Tuesday, May 09, 2023

Any Fool Can Start a Quarrel

(The River Raisin)

I have been on a wisdom quest for fifty-three years. That doesn't mean I have arrived. But, I have pursued wisdom, passionately. 

This pursuit to gain wisdom began when I became a follower of Jesus. In the spring of 1970. I was, at the time, in college, majoring in Music Theory. Upon my conversion, I changed majors to another sure money-maker - Philosophy. And, I fell in love with Linda, and with wisdom.

These two love affairs have not stopped. This morning I read from Proverbs,  chapter 18. I only get through two verses.

1 An unfriendly person pursues selfish ends and against all sound judgment starts quarrels.
2 Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions.

This is truth.

Over the years of teaching philosophy at our Community College, I have had students who were true wisdom-seekers. And, I've had students who thought they were wise. Some of these wise ones loved to start arguments. 

A few of them trolled me on social media. I discovered that any troll can ask a question. I may let them troll for a while, then, for a few of them, cut them off. They were masters of begging the question, princes of circular rabbit trails.

Any fool can start a quarrel. Just throw out a provocative statement, and behold the resultant carnage. 

Many fools are wise, in their own eyes. They judge, before they understand. The hard work of understanding the position of the other is too much for them. But it's part of what is required to gain wisdom.