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Do you have what it takes a breakdown of the educated person

Do You Have What it Takes? A Breakdown of the Educated Person

by Thomas Burkhardt

An educated person is a well rounded person. To be educated is to

knowledgeable in many areas. Diversity is essential in the sense that many

different things inspire thought, which then derive permanent conclusions from

these experiences. Anyone who has the audacity to call themselves educated

needs to have a firm grasp of many different areas. These categories span

through Science, Technology, Language, Art, Feelings and Values. All of these

are building blocks that help make up an educated person, but just as important,

these are the same qualities that form an individual.

One of the most important concepts that a person learns from Science is

a fundamental thinking process. This process starts with curiosity, asking the

question," Why does that work?" It then moves on to theorizing or guessing.

Next, this person takes his or her theory and puts it to the test by conducting

various experiments. Finally this individual will draw a final conclusion from

those findings. Science also helps a person look at things objectively, which

means there is no feelings influencing experiments that can lead to fraudulent

conclusions. This can be a double edged sword however, because in many

instances when a scientist is emotionally removed from the experiments performed,

the question, "Should I?", is never asked. For instance under the reign of

Hitler many cruel medical experiments were preformed. In The Medical

Experiments by William Shirer the author states,"Prisoners were placed in high

pressure chambers and subjected to high-altitude tests until they ceased

breathing. They were injected with lethal doses of typhus and jaundice. They

were subjected to 'freezing' experiments in icy water or exposed naked in the

snow outdoors until they froze to death." This also deals with the subject of

values and will be discussed detail later.

Probably the most positive way to utilize Science would be to take it to

the next level, Technology. This is were an educated person takes what laws and

theories he learns in science and integrates them into everyday life, finding

ways to make life easier and arguably better. I say arguably because many

educated people are against technological advancement. These philosophers say

that technologies are being probed without understanding and therefore they are

being abused. These philosophers feel that this will be the chief downfall of

humankind. Mary E. Clark showed her opposition in her article Science and

Values, in which she states,"When such knowledge is used to manipulate Nature we

call it 'technology', and over the past century this manipulative capacity has

grown to the point where we can now annihilate ourselves as a species."

Another important aspect of being an educated person is a firm grasp of

the use of Language. This person needs to develop the gift of relating his

thoughts and feelings into a clear and interesting way. Many people try to use

large words and awkward vocabulary to sound educated, but a true educated person

can relate an idea in a way that any person could understand.

In his article Simplicity, William Zinsser advocates this idea when he

makes points like, "We are a society strangling in unnecessary words, circular

constructions, pompous frills and meaningless jargon."and,"The person snoozing

in a chair, holding a magazine or book, is a person who was being given too much

unnecessary trouble by the writer." To be an educated person is a person that

not only can relate ideas to someone else, he can also understand other peoples

ideas and feelings and can use them to draw over all conclusions to answer the

questions at hand.

In addition an educated person must be in touch with inner feelings,

this person must know thyself, and must value the importance of feelings and

life itself. Robertson Davies in his article about people with emotional

atrophy called The Deadliest of Sins, says this about these people, "They seldom

make mistakes, because they never put themselves in a position where they are

not complete masters of the situation....they have died to joy and pain and thus

feeling." One can not be educated without experiencing the joys and pains of

life, this would leave nothing to learn from.

One aspect of being considered educated that is imperative is the

ability to communicate, or in some situations, vent his or her feelings in a

positive matter. This demonstrates pure knowledge of ones own spirit. One of

the best ways to do this is through an artistic medium. This is the main reason

why so many artists are referred to as ingenious. These people not only display

feelings constructively, they do it in such an interestingly radical way that

they invoke emotional responses from their admirers. Art has the ability to

express feelings better than any words from any language. Susanne K. Langer in

her article The Cultural Importance of Art states,"There is, however, an

important part of reality that is quite inaccessible to the formative influence

of language: that is the realm of so-called "inner experience," the life of

feeling and emotion.

All of these attributes lose power without an individual set of values

to focus this energy. Adolf Hitler influenced millions by being a masterful

orator. Hitler also was very innovative in science and many other areas.

However do to his grossly warped sense of personal values he was labelled by

leaders and peers as a madman.

It is very difficult for any person to be a master of all of these

categories, but to be truly educated, there needs to be at least a small

concentration of everything in that individual's background. For the one reason

that it is so difficult to posses all of these traits, it is also that same

reason that makes all of the truly educated people of our past stand out in

history as heros and leaders. This is also the biggest reason that so many

people admire them and strive to be like them.



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