Sunday, July 22, 2007

Email: Simple faith is key [EH]

I never belittled your faith at all; in fact, I said that "simple faith" is as important as "full faith" -- because the love of a retarded child is as, or even more, precious than the love of a mature (albeit conflicted) adult -- and I am not equating theoretical with intellectual, I am saying theoretical is the opposite of taking things personally (objective vs. subjective). I am not arguing for intellectual faith and downplaying intuitive faith! They are two sides of the same coin. I am saying that people on either side of that aisle can mistake this discussion for something it is not -- because people tend to read their own predilections into a discussion rather than hear what was actually said. Just because it may be one person's gift to teach college does not belittle another's gift to teach children, and I wouldn't want the latter to be offended by the former. Nor would I ever use a word in a discussion that I thought the other didn't understand, to appear superior -- nor would I use the term "you people" -- on the contrary, I have full confidence in anyone with whom I would share this discussion.

To spell it out as clearly as I can, simple faith is 1 + 1 = 2 and this is always true in math. This is not to say that one cannot pursue the study of advanced mathematics (integrals, imaginary numbers, multiple dimensions, etc.). Anyone who teaches arithmetic to young children is a blessing to the children (and doubly so because it is children), just as anyone who teaches math to college-age students is a blessing to them. Simplified faith is Stephen Hawking explaining his theories in layman's terms -- which is necessary and welcome given the audience -- or any science journalist explaining scientific journal concepts in terms understood by the general populace -- which is what I have done throughout my career. (Education at any level is the only way to get the bigger ideas into the minds and hearts of a broader audience. [However, a simplified discussion cannot carry all the content that would satisfy scholars or experts.]) I am saying, however, that simplistic faith is anyone who says 1 + 1 = 2 is all there is to math, and anything more is not only nonexistent or unimportant but amounts to rebellion against God. I am against anti-intellectualism because it amounts to insecurity and a desire to control the lives of those who can do as well as those who can teach -- at whatever level God leads each individual. We can all stand to learn more -- that's the definition of lifelong learning.


Post a Comment

<< Home