Talk about Blind Faith…

9 07 2007

fail.jpgStylish certainties continue to fall under the weight of evidence.

The secular crowd fancies any alternative to the tried and true Christian worldview as automatically superior. They place their faith in theories and methods built on atheistic presuppositions and then look the other way as society disintegrates in direct proportion to the adoption of their ideologies.

 When will they realize that even small departures from the truth about the sinful nature of man and God’s gracious solution to that nature cannot be ignored without harmful consequences? Sadly, they continue to believe things like “positive reinforcement and praise” are superior to biblical training and discipline.

Even those who perceive the problems remain unable or unwilling to see the cause. For example:

Don Chance, a finance professor at Louisiana State University, says it dawned on him last spring. The semester was ending, and as usual, students were making a pilgrimage to his office, asking for the extra points needed to lift their grades to A’s.

“They felt so entitled,” he recalls, “and it just hit me. We can blame Mr. Rogers.” Fred Rogers, the late TV icon, told several generations of children that they were “special” just for being whoever they were. He meant well, and he was a sterling role model in many ways. But what often got lost in his self-esteem-building patter was the idea that being special comes from working hard and having high expectations for yourself.

Now Mr. Rogers, like Dr. Spock before him, has been targeted for re-evaluation. And he’s not the only one. As educators and researchers struggle to define the new parameters of parenting, circa 2007, some are revisiting the language of child ego-boosting. What are the downsides of telling kids they’re special? Is it a mistake to have children call us by our first names? When we focus all conversations on our children’s lives, are we denying them the insights found when adults talk about adult things?

Some are calling for a recalibration of the mind-sets and catch-phrases that have taken hold in recent decades. Among the expressions now being challenged:

“You’re special.” On the Yahoo Answers Web site, a discussion thread about Mr. Rogers begins with this posting: “Mr. Rogers spent years telling little creeps that he liked them just the way they were. He should have been telling them there was a lot of room for improvement. … Nice as he was, and as good as his intentions may have been, he did a disservice.” Signs of narcissism among college students have been rising for 25 years, according to a recent study led by a San Diego State University psychologist. Obviously, Mr. Rogers alone can’t be blamed for this. But as Prof. Chance sees it, “he’s representative of a culture of excessive doting.”

Prof. Chance teaches many Asian-born students, and says they accept whatever grade they’re given; they see B’s and C’s as an indication that they must work harder, and that their elders assessed them accurately. They didn’t grow up with Mr. Rogers or anyone else telling them they were born special.

By contrast, American students often view lower grades as a reason to “hit you up for an A because they came to class and feel they worked hard,” says Prof. Chance. He wishes more parents would offer kids this perspective: “The world owes you nothing. You have to work and compete. If you want to be special, you’ll have to prove it.”

“They’re just children.” When kids are rude, self-absorbed or disrespectful, some parents allow or endure it by saying, “Well, they’re just children.” The phrase is a worthy one when it’s applied to a teachable moment, such as telling kids not to stick their fingers in electrical sockets. But as an excuse or as justification for unacceptable behavior, “They’re just children” is just misguided. (See full story on WSJ.com)

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8 responses

11 07 2007
theepiphany

I enjoy watching the Today show in the mornings when I can. I have been noticing more and more that the issues often tacked on the show are totally godless and absolutely self-reliant. “If you do this, your self-esteem will be better, your health will be better, you will be happier, your children will be more confident, your marriage will last longer…” It’s all about happiness, confidence, and self-esteem…If only it was really that easy

11 07 2007
letters

Hi,
found you by tag surfing on wordpress.

I think the point of religion should be to teach people to be tolerant of one another, including those who chose to live a life without it.

About the Mr Rogers thing: which would you prefer? Kids growing up being told they are worthless? Being made to feel that way because they’re being sexually abused? There has to be a middle ground somewhere. I have seen the direct result of what can happen if you bring your kids up in a strict religious household. It is no guarantee that you are going to come out with well-adjusted kids. Quite the contrary.

11 07 2007
kclick

Dear letters,

Thanks for your input, but…

I think you have confused my point with that of Professor Chance. In fact, I think you may have missed his also.

You certainly are mistaken in ascribing the equally absurd practice of belittling a child as somehow my preference. That is just as harmful as unmerited praise and unconditional indulgence. 🙂

12 07 2007
letters

Like I said… there has to be some middle ground somewhere.

I don’t confuse you with Prof. Chance, I just figured that since you quote what he has to say verbatim, you are in agreement with him.

And I merely ask the question: which would you prefer? I didn’t accuse you of advocating the belittlement of children.

12 07 2007
kclick

letters — Sorry if I misunderstood what you were saying.

There is no middle ground between truth and non-truth.

I advocate the higher ground of speaking and teaching the truth (in love) which is revealed for us in the Bible.

I think the evidence of what happens when society rejects the higher ground is clearly seen.

The results are in…

It’s exactly what Paul predicted in 2 Timothy 3:1-5:

1You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times.
2For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred.
3They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good.
4They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God.
5They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that! – NLT

12 07 2007
Noogatiger

“There is no middle ground between truth and non-truth.”
I like that quote. Too bad is isn’t the truth.
What do you define as, the truth? I mean really what is truth?

First of all let me say, that having the ability to accept something on faith, is not the same thing as the search for the truth.

Believing in the Bible, is simply your faith, and that is all it is, and your faith in it does not therefore then make it the truth.

Muslims have faith in the Quran, does that therefore make it the truth?
Of course not, you and I both would require more than just faith before we accept something as truth, now wouldn’t we?

Here is the truth. We get our morals, our beliefs, our character traits and our standards from our parents. This is the same no matter what religion or what faith you have. Christians have the same moral problems as non-Christians. Christians do a lot of the same things as non-Christians do. I have seen many a family with lots more Biblical training than I ever had, but which turned out children and adults with as many character flaws and problems and bad morals as anyone. Had they gotten a little “positive reinforcement and praise” instead of so much legalism and discipline they might have turned out differently.

I have been an agnostic for 7 years now. I was a Christian for 39 of my 49 years on this planet. I no longer go to church. I no longer tithe. I no longer pray. I no longer read this messed up book called the Holy Bible. Guess what. I am no different now than I was 7 years ago. I love my wife. I am not cheating on her. I am not stealing anything from work or anyone else. I am not an alcoholic. I am not mean to my kids and I do give them lots of positive reinforcement. I still abide by all the laws of the land. I have not killed anyone. I still teach my kids morals and standards and responsibility. I have not even shot or stolen my neighbors dog. Where could my moral compass possibly come from.

I will tell you where is came from. The same place it allways did, even when I was a Christian. It comes from within me. It comes from my parents. It comes from my extended family. It comes from my community, and my society. It comes from being human and having empathy for other humans. It really comes from the same place yours does. You think it comes from a book. You think it is some supernatural power, but it doesn’t really.

If the Bible were “Truth”, then it would not require faith to believe in it.
I actually hope we attain higher morals than what the Bible taught. In some ways we are beginning as a society to do that. We treat women much better today than God allowed in the Holy Bible, when God supposedly allowed women to be property, to be bought and sold, and mulitple wives. We no longer allow men to own other men as slaves which was allowed in the Bible. We no longer allow genocide in battle as allowed in the Bible. We even allow women to have a voice in their church’s which in the New Testament was strictly forbidden.

The Bible was written by men. Fallable, flawed, men. It was written about the God they made up, just like any other religious book.

It is time that you guys realize that we can make it out there in the cold cruel world without the fairy tales of our past. It is time we grew up and became adults in the world and gave up our fairy tale security blanket. There is a better way to live and a better way to think It is called the mind set free. Free of superstition, free of the fear of hell, (which never existed anyway, even in your Bibles), free to learn new things, evne new science which actually correlate to the real world you see around you.

See, even though I no longer believe in Jesus, I am not hatefull. I am not angry. I am not living a cold lonely life with no hope. My hope is that mankind can grow out of its fairy tales and begin to love one another as human beings, equal and always searching for the truth.

12 07 2007
letters

Sounds like noogatiger has his head on straight. Thanks for that.

12 07 2007
kclick

The Evidence for Christianity

by Dr. William Lane Craig

Listen and/or read at the following:

http://www.bethinking.org/resource.php?ID=100

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