Wednesday, August 31, 2005

For your information

This particular day has the dubious distinction of being Speak Intelligently Day! And for those of you who speak with eloquence every day of the year, this is Speak Brilliantly Day; in which case, this blog is not for you!!

I'm curious. What is the attraction in speaking with intelligence? What makes the human mind aspire toward intelligence? Hummm. I think I've hit upon something! I never thought of that before. Really, don't *most* of us want to appear smart? What is the psychological benefit of such?

It would appear that this is either an intrinsically good thing, or an intrinsically bad thing! Let's rewind to the beginning, where there were only two people in existence. It is possible that, being rather fresh at living, Adam and Eve did NOT have an inordinate amount intellectual prowess, or even an aspiration toward such. Then again, maybe they were brilliant! Maybe, just maybe, God made them as ideal as any two people can possibly be, with IQs that were unheard of (quite literally, too, being the only people on the earth, pretty much anything was unheard of).

Either case being as it may, there appears to have been a tree in the Garden, called the tree of the *knowledge* of Good and Evil. Aha! I think I've hit upon something! Here was Eve, in the Garden, being intrinsically attracted to knowledge, and tempted to obtain it in a less than commendable fashion. She succumbs.

And so we have the turmoil, the darkness, the sin, the death, the struggle. For sake of knowledge obtained. Yes?

So why do so many Anabaptists look down on a higher education? Why have we made knowledge our nemesis. Of course, I'm speaking very generally, most in reaction to a post on a similar topic at the by-log (see link at left).

Then again, what if a higher education is intrinsically bad? What if the quest for knowledge, and even the IDEA of such, began on that fateful day when Eve decided she wanted to know more? And if that is the case, where do we draw the line between learning the basics and a higher education?

I'd appreciate any insight.


Anonymous said...

You don't speak brilliantly? Really, you misunderestimate yourself. As for your post, you would have an extremely good point if I believed that Eve was powerfully attracted to knowledge. I would humbly venture to guess that what she was really attracted to was the idea of "being like God." That's why there are two kinds of academics, people who learn for the joy of knowing more, and people who learn for the personal and public prestige it brings them. I daresay Eve was one of the latter.

Nic Miller said...

Unfortunately, Eve had no idea what it was to famous. There was just Adam!

Anonymous said...

One thought; the "knowledge" that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil gave was the knowledge of sin. The serpent said to Eve that if they ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they would be like God, and they became like God in a way. They, after partaking of the fruit of the tree, became like God in the sense that they now had a knowledge of sin and its consequences. Hence, they destroyed that perfect relationship with God. By the way, if you come across any good jazz cd's, fill me in. I love that particular genre of music, but struggle to find any good radio station that plays jazz, or any cd's.

Dave B said...

I think part of it comes out of our frugality, if eight years of education is sufficient ot survive in this world, why go to the bother (or expense) of eighteen?

Also, it could be tied in with the pride issue, if I'm too educated it might be too easy for me to be proud.

Dave B said...

I was pleasantly pleased when I found your blogger site. I've talked with you several times to Urban Youth Workers Retreat.

I liked your post about effective consevative Mennonitism. Just last night I was talking with several of my friends and that exact frustration/ideal was discussed.

You got a great blog goinging on, I'm going to be stopping back for more.

btw, I catch myself tuning in to a good bit myself

Nic Miller said...

I hate the idea of SURVIVING life. Of, course, Dave, I get what you're saying, and I definetly don't disagree, but I believe in "whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might. Life is serious. And I'm going to live it to the most incredible extent I possibly can!

Kris said...

One of my English professors said that college is intended to broaden one's horizons and to open a person to ideas other than those of his parents. Up to entering college, you must admit, unless you are that naughty "rebel" type, your ideas and values pretty well reflect those of your parents. Well, imagine how frightening that is to our people. I think that is largely why higher education is discouraged in our circles.

To finish my professor's thought... he said to think of your life up till college as two narrow lines through which you see the world. When you get to college, those lines widen drastically. Upon graduation and after entering the real world, the lines come together again. You've picked out of all the ideas you've been exposed to and created a new perspective.

Did that make any sense?

Nic Miller said...

Kris, I do understand what your saying. I have, in fact opened those lines (at risk of being called "skeptical") and closed them on my own, or rather with God's help. I prefer to look at the experience of college as a stimulation of the brain to many various subjects as a way to really make it funtion better. It shows the effect of extra study not related to the subject being focused on is beneficial to overall brain performance. But of course, as a few of you know, I really don't have plans for a higher education. If you any of you ever get the chance, take a look at the book Think Big by Ben Carson, M.D. Good stuff.

Anonymous said...

On the other hand, Adam was the "world" to her. (smile)