Monday, January 25, 2016

New York Times Opinionator column



The New York Times Opinionator column for a period carried a five-part essay by Errol Morris entitled ‘The Anosognosic’s Dilemma: Something’s Wrong but You’ll Never Know What It Is’. He leads with a story of a bank robber named McArthur Wheeler in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he was told that if he rubbed lemon juice on his face, he need not use a mask to avoid detection, because his face would be invisible to the cameras. He bought a Polaroid camera and a couple of lemons, squeezed them and applied the juice to his face. Pointed the camera at his face and clicked, rotated the camera and clicked. What he finished up with was a photo of the ceiling but no image of his face and fully believed that the lemon juice did the trick.

A detective that viewed the security tapes of the Banks he robbed said that Wheeler walked into the Bank and searched for the cameras and deliberately looked at them and smiled, completely deceived into thinking that the ploy worked. The Police put out an identity picture and soon had a name for the culprit and arrested him. Wheeler admitted the ruse and was summarily dealt with. This story prompted Errol Morris to ask the question, ‘Was Wheeler too stupid to realise that he was stupid?’

He also referred to David Dunning Professor of Psychology at Cornell University about knowing what you don’t know, Morris said, Knowing what you don’t know? Is this supposedly the hallmark of an intelligent person? Dunning replied, That’s absolutely right. It’s knowing that there are things you don’t know that you don’t know. Donald Rumsfeld gave this speech about “unknown unknowns.” It goes something like this: “There are things we know we know about terrorism. There are things we know we don’t know. And there are things that are unknown unknowns. We don’t know that we don’t know.” He got a lot of grief for that. And I thought, “That’s the smartest and most modest thing I’ve heard in a year.” 9/11 epitomises Rumsfeld’s comment about the non-existence of absolute intelligence in relation to terrorism.

In Morris’s fifth article he deals with the subject of self-deception, that is a denial of truth that has been revealed, including wilful ignorance, not wanting to know what is knowable. This involves the will of the individual who chooses not to know. In spiritual terms that is the position of the atheist, he does not want to know about God, whereas the agnostic person does not know God because he has not believed as yet, truth from the Bible presented to him/her.

Last night I was talking to an older man who in recent weeks had been saved. He had just listened to a man teaching the scriptures from Romans ch.11. He said, “I will never know the Bible as he knows it!” I told him the position where he now is, by telling him about the blind man in John.ch.9. Jesus sent the blind man to the Pool of Siloam and to wash his eyes. He obeyed and came back seeing. “Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them.” The man replied, “Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.” At that point he did not know of the impeccability of Christ, that it was impossible for the Lord to sin, but he would learn that later. What he did know is that he could now see, he was changed and could see things that he had never seen before. I explained to my friend that he has started on the road of knowing the unknowable, he is at the “one thing I know” stage but that will soon increase.

In contrast to the new converts position, the Apostle John wrote his gospel in uncomplicated language, using words that a child can understand and believe, but those words carry truth that very intelligent people do not understand or refuse to believe. For example, the first three verses read, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” The majority of those words are single syllable, easy to understand, the truth that they convey is that Jesus is God the Son and that creation was made by Him. Richard Dawkins, the man allegedly rated the third highest intelligence in the UK, refuses to accept John’s words as truth, this is willful ignorance. This ignorance and arrogance reminds me of Pharaoh’s words to Moses in Exodus 5:2, Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? (arrogance) I know not the LORD (ignorance), neither will I let Israel go (disobedience).

John concludes his gospel with “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.” Of course, how can finite man exhaust words to set forth the Infinite God?

People who have faith in God can say with Job, “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth.” Paul said, I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” He also recognized that in this life his knowledge of God is incomplete, “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”
Christ said, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and
Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”

This is eternal life and knowing the unknowable! Have you got it? 

For more information and further explanations of the message
of the bible via videos, blogs and podcasts please visit
www.seekthetruth.org.uk


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7 comments

俊坤戴 said...

死亡是悲哀的,但活得不快樂更悲哀。......................................................................

彥安彥安 said...

人有兩眼一舌,是為了觀察倍於說話的緣故。............................................................

彭怡 said...

認清問題就等於已經解決了一半的問題。.................................................................

吳婷婷 said...

人生是故事的創造與遺忘。............................................................

江冠彭珮李佳宏陽筠 said...

成功可招引朋友,挫敗可考驗朋友............................................................

戴昀德 said...

Better be the head of a dog than the tail of a lion...................................................................

felix jarikre said...

To know that you don't know is a wise man's safe house! Eternal life is an unimaginable universe where even the best of science known to man cannot even dare to probe!

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