The beginner’s mind notices the unobserved obvious and speaks out guilelessly, like the child who sees that the emperor is actually naked and says so. It should be obvious that the moral underpinnings of the developed civilizations have been weakening for decades.  Ethical relativism reigns over key centers of the educated elite, particularly among the humanities in academic circles, and among opinion makers in the media. There, faith based approaches to the fundamental human questions have been marginalized. 

Seeing this, the guileless child might paraphrase the character in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Idiot: “Without God, is everything now permitted?” 

There is a core of truth in the fundamentalist’s lament that our moral foundations (i.e., the philosophical and metaphysical moral infrastructure of civilization) have been damaged by morally neutral atheism and corrosively skeptical empiricism. Moral relativism has birthed nihilism.  Even the most benign product of the skeptical, secular mind set, hedonism, has done its share of damage, by disarming us against the influence of genuine evil.

With a beginner’s mind, we start with a clean sheet of paper.


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