“Men in the vehement pursuit of happiness grasp at the first object which
offers to them any prospect of satisfaction,
but immediately they turn an introspective eye and ask,
‘Am I happy?’
and at once from their innermost being a voice answers distinctly,
‘No, you are as poor and as miserable as before.
‘Then they think it was the object that deceived them and turn precipitately
to another. But the second holds as little satisfaction as the first…
Wandering then through life restless and tormented,
at each successive station they think that happiness dwells at the next,
but when they reach it happiness is no longer there.
In whatever position they may find themselves there is always
another one which they discern from afar, and which but to touch,
they think, is to find the wished delight,
but when the goal is reached discontent has followed on the way stands
in haunting constancy before them.”
Johann Gottlieb Fichte
We wonder where it started…this hedonistic nature of ours.
History certainly speaks of the Roman’s thirst for all things sensual and soothing.
An insatiable appetite of all things of pleasure.
With a never-ending quest for the wanton.
And yet we know of other societies, other cultures that were equally focused on
a hunger for lusty tastes.
So does this mean that this hedonism of ours is an innate quality or
is it rather a learned trait?
Oftentimes we of the present feel a smug sense of superiority to those people
of the past.
We believe ourselves to be more knowledgable, more sophisticated,
so therefore we grow overtly confident and even pompous believing ourselves
And yet current events are appearing to indicate that we may not actually be
better than…as in better educated, better controlled or even a better people…
Take the following observation by our friend the Wee Flea….
“As an international chaplain I find it a source of constant embarrassment that many international students are bemused and offended by the banality and stupidity of a monolithic hedonistic culture, which seems to be encouraged by the University.”
The Rev Robertson offers us his latest observation in a posting concerning the recent
start to Dundee University’s school year with the welcoming of the new freshman class.
Pastor Robertson raises concern over what appears to be an ever increasingly
pleasure seeking college population.
Our western college and university campuses are now rife with a generation of
youthful learners known as snowflakes…meaning they rapidly melt at the
slightest hint of uncomfortableness…all the while the majority busy
themselves imbibing in any and all earthly and sensual pleasure…
with their mantra being “you only live once.”
Pastor Robertson recalls that “I once spoke to some third and fourth year
male students who had returned early for Fresher’s week.
“Why have you returned so early?”
“Fresh meat!” was their sickening reply.
They had come back to see how many new female students they could sleep with.
This is how in our ‘PC’ culture women are treated.”
University officials however, as we have witnessed throughout this country
in most recent weeks, appear not to be in control of their youthful charges
as they turn blind eyes to the raucous and even violent behavior.
Most college educated adults know first hand about the difficulties of balancing
both faith with what is known as “the college experience.”
Newly found freedoms, a plethora of choices, liberal academic thinking,
accented with open sex, alcohol and drugs…makes keeping the faith an often
difficult task for even the most ardent of Believers.
All the while administrations and educators are turning a blind eye, or even worse,
offering words of encouragement for experimentation…coddling and indulging a
growing generation of self indulgent narcissists.
That is until various troubles hit the news circuits…
Think Penn State’s current legal woes over the death of a college freshman at
the hands of his drunken fraternity brothers or the costly destruction to property following the riots at Cal Berkeley and Evergreen College in Washington.
In his most recent post, the good Pastor reflects on the backlash a school
administrator faced when pushing back on the young charges under her leadership.
The former principal of St Andrews University, Louise Richardson (now of Oxford),
has been told to apologise after she upset some students by claiming that they
have no right not to be offended.
Predictably they were offended by her remarks.
She claimed that she had been approached by several students who
are uncomfortable with the views about homosexuality expressed by some professors
“they don’t feel comfortable being in class with someone with these views.
And I say, I’m sorry but my job isn’t to make you feel comfortable.
Education is not about being comfortable.
I’m interested in making you uncomfortable.
If you don’t like his views, you challenge them,
engage with them and figure out how a smart person could have views like that.
Work out how you can persuade him to change his mind.”
Her sensible and mature attitude surely would not in almost any other age in the UK,
have needed to have been said–but in today’s censorious,
dumbed down and intolerant culture they were deemed to be highly controversial.
Oxford University student union president Kate Cole, said
“Freedom of speech is not an excuse for homophobia”.
In other words forget freedom of speech if it is deemed across our absolutist line!
Oxford City Councillor, Tom Hayes added;”
it’s simply not acceptable for students to face prejudice tutors who will
propagate hateful views and pass of discrimination as debate”.
Doubtless Mr Hayes will tell us what hateful views are
(presumably anyone who disagrees with him)
and will ensure that no debate takes place at all.
In another sign of the irrationality gripping some sections of academia,
a student Latin course (Reading Latin by Jones and Sidwell)
was outed by an American PhD student because the text featured three goddesses,
each confidently stripping off, determined to win the golden apple from Paris,
and two rapes.
Such ‘offensive’ choices, she said, did not help the cause of Latin,
‘or make the historically racist and classist discipline of
classics more acceptable”.
Meanwhile back on planet earth normal students face their own University Challenge.
Rod Liddle – “The idea that she might subordinate her feelings for the good of
some higher purpose did not sit easily with Diana.
Because according to this new mantra, there is no higher purpose than
simply what one feels”
LED 8 – Yemen – The Proms and the EU Cult- Jacob Rees Mogg – Religious Decline in the UK – Canadian Immigration – Irma, Climate Change and Lovelock’s Change – University Principal takes on Snowflake Students – John Knox’s Transgender Toilets – Don Williams.
And so I will close our look at the new fall term taking place in our Western society
with words both thoughtful and prayerful offered by the good Pastor on behalf or our
students, those Believers amongst them and of the adults charged with their care and education.
Let us pray for, encourage and seek to serve those who have begun the new term this week. Especially those Christians who go against the flow and are prepared to stand up for what they believe in the face of an increasing hostile culture. As our Universities forget their Christian roots and market themselves as monolithic academic businesses.
They are becoming places where a diversity of views is not encouraged.
In such an environment Christians are the real radicals!
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young,
but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct,
in love, in faith and in purity.
1 Timothy 4:12