In fact, one should understand that Sweden’s guiding ideology is not so much collectivism as it is statist individualism; the goal is to make citizens as independent from each other as much as possible.
Rather than leading us to a deeper, more meaningful life, this so-called happiness may be one more thing we don’t really need.
ESG and EDI initiatives remind me of the various English tests we used as a representation of one's English skills: I could get any student to pass the test, but it was really hard to give them the skills to get out of the airport.
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The isolated individual is entirely unsatisfactory. Precisely because of a person’s social character, stable identities can only emerge in relationships with stable social contexts. Therefore, there is deep uncertainty about contemporary identity; it’s an identity crisis if you will.
"...to be educated is not to be in control or to master chance, it is to become more authentically who you are."
A marriage, on the other hand, is made by a daily effort to live out the vows until death. In the words of my father, the vows I make to my spouse are not so much like laws that I keep or break; they are commitments that keep or break me. The vows may be taken seriously or not, broken or not, but there is no way of withholding them from homosexuals. You cannot copyright the vows which a homosexual couple is perfectly free to make. The government cannot forbid them to do so, nor can any church.
One may suggest that life either begins at birth or at conception, but neither option treats life very seriously. A more accurate yet more mysterious option might be “life continues through conception”.
In our investment in Mass Society, liberal-democratic societies have skilled us at politicizing the nonpolitical.
The father we can believe in is one who stretches his arms out in waiting, but not in force. The father never lets his arms drop down in despair, but awaits his children’s return so that he can speak words of love to them. His desire is only to bless.
A humble individual may be wrong but he must also feel bad about it. Even if one doesn’t feel bad about being wrong there is often real or imagined pressure to virtue signal; I may not feel bad that I was wrong, but I have to apologize as if I did.
An individual with IM occupies a reality in which one is comfortable with having more questions than answers - celebrates duly the answers she comes up with - but lives with a kind of confidence and faith that having questions is one essential part of being authentically human.
Without that inner circle of significant others, we're left with shallowness and a void: we're “known of,” but never truly known, even to ourselves.
A person who thinks of herself secretly as a completely autonomous self, with unlimited possibilities (for this concept is what society teaches), finds herself in an impossible situation.
If ... the function of organized religion turns out to be nothing more than to house justification, and canonize, the routines of mass society; if organized religion abdicates its mission to disturb individuals in the depths of their consciences, and seeks instead simply to “make converts” that will smilingly adjust to the status quo, then it deserves the most serious and uncompromising criticism.
Instead of obeying the Word and Spirit of God, the body of those who love one another precisely insofar as they have been freed from facticity and routine, the orderliness of objective mass society, one surrenders at the same time one’s human and one’s religious integrity.
As we saw from Part 1 in this series of posts (which I encourage you to read before going on), our current systems of knowledge and power are not so much concerned with the authentic identity of concrete persons (you and I). Those systems are primarily concerned with objects of study including such commonplace perspectives … Continue reading Authenticity Under Threat, Part 2: Alienation or Being Lost in Mass Society
Existentialism offers neither attractions nor peril to people who are perfectly convinced that they are headed in the right direction, that they possess the means to attain a reasonably perfect happiness, and that they have a divine mandate to remove anyone who seems inclined to interfere with this aim. Existentialism calls into question the validity, indeed the very possibility, of such an aim.
If you have been paying attention, you will notice that there have been two particular examples of fragmentation that have coincided with each other, a fragmentation of the conservative movement, and a fragmenting of evangelical Christianity. In the heart of conservatism, there is a disagreement between the centrists who have complex sensitivities and more radical … Continue reading Evangelicalism and Conservatism: From Doctrine Back to Disposition
"...it is physically impossible to pick oneself up by one’s own bootstraps..."
We are now living in the necessary push back and what we need most is grace. Grace is not manufactured or created by us. It is a new person, a new idea, a new consensus - which feels like it falls from heaven.
I am a fan of good writing. Good writing communicates ideas to the minds of your readers. When people read your writing, they don’t just interpret its meaning through the words you chose. They also interpret it through your writing’s tone. This tone, just like your tone of voice when you’re speaking, is largely shaped … Continue reading Writing in the Active and Passive Voice
The disappearance of the unique individual corresponds to the loss of freedom - and the avatar is its technique.
The most valid intuition of the “religionless religion” is their awareness that the vast majority of people today, i.e., those who “cannot believe”, are encountering Christ, even though they cannot adjust to the idea that life acquires meaning only when one “joins the Church”.
"...our “politically correct concerned” society fails to provide new avenues for intellectual dialogue outside traditional intellectual engagement; so where can we find such opportunities? "
A regular experience of moments of success is necessary to understand that we are in a framework for thriving.
Arendt invokes the realm of privacy, which is the realm of persons who are significant others to the individual. These significant others are the context for the emergence of an individual. In other words, the realm of privacy includes our social sphere where each of those significant others has a reciprocal relationship with each other. Not only do these significant others constitute our identity as individuals, but each individual also has some responsibility to act as a significant other to the other members. I would call this “community”.
"...with the surprising eradication of relatively unconscious structures that housed and empowered a certain inspiring model of human flourishing, we may want to reconsider how we have housed and empowered human flourishing."
The mass-market hegemony resists the moral examination of the world that could stand up to the use of arbitrary power that we have seen with our eyes and have heard with our ears.
The good news is that all three of these motivations—an aversion to uncertainty, an attachment to the appearance of perfection, and a lack of courage—are qualities most of us would rather be rid of. Facing the fear of failure is more than just dealing with a problem; it is an authentic refinement of who you are.
Natality is the condition for continued human existence, it is the miracle of birth, it is the new beginning inherent in each birth that makes action possible, it is spontaneous and it is unpredictable.
Biden and NATO’s response will be to treat Russia as a pariah while Ukraine understands very well that Russia is an enemy.
What is liberal hegemony?
Mr. Peckford and Mr. Trudeau advocate a happy individual who is ripe for manipulation...
he Malaise of Modernity also provides a deeper account of self-fulfillment: the true realization of our gifts demands that we escape the citadel of selfishness and recognize the ethical demands that give real depths to ourselves. In doing so, there is more than some reason for optimism.
Among the books of the nineteenth century that have something important to say to us now Hegel’s Elements of the Philosophy of Right (1820) deserves a prominent place. It’s not the obvious contender for a popular read in the 21st century. He doesn’t make it easy for himself if getting readers was the aim as his … Continue reading Limitations on Rights: a Bicentennial Reminder from Hegel’s “Elements of the Philosophy of Right”
Abundant and loving Creator, present in a sacred, given River Assiniboine, the Stone Sioux: a river, a rock that holds us here Born on one side of the river, on one side of history Born unaware: the River holds tragedy’s tears. Christian capitalists conserving cherished concepts Christian self-interest defecates idolatrous violence Desecrated cubicles leading to … Continue reading The Assiniboine, the Stone Sioux
In [educated Afghan women], we all see our own striving for authentic lives. We want to claim an authentic life that contributes to not only our own well-being but also to the well-being of our homes.
https://youtu.be/p6NNo3HIRrU What I would like to consider today is what COVID has taught us about human flourishing. What should we learn from the experience of COVID, and how ought we do things differently next time? I want to expand on Malcolm Gladwell’s idea in his talk for Google Zeitgeist in June of 2020. And recently … Continue reading Game Theory, COVID and the Good Life
In Christian languages, happiness gets a less honorable reputation than joy and well-being. But life would hardly be worth living if there weren’t moments of happiness along the way. A universal framework for well-being is far from universal. Here are four models to help clarify your own understanding of happiness and a bit of the … Continue reading Different Cultures, Different Kinds of Happiness
Cathy Whitecloud carried me when I was a baby.
Technocratic rationality, then, needs to be recognized as a feature of mass society and as a systemic threat to our freedom, and its oligarchic substitution of a human artifice for a real-world with unmarked graves; the original sin of assuming that man is the measure of all things, makes its appearance there. It makes its appearance in the controlling of society to restore the economy - an oligarchic and technocratic rationale so obvious that it is surprising there isn’t more protest.
...quietly observing what the conflict is doing to you before you can ponder the opposite, what you might do to it. Rather than be active, you have to slow down and see what moves in and around you. ‘A lot of it is about listening,’ says Herbert, ‘listening to people, but also listening to yourself to find your balance.’
"The self exists in the same way as a border between countries, i.e. as a social institution. Both are imaginary boundaries that have a certain pragmatic convenience to them."
"...experiences of inequality are built-in to the human artifice and are not merely happenings of our experience, but constitutive features of it - a mechanics very similar to corruption."
An hour into the experience, about 10 minutes before we began to eat, I thought to myself, “how could a dozen or so educated women talk about food for an hour without getting bored and switching topics?”
The demand to be authentic is so commonplace that it has lost its meaning. ‘Today, there is little premium placed on being authentic,’ writes the American philosopher Gordon Marino in his moving meditation The Existentialist’s Survival Guide: How to Live Authentically in an Inauthentic Age (2018). The increasing prevalence of social media constructions of ourselves, … Continue reading Performative Authenticity: Mass Society in Real Time
"...overcoming otherness is bringing our uniqueness to a situation not originally intended to accept it, and then translating and transforming the situation so the uniqueness can feel at home. "
To be saved by grace sounds simple enough, grammatically at least. We are born into sin, and redeemed by a sacrificial love which we do not deserve. Baptized at 11, I seemed to have passed the test. Sunday school stuff, really. Let’s go to the all you can eat buffet together, laugh a little, and … Continue reading The Ways of Grace
When the detained people who stormed the Capitol are prosecuted, my guess is the charges will have something to do with sedition, destroying property, or threatening lives. Democracy will be defended, but it is this terrorism that needs to be tried.
Are you looking for a place to write? Do you care about the topics of Authenticity, Personal Identity, Mass Society, Freedom, Faith, and Community? If you are a new writer looking for exposure, please feel free to write for Ideals and Identities. Other topics will be considered as well. Our site will, beginning August 1, … Continue reading Invitation to Guest Authors