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Overview of the main ideas and arguments of Esthers Meeks book: Longing To Know - Essay Example

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Overview of the main ideas and arguments of Esthers Meeks book: Longing To Know

If someone claims there is no God, again, it is possible to argue that their rebellion against God made them unable to know God. Thus, admittedly, there is a longing to know the absolute truth, and this unanswered question goes on resurfacing in human lives. In the second chapter, Meek accepts the fact that when one starts developing doubts about the foundations of ones beliefs, one finds oneself ostracized in the community one lives in. In addition is the problem that no one likes to live without any hope. Moreover, the issue of knowing too is complicated. If one claims ‘knowledge’, that knowledge should show infallibility and certainty, and unfortunately, in the case of knowing God, those who know fail to show these qualities. Meek points out what happened to the Greek knowledge that they believed to be absolute. Plato and Socrates proved that the knowledge had pitfalls, and thus, proved that knowledge should lead to ultimate realities that are permanent and unchangeable (28). Another argument is that in order to call knowledge knowledge, it should reveal the essential features of the object in question. However, after the period of Aristotle and Plato, essences were taken as absolute knowledge, and hence, the advance of knowledge was hindered for a long time. As essence was taken for knowledge and as efforts were aimed at plugging the holes, conformity prevented people from developing doubts. The ones who developed doubts were made to feel that they were not in the right relationship with God, as the ones who were in the ‘right’ relationship with God had no doubts. However, soon, the criticism gained upper hand, but the modern philosophers failed to bring any clear cut definition as to what is truth. Anyway, more and more people realized the fact that people’s perceptions of truth were highly influenced by their regional cultures and personal outlooks. Thus, they understood that what they knew is not objective knowledge that is infallible. Though humans find skepticism misfit, it is pointed out by Meek that as it has become evident that nobody can relate to essences, there is always the possibility of skepticism. In part III, Meek speaks about depending on clues to gain meaningful knowledge. It is pointed out by the writer that clues should act as ways to realize the fact that our knowledge is not knowledge, and using clues as indicators to real knowledge, one should pursue ones effort to solve the mystery by assigning their significance beyond the surface. Instead of going superficially by plugging holes or by denying their existence, one should enter into the holes or clues, and this will guide one to discovery (84). There is certainly a dilemma when one sees contradictions in the world. For example, one can see total order in nature like the rotation of day and night, seasons and so on. On the other hand, one can see total chaos like hurricanes and earthquakes (88). In the opinion of Meek, there is no contradiction involved if one accepts the fact that our knowledge of God is not absolute, and that God gives us ‘tip offs’ on an everyday basis. That means, we get newer and newer knowledge on the nature of God on a daily basis, if not hourly. Meek uses the example of a newspaper puzzle to explain how clues work. In order to see a three dimensional picture out of the provided shapes and colors, one has to follow some directions. If someone follows the directions precisely, one manages to see a three ...Show more

Summary

‘Longing To Know’: Book Overview Meek starts her book ‘Longing to Know’ by pointing out how difficult it is to answer the question if people can know God. It is pointed out that the question is rather murky as answering is a tough task…
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Overview of the main ideas and arguments of Esthers Meeks book: Longing To Know essay example
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