Modern America gets compared to the declining Roman empire a lot. But the difference between Rome and Detroit is…the Roman roads are still in pretty good shape. *da dum tish*
The rain we’ve gotten in the last couple of days here in Michigan has uncovered some truly absurd potholes, apertures stretched wide by ice and snow tamped in them by passing cars. I’ve seen cars pulled over with blown tires, and I’m hearing rumors that local mechanics can guess which road you were driving on when the tire went based on its ruins. The local government’s typical fix for potholes is to send a couple contractors to close half the lanes and fill the holes with gravel out of the back of their truck. This accomplishes precisely nothing except to ruin paint jobs with flying gravel and appear to be addressing the problem without spending any money.
The typical conservative response to this sort of thing is “move to a better area, get a new job, etc. etc.” Folks, I live in an area that’s seeing huge growth from white flight and I work in a little upper-middle class Fordlandia, and I still have had to adjust my route to and from work to avoid potholes that will bottom out my car. Even a guy in one of those giant F-150s tells me he’s starting to get nervous about daily commutes. We are in the beginning stages of learning that failure to arrive at a place may not be a failure of intent, or spirit, or discipline, or any other character flaw. It could well be due to a lack of ability. If you think your ideas of what a “normal” person should be able to do are due to anything other than existing in a high-trust culture with healthy institutions, you’re wrong.
Davis Aurini wrote a good novel a while back called As I Walk These Broken Roads, where the broken roads stand in as a metaphor for the breakdown of institutions that perform cultural transmission. Yes, this post is yet another metaphor. But I’m not making any of it up, either. The situation is getting serious out here and it’s not easy to love a bunch of whiny children in the meantime. I still will, because I’m highly agreeable (in spite of INTJ), but I’d appreciate a little less crab bucketry in the meantime. Consider that maybe, just maybe, in a world where True Believer moral authorities are out to do the right thing by derailing the sexual development of 4-year-old children, professing unsound doctrine could well be a sign of genuine incorrectness. And not, as psychological solipsists are so quick to proclaim, a sign that the professor is a veritable demon-possessed deceiver from Hell.
To that end, we will discuss the doctrinal question over which glosoli and I disagree—whether Christ has called us to love the church—like adults, understanding that our differences in action follow directly from our disagreement. I believe we are called to love the imperfect church, and glosoli believes the church ought to be perfected by direct, open criticism rather than loving (e.g. Matthew 5:48). Our different focuses could even be ascribed to personality factors, where he is extraordinarily disagreeable and I am so agreeable that I can get along with people who get along with literally not a single other person on earth.
In doing this, you may not accuse anyone of lying unless you have first demonstrated, with a sound and valid syllogism, they have consciously misled someone to believe an incorrect fact that they do not believe, themselves. Otherwise, you may only say they are mistaken, disordered, incorrect, or simply wrong according to the proper definitions of those terms (if you want me to take you seriously, please brush up on these). If you are unwilling to put in the necessary work, then you clearly don’t feel as strongly about it as your language may suggest.
Edit: Boneflour illustrates,