Friday, June 4, 2010

Core Principles vs. Narrow Minds

I think it is true, that if you want to know about the clock, it is best to study one well made clock thoroughly before moving on. Looking quickly at five million clocks will not teach you as much as the knowledge you could gain from studying that one time piece until you know exactly how it works, how it was made, how it breaks and how to fix it again.

Such is the theory behind the study of Western Tradition. The Liberal Education seeks to school its student in the foundation of Western Society. While I make no claim to being a scholar, I will say that the education I received helped to form core principles by which I seek to live. All situations I encounter are played by bouncing them off my sounding board to hear the pitch. Does it ring true or false?

No man alive today can know everything about everything. It is simply not possible with the amount of information to which we have access. The best we can hope for is to know enough about our core beliefs in order to make an informed judgement about the world in which we live. The truth is hard to find amidst the constant barrage of propaganda thrown at us from all sides. We must be able to look at the facts given in light of our core principles and make a judgement.

The process of doing this has been labeled narrow minded. I disagree. To ask if a law is just, a program necessary, or a public figure honest and to make a judgement based on our own core belief in the definition of justice, necessity and honesty, is not narrow mindedness. To stand on a solid definition of terms and a secure foundation of beliefs does not make one unintelligent, lazy or narrow minded.

It is simply judging a new clock by the standards of the old one we have taken the time to master. Is the new clock better or worse? One clock at a time. If the new does not meet the standards of the old, we certainly are not required to make it the new standard by which to judge. We don't have to compare every new clock to ALL the clocks in the world. It is perfectly sound to simply compare it to the one clock we know and make a judgement.

I will stick to the narrow, yet deep path rather than take my chances on the wide and shallow. I may scrape the sides, but at least I won't bottom out.

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