Saturday, April 25, 2009

The strange thing about writing

"SOCRATES: You know, Phaedrus, that's the strange thing about writing ... they seem to talk to you as if they were intelligent, but if you ask them anything about what they say, from a desire to be instructed, they go on telling you just the same thing forever." -- Plato: Collected Dialogues, 1961

While writing has allowed the transmission and preservation of valuable information and knowledge through the ages, it does suffer from the fact that it is a very static form of knowledge. Every piece of writing is written at a particular place, at a particular time and with a particular frame of mind. Debate, argument and conversation are necessary if we are to harvest useful and pertinent knowledge from the written text.

The supposed word of God, by the very nature of its alleged source, is supposed to be infallible, full of wisdom and immune to critical analysis. Lacking the ability to argue and debate, it has the potential to intellectually paralyze entire societies, hold them hostage and stunt their intellectual and moral growth.


  1. Not strictly relevant, but I thought you might be interested in this:

    And Jesus answered: "Seek not the law in your scriptures, for the law is life, whereas the scripture is dead... For I tell you truly, all living things are nearer to God than the scripture which is without life. God wrote not the laws in the pages of books, but in your heart and in your spirit."

  2. Hey, do you mind that I blogrolled you in 'other apostates of Islam'? If you're not out as an apostate, I can put you in 'interesting links' instead.

  3. That's OK. It should be easy to infer that I am an ex-Muslim from my posts. In fact, I have become rather content and at peace with this change of beliefs over the last month -- so much so that I am finding it a little hard to get inspired to write about religion :)