What is it called?
Everyone starts life by getting acquainted with one's body and surrounding. When Adam started life, God brought to him the living creatures to see what he would call them. The Bible said that "whatever name Adam gave for each, that became its name." So the first time Adam met Eve he said "she is bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh." He gave his wife two names. "Eve" or "Chava" in Hebrew because she was the mother of all the living; and "Isha" which means woman, the feminine form of Hebrew "ish" for man. Her gender is part of her identity not just an add on. Her names described her role, her term of engagement, her relationship with Adam. In other words, naming is basic for living and much more.
Don’t you think that account is amazing? I do. It is God naming the world as He sees it, which is a good definition of truth. It means names are not to be tampered with, but respected because Reality exists. It means that reality exists apart from our own understanding, certified by God Himself.
These days, who hasn’t come across a misnomer? Violence is called peaceful? Colorblindness is racist? Abortion is life-saving? Criminals are victims. Parents who stand up for their children’s education are domestic terrorists? The nameless mass is hailed as heroes and anyone with a notable name is in danger of being replaced, twisted or obliterated. It is like people take the liberty to define reality including history, value, morality, identity and rules of engagement, to the extent that names no longer need to correlate with reality. The assumption is Truth no longer exists, only one’s own perception or feeling is true.
What happens when you are Jane today and Jill tomorrow by the time you reach Russia? If Pam is the convicted felon, what happens if she is now Pete?
Misnomers create a fractured world instead of a universe where people can converse intelligently (uni: one; verse: word). Now, that is much worse than communication gap which is usually just misunderstanding. Rather, it is idiocy fueled by misinformation, ideology and controlled narratives. That’s one sophisticated description of lying that’s infiltrating pre-schools all the way to the top universities. If reality is fluid, how does one decide what is? How can one be ever sure? How does that train anyone to think clearly, communicate accurately, or execute precisely? Then only a life of failure and misery awaits them. Isn’t it a mark of childishness to be double-minded, to disregard consequences, to believe with passion that which is not tested against broad wisdom in existence for centuries? And I thought testing is the basis of scientific research?
From experience, we know that mistrust turn people against each other, not just distancing them. Instead of changing the world, we are changed by the world we create. We become skeptical, cynical and alienated where we no longer know who to believe, what number to check, what name to use. After a while, we create causes to justify those lies, make up categories, events, victims and enemies that don’t exist as long as these yield the desired results we want. That is how victim-hood becomes hip. It’s lucrative.
Ah… did you hear that a teacher was fired for misusing pronouns! What? Can’t he just correct himself? Obviously the issue is not grammar. Rather, designation, speech, and human transactions are now based on color, gender, politics, ideology, feeling or mere loudness. Grammatical rules, language rules, moral rules are now a thing of the past? Well, if someone wants to change the basic rules of engagement, shouldn’t another have the right to challenge them or opt out, without getting vilified or fired? Creating rules that are one-sided only court friction. Worse if it is turned into a policy or a law. It’s a lie that it is done for unity, equity or progress. To call it justice is another misnomer.
Control the words to control someone’s reality and change it to one’s advantage. That’s gaslighting. I know what peaceful protest is when I see one. I bet you do too since you’d run for cover fast. You would not find it amusing if someone makes you second guess what you know is true and then suggests that you are paranoid or crazy. Would you?
Better ask how can one know he has fallen into any of these holes. Only the wise is willing to face his lie and admit it. For our greatest enemy is ourselves. We lie to ourselves constantly to get what we want. But since life for Adam did not start with a lie, neither should ours. Be bold and call it by its name.
Small step: Have you come up with a way to sort out truth from distortion? May I suggest checking the basics or the Bible for what God calls “it” for real?