Paul's Passing Thoughts

Consensus of the Majority Is Not Truth

Posted in Uncategorized by Andy Young, PPT contributing editor on October 4, 2017

“The inferior reasoning of crowds is based, just as is the reasoning of a high order, on the association of ideas, but between the ideas associated by crowds there are only apparent bonds of analogy or succession. The mode of reasoning of crowds resembles that of the Esquimaux who, knowing from experience that ice, a transparent body, melts in the mouth, concludes that glass, also a transparent body, should also melt in the mouth…The characteristics of the reasoning of crowds are the association of dissimilar things possessing a merely APPARENT connection between each other, and the IMMEDIATE GENERALIZATION of particular cases.  It is arguments of this kind that are always presented to crowds by those who know how to manage them. They are the only arguments by which crowds are to be influenced. A chain of logical argumentation is totally incomprehensible to crowds…”
~ Gustav LeBon, The Crowd (1895)

In other words, the Philosopher Kings recognize the irrational logic of the group and exploit it to their advantage.

Appeal to authority vs. reason.

This would make for an excellent discussion on how this phenomenon manifests itself in the institutional church.  Please share your comments below.

Andy

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13 Responses

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  1. truthseeker00 said, on October 4, 2017 at 8:57 AM

    Ah, I was hoping for much more, as you stole one of my favorite lines . . . consensus of the majority (or those who deem themselves authority) is not Truth. There is only one purveyor of Truth, and it is the Spirit of Truth, whom Jesus promised to send to those who follow him. Even then, we often have trouble listening to his teaching, as it demands letting go of the false idols that have been constructed in our minds. ‘The Church’ is one of the hardest idols to let go of.

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  2. Andy Young, PPT contributing editor said, on October 4, 2017 at 10:02 AM

    It is because of this phenomenon that whenever we have a mass-murder spree like the recent one in Las Vegas that we have an immediate call for more gun laws and a renewed effort to ban weapons from the general public. This is a perfect example of the immediate generalization of a particular case; the generalization being that guns are bad and nobody should have a gun.

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    • Martin said, on October 4, 2017 at 11:00 AM

      Andy,

      It is good to see a change of mind and a change of heart. The following article highlights the reason for the uselessness of a legal firearm in specific situations like the one that happened in Las Vegas.

      http://secondnexus.com/social/musician-las-vegas-change-heart/

      Also it is worth noting that Jesus permitted his disciples to bring along the two swords NOT for his own protection but for their own sense of security. Also Him being numbered with the transgressors had to be fulfilled (Luke 22:37), hence Peter’s transgression of cutting off the ear of Malchus.

      I understand, though, that hunting rifles are indispensable in many areas of the world.

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      • Andy Young, PPT contributing editor said, on October 4, 2017 at 11:46 AM

        Martin,

        Your comment is only passing moderation because it implicitly exemplifies your own woeful ignorance concerning not only the founding of the United States and the inclusion of the 2nd Amendment to our Bill of Rights but also your ignorance concerning the individual’s right to self-preservation which includes protection from a tyrannical government, which is what the right to bear arms is specifically about.

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  3. Martin said, on October 4, 2017 at 1:03 PM

    From moderator: Your comment does not address the subject of the blog post and has been removed.

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  4. Martin said, on October 4, 2017 at 2:27 PM

    Andy,

    The founding of the United States was the resurrection of a democracy “rule by the people”, like the one they had in Greece, (I’m inclined to think that Revelation 13:3 addresses that). Jesus tells us that His Kingdom is not of this world and He rejects ALL the kingdoms of this world and their glory – Matthew 4:8

    United States is a great country, no doubt.

    But waving around the 2nd Amendment to support your point is to rely on a man-made law. And for the most part you, Paul and I agree what relying on the law results in: a man-made religion.

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    • Andy Young, PPT contributing editor said, on October 4, 2017 at 3:10 PM

      The 2nd Amendment is not a law (man-made or otherwise) and neither is it an endowment of rights. “Rights” are those things that are intrinsic to the existence of the individual which God endowed to man whereby he may seek those things necessary to the pursuit of life (maintaining his existence), including the right to self-preservation from harm perpetrated against him by those who would seek to deprive him of that right to life. The 2nd amendment is a statement of acknowledgement of that which belongs to all individuals because they are individuals.

      No, you do not agree with either Paul or me regarding the result of man-made law. There is not a moral equivalence between civil law and a religious system that seeks to use law as a standard for justification. Furthermore, ALL religion is “man-made” because it is the result of a metaphysical assumption that begins with the depravity of the individual for the express purpose of seeking to wield control over him. Tyranny is simply religion married to the force of government.

      America is the result of Enlightenment ideas that began with the assumption of man’s ability to seek after those things necessary to sustain life and then to enter into mutual exchange of value with other individuals without the need for a mediator. Government’s role then is not to arbitrate (and in the process benefit from) those exchanges but rather to protect, facilitate, and ensure that they can happen without violation of the rights of the individual. This is in no way antithetical to Biblical teaching for this was God’s intended role for human government. Any references to human/earthly kingdoms must be examined in context. In the context of Matthew (which was addressed to Jews), the Jewish leaders believed they were ushering in God’s Kingdom on earth and in doing so they would have a great role therein once realized. This is no different than those who hold to modern-day Dominion Theology.

      I really have no desire to discuss this subject here any further (I’ve already addressed it more than I wanted to) since it is becoming a distraction from the subject of the original post.

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  5. republican mother said, on October 4, 2017 at 5:19 PM

    Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets. Luke 6:26

    How does this manifest itself in the institutional church?

    One only has to experience the business meeting where a well-meaning, zealous pastor has whipped up the group to do some capital project or big expensive program there just isn’t money for. If you try to be that one that points out the common sense and even the Scriptures about not going into debt, congrats, you just became the “divisive” faithless one. Get ready to be smoked. The loving fellowship model advertised to newcomers, quickly converts into the Fortune 500 corporation “cut the deadwood” model. The pyramid-shaped hierarchical model is the map for all those institutions who seek to control, the subject of another recent post.

    Of course, these celebrity pastors who have set themselves up as the modern philosopher kings are obvious examples of a way to get the “group think” going on a national level. Now the church-house has become merely a place to showcase the ideas and wares of these men who make merchandise out of people. Instead of teachers studying their own Bibles, preparing their own lessons, and having their own thoughts under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we now have facilitators who shop at Lifeway and purchase their lesson plans for the next quarter-no thinking required!

    My last experience in the institutional church featured a children’s Sunday School teacher who was just a working guy who would make the kids cupcakes and open his Bible and ask, what do you want to know? I was so excited, it was like finding the last holdout church on earth! I said, you’re a real teacher and not a facilitator. Well, he moved away, and little by little, you could feel the Spirit leave that place. The New Calvinist pastor arrived, along with all his celebrity preacher book studies, and there you have another dead church.

    God loves the individual. He saves us individually. He write down our names in the Lamb’s Book of Life individually. He judges us individually. Individuality is something that institutions just can’t deal with.

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    • truthseeker00 said, on October 4, 2017 at 9:37 PM

      I have been looking for a cupcake church . . . probably will never find one.

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    • Susan said, on October 6, 2017 at 9:20 AM

      You nailed it, RepublicanMother. Nailed it. Yeah, I was that lone dissenting voice on a massive building project. So what is wrong with me? Don’t I love and care about the church? (Guilt into giving!) Umm … no, not at all. I am thinking logically and practically and doing something no one seems to do in American anymore — math. If the numbers don’t add up, sooner or later, nothing else will matter. Eventually, they will figure that one out.

      I am facilitating a similar style Bible study with adults. We are a fringe group. I ask: “What don’t you understand and what questions do you have?” Then we set about finding the answers. Nope. No celebrity Bible study guide. No canned program. No lesson plans. Don’t know what that word means — okay then, let’s look it up. I am pretty sure no one else is doing anything like this study in my community. The.Last.Hold.Out.

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      • Andy Young, PPT contributing editor said, on October 6, 2017 at 10:05 AM

        Susan,

        I am pretty sure you are not the last hold out, but likeminded folks such as us are hard to find because so many of them are scared of repercussions. It is encouraging to hear that you have a small circle of individuals to have a Bible study with. We’d love to do something similar where we are, but most folks just look at us like we have a third eye since we are not affiliated with any “church”, so how can they be sure we have it right if there’s no authority over us. It all comes back to authority!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Susan said, on October 6, 2017 at 10:40 AM

        That four letter word, “authority.” The good Lord gave us brains to use for a reason. The Bereans were praised for their study and testing out of what the apostles had to say to them. They did not dismiss out of hand and they did not embrace without question. These days, people are accepting anything no matter how outlandish.

        New age stuff and yoga and Christian hedonism and Calvin’s Monster of a god ….. are all being welcomed in the same church. Yes, I am being looked at as if I have a “third eye.” My friends “get me.” Thankfully, I have a handful of like-minded folks who are looking for more than what they can get on a Sunday morning.

        And these brave folks are finding a certain joy to questioning and digging deeper and seeking to understand.

        Another thought: actually Andy, each and every one of these churches has their own Authority (or the Catholic version of the Magisterium). It might be a seminary, or an apologetic group, or a celebrity pastor, or a coalition, organization or association — but rest assured, they have it. Problem is, they can’t agree among themselves.

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  6. Susan said, on October 4, 2017 at 6:47 PM

    The characteristics of the reasoning of crowds are the association of dissimilar things possessing a merely APPARENT connection between each other, and the IMMEDIATE GENERALIZATION of particular cases. It is arguments of this kind that are always presented to crowds by those who know how to manage them. They are the only arguments by which crowds are to be influenced. A chain of logical argumentation is totally incomprehensible to crowds…” ~ Gustav LeBon, The Crowd (1895)

    In other words, the Philosopher Kings recognize the irrational logic of the group and exploit it to their advantage.

    Appeal to authority vs. reason.

    This would make for an excellent discussion on how this phenomenon manifests itself in the institutional church.

    Oh my. The institutional church cannot tolerate an independent thinker — someone who questions, researches, ponders, and analyzes — who comes to his or her own conclusions and then dares to live out those conclusions.

    Oh my. This is what allows for double-speak and contradiction. This is what allows for 180 degree different — cannot stand together doctrines — to flourish in the institutional church. They call it “mystery.” SMH

    Oh my. This is what allows for the appeal to and calls for obedience to the pastor and to elder board in the institutional church. Don’t you know, the pastor and the elder board know so much more than you do!

    Oh my. This is what demands the “dumbing down” of education — translated into every aspect of life — including the institutional church. “Logical argumentation”, “common-sense” and “critical thinking” cannot be permitted.

    Oh my. This is why I cannot stand being a part of the institutional church. Authority trumps reason and my cognitive dissidence is off the charts. It is the definition of “crazy-making”.

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