Monday, January 26, 2009

The Third Stage of Desensitization: Complacency

Blog tour is over and today I’m resuming my study of building and applying fiction guidelines. Currently the focus has been on the problem of desensitization, or the stages we pass through when our discernment is disarmed. We have already looked at the first two steps, rationalization (is evil really evil?) and justification (the end good makes a current evil okay). Today we turn to Stage 3: complacency.

A dominate attitude in today’s U.S. culture, complacency can be found wherever people congregate—schools, businesses, churches—and under a variety of labels (lukewarm spirit, laziness, indifference). But wherever it’s found or whatever the name it’s called, the modern “whatever” attitude (accompanied by the proper eye roll and one-shoulder shrug) is simply a not caring about much of anything because there’s nothing much to care about:

There is no right. There is no wrong. Good and evil are obsolete, archaic ideas, and anything goes. So why should I care what you or I do? All acts are equal, all beliefs lead the same way, and all people are alike, and anyone who thinks otherwise is out of touch with reality and can _________ (fill in your choice of words). As for what I read and watch, what difference does it make? It has no affect on me.

But it does matter. There is good and evil and absolutes and right and wrong. Our actions do have consequences. We are equal in value, but not alike; each of us is uniquely made by God. And story does affect us. Whether we acknowledge this or not does not negate the truth—or make the results any less devastating. For you may tell a man dying of thirst it doesn’t matter what he drinks and you both may sincerely believe that, but whether he drinks poison or water will be the difference between life and death.

No comments: