Friday, May 23, 2014

Americans Willingly Wasting Time

We often hear that people don't have time for religious activities, whether studying the Bible, apologetics, involvement in the church, or whatever else. One way of approaching the issue is to look at what people do find time for. We can also look at how much free time they have, such as how much of their time is actually taken up by their job. Derek Thompson has an article in The Atlantic about how Americans aren't as busy as they often claim to be. And I suspect he's right about some of the people who are working more hours on their job:

"High pay is highly rewarding," Kolbert writes, and in a winner-take-all economy, we're motivated to put in extra-long hours to, well, win. Maybe people who don't like leisure are richer in the first place because many of them just like working more, and a permanent sense of busy-ness is the psychological price they agree to pay.

If people choose to work extra hours, even though they don't need to, are they unwillingly busy? No. They're just replacing one unnecessary, trivial use of time with another. If one American spends a few hours in the evening watching a basketball game on television, while another spends a few extra hours on his job when he has no need for working those extra hours, both are willingly involving themselves in those activities rather than better alternatives.

Americans aren't neglecting God, the church, apologetics, and other important matters because they're unwillingly busy. They're neglecting those matters because they're willingly busy with less important things, often things that are inherently immoral.

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