Have you noticed how the more you learn, the more you realize how little you know. This amazing piece of literary genius has been attributed to Socrates, by Plato, but that needs to be confirmed. It doesn’t really matter who said it, it’s just important that it was said, and needs to be understood.
For those who are not afraid to explore and learn, this paradox will become apparent soon enough. Your quest and thirst for knowledge will leave you extremely frustrated. Each new thing you learn will lead you to another new thing, and another, and so on. The more you uncover, the more remains hidden, that needs to be sought out and exposed. It is ultimately impossible to know everything. That is what makes life so fascinating, and also what will be my greatest regret on my deathbed; not knowing what new things I could have learned if I’d lived longer. For me, there can be nothing sadder than this, but if it’s true what they say about your life flashing before your eyes on your deathbed, then I’m sure to have one heck of a long flashback, crammed with all the things I’ve learned.
It’s no coincidence then, that this should lead me to criticise religion for the part it has played over the years, and still does in advocating closed thinking, and discouraging the pursuit of knowledge. It is well known that knowledge leads one to question, and awkward questions are anathema to religion. Religious texts such as the Bible, even advocated that knowledge is forbidden; only the Gods are supposed to possess it. For years (happily gone by), the religious establishment preached that all knowledge was already revealed within the context of “religious” doctrine, and that there was no need for the individual to pursue it on his or her own. For this reason, the scientific and academic community were harassed and vilified. It is still happening today. Bigoted, religious communities still refuse to believe scientific discoveries; evolution being one.
Luckily, for most of us, the thirst for knowledge is greater than the fear of Gods…