"As I mused, the fire burned"

Reflection on life as a person of faith.

The Philosophy of this Age?

with 2 comments

I came across a display for skin-care products outside The Bay this morning. As I was sitting visiting with my dear wife, I was reading the display signs and ended up completely gobsmacked when I read this sign:

Aside from being an unvarnished appeal to emotion, and offering a vague romantic sense of reality, that advert copy is untruth of the highest order, at least when measured within an absolute framework of reality.

“Purity is natural.” Really? I would call that an assertion contrary to fact. If you disagree, read the newspaper one day and ask if purity is the natural state of the creation. The lie tied up in that assertion draws on the idea of the nobility of unspoiled nature – sometimes called the myth of the noble savage. This is a thought present in secular humanism as well as the dogmatic eco-religious movements. If only we could remove humanity’s taint from the earth, it would return to a naturally pure state (which the dinosaurs might have an interesting comment on).

“we come into this world with all the right instincts” really? The two days my mom saved my life, once grabbing me as I was about to run out into traffic and warning me before a sailboat mast dropped on my head, suggest that the instincts of youth are not necessarily all “right”. I wonder if that includes the teenage mind’s sense of invulnerability?

“we are innocent” see purity above. And the shooting at the UofA last week. And Rwanda. And my endless desire to do the things I know I shouldn’t, but I do anyway.

“and therefore perceive things as the should be, rather than how they are” What!? Our natural innocence enables us to see the world as it should be rather than it is? So, this state of purity (at least partly due to the use of the right cosmetics) allows us to apply over the world a perceptual filter that allows us to only see the world the way it “should” be. I think that comes pretty close to meeting the definition of a psychiatric disorder, when you are only able to see things in terms of your idealized image rather than the reality of that thing. I also want to ask the question, who is it that decides the “should” of the world? That is very post-modern, as it places the job of determining ideal reality on the individual, which was my earlier point. What if my view of the way things should be is opposed to yours? Perhaps the proper use of the face cleanser makes us all think alike?

“our conscience is clear, our hands are clean, and the world at large is truly beautiful ” My conscience is not clear, and my hands are not clean. That is a huge lie that rationalizes away whatever ickiness we might have inside us through a wash of self-affirmation. That’s pure 1970’s self-help tripe.

My daily ritual of cleansing starts on my knees, asking for guidance and assistance throughout the day to come.

I know this is just an advert for a facial care product, but it contains so many perfect examples of the corrupt mode of thinking that characterises so much of this present era. What is really disappointing is that this is not new wrong thought, but has been around for 1000s of years…there is nothing new under the sun.

It’s also mildly amusing that they’ve trademarked the word ‘purity’.  I guess I’ll be paying royalties when I next preach on that topic.

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Written by sameo416

June 16, 2012 at 3:52 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. Forgive me – I read your response to the purity philosophy and I would like to point out an assumption which makes your argument invalid… “Purity is natural” to which nature does this refer to? You assume our carnal nature but have you considered the spiritual nature? I could rebuttle each of your points but when you’re seeing from a spirit mind everything else follows. When we are born again in Christ we are given this new nature and in Christ there is no condemnation 🙂

    amber

    August 27, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    • Yeah, I’m obviously not being too clear. Second set of comments in months, and both writers inverted my meaning. I’m not arguing that purity is natural from either physical or spiritual perspectives, because it’s wrong in both cases…that was my point…which is why I said that no where in the creation is there evidence that purity is a natural state for humanity. My primary proof for that comes from Christian teaching which affirms exactly that truth: if we say we have no sin we are liars and we deceive ourselves (as St Paul said).

      I was writing a critique of the facial cleanser, not agreeing with what they had written.

      sameo416

      August 27, 2012 at 6:40 pm


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