Grace to you!
To Francis Bacon, a 16th century English philosopher and father of empiricism and scientific method, is attributed the famous saying “Knowledge is Power.” Though many wonder if he explored the entire spectrum of knowledge available to him, his saying has come to be accepted as self-evident.
Knowledge is power, but searching for knowledge is difficult for many. Those who eventually break the cycle of prejudice and ignorance with an unbiased search for the truth, find true freedom.
You know there are numerous prejudices nowadays. You may call them biases, prejudgments, ignorance or simply self-opinions. Philosophers call them “idols.” They come from different sources.
Some prejudices come from family and friends, some from peers who see things only through one particular lens and don’t want us to see it otherwise. Probably, we don’t want to lose their friendship; hence we limit your search.
There are those who come from what I call “emperor or celebrity cults.” Simply because a famous celebrity said, shared or tweeted something, they take it as a dogma and fight over what they have not really researched or thought through.
Worst prejudices come from the Internet. Those with less depth and information have much gossip and false information to share – the more ridiculous and the more trendy they are, the more they are accepted. The instant gratification culture of online communication breeds hastiness and illogicality. This is the death of knowledge.
Worst is the selective exposure that comes from loyalty to a one-sided story. Loyalty to a particular viewpoint closes the door to improving on what we know. Those networks, movies, books or blogs that tell alternative views are blocked. Is this the way to know? I suppose not.
Don’t we have an ethical obligation to search for the truth and to abide by it when we find it?
Let me give you an example of how best to seek knowledge and discover the truth. The life of Justin the Martyr is a model.
Justin was born during the early second century at Sichem in Palestine. His parents were Romans and were worshippers of the Roman gods. He too believed in the Roman gods, as well as popular Philosophies of the time. He was an avid reader, a philosopher and great intellectual. He, however, didn’t limit his search for knowledge.
As a youth, he studied all the available philosophy systems of the time, but found something was missing. Providentially, through a casual chat with a Christian who counseled him not to limit his thoughts to the popular, he decided to investigate Christianity. No sooner had he started to read than he saw, “this was true.” The knowledge, the missing link, was coming together. This is how he became a believer. Though he died for his faith, his example is noble for all. He broke the shackles of prejudice. You can do the same.
My advice is: Do not limit your search; those who search find. The only caution is avoiding a search that is unholy and unethical.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu.
[Wednesday, June 1, 2016: Saint Justin Martyr; 2 Timothy 1:1-3, 6-12; Mk 12:18-27 or 1Cor 1:18-25; Matthew 5:13-19]
Fr. Maurice Emelu, Ph.D.
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.