The pivot point of the paradigm shift of thinking in this country was the 1960s when the culture publicly embraced the idea that God was dead. If not dead, then at least ineffective and merely just an archaic system of thought left for the superstitious and weak few that desired propping from an ancient crutch. Following a couple hundred years of questioning the existence of a supreme being, enough “evidence” now existed to declare his demise and joyfully move in an exciting new direction free of his constraints. How bold.
Forty years out from the pivot point we witnessed last weekend the difficulty of living this invigorating theory. Who gets to determine whose truth is the truth if truth is unknowable or does not exist? What if one person’s truth imposes on another persons truth? What if someones truth injures or puts at risk the society as a whole? Who gets to determine what the consequences will be?
Followers of the old paradigm are holding on with all their might to the idea that for a culture to survive, there must be a universal common acceptance. There must be accepted standards to which all must submit in order for order to exist. The followers of the new paradigm are in a quandary. Submitting to a single rule, or direction limits freedom, inhibits desire, and squashes the freedom to be their own truth. To solve this dilemma followers of the new paradigm contend that they alone have the answer to disturbing events like the massacre in Tucson. But in their contention they violate their own truth that everyone is entitled to their own truth. Very disconcerting indeed.
In light of this slight miscalculation in theory they have determined that it will be necessary to demonstrate that they indeed have the truth and that the rest of the culture is mistaken. They will silence all those that disagree with whatever means necessary and they will nobly establish a new truth that all truth is acceptable as long as it agrees with their truth, because they are the true purveyors of truth; everyone else is mistaken. Once the new truth is established, all will be well.
The great paradigm shift hasn’t really shifted at all. We are right back where we were 50 years ago. We just have a different god.