I was flipping through the channels and found an interesting program on the brain. It was an episode in the Charlie Rose series, which features a panel of scientists discussing some newly identified brain mechanisms and how they relate to social behaviors. They were primarily concerned with autism as it relates to the deficient development of those brain mechanisms. I missed the beginning of the program, and since these scientists were not identified in the closing credits, I have no idea who I am disagreeing with. Perhaps that is for the best. However, they most likely represent prevailing attitudes toward autism, which are quite liberal indeed.
I am prone to agree with Michael Savage, who says that autism is over-diagnosed. In his often misquoted and misrepresented statements made about a year ago, Savage said that many children today are diagnosed as autistic with minimal symptoms and treated with drugs that can actually induce psychosis. I heard his original broadcast on the subject, in addition to subsequent broadcasts in which a pediatric psychiatrist backed up this position with factual data.
It is their opinion, and mine, that the huge upswing in the numbers of children diagnosed with autism (The rate of occurrence has exploded.) is due to the decline of parental discipline and the increased role of schools and other government institutions in child-rearing responsibilities. More and more parents have left the vital role of raising their children up to the schools. And increasingly the schools and the government are expanding their authority over that of parents. What the kids eat, what kind of medical care they get, what they are taught about religion, sex, you name it — it’s all being wrested out of the hands of parents and coming under the control of government run institutions.
One of the reasons parents are going easy on discipline is that current wisdom teaches them they must not damage the precious potential of children by being stern or disciplinary. Parents are now supposed to be their child’s big buddy, so as to elicit voluntarily the desired behaviors. Forcefulness in insisting a child do what he or she is told is seen as destructive. Spanking is viewed as “violence”. And of course, all violence is considered bad. In fact most aggressive behavior on the part of a parent is seen as inappropriate. Today, enforced “obedience” is seen as a certain kind of enslavement that will destroy a child’s sense of self-worth.
This attitude stems from a very basic assumption, which interestingly was succinctly stated by at least two of the scientific panelists on the Charlie Rose brain show. According to these highly-educated, forward-looking scientists, humans are “born to be good but capable of evil”. And it is “society” (human interaction) that teaches them to be bad. These scientists think that it is the responsibility (and capability) of society to raise its children to “be good”. That is why they study and research human development and human behavior: to make a better “society”. And putting all those children on drugs is one way of reaching that goal.
I find this self-confessed assumption to be quite revealing. If you haven’t picked up on it yet, please observe that this assumption is the exact opposite of Biblical teaching. The moral underpinnings of western civilization, which produced scientific thought, is grounded in Christianity, which in turn inherited its moral underpinnings from the Jews and their Bible. (That is why the Ten Commandments are seen — at least symbolically — as the foundation of American jurisprudence. But that’s another story.)
We, in the west, have always seen human nature as sinful. Humans are born in sin and must acknowledge and obey the almighty God in order to be good. The righteousness of society is only reflected to the degree that enough individuals are being obedient to God. It therefore has been traditional that the raising of children be highly focused on obedience, respect for authority and punishment for disobedience and disrespect.
I also find it interesting that these scientists assume the role of improving the moral condition of humans through the study of biological mechanisms and drug treatments . But that is only because they have devalued and discarded the traditional institutions of morality, i.e. Biblical religions. But more than simply declaring religion a “crutch” or something akin to superstition, these ungodly scientists have made a major paradigm shift in how they think about the brain. A geneticist on the panel said that the brain is not just a calculator but a whole “psychological system” that is our “self”.
Those of us who hang onto traditional teachings see the “self” as something more than mere brain functions. The “mind” is something more than just the mechanistic brain. The “self” includes a spirit, a soul, a will, a faith. These Godless scientists have declared themselves authorities over something they can not measure. If they cannot measure it, they say it does not exist or call it a poetic expression — no more substantive than evaporating mists. But when you know God, you know you are a spirit, and the true “self” is not to be found in the dark shadows of the brain.
At the end of the program, one of the panelists made a deprecating remark about “tribalism”. I can only assume what he meant, since he did not elaborate. Now remember, this program was about the brain, its mechanisms of development and autism. Any reference to “tribalism” would have to relate somehow to brain function. When I think of tribalism, I think of the pride and significance that one’s tribe has to a Native American. In the Bible, a great deal of importance was given to the twelve tribes in the history of Israel. But I think this scientist views “tribalism” as a sort of small, exclusive group-think that tends to isolate them from others, and foments tension and violence with other small groups.
The reason I find this worthy of comment is because the New Age, politically correct attitude is “multi-cultural”. We are supposed let everyone identify with whatever “culture” they wish, but not to be exclusive or defensive against other groups. How there can be a universal acceptance of all groups with each group having its own pride of association and identity without inter-group conflicts is beyond me. The social dynamics that serve to hold each small group together must be replaced with social dynamics that serve to hold a nation together.
Somehow, I think these scientists would define “tribalism” differently than I have, because I imagine they consider “nationalism” to be no different than “tribalism” on a larger scale. Somehow, I imagine they would not cure “tribalism” by requiring all tribes accept the cultural/social norms of a nation; not by requiring all the tribes to speak the same language or obey the same laws. Somehow, I see these scientists imagining a “good” or “better” society run not by free peoples, but by scientific fiat. The scientists of the world would choose who the benevolent ruling panel of scientists would be, and they would make society better… probably by taking away all lines — no more borders, no more property. Everyone would share everything and be each others’ buddies. It all will be financed by the pharmaceutical companies who will keep everyone happily drugged.