Agree or not with what he types, Rod Dreher is a good writer. A scold? Sure. Talented, nonetheless. But this passage from his Sunday column (read the whole thing here) has been niggling at me since I read it three days ago, and I need to spout off to exorcise it from my brain.
Today’s child-men have been formed by a culture that has lost — or, rather, thrown away — a relatively fixed standard of manhood … That’s mostly gone, replaced by a therapeutic model in which the autonomous self is its own judge, and personal satisfaction is the measure of a life well lived.
I reckon I’m left wondering why I need to contract out my own judgment. If my judgment is fatally flawed, how can I use it to pick someone else to do my judging for me? What makes their judgment of my “autonomous self” superior? And how is achieving personal satisfaction not the “measure of a life well lived”? When did the pursuit of happiness become morally suspect? Isn’t a person’s life an end to itself, or are you saying a person’s life is only worthy if it’s the means to other people’s ends? If I don’t take care of pursuing my own happiness and satisfaction, who is supposed to? (Yes, I’m procrastinating from my duties to the print version of FrontBurner. And yes, I own a PlayStation 3.)