"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority ... the Constitution was made to guard against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." - Noah Webster

"There is no worse tyranny than forcing a man to pay for what he does not want just because you think it would be good for him."
-- Robert A. Heinlein

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Pursuing Knowledge

Perhaps because there is so much stuff, or garbage, in the world that passes for knowledge, there seem to be many churches in the breathless "charismatic" wing that eschew good scholarship for feelings and for things that can neither be measured for their quality or abundance.  I've been in far too many congregations that avoid scholarship like it's leprosy.

The dumbing down of the modern western world has been going on for decades now.  It used to be fairly subtle because it had to be.  Today, people are so devoid of real knowledge that the vast majority of people not only don't know what to believe, they just don't care.  This is a problem that stems directly from language being hijacked by evil forces.  Whether we care to admit it or not, propaganda is just as important in warfare as bullets or bombs.  The Vietnam war is the most perfect modern example of that.

We live in a world where "science" is now an abused word. The vast majority of people not directly associated with a scientific field don't understand it at all.  It used to be that science was the pursuit of truth.  This is no longer the case.  Today the only time truth wins out in regard to scientific inquiry is if enough hard data gangs up on and beats the living snot out of some guy with a theory.  And the problem there is; if nobody is there to see it happen, did it happen?  Other than reality forcing its way into the mind of some "researcher," stuff that gets referred to as science is really just somebody's agenda being touted with select supporting data.  Any data that doesn't support the story line of the "researcher" get dismissed.  Data that seem to support the idea being pushed get enhanced or worse.

Again, I lament the fact that there was a time when debate was a cherished tool in education.  Back when education meant teaching students not what to think, but rather, HOW to think.  How do you recognize a false premise?  How do you recognize when someone is making a bad argument by sticking two premises together that have nothing to do with each other?  How many adults, let alone children have ever heard of the word syllogism?  What is even worse is that we now have people with graduate degrees in some scientific fields who have graduated without the benefit of being educated in logical thought processes.  If they are in the hard sciences, they may experience the truth of the process in the results, but they would be hard pressed to explain or describe the process.

Another problem is specialization.  So many fields of science are highly specialized. Most people have no idea what a big problem this creates.  Without truly great thinkers to connect the dots, much of scientific knowledge is never put to its best possible use.  The flip side of that coin is the fact that scientists in a particular field can specialize into oblivion, meaning that there is no real value to their research and any knowledge gained is superfluous.  No, I don't buy into the idea that knowledge for knowledge's sake is sufficient.  And yes, let me burst your bubble: There IS such a thing as a stupid question.

Specialization in the world of science has also created the problem of not daring to question.  An ear, nose, and throat specialist will not question the diagnosis of a gynecologist even when common sense might suggest that something isn't quite right.  Meanwhile at the other end of the specialization spectrum we have the broad title of "scientist."  The way this gets abused is when a report comes out telling the world that "Ten thousand scientists have signed on to a resolution calling for reduction in global green house gases," or some such rot.  With some investigation we find out that  among the ten thousand "scientists" a handful have degrees in some hard sciences such as astrophysics or biology, but have no formal training in meteorology or climatology. All the rest are trained in the soft sciences such as sociology, anthropology, psychology, etc.  Some of them might even simply have advanced degrees in theology.

The vast masses of people who've never been educated beyond high school level, which in the past twenty years means they are barely literate in functioning, have no clue where to begin in questioning what is and is not scientific.  Which means that if the media tells them that "scientists say that if we don't reduce carbon emmissions to X levels by Y time, the planet will suffer catastrophic results," the people will just accept that crap because, well, "scientists" said so.

One of the biggest myths ever perpetrated on the world is the idea that scientists always pursue truth without allowing any other agenda to influence them.  Scientists are fallible human beings with emotions.  They want to be liked as much as anyone.  They also want to get paid and live comfortable lives.  And scientists will believe what they want to believe, even in spite of evidence, just like people without advanced degrees. This is true to the Nth degree when it comes to evolution.

There have been millions of scientists in the world since Sir Isaac Newton, but how many of them have ever stood out?  How many have ever become household names?  Bet you can't name more than three.  I'm sure Einstein comes to mind.  Why?  Because his pronouncements radically transformed the world of physics.  He was lucky enough that his discoveries made so much sense in explaining the physical world and were also provable.  But more importantly, his ideas did not gore anybody's sacred cows.  Had his ideas been too radical compared to the prevailing "accepted" theories, who knows how long it might have taken before his theories caught on.

For those who really pursue truth, it can be extremely lonely out on the edge of the frontier.  Not only is it lonely, it can be downright dangerous.  It was dangerous for the founding fathers to stand up to Great Britain in their day.  It's dangerous today to stand up and say to the ignorant masses in this country that there is no magic ATM behind the capitol building in Washington DC pumping out billions of dollars for us to keep going the way we are going.  It's dangerous to stand up to the union goons who have landed their "secure" jobs in government who believe that the people out there working in the real world should have to struggle to pay their big salaries and benefits.

It's not easy to stand up in a congregation of Christians and say, "You know what?  You just aren't getting this right."

Many times, my lovely wife and I have lamented that we wish we didn't know everything we know now.  It's no fun at all not having anyone to worship and fellowship with because the vast majority of people who call themselves Christians just want to believe what they want to believe and not learn anything more.  I can relate to how lonely the prophets must have been when God gave them a message that made them seem like nothing but doom and gloom party crashers compared to all of their contemporaries who were speaking nothing but positive and pleasant things.

Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus The Christ) said that the end times (ahchereet hayameem) would be like the days of Noah.  Noah had many months to build the ark and preach to the people.  He tried to get them to turn from their wicked ways, but in the end, only he and his sons and their wives escaped.  According to the book of Jasher, about 700,000 people perished in the flood.  (The Bible itself refers to the book of Jasher as being authoritative, and so far, I have found nothing in it that contradicts Scripture.)  This tells me, along with much of Scripture that there are going to be many, many people surprised in the end to find out they weren't really saved at all.

Ever since I became saved and was subsequently disillusioned about the hoaxes of evolution, leaders who are still touted as heroes, and doctrinal heresies in the Church, I have made it my mission to always question.  Question everything.  "Is this really true?"  "Am I willing to suffer the slings and arrows of being called extreme because I won't go along with everybody else?"  "Am I deceiving myself?"  "HOW do I know this is true?"
"Am I willing to give up eternal bliss in the future in order to be liked and popular in this life?"

The vast majority of people simply will not tolerate any challenges to the conventional and accepted tradition in the churches.  "Don't confuse me with the facts, my mind is made up!"

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