December 01, 2015


Many of us may feel uncomfortable with the direction taken by elected officials and government administrators, but when we question their decisions they always have a plausible explanation. They can easily justify their actions because constituents don’t have all the facts needed to counter their statements. I’m reminded of the parable of the Great Banquet and the invited guests who made excuses and justifications for not attending. One had to inspect his newly purchased property, another had to try out his new oxen and a third was a newlywed. On the surface, and without knowing each situation, I would probably have accepted their explanation. Spiritually speaking however, plausible excuses don’t work. Jesus said, “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full. I tell you, not one of those men who were invited will get a taste of my banquet’” (Luke 14:23-24 NIV).

1 comment:

Steve Corey said...


-----Last Summer, when I was preparing my new old 1980 F150 for camping, I had to get a cheater bar to get a couple bolts off its old shock absorbers. The job really called for a breaker bar, but mine was somewhere on a shelf in a horrifically messy shed. It would have taken me a lot of time and digging to find it. Then I would probably need to find a half-inch to three-eighths adapter, because my half-inch socket collection is no longer worthy of even the word “depleted”. So, there is usually laying around my workbench in open sight a small steel tube a foot and a half or so long. Slipped over a ratchet handle, it performs the function of a breaker bar sloppily.
-----But it isn’t a breaker bar. It is a cheater bar. And a cheater bar’s sloppiness sometimes renders it feckless, as when the space to twist a fastener is limited. Other times it might slip over the handle of a ratchet that will not fit into the tight space surrounding the fastener head, but won’t slip over the end of a wrench that will fit into that space. A cheater bar is only a plausible breaker bar.
-----Dictionaries say “plausibility” is a superficial or apparent correctness. There is even an element of deception in some nuances of the given meaning. It isn’t the same as a “guess” because it is palmed off without the associated risks known to guessing. Therefore, plausibility is dangerous. Mental tasks are not the same as twisting bolts out of their holes. The twisting of getting a bolt out of its hole is a done deal when the bolt is out. Therefore the fact that the plausible breaker bar was really a cheater bar has left no deleterious effect upon either the hole or the bolt, once it’s out. A mental task at the end of a chain of mental tasks can be a plausible notion as long as 1) it is close enough to correct to serve your purpose, and 2) you will link no other thoughts to it for extending your chain of thoughts on to a further conclusion. Both reasons are important; the second is seriously important, because no chain of thought is stronger than its weakest link.
-----Information is everywhere today. That’s good, and that’s bad. It’s good because we can build far reaching chains of thought with correct information that lead to correct and useful conclusions. But the process of sorting information by its correctness is time consuming, not usually fun, and challenging to one’s own core beliefs. Maybe the latter reason is why so many folks do not search out and vet relevant information for their thought material. But the first two are the reasons most don’t. Humanity is indelibly knitted with at least one thread of intellectual laziness. And as more and more people buy intellectual goods based on mere plausibility, the pool of cultural knowledge their conclusions form becomes quite polluted in very serious ways.
-----The sloppiness of a cheater bar on a bolt-head is seemingly inconsequential when compared to the effects of an entire social system building upon sloppy notions accepted only upon plausibility. Witness our President. Witness our economy. Witness the gone sanctity of marriage, women pronouncing themselves men, men pronouncing themselves women, and the slaughter of innocents produced by this society’s plausible morality. By accepting plausible notions as links for chain making, any notion that this entire society is made of anything wise has even lost all plausibility.

Love you all,
Steve Corey