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Reason Precedents: Comprehension By Associations

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Introduction

For small children, the world of new information is like sand box. Everything is new and waiting to be discovered. Yet without proper restraints, knowledge can be acquired that can lead to foolish decisions later on. Starting young, external, physical reception of the world is natural. What is audible, tangible, visual; what can be tasted, and perceived in scent is the primary means of perception for a child. As a person's mind develops, neural pathways develop that make mental transitions faster; allowing for greater expression and potential in life. The necessity for understanding comes as an inevitable result of engaging in the function of life. If nothing else, understanding the art or function is required, even if the science or theory behind the function is not discovered. Language gives learning on a mental level the same potential for exposure as our empirical senses give for learning on a physical level.

Reason – Working from Precedent

Often used in legal terminology, Precedents are understood to be guiding antecedent examples to follow where there seems to be no other path to adhere to. The Judiciary System in Civil government relies upon prior court cases to shed light on the proper decision to be made. It is referred to formally as a “Judiciary Precedent”. While US Judges certainly have copies of the US Constitution, often the Judiciary Precedent is looked to more because there is less of an open prerogative to work in.  In 1968, the US Congress enacted a  law "to examine confessions on a case-by-case basis..."[4] In theory, it's not a bad sounding plan: Prior case decisions having been decided are made examples for later cases to observe. But the problem is the Sliding scale factor. In college class, I was exposed to a professor grading on a “sliding scale”. This means that the highest score got 100%, and all subsequent scores are based on that first one. This is a method used in a multitude of places. The precedent is referenced to logically, meaning it is must line up with earlier precedents before it, or that it lines up with equal precedents in other categories. Logic is a vital factor is legitimizing the content here. Logic measures what is in question with what is not in question.

Associations

Brain plasticity is the study of the body's changes of neural pathways in the body.[3]  As 

Astrocyte
muscle memory takes place on a muscular-skeletal level, a similar process takes place on a neural level. Mental pathways are discovered at a young age, but as a person develops, certain pathways become relied upon more then others, and reinforced. Learning then, is the process of associating what is known and stored in our memory with with what is yet unknown. The trouble of the association-making process, is whatever was previously learned will now be brought to the front to “vouch” for the new, foreign idea. This being the anatomical synopsis, a previously established precedent now may stand as a primary precedent for new foreign ideas that are introduced. For an external, and universal validation, other's in the field of experience will consider the idea “peer review” the material. Having gone through this process, the idea unchallenged based on evidence that reveals no contradictions, now becomes an established fact. How many ideas are validated by these “secondary source” precedents?

Metaphors

Much (if not all) intellectual learning comes by way of language. It is the medium that ideas are conveyed from one individual to another. In fact, even if not written or spoken, body language still is a communication language meant to convey information from one to another. Thomas Jay Oord, in his book Creation Made Free, discusses the concept of metaphors, and they're nearly essential necessity in language. He demonstrates the we use pictures of what we understand to conceptualize what we do not understand. The essay (1 of 13 total in the compilation) moves into the connection with God. How do humans, having no basic conception of an invisible, yet eternal, all-knowing, all-seeing, and all-present God, know how to make any kind of heads or tails about Him? Looking at the content of Judaic-Christian Scripture, the figurative language is more than extensive... Oord makes that claim that metaphor's show up in Scripture exclusively as a rule, referring to God as a lion, a rock, a Father, and a Lover.[1]

The Trickery of it all

Perhaps out of laziness, or an impatience to comprehend what is yet mysterious, the individual pursues an understanding, however imperfect, or “passed-down” it may be. This habit of locating a description or definition without first determining the validity of the source is dangerous. Perhaps a good conscience can be the Better Business Bureau of the individual. Reason is simply tool, and logic is simply a measuring stick for determining the validity of reason's conclusions. Logical consistency is not enough. Just because a premise is discovered, does not make it a safe one. Just because someone put time and effort into a project does not mean the result is Truth. Having aesthetic content, and a thoroughly systematic method, does not automatically assume a principle. The nature of deception is that he who is in deception does not know he has been deceived. What looks good on the surface *probably* has a good purpose behind it too...

Conclusion

What must be determined for every idea we hold essential is the absolute Truth. Where did the definition of a concept that is stored in our minds first come from? Can it be trusted? Is there an intentionally acknowledge premise at all, or is a presupposition the furthest back we travel? Does everything have to be mapped in the first place? A belief that science can define all things leaves no room for “uncharted territory”. Unfortunately, the reason of finite minds know things with finite comprehension. As a result, the scientific methods and observational inquiry apparatuses cannot articulate what it does not observe. Generation Y, and Z, (generally, the generation born in the mid 1980's and later)[2] has a certain aptitude for technological gadgets. What we learned we are more accustomed to intuitively understand.  Is this a trustworthy source?  How do you know?

Creation Made Free: Open Theology Engaging Science
Amazon Price: $31.00 $27.00 Buy Now
(price as of Feb 22, 2014)
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Bibliography

  1. Thomas Jay Oord Creation made free: Open Theology Engaging Science. Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2009.
  2. Sally Kane "Generation Y." About.com. 20/02/2014 <Web >
  3. "How the Brain Creates New Neural Pathways." What Is Neuroplasticity?. 20/02/2014 <Web >
  4. Martin Kelly "Miranda v. Arizona." About.com. 22/02/2014 <Web >

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