A Failure of Imagination.

“At the heart of this (fire) tragedy” writes George Megalogenis in The Weekend Australian Feb14-15 2009 “is a clear failure of public policy, and official imagination.”

Sound familiar? The US inquiry into September 11th 2001 found that there was a failure to realise the threat, a failure to be organised and watchful, a failure to share information, and a failure of imagination.

Sometimes consequences are obvious in their impact but the human mind tends to insulate against the possibility of really horrendous consequences. But possibility thinking demands that we look at “what ifs…” otherwise thought unimaginable.

CSLewis talks about the “baptized imagination” – an imagination facilitated by the renewing of our minds by the Holy Spirit, an imagination able to at least begin to conceptualise spiritual truth. In surrendering our imagination to the Holy Spirit and exercising logical thinking we are in a better position to see what is ahead and to prepare responsibly.

Lewis wrote about future consequences in The Abolition of Man and That Hideous Strength. The former was a series of three memorial lectures at the University of Durham in 1943 (warning Dr Smith: heavy), and the latter a novel.

The devaluation of life manifest in the community’s tolerance of abortion has led to predictable consequences and also some unimaginable: 80-100,000 abortions annually in Australia as an extension of contraception; abortion for even mild imperfections, de-selection to reduce the number of multiple births – even de-selection of a twin; the creation of life for the express purpose of destructive research; cloning; mixing of animal and human genes; designer babies…

Where do we stop? There is no stopping. We have crossed the Rubicon. This is no longer an adventure into the unknown but a known descent into the relative ethics of one human life against another and whether a life “is worthy to be lived.” Physician assisted suicide is on our doorstep – even for disenchanted teenagers. Euthanasia for others whose lives are considered useless or futile – whatever definition we attach to that. Sex selection, skin colour, intelligence, athleticism – all up for grabs in the near future.

It has been said that passing a Bill of Rights will – through judicial activism – result in overriding democratic government and making our votes worthless.

Extreme? The people of Germany protested “no, no, that could never happen here – we are German!” Let us here not repeat the failure of 9/11, a failure to realise the threat, a failure to be organised and watchful, a failure to share information, and a failure of imagination.

Lachlan Dunjey. February 2009.

This article appeared in a briefer form in The Advocate April edition p7 http://www.theadvocate.tv/

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