Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck.
Prov. 3:13, 21-22
I devoted myself to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under heaven. What a heavy burden God has laid on men! I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
In Analytic Reasoning we’re studying fallacies right now. For general enjoyment, I offer here a small plate of fallacy hors d’oeuvres:
I have the right to express my opinion regarding your face; I ought to do what is right; therefore I should express my opinions about your face.
Citizen: I think that the September 11 terrorist attacks have led to actions that put restrictions on our right to privacy.
Politician: Why do you hate America?!
Appeal to Force:
You had better vote for John Kerry, or you might not be voting ever again.
Appeal to Popularity:
Everybody else is going to vote for John Kerry, so you might as well, too.
It can’t be snowing. It’s D-term.
Sharing is a good thing, so you should let the guy out without demanding the PS2 back.
Style Over Substance:
Don’t ask directions from that kid; he looks like a punk.
I won the lottery because my psychic aura made me win.
On a more serious note, William Faulkner on the human condition: “Our tragedy today is a general and universal physical fear so long sustained by now that we can even bear it. There are no longer problems of the spirit… Because of this, the young man or woman writing today has forgotten the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat. […] He writes not of love but of lust, of defeats in which nobody loses anything of value, of victories without hope, and worst of all, without pity or compassion. His griefs grieve on no universal bones, leaving no scars. He writes not of the heart but of the glands. Until he relearns these things, he will write as though he stood among and watched the end of man. I decline to accept the end of man. It is easy enough to say that man is immortal simply because he will endure: that when the last dingdong of doom has clanged and faded from the last worthless rock hanging tireless from the last red and dying evening, that even then there will still be one more sound: that of his puny inexhaustible voice, still talking. I refuse to accept this. I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he along among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance.”
I ask this: Are we thinking but weakly, as through a glass dimly? Are we using the spirit that God has given us to seek wisdom and, in finding it, changing the world? Have we acquired the identity which we are meant to carry, the identity Christ surely meant us to have since the beginning of time, and which, when found, can encourage the people around us? Are we dinning echoes against the sun-reddened rocks, grieving small woes, instead of overcoming? Why are we acting like dead men walking when it is the time to be strong, to rise up, to stand and be counted? Am I crazy?
– KF –
PS – Happy St. Patrick’s Day!