One of the most important things we can do to today (besides Love God will all our heart mind, soul and strength and love our neighbor as myself is) is to redeem words, which is…an act of loving God, ourselves and our neighbor!
Our language as Johann Hamaan said in his dismantling of Kant and Kant’s philosophy of Pure Reason, Johann said said “Not only the entire ability to think rests on language… but language is also the crux of the misunderstanding of reason with itself.”
Other witnesses of truth who have felt the deepest evil and seen the use of language for evil have also spoken passionately about it. Listen…
“I still believe in man in spite of man. I believe in language even though it has been wounded, deformed, and perverted by the enemies of mankind. And I continue to cling to words because it is up to us to transform them into instruments of comprehension rather than contempt. It is up to us to choose whether we wish to use them to curse or to heal, to wound or to console.”
Elie Wiesel, Open Heart
“Upon closer observation, it becomes apparent that every strong upsurge of power in the public sphere, be it of a political or a religious nature, infects a large part of humankind with stupidity. It would even seem that this is virtually a sociological-psychological law. The power of the one needs the stupidity of the other. The process at work here is not that particular human capacities, for instance, the intellect, suddenly atrophy or fail. Instead, it seems that under the overwhelming impact of rising power, humans are deprived of their inner independence and, more or less consciously, give up establishing an autonomous position toward the emerging circumstances. The fact that the stupid person is often stubborn must not blind us to the fact that he is not independent. In conversation with him, one virtually feels that one is dealing not at all with him as a person, but with slogans, catchwords, and the like that have taken possession of him. He is under a spell, blinded, misused, and abused in his very being. Having thus become a mindless tool, the stupid person will also be capable of any evil and at the same time incapable of seeing that it is evil. This is where the danger of diabolical misuse lurks, for it is this that can once and for all destroy human beings.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Socrates says that “The definition of terms is the beginning of wisdom.”
The Bible also has quite a lot to say about words and The Word. “36But I tell you that every idle word that men will speak, they will render an account of it on the day of judgment; 37For by your words you shall be vindicated, and by your words you shall be condemned.” -Jesus
Gosh, look at how we talk, look at the shows we watch, the music we listen to, the books we read and our vapid commentary and opinion on everything. We feed on pure junk. Most of us talk in sports jargon and we have reduced all of life to winning, losing, winners, losers, grinding it out, points, rewards and competition. Honestly, it is gross. We have allowed words that are full of history, meaning, life, death, sacrifice, mercy, grace, hope and joy to be used to market and sell products, a lifestyle and our souls to a culture that only knows how to level, empty and dumb everything down.
What has not been leveled? What has not been reduced and fragmented to the lowest common denominator? We have ripped apart, dissected mutilated and deconstructed anything that is right, good and true, and in so doing… emptied most everything of anything that would give it any substance.
One of the many results of leveling “there is no longer anyone who knows how to talk, and instead, objective thought produces an atmosphere, and an abstract sound, which makes human speech superfluous, just as machinery makes man superfluous.” Søren Kierkegaard
“The more we have encountered truly good things, the more tasteless the thin syrup of more recent output becomes for us, at times almost to the point of nausea. Do you know of one book from the best literature of the last ca. fifteen years that you think will endure? I don’t. It’s partly wishy-washy, partly striking various poses, partly self-pitying sentiment—but no discernment, no thought, no clarity, no substance, and almost always a base, unfree use of language. On this point I am quite consciously a *laudator temporis acti. You too, aren’t you?” Bonhoeffer
- laudator temporis acti
Latin phrase used of one who looks to the past as better times, 1736, from Horace’s laudator temporis acti se puero “a praiser of times past when he was a boy” [Ars Poetica, 173], from laudator, agent noun of laudare “to praise” (see laud).
Our Words Matter! Our language matters.
“What is the good of words if they aren’t important enough to quarrel over? Why do we choose one word more than another if there isn’t any difference between them? If you called a woman a chimpanzee instead of an angel, wouldn’t there be a quarrel about a word? If you’re not going to argue about words, what are you going to argue about? Are you going to convey your meaning to me by moving your ears? The Church and the heresies always used to fight about words, because they are the only thing worth fighting about.” G.K. Chesterton
“A written word is the choicest of relics. It is something at once more intimate with us and more universal than any other work of art. It is the work of art nearest to life itself. It may be translated into every language, and not only be read but actually breathed from all human lips; — not be represented on canvas or in marble only, but be carved out of the breath of life itself.”Henry David Thoreau, Walden