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Friday, May 11, 2012

Question for the Wisest Person in the World

Carnac the Magnificent
What one question would you ask the wisest person in the world? (Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, p.509).

On considering this question I have made several false starts. For example, I have asked what are the best ways to happiness or what are the surest ways to happiness? These questions won't do for obvious reasons for happiness can derive from ignorant and destructive ends. I have finally decided that the one question I would ask the wisest person in the world is "What are the best ways to nurture abundant life?” This question has wide applicability. It can refer to the best ways to raise children, or the best ways to grow throughout one's adult years, or it can refer to the best ways to craft a society so that it will flourish. It is a loaded question for the meaning of "abundant life" is reliant upon one's value system. Thus, by asking this question, we will learn a lot about the value structures of the wisest person in the world. Of course, in part I anticipate answers. I assume that a society experiencing "abundant life" is flourishing not only materialistically but also spiritually – that it has found the best ways to structure the economy, the best ways to explore and adapt to nature, the best ways to nurture productivity and happiness for all of its citizens, the best ways to educate, the best ways to ensure public health, the best ways to structure institutions, the best ways to nurture children and adults, the best ways to manage resources, the best ways to motivate and inspire, the best ways to overcome the destructive and addictive tendencies inherent in human nature. I would assume that such a society could devote its resources largely to creative and productive ends. In other words, in answer to this question the wisest person in the world could be constrained to respond in a lengthy treatise that could greatly enlighten the world. This response no doubt would be highly controversial, endlessly disputed and debated. This would be due in large part to the surfeit of persons humbly considering themselves to be “the wisest person in the world.”

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