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I was at a tax day tea party event last year, and while it was interesting and I learned a lot about the political process and picked up a few pieces of memorabilia, one aspect stuck out to me in particular.

Joe the Plumber came up to speak, sort of surprise guest, and gave a speech about the current political happenings and his personal experience. But there was one bit that stuck out to me. He said that there was ‘nothing new under the sun.’ Which happens to be a quote from the bible. (verse)

At the time I found this odd, so odd that I cocked my head back and shook it in puzzlement. I mean sure history repeats in some form but look at all that humanity has accomplished. Was our sky scrapers or combustion engines or fission devices on this planet in years past? Don’t answer that. šŸ˜›

At the heart of this matter is a question, whether or not there is a God or some ultimate truth out there.

If the answer is yes, then there is nothing new under the sun, if no, then there are lots of things that could be considered new under the sun.

You see if you believe, like I do, that there is a God, an ultimate arbiter of good, evil, and truth then knowledge is out there. For all too discover it. Sure we may have individual and unique ways of looking at it and taking what we will from that knowledge, but it is out there. There are facts, and a divine truth out there. Things that are correct, and proper, and true.

If someone comes to you and tells you that they are the ultimate arbiters of truth, knowledge,that they and only they can tell you the truth about science, knowledge, history, and God, then they are probably trying to sell you something. Something that I believe should not be bought.

Especially in the modern information age.

Knowledge does not belong to any institution, be it a church, a business, a college, a school, or a Government bureaucracy.

You can use almost anything at your fingertips to find knowledge, truth, and put you on the right path to further knowledge.

Now this does not mean that these institutions cannot be helpful and cannot teach. They can, and have done so successfully for millions of humans for generations. They are there to help, to teach, to educate on a wide variety of topics from religion to science to history to art. But they are not the only things that can. The seed of knowledge can be planted almost everywhere, even doing the most simple of tasks.

Like tonight for instance I was reading the Ace Combat Wiki and came across a class of ship that I never heard of, I looked it up on the internet, and there it was, wala. I learned something new, from a web article on a fictional game. Now this may be a poor example because there is no principles or nothing really practical, but, well I do not know what is practical, and it serves as an example of step A can lead to B.

You can learn as much on philosophy and good moral behavior from a simple TV Show or Movie franchise like Harry Potter, Stargate SG-1, or Babylon 5, that you can from any priest or philosophy class. Or, for that matter, your parents.

You can learn all about religious history, religious principles, and religious rituals from Wikipedia or random internet articles, even from debates on online forums like Facebook or other areas I visit. You can learn more here then a class on World Religions, that cost a lot of money to boot.

You can learn about proper writing techniques from reading Tolkien, Rowling, or Clancy, rather than taking a creative writing class.

Or about scientific terms and forums from crime scene shows or science fiction then a class on Chemistry.

More about politics and US History from a talk show host then a professor lecturing in a classroom.

All of this can plant the seed in your mind for you to go out and gain knowledge on your own. Which I suppose is the problem.

People have come to rely on something, someone they trust be it a professor or a priest or an accredited scientist, no matter the cost. We have come to rely on these people as a society for our livelihood, for the betterment of our lives, the current wisdom is you must have a degree if you want to have any good job. That you have to attend lectures and seminars to gain a certain skill.

Really?

The path I advocate is one of hard work and self-reliance. It is one of questioning life and trying to find your own path.

Trusting but verifying. Be it your parents, or almost any other institution that is out there.

After all time and time again the human race has been taught the lesson, do not let power get concentrated in the hands of the few. Do not let an organization or institution be the keys to all knowledge. This has bitten us each and every time.

After all, popular wisdom holds, we are not supposed to trust the church on morality or every day principles, oh no. Look at what they have done! They have molested little kids and threw scientists in jail…several…hundred…years…ago. They are monsters! Unreasonable! Ignore them!

Trust the scientists instead!

But wait don’t, some of them, lie about global warming data? Or have invented entire species to try to gain scientific renown in evolutionary circles?

Don’t trust your parents, or charity, or even your neighbor to take care of you or to try to teach you proper morality or facts on life, oh no you need the Government mandated and supported programs, and here is free Government cash to let you in!

And here I thought we were complaining about the woman who praised Obama over his stash.

In short there is no one size fits all solution to life or the knowledge in life. It is my belief that we have come to rely on a certain set number of institutions to provide all the answers to our life, that we even have to participate in them if we hope to succeed in life.

That does not sound like a winning strategy to me. And I know that it’s not true either.

And that is the Fundamental Truth, of Our Time.

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