| #1 (permalink) Tue Sep 14, 2010 20:45 pm GRE ISSUE 159. Looking for some generous help
|Probably I wrote too much in 45 minutes, so the quality might not be good : (
What score do you think I can get? 4? 5? 6?
159. What most human beings really want to attain is not knowledge, but certainty. Gaining real knowledge requires taking risks and keeping the mind open – but most people prefer to be reassured rather than to learn the complex and often unsettling truth about anything.
“There are always two types of people in the world: most of them are dumb and incapable of conducting independent thinking, while the very minority are brilliant and actually prompt the progress of human beings”, so did John Mill Strusat assert the components of human beings’ society. Though sounds harsh, historical facts told us that his ideas probably contains some truth, as in any eras there were only a small propotion of people who were willing to take perilous trips toward the uncertainty; yet, I contend that this does not has to with human beings’ “inherent” ability but the social form in which individuals mentalities and behaviors are bounded.
A first glance to the social division of labor manifests that because of the essential needs of human beings – food, water, shield, and other services – requires people to be assigned to different jobs. As Marx brilliantly elaborated, in any society there exist ruling class which enjoys the exploration of labor from the subordinate class which were either forced (in ancient society) or driven by material impetus (in the initial stage of industrial capitalism) to fulfill their tasks. As a result, those who relatively enjoy more leeway than the others can spend more times to focus on the spiritual works. In result, different organizations or communities were established by these people, and the rationalization process, which refers to the accumulation and perfection of the specific knowledge by recording the past experience and disseminating these ideas to people who are potentially capable of contributing to this subject, emerged. For instance, the Catholic church in the Medieval era was functioned not only as an institution which legitimize the monarchs’ power, but also played the principle role of improving the knowledge of logic.
A contemporary empirical research may further verify this argument. One distinguished sociologist conducted a comparative research on the behavior patterns and mentality on the children from working class family and their counterparts from upper-middle class families. The consequence was striking: though initially the young children show the similar cognitive abilities in their early stage, the difference of their family background, namely the level of education they were able to afford, becomes salient, engendered appalling disparity on these two groups of people. People who come from affluent family were taught to be creative and to challenge the authorities’ ideas; after their graduation from prestigious colleges they were recruited to graduate schools or big companies where imagination was indispensible. On the other hand, the working class siblings became the minions of existing regulations, for they were socialized to be so in order to fit their future trite jobs. Hence, the education level which cardinally associates with the wealth of a certain family, determines whether a child can be taught to be creative or not.
Fortunately, with the development of productivity, currently more people can enjoy the material lives which guarantee them to enjoy more free time to improve their intelligence. Also, with the mushrooming of the public educational institutes, now children from mingy families have the chance to receive high-level education as long as they are endowed with talents. Moreover, the booming of the Internet provides people with myriad methods of being engaged in the intellectual cyber communities. With a low cost, one can easily get access to Wikipedia or online discussion boards which actually offers reliable lore which may spur ones endeavor and curiosity to further explore the unknown world.
In sum, it was not that most people want only certainty but not knowledge; on the contrary, it was the material and social restrictions confines the majorities’ potential abilities, as it is the socialization process that mainly inculcate one to behave in a certain way, whether banal or original. Hence, the public funds and governmental expenditures on the public education will be essential to improve peoples’ ability and willingness of procuring knowledge and having an open mind. With more creative people, the general welfare will surely be enhanced to a new level which in reciprocal will help more people to enjoy an intellectual life.
Joined: 14 Aug 2010