What is liberalism? It is the philosophical lie that keeps America going, rendering life meaningless by a (false) pluralism. Let me explain.
WASHINGTON, DC - The (so-called) freedom we enjoy here in the USA - a freedom whereby ultimate and absolute claims about the meaning of life are purposefully left undefined in order to leave people 'free' to "choose" their own meaning for their life - is what gives birth to pluralism.
How wonderful it must be, we think, to be able to live peaceably side-by-side with so many varied groups of persons with their differing (ultimate and absolute) views on life's meaning. Our country purports to not embrace one vision of human life in order to secure this (false) freedom that allows for plurality.
Oh really? It is an illusion to think that this is actually the case.
To not embrace an ultimate and absolute vision about the meaning of life is to actually have an ultimate and absolute vision. It is saying that the human being in his essence is a chooser for himself; the meaning of life is to be able to choose any meaning. It is a subtle point of clarification, but a crucial one.
Life is precious...save one now
To embrace that the meaning of life is to choose a meaning for oneself is essentially to say that life is inherently meaningless until one chooses a meaning. Such a choice can only be arbitrary, for all choices are in this view (supposedly) equal, and therefore are equally meaningless.
This is what allows for a March for Life to take place on the National Mall in Washington, DC each January, where thousands are invited to participate - and then on any other given day, a rally for promoting 'gay marriage' is also allowed to take place. From the standpoint of the 'freedom' in our country, both the March for Life and a rally for 'gay marriage' are 'equal' as 'choices,' which essentially renders them both meaningless. The (hidden) ultimate and absolute view of the meaning of life in this so-called 'freedom' allows for persons or groups - even very large groups - to gather in order to inspire others, but they are not viewed as having any actual claim on reality. Tacitly (and subtly), the only allowed forum for life's meaning is to be able to 'choose' a meaning, not that a meaning actually exists prior to any 'choice'.
In the end, the plethora of 'choices' is disseminated into society as a rather shallow pluralism. In the meantime, there is a dictatorship in our so-called 'free country' by way of presuming to not define the meaning of life - by actually defining it in the same instance.
At bottom, it is a false humility, an inability for truly receiving reality, the meaning of life. Such a dictatorship renders life meaningless by incapacitating itself for receiving the revelation of Jesus Christ who, as the Second Vatican Council taught, fully reveals the meaning of human life.
Philosopher John Milbank notes how our country allows for total diversity of choices without actually allowing for any choice to be completely effective. People are allowed to inspire people in society, but not to concretely form it.
Another name of this perverse notion of pluralism and (false) freedom is what Pope Benedict XVI called the dictatorship of relativism (which I alluded to above). 'It is a political and practical lie,' he famously (and rightly) said.
This is also known as liberalism.
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