Our cultural signs, symbols, and languages are dominated by bureaucratic and commercial ideologies. These ideologies push transcendental questions out of the public square, ruling them illegitimate b/c they do not serve a bureaucratic of commercial purpose. In other words, "They don't get us anywhere."
James Kalb tackles this problem and proposes a solution:
In a world that tries to immunize itself against concerns other than efficiency, equality, and preference satisfaction, Catholics need to circumvent the public discussion and restart it on a different footing. Saint Ambrose noted that God does not normally save his people through rational argumentation(“non in dialectica complacuit Deo salvum facere populum suum”). Man is nonetheless a creature of reason, at least in part, and if we don’t deal with that side of him we’ll have problems. The obvious way to start, since we live in a world in which well-paid sophists have supplanted traditional authorities, is to do what Socrates did in a similar setting: ask pointed questions that are hard to get rid of because they go to the heart of how people live. For example. . .
Read the whole thing.
As an example of what Kalb is opposing, here's a bit from COSMOS host, Neil deGrasse Tyson: "[Tyson] proudly proclaims his irritation with 'asking deep questions' that lead to a 'pointless delay in your progress' in tackling 'this whole big world of unknowns out there.' When a scientist encounters someone inclined to think philosophically, his response should be to say, 'I'm moving on, I'm leaving you behind, and you can't even cross the street because you're distracted by deep questions you've asked of yourself. I don't have time for that.'"
Methinks someone made a C- in undergrad philosophy class. . .
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