The social pathology of the modern criminal has its origin in ideas that have filtered down from the progressive new-age intelligentsia. A climate change of moral, cultural, and intellectual relativism has created a new social order and liberation from the past. This “new order” was clearly delineated by psychiatrist and author, Dr. Anthony Daniels in The Ultimate Freedom; Choice without Consequences.
Dr. Daniels has extensive clinical experience, treating convicted criminals, in his practice in the United Kingdom. Far too many of his incarcerated patients, in responding to the question, “Explain to me please, what happened?” state, as a just a simple matter-of-fact, that “the knife went in” or “the gun went off”. It wasn’t “them” but “it”. He states that the prevailing view of academia is clearly the, “…assembled conviction that one is not an agent but the helpless victim of circumstances or of large occult sociological or economic forces”.
As a doctor, he clearly understands that a correct prescription for recovery is directly related to an accurate diagnosis of the problem. It all begins in asking the right questions. In pursuit of the causal behavioral problems, Dr. Daniel states that our educational systems, derived from the modern revisionist world view is the “…unwillingness to give up their post-religious sentimentality, the idea that but for the deformations of society, man was good and children were born in a state of grace”.
There is the cathartic absence of values and the glories of spontaneity, that provides liberation for a new generation to do what feels good, each on their own, and the consequences are not faults, but just outcomes.
We owe so much to the former senator from Minnesota, Alan Stuart Franken, in codifying the new narcissism of self-esteem. It was Mr. Franken, in his Saturday Night Live character of Stuart Smally, who memorialized the daily affirmation of the humanist mantra of, “I’m Good Enough, I’m Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me”! Now everybody gets gold stars, everyone wins, and perfection can best be viewed in a mirror. Success without challenges and achievement without effort, are the high expectations of a new age.
So what are those “outcomes”?
We are confronted to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School and many other mass shootings…the slaughter of innocent children and teachers, while the “why” screams out in an echo of desperation. So what are the causes? How are we as a society to understand this senseless devastation? What are the solutions?! And why does this follow the blood trail through Columbine, Aurora, CO, Virginia Tech?!
On Meet the Press, just a few years ago, the entire segment was dedicated to this tragedy. The moderator, David Gregory, states, “We immediately go, after a tragedy like this, to a gun control debate, more than a mental illness debate. As we look at the faces of these killers in these recent incidences, what is the common thread you find throughout them? They all appear to be young men, at the very least, mentally imbalanced, why do we so quickly move to the gun debate”?!
David Brooks, columnist for the New York Times responds, “We’ve had enough of these cases to get a profile typically what they’re like. They tend to be intelligent. They tend to have an extremely high estimation of their own significance. Something happens to them that damages that estimation. They feel they are not being recognized by the world at large. And they decided to do something to make the world recognize them. And so they go out and do these terrible things. And at the moment they are doing them, this is the happiest moment of their life. They feel the world is uncontrolled and suddenly they are in control. And they are the hero in their own life story”.
We could conclude that the resultant suicide by these perpetrators is to avoid an outcome distractive of their own self-actualization. For in committing their own deaths, they too become victims.
So where did this all begin? Is there a new path that took us into a brave new world?
The cover of the April 8, 1966 edition of Time magazine asked the question “Is God Dead?“?! The 19th century German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, in “The Madman” wrote: “God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him…What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us”?
This was the launch of the modern secular culture which had lost all sense of eternal purpose, liberating us from the anchors of old constraints. A new vision was proposed of a post-Christian and post-modern culture with the need to create a renewed experience of deity within ourselves…we were “good enough” to be our own god. Again, it was the beginning of a new freedom without adverse consequences, neither moral nor economic.
And where are we now?… confronting a cacophony of conflicting values, tested in the centrifuge of reality, and breaking apart into insoluble particles. It’s as though we’re engulfed in the grips of a desperate storm recalling a different emotion, in days long past, of blue skies, calm seas and fair winds. It seemed so liberating when the compass was jettisoned and the anchor cut loose!
But “freedom,” unmoored from truth, is merely a rhetorical veil over humanity’s inevitable drift into chaos.
Did the knife just “go in?” Or is it one’s own hand that wields the knife? So we must question; have we bought into the lie? Is there any life-saving antidote? Can truth be the antidote for the lie?
Over two thousand years ago, Jesus, at trial in the Roman palace of the governor, stated, “I came into the world to testify to the truth.” Pontus Pilate responded, “What is truth?!”
Pilate immediately walked away…
We don’t have the option to just walk away.