Thinking Hardly

George Orwell’s 1984 pictures Big Brother as suppressing free thought. In his world, a fascist regime discourages reading books, free thought and education. The resultant society is completely jejune. And so through fascism, the world falls into meaninglessness and irrelevancy. Truth becomes reticent in a society ruled by fear.

Arguing for the same results but by entirely different means, Aldous Huxley penned Brave New World. In this universe, pleasure, leisure and technology freely avail themselves. Because of humanity’s fondness for pleasure, life becomes trivial. When one can pop a soma, why think?

Neil Postman in Amusing Ourselves to Death insightfully comments, “In 1984, Huxley added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will run us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us” (xx).

According to Postman, Huxley prophesied rightly. We live in world ruined by our propensity for pleasure. Entertainment tyrannizes our time, media dominates our thoughts, and a sound-bite culture cripples our ability to relate facts to life. We hear of wars and rumors of wars and we shrug it off, like any other piece of information that comes our way. We are blinded to any sort of imperative on our life to act on what we hear.

God cares about how we live, use technology, and take leisure. As we begin to explore the Bible’s teaching on these matters, we need to open our mind up to seeing the big picture, to seeing how facts relate to one another, to seeing the unity of the message of Scripture. We will see how God created us in his image and how that dramatically affects how we live our life.

So don’t pop a soma, but start think hardly (not hardly thinking!)


8 thoughts on “Thinking Hardly

  1. FYI: My next post will explain how thinking about the image of God affects us today, as we look into the progressive unfolding of the Bible’s teaching on the subject of work, leisure and play.

  2. Hey Joechip,

    thanks for the interaction. Mr. Savage’s travel into dispair is dark, and depressing. A world where everything is meaningless because “distraction” and “pleasure” are ultimate appears hopeless.

    It would be interesting to see how a person’s view of the future (is utopia coming? is there a way to change things?) affects this spiral into dispair. In my life, I find it easier to suffer if I have something to hope in.

    Looks like Chad has a simliar thought.

  3. Thunk you for your interest. There are a number of possibilities:
    1. buy more lottery tickets and work towards the overthrow of capitalism and the advent of a new world order of peace and harmony and stuff
    2. place your hope in science and technology and a future of progress, and things that taste like chicken (mostly, it will be underground)
    3. rail against it but eventually succumb to the Trevors of this world (for a gramme is better than a damn)
    4. Be not of this world, and do not place your hope in the things of this world. They will lead you to ruin.

    That is all the writer will allow me to say. Again, thunk you for your interest. Feel free to respond to my questions at

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