Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sometimes it's necessary

My kids provided a simple, yet effective, example of an important principle tonight. As we were driving in the car, Zoe was yelling, "Silence!!" to her brother. I was correcting her and saying what a paradox it was for her to be screaming the word, "silence," when she was being anything but.

However.... what came to mind is that, sometimes, it's necessary for that type of action to be taken to bring about silence. It's similar to when people complain about war, in some instances. War is a necessary thing at times. When chaos is going on, sometimes you have to go through the means of war to bring about peace. Kind of like screaming "silence!"

I continue to learn tidbits from my kids.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Looking past the obvious

I think this excerpt is a brilliant illustration:

"Let us begin with a parable. Imagine that a satellite phone is washed ashore on a remote island inhabited by a tribe that has never had contact with modern civilization. The natives play with the numbers on the dial pad and hear different voices upon hitting certain sequences. They assume first that it's the device that makes these noises. Some of the cleverer natives, the scientists of the tribe, assemble an exact replica and hit the numbers again. They hear the voices again. The conclusion seems obvious to them. This particular combination of crystals and metals and chemicals produces what seems like human voices, and this means that the voices are simply properties of the device. But the tribal sage summons the scientists for a discussion. He has thought long and hard on the matter and has reached the following conclusion: the voices are coming through the instrument must be coming from people like themselves, people who are living and conscious although speaking in another language. Instead of assuming that the voices are simply properties of the handset, they should investigate the possibility that through some mysterious communication network they are "in touch" with other humans. Perhaps further study along these lines could lead to a greater understanding of the world beyond their island. But the scientists simply laugh at the sage and say: 'Look, when we damage the instrument, the voices stop coming. So they're obviously nothing more than sounds produced by a unique combination of lithium and printed circuit boards and light-emitting diodes."

--- from There is a God: How the world's most notorious atheist changed his mind by Anthony Flew