Random thoughts for a Sunday morning….

The Sunday morning interview shows are focused on the GOP’s “identity crisis.” The New York Times has an article by the Public Editor about a not-dissimilar debate occurring within journalism over the meaning and possibility of “objectivity.” An academic listserv I participate in has a recurring discussion about the advisability of holding a new Constitutional Convention, or at least seriously considering significant constitutional changes. Various religious denominations are grappling with challenges to settled theological positions, including their beliefs about the role of women, homosexuality and same-sex marriage. Educators are struggling to redefine both ends and means. Technology is changing everything from how we live to how we define friendship.

I could go on, but you get the picture. We live in an era when–as the poet put it– “the center will not hold.”

The existential question, of course, is: what will emerge from all this confusion and change? Will we take this opportunity to think about the “big” questions–what kind of society do we want to inhabit? What would a more just system look like? Aristotle was among the first to suggest that an ideal society would facilitate human flourishing; what would such a society look like?

Unfortunately, there’s not much evidence that these “big” questions are being asked. Instead, we seem to be surrounded by quarrelsome adolescents, desperately trying to game the system and retain–or obtain–relative advantage.

I wonder what it would take to change the conversation?