Tuesday, August 24, 2010
I rarely link to David Brooks on MoJ, but I find today's column on the meta-cognition deficit to be especially fascinating: "Very few in public life habitually step back and think about the weakness in their own thinking and what they should do to compensate." It seems to me that members of religious communities are equally (if not more) susceptible to this problem, particularly to the extent that we dress up our thinking about an issue with fixed language of theological absolutes. I'm wondering whether, for example, the Church's slow embrace of religious liberty was, in the end, a cognitive problem. Other churches that I have attended have shown a reluctance to step back and acknowledge the extent to which their social positions had become affixed with one political party's platform (churches on both the "left" and the "right"). I have always explained these tendencies as a product of cultural osmosis where we lack the will to rise about our surrounding culture, but I suppose it may also stem from a lack of mental toughness, an unwillingness to think honestly about the path we're on and how our easy assumptions have led us astray.