Nit Picking and Hair Splitting

Why is there so much nit picking and hair splitting in online discussions about the gospel? Is that the way that we learn and love truth? It seems to me that if there is any truth to a person’s position on an issue, that truth should be discovered regardless of the imperfect language we use to express it. And honest people will go looking for the essence of that truth, not use imperfections in our logic or expression to overturn it. Is it possible for the heart to know things that the mind cannot comprehend? If so, we should join together in seeking better ways to express those things instead of using the imperfections of human language to overturn the truth. All the nit picking and hair splitting of correct principle poorly expressed ought be recognized for what it is, an effort to fight against that which is right and true. If we would all bear our testimonies more often, and spend less time trying to overturn the sincerely held opinions of others, our online communications would bear more good fruit. What do you think?

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4 Responses to Nit Picking and Hair Splitting

  1. ujlapana says:

    I didn’t say I’m beyond feeling–I simple recognize them for what they are, namely, a process in my brain, not an external force. I find great joy in seeking truth and adhering to it, even if it isn’t as comforting as the pacifier of divinity. I think the struggles of maturity add a dimension to joy that a child can never know.

  2. What can I say? I am a religious man. Apparently you are not. You seem to be beyond feeling, a man with a calculator for brains and machinery for a body. If my views are correct, you will receive some radical reeducation during the first few minutes after you die, just like my atheist father. I wonder if believing the way you do adds or subtracts from the joy in your life? I hope it doesn’t, but I suppose that it does. Too bad. So sad.

  3. Ujlapana says:

    You seem to be suggesting that people who love soup will eat it, regardless of how many flies are in it. I, for one, will send it back to the kitchen–or fish out the flies at the very least. I don’t care how many people are sitting around me sipping with their eyes closed and saying, “mmmm, what flies?” I cannot betray reality and claim to be sane.

    Is it possible for the heart to know things the mind cannot? No, the heart pumps blood, and, based on a lack of correlation between amnesia and heart transplants, seems to have nothing to do with knowledge. The brain is the seat of knowledge, and as neurological conditions demonstrate, a “spirit” does not seem to be holding memories or feelings independent of those neural networks. In other words, when you die, not only will you be blind and deaf, you won’t have any memories or emotions either…no wonder folks want their bodies back so badly. Of course, they won’t remember what having a body was like!

  4. Mary Adams says:

    Good points, John. Perhaps some people’s thought processes just naturally go to detail–I don’t know–but it does tend to obscure discussion of the topic at hand if all the time is spent in a discussion of whether this word or that phrase is “correct” or not. I think it would be good if comments centered on the principle rather than the way it is worded. Then we could learn more and have a better grasp of said principle.

    Also, it can be frustrating when someone disagrees, but doesn’t provide any substantive reason/evidence for their disagreement. It doesn’t have to be something highly technical or involved, but I know it would help me at least understand their point even if I cannot agree with it.

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