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An Aborted Essay - Abadoss' Mind
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Wed, Jun. 7th, 2006 06:00 am
An Aborted Essay

I usually don't get this far into an essay and have to start all over. I think in this case, I just got too far ahead of myself (and the subject matter that I was covering). This was supposed to be an essay about four different authors (Chaim Potok, Rowan Williams, Jean-Paul Sartre, and one other author) and how they interact and affect my own personal faith. I definitely got majorly sidetracked into an area that made it difficult to follow the grading rubric for the paper. However, I didn't really want to just throw it away, so I'm going to post it here:

Kenneth Keyn
Dr. Pam Plimpton
Faith, Living, and Learning (HUM 310)
Essay #3 – The Practical and Theoretical Application of My Faith
7 Jun 2006
Essay #3 – The Practical and Theoretical Application of My Faith

My faith is relative to the amount of trust I place in God and His interaction in my life and personal growth. That ratio is often a direct result of what I understand and what I am willing to admit that I do not understand – which is, in itself, a form understanding. I develop my understanding through personal reflection and introspection and critical study of the thoughts and ideas of master philosophers – regardless of whether they are or are not philosophers by profession. It is within understanding that I gain the necessary solidarity to support the freedom of my faith.
Understanding, as I interpret it, comes in three forms. The first is theoretical understanding, where concepts and ideas have logical reasoning that fit within the context of other concepts and ideas. This first form can range from the philosophical and religious to the artistic and the existential. The second form is practical understanding. Practical understanding is constructed based on the ideas that surround subjects which require action, like interpersonal relationships, scientific reasoning, and any discipline – such as music, martial arts, gardening, etc. The third is unexpressed understanding. This form is rather difficult to explain, as its very nature is that of being beyond comprehension, but it exists as a form of understanding that can only be cultivated through active pursuit of faith. It is an essence based understanding that, in my opinion, is where faith is most developed.
Theoretical understanding comes from the study and assimilation of ideas. While this process is mostly fueled by master philosophers – such as Jean-Paul Sartre, St. Augustine of Hippo, René Descartes, etc. – and their insights, I consider it possible to study the developments of the ideas within my own mind, as well. After all, not all knowledge comes from books. Through introspection and contemplation, I can begin to unravel the questions that I pose for myself. As Danny Saunders – a character in the novel The Chosen, by Chaim Potok – says, “Whenever I do or see something I don’t understand, I like to think about it until I understand it (66).” It is this kind of introspection that led the master philosophers to their understandings in the first place.
However, it would be a difficult task to try and discover everything from scratch. Thus, it is important to study the works of the master philosophers, as a means of making use of the knowledge and understanding passed down for centuries as a foundation for more thought and contemplation in areas that have yet to be explored. Personally, I think it would be foolish to ignore the wealth of understanding that can be found within these resources. By drawing from these resources, it is possible to develop a type of map for what has already been developed. It is far easier to find something to understand when you have a better idea of what is still left to understand – though, it is extremely doubtful that humanity will ever run out of things left to be understood.

Works [almost] Cited

Abel, Donald C. Theories of Human Nature: Classical and Contemporary Readings. “Jean-Paul Sartre: Existentialism is a Humanism.” McGraw-Hill, Inc.: New York. 1992.
Potok, Chaim. The Chosen. Ballentine Books: New York. 1967.
Williams, Rowan. Writing in the Dust: After September 11. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company: Grand Rapids, Michigan. 2002.

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Wed, Jun. 7th, 2006 01:38 pm (UTC)

Well that's not cool that you had to abort all of that. I think it's pretty good, but like you said, if it doesn't quite fit the rubric, you gotta do what needs to be done.

Good luck on your paper, I'd like to read the finished product.