Avast There and Listen Up! I Got Some’at To Say!

think outside the box

Image by smemon87 via Flickr

“God is wrong.”

“God Never Forgets.”

“What are the differences between being anxious to please God, and being anxious to please a man?”

“God never has an opinion about anything.”

“Is miserable. * cheerily *”

“Is cannibalism wrong?”

“Is polygamy wrong?”

Those are just a few of the controversial statuses that I have propagated over my networks recently, sparking an astonishing variety of responses. And that doesn’t count all the controversial posts I have written on here over the course of my blog’s lifetime, and all the fascinating responses those have incurred as well.

Almost every time I post one, though, at least one person voices some confusion over why I write them.

Good question. A very good question.

And so I am doing it again in order to answer! Isn’t that dandy? 😀

First off, I must admit, it is a lot of fun to rile people up, make them guess, and tease them. ‘Tis true, and I humbly acknowledge the fact.

But that isn’t really the whole reason why I do it. It is actually only a small part of it. The main reason is much bigger.

See, there are two kinds of motives that I use alternately, depending on the medium, space, and time available. The first is to stir up people to help them think about something in a way they hadn’t before. I’ll get to why I believe that is important in a bit. The second is to present my own belief on a subject in order to give people more options in their beliefs and aid their understanding of that subject.

If I only have room for a quick question or a startling statement (like a status), I will go for the first one. I will rarely give my own position on these sorts of conversations, at least not right up front, but will instead focus on guiding the conversations of the people who comment.

That is because my goal is not to teach a piece of knowledge, but to teach a skill. A skill.

That skill is a way of thinking. I am trying to exercise a system of learning that people rarely use anymore, as a way to help my friends. Right, I am not just being mean, I am actually giving you something.

And it isn’t just thinking outside the box. This is a special type of thinking outside the box.

See, I want to help you analyze your lexicological assumptions, even at the very heart of your worldview. A lot of people are willing to think outside the box when it comes to things like design, or writing style, and artistic things like that, or even with things like engineering problems. But very few people are willing to go out on a limb and consider alternative explanations for facts (or even new facts that might conflict with the explanations they hold to be true) when they are directly relevant to their fundamental worldview.

People might even consider looking at alternative definitions if they are about peripheral things, but never about foundational things.

Why?

Because it is scary! A lexicological shift that deep can have massive repercussions throughout your life. You could even become a completely different person. I know. It’s happened several times to me. The power of changing lexicological assumptions at the foundational level is real, very real. But that also means it is important, extremely important, that you get those lexicological assumptions correct.

What if they are wrong, and changing them to something that is more right would change your life drastically… for the better?

What if you are missing out on loads of God’s blessings because you were too scared to even consider the possibility that they might be out there for you?

Right. The consequences of not looking are more scary than looking!

And so I help people consider alternative ways of looking at their own beliefs. I force them out of their little bubbles of complacency. I give them little nudges, giving them little glimpses of other ways of looking at things. And then they get the choice to examine their assumptions and possibly choose one that is better than the one they had before.

Even if I don’t give them what I think is the right answer, and even if they don’t change their minds about anything, I can still succeed. Because my goal is to get them to think about it in a certain way. If I succeed in that, I am happy.

But what about when I actually do make the effort to put across my own perspective on a subject? Like this blog post? Why am I writing it?

It isn’t to make you agree with me.

Honest. I’m not here to make everyone in the world agree with me. Or all the people who read my stuff. Or even to make all my friends agree with me. In fact, I don’t want that. Because that would mean I wouldn’t learn anything! I’m not right about everything. In fact, I am probably wrong about almost everything. And what I know is piddling compared to what is out there. People disagreeing with me is not a threat, and I don’t see it that way.

The goal is to provide a different perspective on a subject that you may not have seen or considered before.

My brain-tweaking statuses are there to help you learn to look at different perspectives, and my blog posts are there to provide you with a different perspective to look at. You really don’t understand a subject until you have seen multiple explanations for the relevant facts. Plain and simple.

That is also why I don’t debate, in either the conversations from my statuses, or in the comments on my blog posts. Debating removes learning, and learning is my goal: not convincing.

Would I like it if people changed their minds because of what I write? And if because of it they draw closer to God and are able to serve Him better? Yes! But that can only happen after these other two goals are met, and I can only achieve it by aiming at these two goals.

So there you are. That is why I write these weird things. And also why I avoid debating them. I’m not hear to preach. I’m here to reveal.

Advertisements

6 Responses

  1. I agree with most of what you said, but I still disagree with your view of debate. Debate does not remove learning, I have learned a lot during debates. Debating with the single goal of winning may remove learning, but “mutual debate” where both sides are trying to discover truth can be very beneficial. In debate your side gets attacked, so you can locate the weak points in your knowledge and worldview. You attack your friend you are debating with, but only with a wooden sword. You strike where his defenses are weak, even when you know very well that it could be defensible. And than you can show him how to defend it. If living for God is a spiritual battle, debate is not a weapon, but it is an effective way of practicing with your weapon, which is of course, the Bible.

    • * laughs * Seems another blog post is in order then. 😀

      But BushMaid is right… when I say ‘debate’ I do not mean a discussion in which mutual learning is the goal.

      But I don’t believe our words should function as weapons… at least not in the traditional sense. 😉

  2. This was very good, Emeth. I agree totally. There is a quote that comes to mind that repeats a lot of what you said:

    “If in the last few years you haven’t discarded a major opinion or acquired a new one, check your pulse, you may be dead.” – Frank Gelett Burgess

    When Christians share their views and beliefs with each other, it opens the doors to different thinking and searching. The Lord often reveals truths to us through others.

    You were right: something new -is- scary! I’ve found new views on things from the people over on HolyWorlds. It’s frightening because it shakes the ground you once thought was steady, and puts you off balance. However this is a good thing because it causes me to go back to the Bible; to search the Scriptures and pray so that I may be shown the truth of the matter.

    About debating, there is debating and then there is “debating”. If we are talking about debating as in people asking questions and being answered, then I believe that is fine, not to mention encouraging and enlightening. 🙂 However if the point of the debate is to argue, refute, claiming to “be right” and tearing one another down, then this type of debate is definitely wrong.

    I really enjoy reading your blog posts on your many views of things. They are very enlightening, often encouraging, and sometimes humourous. 😀 Thankyou for taking the time to share them with us.

    (and that turned out much longer then I thought it would…)

    • * laughs out loud * I love that quote! Thanks. 🙂

      Yes, you got it. 😀 As long as we go back to the Bible, instead of being thrown off of our faith by man’s words, we are fine.

      I am glad you like my blog! You are welcome, it is my honor and pleasure.

      And thank you for the long comment. It was most enjoyable. 🙂

    • Glad you liked it! 😀 And you’re welcome. 🙂

  3. […] Avast There and Listen Up! I Got Some’at To Say! (siremethmimetes.wordpress.com) […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: