March 1, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel is commonly credited with defining the philosophical structure called dialectic. While I make no claim to be a serious student of Hegel or of philosophy in general, I think I understand the basics of dialectic reasoning enough to refer to its effect on our culture.
In simple terms, the system suggests that cultures evolve through a pattern like this: Thesis (a new idea) –> antithesis (opposition to new idea) –> synthesis (compromise). (No doubt some will call this an oversimplification of the process. But I believe it accurately depicts cultural evolution.)
In our nation’s history we can see examples of this dialectic process bringing about positive change. The abolition of slavery quickly comes to mind.
But not all new ideas are worth pursuing. Probably the best example of a failed dialectic process is Communism. Karl Marx and Frederic Engels’ thesis was first met with fierce opposition. Eventually, however, antithesis gave way to a synthesis and Communism was born and then spread throughout much of the world. And wherever it went it brought misery.
Dialectic in sexual practices
We have seen and are seeing that process of cultural evolution in our nation’s sexual practices.
First the dialectical process transformed our nation’s views on marriage and divorce. While the statistics on marriage and divorce are not as easily defined as some think, there is no doubt that, throughout the 20th century, particularly the latter half, marriage rates declined and divorce rates increased. Yet numerous studies have shown that children fare best in a family led by one father and one mother.
Next, the dialectical process transformed the nation’s views on homosexual practices. Prior to the publishing in the late 1940s of Alfred Kinsey’s biased and highly flawed studies on Americans’ sexual beliefs and practices, most Americans viewed homosexual practices as aberrant and abhorrent. But in the decades directly following Kinsey’s Sexual Behavior in the Human Male and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female, acceptance of homosexual practices gradually increased. And now those who are willing to speak of the dangers of homosexual practices find ourselves in an ostracized minority.
The latest sexual taboo to be challenged is transgenderism. I know this one well, because my father chose to be a “woman.” When my dad pursued his strange lifestyle, he was among a tiny minority, and most considered him to be an anomaly. Now, transgenderism is gaining the widespread acceptance homosexuality reached over the last few decades.
But it is no longer enough for men to wear dresses and adorn themselves with makeup, or for women to wear men’s clothes and pursue practices historically exclusive to men. Nor is it sufficient to have bodies hormonally and surgically altered.
Now we learn that the latest dialectic turn is a push for “transgender women” (that is, men whose bodies were surgically altered) to be given wombs from recently deceased women so that these men attempting to be women can give birth.
What could be further from the natural creation?
Cultural revolutions generally move along in stages (the dialectic). Each of the boundaries crossed in the “sexual revolution” made the next step more tenable.
In this fallen world, the dialectic process tends to more commonly evolve downward rather than upward. We’re more likely to gravitate toward decadent practices than to noble changes such as the abolition of slavery. For example, many predict that the next sexual taboo to be normalized will be pedophilia. And we can only imagine the depths such regressions will reach from there.
Those of us who understand the differences between cultural progress and the normalization of dangerous aberrations need to educate our neighbors before it’s too late. We must understand this phenomenon sufficiently to explain it to others. Then we must be willing to weather criticisms, invectives, and even punishment as we warn, educate, and defend against the normalization of dangerous deviancies.
Denise Shick is the Founder and Executive director of Help 4 Families Ministry. She is the author of My Daddy’s Secret, When Hope Seems Lost, Understanding Gender Confusion-A Faith Based Perspective, and When Daddy Leaves to be a Girl.