Essay Neil Postman - Responses

2026 Words Dec 16th, 2011 9 Pages
Part I

On page 11, Postman quotes Niels Bohr as saying, "The opposite of a correct statement is an incorrect statement, but the opposite of a profound truth is another profound truth." What does this statement mean? Do you agree with it? Why or why not?
Opposition creates two points of view and provides a stronger meaning for both sides. A correct statement, “I like ice cream,” is opposed by the incorrect statement, “I don’t like ice cream.” If I only observe the correct statement, I have no reason to justify my liking of ice cream, but if I am challenged with the incorrect statement, I am forced to consider why I like ice cream—I like it because it’s cold, sweet, and creamy.
A profound truth, deep and unyielding, cannot be proven
…show more content…
When faced with a choice or decision, we weigh the options with a sense of what our god expects and are able to align the outcomes with the goals we seek. Not having a god generates internal conflict whereby any decisions made would be arbitrary, void of meaning, or irrelevant. “Even if a narrative places one in hell, it is better to be there than to be nowhere. To be nowhere means to live in a barren culture, one that offers no vision of the past or future, no clear voice of authority, no organizing principles.” (Postman, 1996, p. 12). Gods are necessary to give us reason and purpose for doing what we do. While a flawed god may sometimes have us confused or misguided, we can still count on that god to have at least created enough meaning in our lives to give us the ability to re-organize or find a new god.
Consider a hypothetical story: If I were following the god of Science and were to discover its flaw in that too many of its progressions were made by accident, I may be at a loss for what my purpose is if scientific discovery occurs as often by chance as it does by decisive action. How is Science to guide my choices if every choice is just as likely as it is not to move me forward? I am not completely lost if I discover this flaw and abandon the god of Science, for the god of Science has already shown me that, even if discovered by accident, there is reason for why things are. Up until now, I have aligned my decisions with the path of
Open Document