I’m realizing that I really don’t like this John Ostrowski fellow. Maybe he reminds me of myself when I was younger and more of an idealist. Nevertheless, I responded to his column.
Also, I applied again for a job at Publication Services. Let’s hope I scored better on the tests this time through. It’s been almost twenty-four hours and they haven’t contacted me, so maybe I didn’t do better (I’m under the impression that it doesn’t take them long to score the tests).
And I contacted Antioch University. They told me that I’m on the waitlist. I’m eager to hear back; hopefully I’m not too far down on the waitlist and will get an open spot.
Without further ado, here is the letter I sent to the DI:
In his column today, John Ostrowski suggests that amoral, irreligious, and materialistic trends in society are relatively new. Materialism has existed in a wide variety of shapes and sizes throughout the past, bearing many different names. This is nothing new.
Religion, however, is not nearly as dead as he seems to be suggesting. As a matter of fact, some of the most deadly forces today are the irreconcilable differences between some of the world’s most influential religions, especially Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. According to adherents.com, only 16% of the world’s population is non-religious (half of that group being believers of some sort who do not identify themselves with a religion).
The University of Illinois campus is far from being a microcosm of the world population. Of course, we do have members of many major religions on campus. Those groups, however, tend to be draw much less attention than the hordes of hedonistic bar-crawl crowds that Mr. Ostrowski so admires. The suggestion that people are, for the first time in history, beginning to engage in meaningless acts of self-indulgence is ridiculous to the point of absurdity. People have been engaging in self-satisfying behaviors since the beginning of time. No religion, no matter who they call their God, will put an end to that.
Different people believe in different things. Religious or otherwise, values are going to vary from person to person. The best that we can hope for is that we can find a tiny bit of common ground, a set of values on which everyone can agree. Establishing such common ground is much more easily accomplished when we refrain from judging the actions of others by the standard of what we want for ourselves. If we really hope to reach a common ground, we must make an effort to understand the values of others instead of dismissing them outright for being inconsistent with our own.