian niceness” among American teens in his book called “First Year Out: Understanding American Teens After High School.” Most all other learning has been “distilled down into” a message that conveys that we should “be nice to other people,” whether it is a moral issue or not. Teachers couch all information in terms of a “niceness” message. Clydesdale observes that young people become anxious about, distracted by, and overly preoccupied with how others perceive them, owing both to the spirit of the age as well as factors like immediate communication technology. He also notes that young people view all authority with great suspicion, and the young person’s moral priorities maintain that they are the arbiter of what is right and permissible.
He described that young people prefer a God that is more like a “golden retriever,” a warm, cuddly companion that offers comfort as opposed to a God who serves as a standard of truth. I wonder if this “totalitarian niceness” and the “golden retriever” concept of God emerges as a coping mechanism to protect against the tender ego that is so fragile because postmodernism makes truth so intensely personal?"
The entire post is worth reading but the last question above really struck me as significant. It is one I had not thought of before. I am starting to see why there is such anger out there about objective truth. If the postmodernist interprets scripture from their own brand of 'permissible and moving' truth then any objective truth standard would be personal and insulting to them.


2 comments:

Rev. E. Scott Hart said...

If the postmodernist interprets scripture from their own brand of 'permissible and moving' truth then any objective truth standard would be personal and insulting to them.

Well put.

P.S.

Change your link to my blog to this one. Thanks.

Lin said...

Thanks for the reminder, Scott.