Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Complex Addition

When I see this, the first thing that comes to my mind is as follows: "This is what the lord says: 'Cursed is the one who trusts in the capabilities and talents that were given to them and to others by, well, me, and thinks those are enough'."

And I can't grok that. But not for lack of trying. And certainly not for lack of people attempting to explain it to me. And I think that this is part of what separates non-religious people from the believers - differences in how they order the world and the logical constructs they use to understand it. And I think that's why it's such a difficult chasm to bridge - when someone tells someone else something that, for all the world, seems like 2+2=5 it's hard for the listener to understand how the speaker arrived at so obviously suspect an answer - or how the speaker expects them to take it at face value.

For my own part, I can understand that 2+2 does, in fact, equal 5. For certain values of 2. Which really don't seem much like 2 to me. But since they seem to be exactly like 2 for other people, I get how they arrived at their conclusion. This is unsatisfying for some, who are of the opinion that 2 is a universal constant. (Which, to be honest it is - it's part of the problem using a mathematical analogy in a case like this.) And I understand that the inverse is also true. That when I lay out my own case for 2+2, there are people who understand me to be saying that 2+2=5. It just the way of things.

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