Schizophrenia: a long-term mental disorder of a type involving a breakdown in the relation between thought, emotion, and behavior, leading to faulty perception,inappropriate actions and feelings, withdrawal from reality and personal relationships into fantasy and delusion, and sense of mental fragmentation.
(in general use) a mentality or approach characterized by inconsistent or contradictory elements.
When my brother and I were kids, we’d sometimes get treated to family trips to the Omniplex (now Science Museum Oklahoma). We’d go on a saturday and look at all the fancy plastic dioramas of how the earth supposedly looked 5 million, 10 million, 100 million years ago, and marvel at what a different place it was, totally taken in by the presentation. My dad would point out that there was no such thing as even a million year old earth (and we’d go to church the next day and hear that message reaffirmed), and we believed this fervently as well.
We had what can be called a “felicitous inconsistency”, and that with minimal to no cognitive dissonance. That is: totally trusting in two blatantly contradictory versions of history, completely and simultaneously, questioning neither.
It might sound impossible that we could at one moment believe both the diorama in front of us, and our father behind us, both presenting their opposing messages into our little skulls full of mush at the same time. Obviously this would require that we refrain from holding the competing ideas next to one another in order to recognize that only one can be true at a time; this is what happened, and it truly was a feat.
But we did it, thanks to compartmentalization. We mentally filed the diorama under “physical science facts”, and my dad’s words under “religious facts”, so that the two existed in separate realms, safely removed from ever having to interact. And yes, as you might have surmised, we were also the kids whose peas and carrots had to be safely corralled on separate sides of the plate.
We’ve grown past this for the most part, praise be to God, and thanks to the worldview training of our parents have realized that all facts (natural science, religious, or otherwise) belong to God, since He created all that is. And, as a result, every fact bears a relation to every other fact if only in the reality that they are created by and belong to God. This realization avoids the radical compartmentalization and resultant dissociation of facts that characterizes the mind of a schizophrenic.
Unfortunately, it seems that as we were maturing and leaving behind our childish thinking, the western world (and I usually talk specifically about America while recognizing that we are but one part of that world) has by-and-large returned to it. This is most especially clear in the rulers and judges of our land. In the words of Isaiah 3:12, “My people – infants are their oppressors…”
Examples could be multiplied until we’re here all day, but permit me one paragraph of illustration.
Commonly used though it is, the phrase “you can’t judge me, I was born this way” carries no freight in a nation that has killed millions before they could even be born. We’ll kill a baby while it’s still in the womb for a physical defect, but if we object to a moral defect in a person who has been born for years we are told that that birth is so important as to sanctify their behavior. And for all the demagoguing about how we “deny citizen status to millions of ‘undocumented’ individuals'”, we routinely deny citizenship to millions more who want to enter – not one more country among many – but the world of the living.
Is there any word for this but schizophrenic?