The Evangelical Universalist Forum

An essay on snowflakism by Bruce Thornton

Ok, I made up that word :slight_smile:.
He does a pretty good job showing the links between the ‘therapeutic society’ and other ways that humans have understood the use/misuse of government. Here is an excerpt, a link will follow;

The trend over the last century has been away from the Constitutional order and the free-market economy. Ironically, despite greater regulations and dirigiste policies that have inhibited growth, enormous wealth has still been created and distributed, and new technologies developed. Unfortunately, this improvement fosters the illusion that we have transcended the tragic constants of human history, and now can afford to believe that even greater improvement should take place. Today, being well-fed, entertained, healthy, and free to an extent unprecedented in history is not enough. We must always be happy and pleased with ourselves, our lives free from challenge and strife and anything, including the consequences of our own free actions, that disturbs our self-regard. If we aren’t, then we look to government power or psychological interventions to correct this injustice.

The “snowflake” phenomenon on our college campuses is just one example of this widespread belief, the malign effects of which extend far beyond the millennial generation. Apart from the damage to our characters, autonomy, freedom, and sense of responsibility for our actions, the therapeutic vision runs counter to the foundations of our political and economic order. We can see the cost to the former in the reduction of our freedoms caused by political correctness and the laws defending the sensibilities and feelings of “protected” classes. The anxiety not to cause offense leads to censorship both formal and internalized, which compromises our First Amendment right to free speech without which a democracy cannot function. And the demand to meet ever escalating standards of well-being and comfort by redistributing wealth has contributed to sluggish economic growth, the unsustainable expense of social welfare entitlements, and the $20 trillion in debt on track to bankrupt the country.

The question we all face is whether the people and their elected leaders can turn back from a failing therapeutic utopianism, and accept once again the tragic limits to human existence that the foundations of our political and economic structures once acknowledged. … e-thornton

You are up late :smiley:

Interesting article.

I have been hungry, albeit not in a third world /starvation manner, but hungry enough that with each meal I have to this day I am thankful for. I have had bouts with pain that make me very thankful when my body is relatively pain free. I have had economic times of plenty and economic times of hardship. Thus even though I may make less today than I did in 1979, I have learned to be frugal and live within my means and have hopefully separated wants/desires from necessities. Life has made/allowed me to find joy in small things and appreciate things that at one time may have been overlooked or taken for granted.

All this to say that it was life that took me to those place and ultimately to where I am today. Yet as a father and grandfather, I want to keep my kids out of harms way, but the harms way is what molded me into a better person.

I think. :confused:

Interesting paradox Chad, and I totally get it. :smiley:

That’s it right there maintenance. You’ve got it! :smiley:

In everything, love simplicity. Saint Francis de Sales

Genius is the ability to reduce the complicated to the simple. ~ C W Ceran

“Manifest plainness,
Embrace simplicity,
Reduce selfishness,
Have few desires.”
― Lao Tzu

How many undervalue the power of simplicity! But it is the real key to the heart. William Wordsworth

and this:

Like Bill Wilson says:

Now that essay I agree was well-written. :mrgreen: (Disclosure: it helps that I agree with his estimation about the 19th century introducing factors into our understanding of man vs nature which has led to frustrated expectations in Western civilization – and in civilizations outside ours but necessarily impacted.)

Passing along to my fellow Grogheads in our politics section. (Via the original article at, which is somewhat less click-baity than FrontPageMag:

The only problem is that we constantly seek solutions - from the outside. Not from God and** not** looking inside. Instead, let Trumpenstein and the Trumpeters rescue us. Or whoever is in change. How should we answer this question :question:

:laughing: Dave :laughing: :mrgreen:

This came today, from the Christian Patheos site.

#IStandWithMoore Against SBC Hypocrisy

I will quote it here - for reflection. :smiley:

Randy you quoted a statement from ‘Stand with Moore’ that said:

We have to ask is this really happening? :open_mouth:

Is it possible that culture and society and… heaven forbid, the idea of the Godly family, may be changing? :astonished:

Also, why is that essay being linked in this thread? It isn’t about the therapeutic culture effect. :confused:

You can’t have “therapeutic society’ and other ways that humans have understood the use/misuse of government” (AKA reaction to the Trumpenstein election) , without also examining “Hypocrisy and Christian values” (which deals specifically with Trumpenstein and SBC representatives - either endorsing or denouncing him). And considering it comes from the SBC (i.e. Southern Baptist Convention), which is a huge Christian organization - they do have things to share, for us to reflect upon. :smiley:

It’s like saying this:

It’s OK to denounce folks, crying over the election of Trumpenstein - get on with it
It’s NOT OK for the SBC representatives…to specially say things, about electing a man to office… who doesn’t represent right wing, Christian values (AKA We as Christians, **don’t **want to hear that Christian value stuff - regarding a chosen leader. Just give us someone who can implement, author Ayn Rand economic and political agendas).

What’s wrong with this picture :question:

Ah, got it. Most of that essay wasn’t about people overreacting to the Trump election, so I didn’t think of it being primarily about that (the overreactions just being a recent symptom of a larger long-running cultural shift which the article was discussing).

But strictly speaking, you’re wrong. You can actually discuss both problems separately, because they’re two quite different problems. Nor does the problem of sacrificing Christian values for power (which is absolutely not new to the current Trump version of the problem) count as a rebuttal to the problem of the rise of a therapeutic culture (which is also not new to the current Trump version of that problem).

Relatedly, if I question why an article on problem H is in a thread about a problem T, that is not the same as me saying it’s not okay to discuss problem T, too. But switching to a completely different problem, even though it coincidentally also happens to involve Trump, looks like thread hijacking.

In honoring the separation of the 2 topics, I opened up a separate thread at [Why are we sacrificing Christian values at election time?) :wink:

Just a footnote here. I have observed that many threads here, get off on tangents. And often it’s initiated, by the original thread author. I’m still trying to figure out the difference there and bringing up a Christian ethical consideration, of a pseudo-therapeutic essay - on the Trumpenstein election (and bringing up an article reference, to support that sub-point). Can someone please enlighten me :question: :astonished: :confused:

Anyone who understands your sentence is free to try to enlighten you; I can’t, because I can’t even understand what you’re saying in that bolded section. And any guesses I made wouldn’t sound charitable.

I’m glad you made a new thread for it, though, as I do think your article’s topic is important, too, and deserves its own attention. :slight_smile:

Let me try again. For example: Someone might open a thread on free will, with the objective that we really have no free will. Then they bring up sub topics, like evolution, genesis, etc. Sub topics that have nothing to do, with the original topic, thesis, hypothesis, or question. I have seen many threads like this here. How is this different, from what I was attempting to do - in this thread? Hope this helps.

After all, isn’t the sub topic of creationism and young earth vs old earth, big bang and evolution - really a new thread?

Or am I really the only one, observing these events in threads here? … -students/

:laughing: :laughing: :laughing: Great!

So, you only sounded like you were repeatedly trying to defend the inclusion of the new, barely relevant topic as actually being so relevant that not including it would be wrong. You actually knew full well this sub topic has nothing to do with the original topic, thesis, hypothesis, or question. Your real purpose was an extended satirical attack against people who, having introduced a topic, then go on in their own thread to bring up new topics that don’t have much to do with the original topic – and you chose DaveB as the target of your satire, presumably because he has been doing this and it annoys you (which would be strange, since I often find you flippantly flipping topics around in other people’s threads, much as in this one, using holy-fool tradition for your justification). But since he hadn’t had time to flip the topic himself, and you were in a rush and didn’t want to wait for him to do it again in his own thread so that you could satirize a fresh example of it, you did it yourself (as you often do in other threads), thus kicking off your extended satire where you pretended, by changing someone else’s topic, that someone changing their own topic made perfect sense.

And now that I have made your point for you, by trying to figure out why you would think the two topics were related while you satirically defended their relation, even though you knew perfectly well from the beginning they weren’t (this being part of your satirical objection to people like, presumably, DaveB, since it would be pretty damn unfair for you to randomly flip topics in someone’s thread to protest someone flipping topics randomly in their own thread, to someone who wasn’t flipping their own topics around kind of randomly in his own threads), your purpose has been achieved and you have laid the cards of your satirical protest on the table, expecting me (as one of the ad/mods whose attention you hoped to get) to agree that if person A changes topics in their own thread, they don’t really have the right to do so in their own thread. So we ad/mods ought to be policing this better, ensuring that people don’t change topics in their own threads so much.

Except there are two problems:

A.) This isn’t an example of someone flipping topics in their own thread. Dave hadn’t done that here yet. Hijacking someone else’s topic isn’t the same as someone changing their own topics.


B.) I don’t agree that people have no right to change topics in their own thread; whereas I have some minor disagreement about people trying to change other people’s topics (to get attention for themselves and away from the thread’s starter perhaps). Which is what your satire involved; and indeed, you’ve managed to use me for hijacking attention away from anyone discussing Dave’s point by getting more or almost all the attention for yourself.

If you decide to defend this by claiming you’re only a philosophical zombie with no free will and this is an example of P-Zombie pragmatism, I’m going to treat you as a philosophical zombie for a change, i.e. as a spambot doing what spambots are pragmatically designed to do (by people who aren’t themselves spambots). Since I don’t think you’re going to think it’s very amusing to be treated as a spambot (although I’ll be somewhat grimly amused at treating you as a spambot for insisting on being nothing more than a spambot as an excuse for your behavior), I thought I should alert you before you tried in case you were thinking about doing so.

However, if you now reveal instead that this whole extended farrago was your way of satirizing the solipcistic attention-getting attitudes promoted by the culture being critiqued in the article Dave linked to, I would at least agree that the topic turned out to be relevant after all, and even Dave might appreciate the massive (if tediously extended and looping) irony involved. But even then, I would still think your article deserved its own thread for discussion and attention. :slight_smile:

It was Christmas and it’s going on New Years, Jason. So I’m in a festive good mood. I’ll neither confirm nor deny, your commentary and analysis. Much like they do, when being questioned by political committees. I’m too much into the holiday spirit now.

Nothing against DaveB. I actually like the guy and enjoy his posts - for the most part. But considering I like works like Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift, for their “deeper meaning”, might give folks insight - into my literary preferences and style. I really just hang out with P-Zombies (along with Holy Fools), so they made me an honorary member.

Of course, it could be that I thought the article was related - so I just shared it (nothing else intended nor implied). Then realized later, that other thread starters or thread posters - have done things, I thought were similar (when it was pointed out, the 2 articles are not related). Sometimes the simplest explanation, is really the best.

I run 2 sizable LinkedIn groups myself. I get around any ambiguities, by writing out the rules. And if something comes up that’s not covered, the rules are appended. Which is the norm for LinkedIn groups. Folks can always refer to the written rules.