Proverbs 14:6-8

6 The mocker seeks wisdom and finds none,

   but knowledge comes easily to the discerning.

7 Stay away from a fool,

   for you will not find knowledge on their lips.

8 The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways,

   but the folly of fools is deception.

 The mocker sets out to dismiss those he doesn’t want to listen to, ignoring advice by ridiculing the source. He becomes very good at this over time, but he loses touch with intellectual honesty. Eventually he sees everything through the lens of mockery, and can no longer consider anything objectively.

 As Chesterton Put it: “the new rebel is a skeptic, and will not entirely trust anything. He has no loyalty; therefore he can never be really a revolutionist. And the fact that he doubts everything really gets in his way when he wants to denounce anything. For all denunciation implies a moral doctrine of some kind; and the modern revolutionist doubts not only the institution he denounces, but the doctrine by which he denounces it. . . . As a politician, he will cry out that war is a waste of life, and then, as a philosopher, that all life is waste of time. A Russian pessimist will denounce a policeman for killing a peasant, and then prove by the highest philosophical principles that the peasant ought to have killed himself. . . . The man of this school goes first to a political meeting, where he complains that savages are treated as if they were beasts; then he takes his hat and umbrella and goes on to a scientific meeting, where he proves that they practically are beasts. In short, the modern revolutionist, being an infinite skeptic, is always engaged in undermining his own mines. In his book on politics he attacks men for trampling on morality; in his book on ethics he attacks morality for trampling on men. Therefore the modern man in revolt has become practically useless for all purposes of revolt. By rebelling against everything he has lost his right to rebel against anything.”

 The mocker has sabotaged his ability to discern; he has sacrificed truth on the altar of convenience. He has long since shut the door on wisdom, when he goes to open it again he finds it locked.

 While mockers dismiss truth and fools ignore it, the wise seek to build their lives on it. They develop the habit of discernment until it becomes part of their character, they embrace reality  regardless of inconvenience. They prudently consider where they are and where they would like to be, and factor their future selves into their present decisions. They choose their paths by destination, not by appearances. Where does the path of the fool and the mocker lead? It is full of unforeseen dangers and unintended consequences. It may once have been the easy way, but what good is that if it goes in the wrong direction? Do what is right and not what is convenient, and you will escape the deception of fools and the cynicism of mockers.

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