Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Reason, Intuition, and Instinct

Most of what we say or do, most of how we appear in the world, filters through reason, intuition, or instinct. Add self-interest as motivation, and even a casual observer will have a pretty good grip on his environment.

I head the story of Pat Robertson's latest gaffe several mornings ago on a local radio program. 

 To a minister like Robertson, marriage is empowered by the almighty himself as the holiest of institutions. It is the most unbreakable of bonds, well, except in one case. Calling Alzheimer's disease a "kind of death," in a Sept. 13 700 Club broadcast, Robertson advised a man whose wife is suffering from the incurable, degenerative disease to "divorce her and start all over again." Unsurprisingly, the clip has gone viral and, like the many Robertson gaffes before it, prompted condemnation from others in the faith-based community. 
Alzheimer's is an ugly thing, made worse by the idea that the person we want to nourish likely does not recognize us or the love expressed. But Robertson is supposedly a Christian evangelical, and Christianity is a faith that demands sacrifice and love beyond self.
The comment is simply stunning, a minister of a religion based on selfless love advocating self-interest over love. 

There are several video clips circulating the Internet focused on the statement, but nearly all of them are edited to frame an argument. Here is a clip issued by Robertson's group, the Trinity Broadcast Network, and it is interesting to listen to his complete unedited remarks on the issue. It is the first question answered and Robertson's reply continues through two minutes.

I am not sure from where Robertson's answer came, but surely it is not reason nor intuition. Instinct? Yes, the instinctual fear we all have of losing ourselves.
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