Thursday, August 24, 2006

TO KNOW OR NOT KNOW

TO KNOW OR NOT TO KNOW

Ok, the following article is going to require two very important things from the reader.

Honesty. You must be very truthful with yourself as you read this article. Sometimes the hardest person to be honest with is yourself!
Careful thinking. This article requires the reader to take some time and really follow the argument to its logical conclusion.

So with that in mind let’s begin.

THE OFFER
I have a proposition for you. If I could offer you the ability to know what everyone is thinking at any time, would you want and accept the ability? Imagine - you would know if the person who smiles and says such nice things about you really means what they say! You would know if that special person who tells you they love you really means it. You would know people’s fears, hopes, and desires. You would know if a spouse is being faithful or not! There is no end to the possibilities that this ability would bring you. Would you want this ability? Be honest! I have heard many people say things that either implicitly or explicitly implies they would take the ability. In the last few weeks, I heard a few of my female co-workers talk about the movie, “What Women Want”. The movie was released in 2000 and it was about Nick Marshall, a Chicago advertising executive, got a whole new outlook on life when a fluke accident gave him the ability to read women’s minds. The females that spoke about this movie spoke that having this ability would be great. I brought up the possible problems this gift would bring, but they assured me the benefits would outweigh any negative.

THE QUESTION
Let’s say you have a diary and in it you write the most intimate thoughts you have about others, love, the future and any other things you think about. You are dating an individual and that person decides they want to know all those intimate thoughts so they enter your home when you are not present and read your diary. They carefully take in every page, every word and detail. Their desire is to know you, not to share the information with others. Later you find out what the person has done. Are you flattered because of the person’s deep desire to know you? Or, are you afraid and think the person is crazy, psychotic and nuts? Today, I asked my female co-workers this question. The majority said they would think the guy was crazy, nuts, etc.

Does anyone else see the philosophical inconsistency here? If you have the power to know what others are thinking, then you know their deepest secrets, and you do not have their permission to access that information. In fact, most who wanted this ability always state selfish reasons (I would know if they were cheating, or if they were lying etc.) The person who enters to read the diary desires to know the intimate part of the person they are infatuated with. Both situations involve knowing things about someone without their consent or knowledge of the information being accessed. How are they different?
Did my female co-workers not see anything wrong with the ability to know what people are thinking because that would be a special power only they would posses? But the idea of someone sneaking in and reading their thoughts makes them feel violated and vulnerable? Why is one way of obtaining intimate knowledge not seen as bad and the other as crazy. Aren’t both situations a question of a person’s desire to know? Is our desire to know truly a desire for control? What we don’t know, we fear. A desire to know everything about a person could be a desire to truly be intimate with them. Physical intimacy is one thing, but to know a person completely is a type of intimacy not usually experienced. Is it not this type of intimacy that many females complain that their husbands or significant others never seem to desire? In fact, females usually use physical intimacy as a means to hopefully obtain a true intimacy. Men usually use the pretense of a desire for a loving intimate knowledge simply to gain physical intimacy!

So, should the mind and the diary be opened only to those who are granted access?
Or is it that we want to know, but not to be known?


Is it actually a matter of what we desire the most is what we fear the most? We all desire knowledge of others but we fear others knowing too much about us.

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 11:06 PM   1 comments links to this post

1 Comments:

At 12:16 AM, Blogger one voice said...

I think you hit it right on when you said, "We all desire knowledge of others but we fear others knowing too much about us." Why would someone want the "gift" of being able to read others thoughts but not be willing to share that same "gift" about themselves? I think if we are truthful it is because we don't really desire intimancy as much as we desire to know all. To have some kind of control of all things. In this way we desire to be like God, but only for selfish reasons. Women do complain about not having that special intimacy,and many times are willing to use frudelent means to try to obtain that which we desire. But a far better means of obtaining that which we want is true love, shown through actions. Our service to another, meeting their needs, often results in the intimancy we desire with that person. Make yourself so valueable in another persons life that they can't see how they could possibly get along without you, then you may just find that intimancy you are looking for, without the need for control. Thanks for a thought provoking artical. Lady Di

 

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