Idealism vs. Realism

There are various definitions of “idealism” and “realism.”  The definitions I will be considering are these:

  • Idealism: behavior or thought based on a conception of things as they should be, or as one would wish them to be, with a tendency to be imaginary or visionary.
  • Realism: behavior or thought based on a conception of things as they are, regardless of how one wants them to be, with a tendency to be practical and pragmatic.
It is very rare to find someone who is a complete and absolute idealist or realist.  As such, I will be describing my views of idealists and realists in general terms.

Here is a sample profile of a pure idealist:

Hi, I have a degree in Communal Services, with a minor in Humanities.  It’s pretty hard to find a decent job, though.  There should be more governmental jobs for people like me, because we can make the world a better place.  I also think the government should set up community centers in every neighborhood to help the poor and homeless.  Human rights trump everything else.

All people are basically good at heart.  Those who make mistakes in society should not be incarcerated.  Everyone is capable of being rehabilitated, to bring out the good that is just hidden inside.  If there were a God, he’d never punish anybody.  He would love everybody, and there would be no suffering or pain.

My main allegiance is to our environment.  I am committed to doing anything and everything to save our great Mother Earth from the effects of climate change.  We should be able to develop new sources of energy, besides oil and coal, that are used worldwide.  People are nothing more than misguided animals, who don’t have enough sense to stop polluting the planet.  We need to finish evolving, and we have to attain our ultimate goal of collective godhood!

If there were good feelings all over the world, there would be peace on earth.  Reality is just a product of the combined human will, and all truth is relative.  All we have to do is desire and choose peace and prosperity.  It will happen; it is the progressive way.  If we all do this, we can change the entire world from a dystopia into a utopia.  Yes we can!
Now, here is a sample profile of a pure realist:
Hi, I have a degree in Mathematics, with a minor in Combined Sciences (Physics, Chemistry, & Biology).  I went to professional school, got a job immediately thereafter, and stuck with it until I retired early, saving my money and making investments along the way.  Small businesses are the foundation of our nation’s economy, and the government should keep its hands out of businesses and the private sector.  Government is not “God.”  He alone has the authority to direct human affairs, and He alone is worthy to run things as He wishes.

The human heart is evil, is deceitful above all things, and is beyond cure (Ecclesiastes 9:3; Jeremiah 17:9).  Most persistent, hard-core criminals are incorrigible.  It is the responsibility of government to protect its citizens against repeat law offenders by locking them up or, in some cases, ending their lives.  God allows evil and iniquity in the world for a reason; but He provides capable, humble leaders to protect those who revere and venerate Him, if people are smart enough to vote these people into office.

This Creation has a life span built into it, by God.  The present universe and earth, inevitably, are going to decay and deteriorate, and we cannot change that.  God created all things, and life is sacred to Him.  He will not abandon us before we use up all the natural resources that He wisely and plentifully infused into the earth when He created it.  Jesus will return before we have exhausted our energy supplies.  It is foolish to “play God.”  Only God is God, and no mortal person, society, or government ever will attain the status of “godhood.”

The world is in a big mess, mainly because of human greed, envy, corruption, and disobedience of God.  We all are born with a sin nature, and only God can save us from our sins.  God, alone, is the only genuine reality and truth.  Jesus, the coming Messiah, is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).  True peace and happiness can, and will, come only through Him.  Nothing is possible without Him, since all things in the universe were created by Him and for Him (Colossians 1:15,16; Hebrews 1:2).  Come soon, Lord Jesus!

It is important to note that not all community organizers are idealists, nor are mathematicians always realists.  These vocations have been used merely for the purpose of illustration.  Indeed, many community organizers not only have huge hearts but also have very real and practical solutions for the betterment of society at large.  On the other hand, many mathematicians with huge intellects, and with gigantic egos to match, have no realistic solutions for the improvement or assistance of anyone outside of their own tiny spheres of existence.

Three of the main topics typically addressed by idealists are world hunger, war, and global climate change.  They usually have all sorts of ideas and proposals to improve these undesirable conditions and, thereby, change the world into a “better” place.

For instance, they suggest that we need to pour more money and food into countries where the people are starving.  They also maintain that if we are gracious and congenial to the “troublemakers” and “terrorists” of the world, they will respond positively by changing their ways and will become constructive, rather than destructive, members of the global community.  Idealists also insist that humans are primarily to blame for global climate changes, which eventually will cause irreparable harm and damage to the earth and, subsequently, to humankind.

In reality, the governments of nations with poor, starving people virtually always are corrupt and self-seeking.  More often than not, they will take much of money and food for themselves, and for their own friends and families, long before these provisions and supplies reach the hungry masses.  This is not to say, of course, that we should not contribute to worthy organizations that are able to take food and other commodities directly to disadvantaged and poverty-stricken people around the world.

Those who threaten the peace and stability of the world, through intimidation and/or terrorism, are innately evil.  They will have malevolent, often religiously based agendas (such as radical Islam does), no matter what overtures of friendship we offer them, nor how much we try to get them to change.  In some cases, sanctions—or even military offensives—will be the only effective means of neutralizing them.

Global climate changes are cyclical and recurring.  There is no concrete, incontrovertible scientific evidence that people’s carbon pollution is the primary cause of global warming, nor of any other type of climate change.  Even if this is taking place to some extent, it is irrelevant, because there probably are not decades or centuries remaining until the end of the age; most likely, there are but a handful of years.

Idealistic notions sound nice, and they give the people who think about them “good feelings” about themselves.  In short, these ideas often are based on emotion and passion—and even on a desire to control the affairs of others—rather than on rock-solid logic, scientific facts, and common sense.  For the most part, such perceptions and beliefs are ineffective and impractical, rather than feasible and realistic.

Since I am certain that God is the ultimate—and only—truth, then I am convinced that we cannot begin to understand and grasp genuine reality without knowing Him, what He has done in the past, and how He works now and will work in the future.  The Bible gives us the best account of how God previously has dealt with humankind.  Since God and His Torah/Law are unchanging, we can expect His dealings with humankind not to change.  Furthermore, the Bible provides us with the added bonus of telling us how God is going to act and operate in the future, especially at the end of the age.

Without having a valid perspective and proper perception of God, one inevitably has to develop and act on one’s own principles, ethics, and morals.  But since everybody thinks and feels differently, depending on a multitude of varying factors, there is a very broad span of opinions about the best means to go about solving problems, especially global ones.  Therefore, the plans and programs of any one person, apart from God, are very idealistic, if not manifestly unrealistic.

I regard Barack Obama as one of the foremost idealists and idealogues in the world today.  Also, I question the sincerity and honesty of most of his views, since I am convinced that he secretly harbors ambitions of global leadership, for which being President of the United States merely is a convenient “stepping-stone.”  I continue to suspect that he may turn out to be the prophesied False Prophet (Revelation 13:11-17, 19:20).

I feel quite strongly that we are nearing the very end of this present age of human history as we know it.  Biblically, we are not far from the appearance of the Lord Jesus in the clouds, to catch away his faithful followers and believers at the Rapture.  All those who are left behind (Revelation 6:15-17) will face the most terrifying period in human history: the “day of vengeance.”

Yes, God is love.  But that is the only facet of His character that many idealists choose to see, if they believe in God at all.  In reality, God is fully capable of anger and wrath, and a study of the Old Testament of the Bible will prove this.  The fact is, God would be unfair and unjust if, ultimately, He did not judge the world for its evil and sins.  This frightful period, during which time the events of Isaiah 24:1-23 will take place, is approaching quickly.

Fortunately, those who have accepted the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, as the only blood atonement for their transgressions and sins (which many idealists would refer to merely as “mistakes” and “shortcomings”), will be spared from the overwhelming wrath of God.  They are realists who have not tried to create God in their own image but, rather, know that they are unworthy of God’s grace and mercy.  And that is the key to God’s loving and compassionate heart: humility, meekness, and submissiveness, in a world filled with arrogance, egotism, and self-absorption.

After Jesus returns to rule and reign during the Millennium, He will make sure that there are abundant food and necessities for the world’s inhabitants.  Those who refuse to honor Him as the earth’s King, however, will not even receive rain (Zechariah 14:17).  Since He will “rule with an iron scepter” when He comes (Psalm 2:9; Revelation 19:15), He will counteract and deactivate all who wish to terrorize and do harm to others.  Any attempted rebellion against Him will be futile and ineffective.  And Jesus will normalize the earth’s environment, making it optimal for human comfort and well-being.

Humankind is nearing the ultimate encounter with its Creator.  He will intervene, suddenly and forcibly, into our world, soon after the opening of the Sixth Seal of the heavenly scroll.  For some—mostly the hardened, unrepentent idealists who do not acknowledge God—this inevitable meeting, and the events that follow, will be utterly horrifying and devastating.  For others, mostly astute realists who know and love God, this appointed reunion will be joyous and harmonious.  If you are an idealist, isn’t it time to start thinking like a realist?

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