Good and bad ideas


The bloodletting of sick patients was once considered a good standard medical idea, but today is unthinkable. Many patients perished from such a well-intentioned procedure- as ideas surely have consequences.

Atheistic communism, born with all its materialistic theoretical good intent of the equality of man, etc., has instead left us a track record of despotism and untold death, poverty, oppression and destruction in its worldwide historical wake. It is a bad idea. Nazism, which originally sold as a good idea that lifted a depressed nation and economy from its misery, ended with dictatorship and war and death and destruction for itself and many others. Another bad idea.

The constitutional republican democracy, based on a free market and personal initiative, has proven successful in the USA, along with human freedom based upon constraints of sound law, and the self-constraint of traditional Judeo-Christian morality upon which it was historically founded, has been a good idea, until now. But the new liberal definition of “tolerance” cannot be applied equally to all human behavior without civilization destabilizing and breaking down into utter confusion and chaos. Tolerance of the intolerable will ultimately produce just that. Without a clear idea of what is right and what is wrong, human civilization cannot continue to exist in any positive way, any more than a body afflicted with AIDS is capable of the immunity needed to keep out that which will ultimately destroy it.

One cannot see very well when immersed in mud, where good ideas and bad ideas are considered of equal value, and mixed together to the mud of what is now called multiculturalism. Ideas have consequences, and one simply has to observe such ideas as Islam’s outworking and agenda today to see the fruit of a bad idea- spread by fear, terrorism, murder, oppression, slavery, revenge, triumphalism. To better understand, one need only read the Quran and the Hadiths and Sharia laws. One is not racist or bigoted in rejecting the introduction of destructive bad ideas into society, as we witness Europe now suffering from the well-intended multiculturalism that is destroying its very fabric and integrity, to their dismay. Bad ideas need not be tolerated for the sake of what is called in the common vernacular of the day political correctness, to the detriment of society’s health.

The defunct monarchies and fiefdoms of the European past had proven bad ideas for most of the population, and the fruit of Hinduism may be seen in the dire poverty and filthy misery in the streets of India today. Christianity, in its various historical permutations, has left much fruit unworthy of its founder’s good name. There have been centuries during which its message was so perverted and diluted and ensconced within the confines of human institutions, and mixed with the corruptions of political power, that little but oppression, inquisitions, intolerance, expulsions, pograms, witch burnings and the like became its fearful trademark in the eyes of many. Unfortunately, the good idea at the base of the teaching of its founder, Jesus, in its original context and paradigm, has been blasphemed in the eyes of many. But that in no way defiles the very good Jewish idea that came forth from the founder himself, who healed and never killed, who forgave and blessed his oppressors, and commanded humanity to do the same: to do good and not evil by definition, to love one another and to love God. It is a positive message that has freely permeated the generations of humankind, rich and poor, with hope, healing and love, having survived the cruel dynasties of human machinations for two thousand years unto this day. This may ultimately be the only good idea left for humanity.

Right and wrong, good and bad- or even evil- are ideas that have been lost to the discernment and lexicon of knowledge of the post-modern Western mind, to its own detriment. A generation has been bred that is completely appeased by a pleasant smile on the face of evil. Relativism and revisionism have usurped the very tools of survival for Western civilization in a very dangerous and deceptive time for our planet, when discernment is most urgently needed.

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Elhanan ben-Avraham, born in 1945, is a professional artist, poet, writer and father of two, grandfather of four, living in Israel since 1979. He has served in the IDF, taught the Bible internationally, published five illustrated books of poetry, painted two large Biblical murals in public buildings in Jerusalem, and most recently produced THE JERUSALEM ILLUSTRATED BIBLE, among many other works. He and his wife live in a quiet village in the Mountains of Judah.