Skip to comments.Why Did Common Sense Die ?
Posted on 06/19/2018 6:48:04 PM PDT by huckfillary
As I watched a woman walking on the narrow shoulder of a busy highway with triplets in a stroller, looking annoyed that she has to deal with all this danger and traffic, I asked myself once again, Whatever happened to common sense?
Then the question we never ask occurred to me: WHY has common sense died?
In order to answer it, you first have to ask yourself: What IS common sense?
Common sense is basically the application of simple reasoning to everyday life.
Common sense is not enough for a complex area of specialization. You cant use common sense to do brain surgery, build a rocket, cure an illness or create a microchip.
But in everyday life, we all need common sense. And fewer and fewer of us seem to use it.
Theres probably no one answer here. The closest answer I know of is the decline of reason. You can look at how many families or couples interact, or how our political and social discourse now occurs, and see that reason has mostly gone by the wayside. Business transactions are usually more rational, but not what they used to be or could be, most agree.
Its tempting to blame the death of common sense on todays smart phones, which are really computers. Everybody is spending most of their time looking at these pocket computers instead of utilizing their reasoning.
However, common sense has been in decline for much longer than the era of smart phones. The first iPhone went on sale about 2007. But back in 1994, Philip K. Howard wrote a national bestseller entitled, The Death of Common Sense. The book resonated with millions. So the issue predates smart phones.
Reasons decline is a slow, tortured and highly incremental thing. Its not so much that people consciously reject reason as they gradually replace reason with something else. Whats the something else? The only alternative to reason is unreasoned emotion. Feelings divorced from reason.
Theres nothing inherently wrong or bad about feelings. As a psychotherapist, Im the first one to acknowledge that. But just as its wrong to reject feelings, its equally wrong to use feelings as your primary or sole tool of knowing whats true. Today, more and more people do that. Hence the dawning of the age of The Snowflake.
A rational person feels things. But before blurting out his feelings, or accepting a feeling as automatically valid and true, a rational person stops to think and consider. Its the stopping, thinking and considering thats so lacking today. And while smart phones/social media have arguably made the problem worse, the problem existed well before smart phones and social media.
Consider the woman walking with her triple baby carriage in the middle of traffic. It sounds crazy, but I see it ALL the time. I live in a summer resort, and people pile into the town June through August. Most of them are well educated and many are significantly well off. They should be among the best and brightest. But you can see the look of angry frustration on the faces of these people who are resentful that cars, on a busy highway, are preventing them from taking a stroll, or getting to the beach.
Its a metaphor for so many other things.
If their expressions could talk I think theyd say something like: I should not HAVE to be dealing with this. How DARE these people be in my way.
Its a sense of unearned entitlement. And thats what fuels the death of common sense.
The substitution of unreasoned emotion for what should have been rational thinking is the underlying issue. But what adds fuel to the fire is a sense of UNEARNED entitlement.
Basically, unearned entitlement tells us, If I feel something, then it should be true and treated by others as true. And thats whats behind these people refusing to exercise their common sense. I shouldnt have to think about it. It should just be taken care of. How? Somehow. By whom? Someone whos able to do it.
If you want to understand why things have gone so wrong in a society with so little excuse for it to have happened this is it!
The solution? More rational thinking. Reason and self-responsibility are the antidotes to emotionalism and entitlement.
It should be happening in schools, but its not. It should be happening in most families. But more and more young people emerge from their families (and schools) with the emotionalism and false entitlement that are toxic and fatal to reason.
Its a cultural problem that starts as an individual problem not with all but, regrettably, with most.
We cant go on like this. Maybe articles and ideas like this one will have more of an impact once the crisis grows to a point where people know weve got to do something different.
At times, I think thats starting to happen. Before long, well know for sure.
common sense starts in the Bible ...
I have a friend who calls it “walking around sense”.
Did not read but may. I have a summer hire here on the farm as a favor to his dad to try to teach him a little about how to work and hopefully to think. He works OK but only with simple directions for a simple task. If you expect reason and to hear beyond the second or last sentence he hears the mission is going to be a failure.
It looks to me like children who become new young adults are being taught what to know and what to think but not one bit about how to think. To know and link the building blocks of knowledge in a new way to solve a new problem or create a new something is far far away from what I am seeing.
Common sense? I did not think it would be possible to paint a fuel tank green and yet still have it come out looking like a patchwork quilt because the painter did not know enough to blend the brush strokes. It looks good from 100 feet away.
Frivolous lawsuits, torts and free, anonymous online smearing.
Bingo. It's almost impossible to have a serious conversation or a friendly debate today without it quickly degenerating into seething mass of "But I feel..." and thin-skinned defensive lashing out and name calling.
It died when everything was reduced to a television sound bite.
Common sense is for nations whose people have something common. It has no place here.
Common sense is definitely learned and earned in the farm. Teach the lad to be careful where you put your fingers.
My Wood Shop Teacher Mr Koons always said
Common sense is very uncommon
Of course the way he said was more like
Cummin cents is vary uncummin
You have commenced a very generous but challenging undertaking. It sounds like the relationship is begining with at least a bit of traction and you no doubt have a plan.
The fact his dad is a friend suggests you will want to proceed carefully and be able to report good results by the end of summer.
Big challenge and I wish you the best.
It corresponded with the rise of smartphones and social media. Maybe expanding ‘social’ interactions between people beyond what we developed with was simply beyond our abilities and is causing this draining of common sense. Seems like there are a heck of a lot of folks who look at screens more than the do at the actual living faces of their friends and family. I think there is a lot of alienation going on that isn’t healthy spiritually.
Because it is not as potent a drug as emotion, especially emotion run wild. In a society that thrives on and is encouraged to thrive on sensation. Simple answer.
There is smart and there is wise. Many do not have wisdom because the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.
I believe it was Dr. Gary North who, years ago, coined a phrase to describe the activities of the Frankfurt and Fabian Socialists when he declared "When the socialists came to take over American, they sought to CAPTURE THE ROBES." The judiciary, the academics, the clergy and others who then (or in earlier times) wore ROPES or similar vestments as symbols of their authority or station. While they went for journalism (adult opinion molders - and Columbia, where the Frankfurt School agents landed in1935 - was a major target) they went after what used to be called Normal Schools, the colleges and universities specializing in TEACHING THE TEACHERS. They were spectacularly successful as every TEACHER sent forth carrying the Marxist virus infected THOUSANDS of young people in a decades long career. Can you say "exponential growth"? They were wildly successful and we have a generations long fight on our hands - if fight we will - to turn them back. And you have only to watch CNN, MSNBC, NBC, CBS, ABC, etc. or read the NYT, WAPO, etc. to see the results in that arena. Former FBI Agent (back when - putting aside a self-serving J. Edgar Hoover - the tops of such agencies had not yet been infiltrated with leftist traitors) Larry Grathwohl's 2 1/2 minute testimony concerning the destination these Cultural Marxists have in mind.
Load Grathwohl into YouTube search!
Its like the “raw materials” aren’t there anymore. If you know what I mean.
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