Great post over at Fallible Blogma with a great video featuring Fr. Barron discussing how our culture has “dumbed down” subjects such as literature, philosophy and religion.
Check it out:Is your faith “dumbed down?”
Matthew Warner says that we have become “dumbed down to anything except technology.” I agree. While I am a huge fan of technology, I also recognize that an increase in technology has also led to a decrease in communication and, quite possibly, one of the leading reasons why we are “dumbing down” some subjects. Technology makes everything easier and more accessible and, in my opinion, has pulled us away from the wonders of intellectual discovery–especially in the arts and humanities. 140-character tweets and Facebook statuses have stunted our communication leading us to call letter-writing an “almost lost art.” Everything is instant from text messages to iPhones and iPods. Everything is easier and, in many ways, doesn’t require us to think past what we see. It’s all so quick and incredibly noisy and doesn’t leave room for us to think…to really think about the bigger questions.
Fr. Barron mentions how he flipped through a Religion textbook and saw more pictures than text–a clear “dumbing down” of the material. In this world of increased multi-tasking and the breaking down of communication, it’s no wonder that textbook publishers have changed the material. But, I don’t think it’s right. We need to find more respect for the subject and for our own intellect. We are becoming dumb to our faith tradition and we shouldn’t be. As Fr. Barron points out:
We got a smart tradition, the Catholic tradition is a very smart tradition–intellectually profound, rich. We will not tell our own story effectively if we turn away from that richness. We must stop dumbing down our tradition if we are going to make this story compelling.
You can’t learn about the Catholic faith as quickly as you can maneuver an iPhone. It takes work to understand the Catholic tradition, it takes interest, it takes thought, it takes faith. This summer, it’ll be Chesterton, Lewis, and Dante for me.
A big thanks to Matthew Warner for sharing this with his readers.