As an engineer, raised in a communist country by rather atheist parents and heavily influenced by an agnostic grandmother, I am more than skeptic about the mystic side of the religious phenomenon and deeply suspicious whenever people pretend to be able to ‘see’ things – irrespective of whatever method they claim to be using.
When in college I used to read way more than what I was supposed to and to follow, unofficially, some subjects in no way connected with my major.
That’s how I came across a very interesting idea promoted by a literary critic – whose name I unfortunately cannot remember:
‘Whenever trying to asses the value of a text stay focused exclusively on the written word. Do not let other information influence your judgement, for instance those about the life-style of the author‘.
For an engineer this makes a lot of sense, isn’t it?
What do I care if the guy who produced an elegant blue-print was a womanizer, a drunkard or a whore, as long as the machinery depicted there worked as advertised?
Or I can make a step further and ask myself ‘what do I care about the reason behind someone publishing a text which contains something that makes a lot of sense?’
Is he trying to manipulate me (into doing/believing something)?
OK, I’ll figure that out independently, after I’m done evaluating the text itself.
Should I do my best to ascertain if what is said there makes as much sense as it seemed to do when I first glanced at it?
Of course, but shouldn’t that be my standing policy, regardless of who ever wrote it?
After this rather lengthy ‘overture’ I’d like you to read this excerpt:
“Yesterday when I pastored church, I addressed how to curtail our need to demonize that which frightens us. Fear begets fear. For many right now, that fear is Islam. For those confused by the concept of Islam, or who believe that all Muslims are terrorists, this guy being interviewed on the video below hits the nail on the head in spite of the leading questions by CNN, who didn’t enjoy his honest factual answers that couldn’t be manipulated and don’t support the American vitriol towards this religion.
Before we become part of the extremist problem by pushing *extreme* ideals that we claim are the “god’s honest truth” because we read it online so we’re passing around propaganda that supports our freak-out and subsequently causing others to freak out, let’s get our heads in the game. Let’s get our facts straight rather than purporting fan-fiction authored in fear. We can’t address a terror problem if we’re insisting on creating a war with every Muslim on earth. That’s not addressing a problem. That’s starting one. That’s ignorance and it’s dangerous ignorance at that — just as dangerous as extremist Muslims who want to war after every other religion.”
Does it make sense?
Yes, particularly where it says that “We can’t address a terror problem if we’re insisting on creating a war with every Muslim on earth. That’s not addressing a problem. That’s starting one.”
Is it manipulative in any way?
Click on the link and decide for yourself.
Then should I care about the author, Danielle Egnew, being “an internationally renowned Psychic and Medium”?
Well, I’m sharing her words, don’t I?
After all, who am I to say that ‘something like this cannot exist’ if it’s right here, in front of my very own eyes?
How, and why, did it get there?
That’s something else, but I cannot question it’s existence simply because I’m not sure about, or I don’t agree with, how it came to my attention.