Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Scary Things and Natalie

This is scary. Natalie R. Collins is being chased by a Missionary raping stalker. I guess some would say it serves her right saying the things she says.

Actually, I like Ms. Collins. I don't think she deserves bad things to happen to her. Natalie writes about the dark side of LDS Culture. My impression from both her blog and books is that she likes people who happen to be LDS. She just doesn't like some of the undercurrents of the culture which end up undermining people's good intents. She uses fiction to help distill idea. From my point of view, Natalie seems authentically interested in finding the best way to proceed in life. She just released a new work called Behind Closed Doors which combines the darker elements of Mormonism in a thriller murder mystery.

As for this post. I think Natalie's stalker incident helps illuminate the contrast between critical thinking and crazed hatred.

Modern education holds "critical thinking" as the highest ideal. Unfortunately, many people who follow this path of hyper-criticism seem drawn into worlds of paranoia and hatred. It seems to me that true "critical thinking" is going to find more than just the faults of a person or group. In the case of Mormonism, I see legions of wonderful people who are trying their very hardest be good human beings. Yet strange things happen at a subliminal level which seems to undermine the community at large.

The type of critical thinking that we need in this world is the type of critical thinking that finds the good and bad in things and lets us accentuate the good and root out the bad.

Most of the progressives I know are authentically good people. They did not just wake up one day saying: "I want to increase the amount of hatred in the world; so I will become a progressive." Most of them came about being progressive by actually wanting to solve the problems of the world. They would go to meetings be told the talking points of the day and come out convinced that the way you go about affecting change is to criticize the hated enemies of the progressives. Of course, this supposedly effective means of progressing society through hypercriticism ends up destroying the ability to engage in discourse, which ends up making things worse. (As you may have guessed, Progressives actually drive me battier than Mormons. Mormons have an excuse. Their bishop made them do it. Since progressives claim to be intellectuals; They should know better.)

Critical thinking that is driven by an authentic desire to make the world better. Otherwise it degenerates into an attack dog style hyper-criticism that leads nowhere.

No comments: