Sunday, August 26, 2007

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¿Saber es ver?

The local Methodist church, the one with the marquee-style sign that I’ve mentioned here before, put up its latest saying this week, and it’s one that I’m puzzling over:

YOU ONLY SEE
WHAT YOU KNOW

Now, this is clearly trying to turn around the “doubters’” statement that “I only know what I see.” But... well, it doesn’t really make sense this way, does it? I mean, if something I never knew before suddenly stares me in the face, I’m certainly going to see it; this obviously can’t be taken literally. And when I try to come up with a figurative meaning, I get a little lost there too.

I did find one explanation that I can make sense of. It’s a bit of a stretch, but once you get there it does sort of fit in with what “belief” is asking one to do: If you only see what you know, then in order to see God, you have to first know God. OK, I guess that makes sense, in this context. It’s sort of a message that if you come to our church we’ll convince you that God is real, and then, believing that, “knowing” that, you’ll “see” Him. It’s a metaphor.

And OK, as a metaphor it works — and it reinforces why I can’t accept any of that: I have neither need nor desire to be convinced of the existence of something I can’t observe and for which there’s no reasonable evidence. Taken out of the world of metaphor, the same can be said of Elvis sightings: that you only see Elvis if you know he’s there. The King and The Lord are one in that regard, at least.

If someone has a different idea about what the sign is meant to be saying, hit the “Post a comment” link, below.


While we’re here, there’s a must-have for all you Firefox users: the Bible Fox add-on theme. I love the fishes, but I’m not sure about some of the other icons. A dove for “reload”? The cross for “stop”? Hm. And what are the scrolls about?

4 comments:

The Ridger, FCD said...

I think you're right about what it's supposed to mean.

You could add, on the reality level, that if something you don't know pops up, you'll see it, but you won't know what it is.

Barry Leiba said...

Hm... And so if you don't know what it is, it must be God, right?

Maggie said...

LOL, you've hit on it -- God of the gaps.

We have a church nearby that also has one of those handy books of clever signs, and this week it was, "Enjoy your day, courtesy of God."

We were imagining all the different ways you could not be enjoying your day (pet just died, for example), and then getting that little slap in the face from God. "Have a nice day! I know you loved your dog and he suffered in the end, but it's all part of My Plan!"

Dr. Momentum said...

I believe what it basically means is that once you believe in God, you'll see God in everything. Which seems to be the way it works with people.