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Understanding (1 Viewer)

NsGuitar1

Member
Welp, just had one of those moments. I generally feel stupid talking about these types of moments because they're usually realizations that I've either probably had before and can't remember, or seem so obvious that i shouldn't have had to even realize it this late in the game. Like 19 years, 222.696 days here is late in the game. Depends which game I guess.

I was taking a break from scrubbing the floor downstairs, on my computer facebooking, checking my email, and surfing my geeky political video blogs when i came across the following sentence (what the sentence actually says is irrelevant, just the bold part matters):

"The Family Research Council is launching a project aimed at convincing its supporters before the 2008 election that liberal politicians 'are spouting God-talk' in order to “confuse people of faith” and hide their 'true agenda.'"
-" From "People For the American Way" as posted on Crooks & Liars

I thought the phrase, “confuse people of faith,” rather interesting because of what it implies about understanding (as a thought process) and as a result, what it says about "people of faith." I'm going to try to stay away from technical language because I'll probably just make myself sound stupid and that sort of rubbish has no business in this note. Anyway, I've said little about little so far, so I'll now proceed to say much about little.

In general terms, it would seem quite contradictory for me to claim that I have a recognizable or even respectable understanding of something that I am confused about. For examples, if i say "I understand how to clap my hands" I would expect you to presume that i can clap my hands in a reasonably coherent fashion.
Sitting in a nursery, you may notice a baby who cannot clap her hands. Please note that i do not intend to imply that baby girls are less competent at clapping than baby boys, I'm hardly a scholar when it comes to babies clapping. It would be fair to say that such a baby does not understand how to clap. She might grasp the general idea of clapping and throw her hands towards each other, but that is hardly understanding how to clap.

Now "Nathan," you might say, "you are being ridiculous. A person can understand how to do something and still not be able to do it."

I would then say to you, good sir or ma'am,
"I'm sorry, but I disagree. Understanding how to do something entails not only a familiarity with the concept but also the mental processes directly connected to the physical action."

With this in mind, I would be perfectly content if you were to say about the baby, "She understands the concept of clapping, even if she cannot clap."

Now we have come back to my original thought. First, let I'd like to make the assumption that "a person of faith" is a person who understands how to have faith. Seems like a rather trivial distinction but alas, tut tut.

How then can a person of faith be confused so easily by political pseudo-religious banter? Well, my friends, i would like to humbly submit that such people may benefit from reexamining what it means to have faith. Sure, faith is considerably more complex and involved than simply clapping your hands, but that would be a ridiculous reason to say the analogy doesn't fit.

Because having faith is considerably more complex and involved than simply clapping your hands, it involves considerably more time and effort as well.

Basically, my point is this. Please don't say you know how to have faith, or that you have faith (in the religious sense) if that hasn't been the center of your life for a considerable amount of time at a profound level. If you wanted to ice climb, you wouldn't just use the knowledge you've gathered randomly in a disorganized fashion over the course of your life and attempt to climb Everest. You'll die.

Faith, many people believe, is much more profound than clapping or climbing the tallest mountain in the world. If this is the case for these people, their efforts towards having faith should be their chief lifetime endeavor.

So please, unless you can describe your idea of what it means to have faith, at the very least, and also show it in your life every day, please please please don't claim you have faith. I've nothing against developing faith, that's a completely different story. Definitives tend to produce in my mind expletives.

It would be ridiculous for me to judge if any person does or does not have faith because that would make me an incredibly arrogant person who probably has a grudge against religion/spirituality. I am not and have not.

I guess really the most important point i'm trying to make that i've avoided this whole time is this:

Don't get on a stage and start clapping; that's the audience's job.

c ya
Nathan
 

Hodge

pliable
Senior Member
Welp, just had one of those moments. I generally feel stupid talking about these types of moments because they're usually realizations that I've either probably had before and can't remember, or seem so obvious that i shouldn't have had to even realize it this late in the game. Like 19 years, 222.696 days here is late in the game. Depends which game I guess.

I was taking a break from scrubbing the floor downstairs, on my computer facebooking, checking my email, and surfing my geeky political video blogs when i came across the following sentence (what the sentence actually says is irrelevant, just the bold part matters):

"The Family Research Council is launching a project aimed at convincing its supporters before the 2008 election that liberal politicians 'are spouting God-talk' in order to “confuse people of faith” and hide their 'true agenda.'"
-" From "People For the American Way" as posted on Crooks & Liars

I thought the phrase, “confuse people of faith,” rather interesting because of what it implies about understanding (as a thought process) and as a result, what it says about "people of faith." I'm going to try to stay away from technical language because I'll probably just make myself sound stupid and that sort of rubbish has no business in this note. Anyway, I've said little about little so far, so I'll now proceed to say much about little.

In general terms, it would seem quite contradictory for me to claim that I have a recognizable or even respectable understanding of something that I am confused about. For examples, if i say "I understand how to clap my hands" I would expect you to presume that i can clap my hands in a reasonably coherent fashion.

Sitting in a nursery, you may notice a baby who cannot clap her hands. Please note that i do not intend to imply that baby girls are less competent at clapping than baby boys, I'm hardly a scholar when it comes to babies clapping. It would be fair to say that such a baby does not understand how to clap. She might grasp the general idea of clapping and throw her hands towards each other, but that is hardly understanding how to clap.

Now "Nathan," you might say, "you are being ridiculous. A person can understand how to do something and still not be able to do it."

I would then say to you, good sir or ma'am,
"I'm sorry, but I disagree. Understanding how to do something entails not only a familiarity with the concept but also the mental processes directly connected to the physical action."

With this in mind, I would be perfectly content if you were to say about the baby, "She understands the concept of clapping, even if she cannot clap."

Now we have come back to my original thought. First, let I'd like to make the assumption that "a person of faith" is a person who understands how to have faith. Seems like a rather trivial distinction but alas, tut tut.

How then can a person of faith be confused so easily by political pseudo-religious banter? Well, my friends, i would like to humbly submit that such people may benefit from reexamining what it means to have faith. Sure, faith is considerably more complex and involved than simply clapping your hands, but that would be a ridiculous reason to say the analogy doesn't fit.

Because having faith is considerably more complex and involved than simply clapping your hands, it involves considerably more time and effort as well.


Basically, my point is this. Please don't say you know how to have faith, or that you have faith (in the religious sense) if that hasn't been the center of your life for a considerable amount of time at a profound level. If you wanted to ice climb, you wouldn't just use the knowledge you've gathered randomly in a disorganized fashion over the course of your life and attempt to climb Everest. You'll die.

Faith, many people believe, is much more profound than clapping or climbing the tallest mountain in the world. If this is the case for these people, their efforts towards having faith should be their chief lifetime endeavor.

So please, unless you can describe your idea of what it means to have faith, at the very least, and also show it in your life every day, please please please don't claim you have faith. I've nothing against developing faith, that's a completely different story. Definitives tend to produce in my mind expletives.

It would be ridiculous for me to judge if any person does or does not have faith because that would make me an incredibly arrogant person who probably has a grudge against religion/spirituality. I am not and have not.

I guess really the most important point i'm trying to make that i've avoided this whole time is this:

Don't get on a stage and start clapping; that's the audience's job.

c ya
Nathan




Is this meant for a blog? It almost sounds like it.

It's actually a very fun read that makes a very good point. The stuff in red I recommend cutting, and the two bolded parts should be combined and moved towards the end. Calling for action while you're still making points (and also on two separate occasions) makes the piece sound awkward.
 

NsGuitar1

Member
Is this meant for a blog? It almost sounds like it.

It's actually a very fun read that makes a very good point. The stuff in red I recommend cutting, and the two bolded parts should be combined and moved towards the end. Calling for action while you're still making points (and also on two separate occasions) makes the piece sound awkward.

Thanks a lot for the feedback. I agree with the removals most of the stuff you highlighted in red.

The only minor objection i might have is with this one:
Because having faith is considerably more complex and involved than simply clapping your hands, it involves considerably more time and effort as well.

I included that part because it seems to be a necessary point. Perhaps it wasn't very well written, I'll reword it and try to work it into one of the other paragraphs.

c ya
Nathan
 

Hodge

pliable
Senior Member
Oh, I forgot to explain that one.

You say it much better later on:

"Faith, many people believe, is much more profound than clapping or climbing the tallest mountain in the world. If this is the case for these people, their efforts towards having faith should be their chief lifetime endeavor."

So you don't need the first one. The mountain analogy works much better.
 

NsGuitar1

Member
Oh sorry, i forgot to say, this wasn't meant for a blog. The first person/active voice was intended to create a more personable effect. All true stuff though, haha, i guess it might fit in a blog...?

Anyway,
Nathan
 

Hodge

pliable
Senior Member
Yeah, it'd fit in a blog. Or any sort of casual setting. If you're doing this for class, though, it needs to be more formal.
 

NsGuitar1

Member
O ya, it's definitely not academic writing. I'm a philosophy major so i'm pretty familiar with what's acceptable in the classroom. This is just a piece for my own expression/enjoyment. Actually, I am going to post an essay that i'd like feedback on too.
 
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