The Myth of Common Sense: Part II

(c) National Trust, Nostell Priory; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

If common sense is a myth, then there are practical changes in how we see the world once we stop believing the myth.  Here are a few examples of how we will need to look at the world differently.

  1. We cannot expect people to behave according to an innate system of morality. If a person or group of people has not been taught how to behave according to one set of beliefs over another, then their frame of reference is going to be different than those who have had this instruction. We are likely to be as ignorant of their upbringing as they are of ours.
  2. Thus, we cannot assume people know better. While it may be difficult to think outside of our own worldview, it is necessary to understand that most people think differently than we do. We cannot judge that a person is doing something wrong with full knowledge of their misdeed and purposeful disregard for how they should behave.
  3. We do not need to adopt moral relativity to be sensitive to the worldviews of other people. We are not lowering the standard of truth, but raising the level of our love for people. We are choosing to live with the understanding that we live in a fallen world. The normal condition of the world is to be separate from God and all that that entails. The Good New isn’t that the world is a mess, but that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
  4. It’s important not to underestimate the impact of the Bible in America. Since common sense is a misnomer, we can see more clearly all the occurrences of biblical behavior in movies, television, business, and daily life. When we think it common sense, we ignore its presence and lament its loss. However, when we realize that these things are not products of secularism, but remnants of Christianity, we can see just how much the Bible is still shaping our world.
  5. We are free to reproduce ourselves. We can now see the need to teach what we know about how to live daily life. Everything becomes something worth teaching to sustain future generations. The possibilities are endless in what knowledge we can convey that will benefit people for generations.
  6. We can stop being angry and offended. Now that we assume people don’t know better or have some spiritual blockage affecting their ability to manage themselves properly we can have compassion instead of offense. People are not trying to ruin society; they are just trying to live the only way they know how. For example, instead of seeing Miley Cyrus as someone trying to corrupt the youth of America, see her as a young lady trapped in her own bondage and living that out publicly. Changing our perspective doesn’t absolve people of their behavior, but it does allow love to trump offense.

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