Maybe the best summation of the driving force behind this movement is found in the well-known axiom, If It Feels Good, Do It. The posh title for this philosophy, is hedonism. The doctrine that propels courses like Perspectives on Gender, is ultimately hedonism -- the pursuit of pleasure and self-fulfillment as our central goal in life. Apparently, it doesn't matter if what makes us feel good collides with social moors, traditional values and nature itself: we will do it nonetheless. To hell with conscience, if it makes my endorphins bristle, it must be all right.
As I spoke with Chris about his further descent into higher education, this proverb loomed. It brought to mind an event that neither of us can verify, but which came to us by credible sources. The Philosophy Department at CSUSB is fairly conservative. One professor, in particular, is known for his vocal defense of said conservatism. Supposedly, during a lecture, this professor was repeatedly challenged by a student who happened to be wearing a shirt plastered with the adage: If It Feels Good, Do It. After leaving the lecture, the professor promptly rammed the student's car with his own. When asked why he'd done it, the gentleman replied, "Because it felt good."
The problem with the, If It Feels Good, Do It, movement, is obvious. Lots of things that we'd feel good doing, shouldn't be done. So the professor's point was well made (whether or not the judge agreed).
Somewhere, someone must draw lines. Even the hippies qualified their creeds: "Do your own thing, as long as it doesn't hurt anyone." Problem is, who says what hurts whom? It's obvious we can't smash things just because it feels good, nor condone things just because a vocal constituency arises. Should we tolerate incest, bestiality, pedophilia or necrophilia, just because it feels good to someone? Most would say no. In fact, while many homosexuals believe traditional marriage should be redefined, they still reject other forms of sexual license. They erase lines, then draw others. "Thou shalt not hate or be intolerant" has become the First Commandment of liberalism. But I doubt even the Perspectives on Gender crowd would "tolerate" inter-family marriage or inter-species unions.
The real issue is not, where we draw the line, but who will draw it. The greatest societies in the world have always been predicated upon belief in the existence of a higher power, a Great Line Drawer, a Boundary Maker. Countries built upon atheism never last. And atheism and hedonism go hand in hand. As Chesterton said:
When a man ceases to believe in God, he doesn't believe in nothing. He believes in anything.
The Godless man inevitably becomes a god unto himself; by rejecting the Lawgiver, he is free to draw his own lines, erase lines and fudge when needed. In the end, what will stop him from smashing anyone or anything in his way? If pleasure is the driving force (pun intended)and permission is granted to remove the boundaries, anarchy awaits.
The pursuit of happiness has parameters. Most of them are rooted in God-given laws, affirmed by societies for millenia. As Proverbs 23:10 says, "Remove not the ancient landmark." Perspectives on Gender and classes like it, want to blur the ancient landmark, drive their philosophy through it, and hopefully strike the Lawgiver in the process. But when those boudaries are re-negotiated or removed, we are in trouble. After all, if it feels good, why not smash it?