Saturday, January 26, 2008

Things I Don't Know

If I were ever to run for public office, this post is likely to ruin my campaign. "I don't know" is a seen as a weak position, especially in politics. Candidates often get criticized for daring to admit that they would consult with advisers on certain issues. But enough of politics. Cultural and religious discussion is often characterized by passionate discussion from all sides that claim to have a monopoly on the truth.

I, for one, love the position of "I don't know" (of course, only when I actually don't know). I feel it allows me room to grow in understanding.

So, lest anyone mistake me for a guru of all knowledge (I know you were beginning to wonder), here's a far-from-comprehensive list of some things I don't know, in no particular order:
  • When human life begins

  • How much global warming is caused by humans, whether it will result in catastrophe, and how much we can realistically do about it

  • Whether doctor-assisted suicide should be legal in some cases

  • Whether I'm pro-life or pro-choice (only because apparently the definitions vary depending on perspective)

  • Whether Brigham Young knew beforehand about the plans for the Mountain Meadows Massacre

  • Whether there was a global flood

  • Whether I support embryonic stem-cell research

  • What a fair, yet compassionate, solution to the illegal immigration problem would be

  • Why gravity works

  • Why God intervenes to prevent disasters in some cases, but not in others

  • Whether Mitt Romney as president would be good or bad for the LDS Church

  • How much you really need to know something before you can say that you know it

I may have some ideas about the things on this list, but that's just the short list of things where my knowledge falls short. I'm reminded of 1 Nephi 11:17:

"I know that [God] loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things."

Well said, Nephi.

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