Reality Isn’t What It Used To Be

Maybe It Never Was

 American devotion to religious and intellectual freedom, over the centuries,                          morphed into a fierce entitlement to custom made reality. Kurt Anderson

Once upon a time the sun was rotating around the flat earth which was 6,000 years old. Today the earth is round, rotating around the sun and considered to be billions of years old. In between, many changes in “reality” have occurred. Today in America, there are many beliefs about reality. The way one believes to see their reality is their reality.

In 1990 Walter Truett Anderson wrote in his book, Reality Isn’t What it Used to Be: If there is anything we have plenty of, it is belief systems. Since then in America, political and public discourse has seen an increase in personal beliefs systems. Believing and seeing has become reality. Over the centuries since its founding, it seems some Americans have grown into the idea that as an American they are absolutely free to ignore science, expertise and have reason to believe what they feel to be true.

What has been lost is critical reasoning. “I can believe whatever I want” seems to be a residue of the Enlightenment, Postmodernism and New Age movements. How did this continue to expand? The end of the twentieth century gave out-of-control thinking the perfect infrastructure to make the untrue, unreasonable, and unprovable seem real; and that infrastructure being the internet. Kurt Anderson. The internet as made many personal realities easily available to everyone.

Reality has always been in the eyes of the beholder. Today reality is still in the eyes of the beholder, but a quite different beholder. It seems that the beholder has been given the “American freedom” and the modern infrastructure to believe what they want to believe. Can critical reasoning become reality in America? When is our belief about reality real?

I have been writing about beliefs ever since I have been writing. I don’t believe that the majority of Americans today feel absolutely free to ignore science, expertize, and reason in order to believe what they feel to be true. I believe it is the noisy ones. The quiet ones need to wake up and be heard. Science of course is an ally. Critical reasoning thinking is the practice of considering all aspects of a situation when deciding what to believe or what to do; the objective analysis of facts to form a judgment, and an open and inclusive worldview, Dictionary. That’s not easy to do, but possible — some of the time, by some of us.

A modern day view of American reality could be in the making. It doesn’t take everyone, or even a majority of Americans, to change today’s view of reality. It will take a well-organized, reasoning group of noisy ones, designing a new custom made reality (an open and inclusive worldview). It is always right to do the right thing. M. L. King

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it’s the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead


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3 Responses to Reality Isn’t What It Used To Be

  1. Eugene Unger says:

    H, hope your feeling better ! Your reality is being asked for. Sense perception is always reality what’s yours regarding your health? We have talked about the danger of denying reality. Have you seen doctors ? Quoting others perceptions does not lead to a healthy reality. What do believe? That’s reality,,, for you only. Praying for your health my old friend. Gene



  2. Carl Thoresen says:


    Please confirm my recent message. Thanks

    Be Peace, Carl

    Carl E. Thoresen Professor Emeritus of Education,Psychology,& Psychiatry, Stanford University

    Senior Fellow, Spirituality and Health Institute Santa Clara University

    Chair, Board of Directors CPP, Inc.

    408 656 5628


  3. Cynthia Schroeder says:

    Perhaps you will not even get this e-mail/comment back since it is so dated. But I hope so. Have been going through 2018 e-mails and came across this Reality and decided to tell you that I think it is very, very well put together; reminds me of how thoughtful you have always been; and responded to Unger’s post with a lot of ambivalence. He refers to your not feeling so well back in January. I ALWAYS wish you well in your health and well-being. I miss you. Cynthia

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