Apologist G.K. Chesterton once said that thinking means connecting things. Never were truer words spoken. To really understand what something is we must first understand what it is for and then how it connects or relates to other things.
Suppose I were to bring someone from the 17th century into a car class with the first lesson being on the fuel injection system. He may say, “Excuse me, but what is a car?” I’d respond, “It is a mode of transportation to get you from point A to point B.” The time traveler may think of a horse in this context and ask, “How would a car relate to a horse?” I could explain, among other things, that a car is a machine that is generally bigger, faster and can hold more people & cargo than a horse. A better understanding of a car emerges when we can understand its purpose and how it connects or relates to other things.
This “knowing” and “relating” is key to understanding some basic facets of life and how they connect. The Catholic faith has always taught that the following are inexorably linked ………
God» Male» Female» Marriage» Sex» Children» Family» Community» Nation» World
I teach a course in troubleshooting in which a negative is always used to help confirm a positive and vice versa. If thinking means connecting things, the opposite of thinking (lack of thinking) MUST involve some kind of “disconnect”.
Let’s look at some lack-of-thinking that breaks (attacks?) the connections above:
• Marriage and sex have nothing to do with each other. If you want sex, just do it: This disconnect results in treating others as objects among many other societal ills, such as unwanted pregnancies, STD’s and an unknowable amount of emotional pain.
• Marriage and having children have nothing to do with each other. If you want a baby, find a partner somehow or go to a sperm bank: This disconnect results in the break down of the family unit.
• Sex and children are not necessarily connected. The purpose of sex is pleasure, children are an optional byproduct. A pregnancy (side effect) can be terminated as a personal choice: This disconnect results in legalized murder.
• Male and Female? That doesn’t mean anything. Love is love regardless of what genders are involved: This disconnect results in an unintelligible definition of marriage.
In an age of internet surfing, texting and tweets we are getting good at looking at many different things very quickly, but in a shallow way. We are losing the ability to dig deeper to see how ideas link up. We lose the big picture. We lose the connections. Thinking is indeed connecting things.
|Gilbert Keith Chesterton|
1874 - 1936