Confessions of a 40-Something #4
Over the years there are things that society has allowed--behaviors we exhibited because we could. Whether it is by age, gender, or ethnicity, there are social norms that allow us a pass (a get out of jail free card). This is about my observations.
Religion. Yeah. I picked a taboo subject. Abortion will be in there somewhere down the line. Religion is a sensitive thing. If the wrong set of words are put together, wars could start! Religion is a powerful thing. I have a religion. No. That was not the confession. I am a Mormon. No, that was not the confession either; though, to some, that was an admission of egregious error!
Though this hub is splattered with religious aspects, it is not about religion. The confession that I make for all living adults is: We don't know everything.
I can hear the gasps and shock of kids around the world along with a number of adults. Though what I said is true, I cannot confess for all of us adults, but I can sure assert with great confidence that we do not know everything.
I am sure most people will not disagree. If a person does know everything, I have a couple of questions.
Like, why do we have gnats? I am sure there is an answer to that question. I just don't care enough to find it on my own.
If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around... I jest. I do not have the attention span to go on with that vein.
For a general point of reference, God knows everything, right? Most of us would agree on that. There are all these religions out here. Most people believe in a supreme being, even though we call Him by different names. I know that God lives.
See what I did there? I made a statement and then said I know. See how easy that was?
I know, knowing something has more to it than making a statement. I did it again--with the "I know." Do we really know? When we say, "I know" do we really know what the other person is asking? My confession is truly, I don't know everything. I do know a few tiny things.
To Know a thing
One of the things that a visitor will notice when he or she visits my congregation on the first Sunday of the month is a number of people getting up from the congregations and professing knowledge about God, the church, etc...
Some of these people only parrot what they hear everyone else saying, especially kids. They know that their parents know, so they know through them!
Most of the people that know things about the gospel actually believe so strongly that it is almost as if they have direct knowledge of the things they say personally. I understand the psychological aspect of the knowing that LDS Christian tend to do, and we are entitled to our beliefs, which for most of us all there it is belief, albeit strong belief.
So, what does it mean to know a thing? There are so many levels of knowledge that I confess I am at a loss to which level of knowledge to assert. I have come up with some levels of knowledge and offer some perspective here. Firsthand knowledge, with is sublevels; second-hand knowledge, with its sublevels; and third-hand knowledge, which I call varying levels of belief; I submit are major divisions of knowing.
Firsthand knowledge comes with so many levels. Rather than taking the technical route with the learned academics here, I will stick to examples. I know that a bathroom in my house is located on the first floor near the laundry room and office. Most of you will not dispute that knowledge and will accept it a fact. Why? Because it is my house, I live here, and I know where the loo is. Also, it is a thing that most people would not feel a need to lie about.
If you came to my house and asked me where the loo is, and I told you, you would not argue with me. I know that thing because it is mine. Knowing through stewardship. I did not create the loo, but it is in my care.
Another level of firsthand knowing is because I have it in m possession, which is relative. Knowing how to make a cake, is a good example. If I baked a cake and offered you a piece of it, you would not generally protest that a cake exists. I would not offer it to you if I did not have it to give. You would accept or decline a piece--generally.
Here, though, is where it gets sketchy. If at some time in the past I tried to deceive you or made you empty offers, you would doubt what I know. Someone could have found where I kept the cake I allegedly baked and gobble it all up without me knowing. A question to whether I made the cake at all could come into play!
"He didn't really make that cake. It is a box cake," some might say because it was not made from scratch.
"He did not grow the wheat and grind the flour. He did not raise the chickens to lay the eggs. He did not have the cow to produce the milk..."
"I bet he purchased it from the supermarket or bakery."
In this case, people might question what I know. I could easily pass off someone else's work and knowledge as my own in this case. Knowing where the bathroom is in my house... not likely to be borrowed knowledge.
Possibly, the cake was the result of second-hand knowledge: knowledge passed over to me from another source, which is verifiable and demonstratable to some degree.
Even better, the whole cake-thing could be strong belief because I purchased the cake thinking it would be tasty because I had tasty cake before; however, the cake in my possession was not a cake! It was a display piece mistakenly put in the package at the store from whence I purchased it, which is nothing but artistically shaped styrofoam with cake frosting on it!
My point is: We may not know as much as we think. It is okay, however. Confidence due to pattern recognition is good too. The sun came up yesterday. It will again today and tomorrow. I have strong belief, A.K.A confidence. I have confidence that when I post this hub, people will read it. I don't know that.
"I know somebody will read it," I can say to myself because of my confidence. (I will read it to make it become knowledge firsthand.)
I know that you will read another one of my posts (Confidence). This is a light piece. I don't want any of us to think that true knowledge is not something that is unattainable to some degree. I know it is (confidence again)! I also believe I know the way to getting it (strong belief, though). I know that the older I get, the more I question what I believe and the more stubborn I am to changing (Firsthand knowledge here). I am positive there are millions if not billions of you out there like me (Confidence).