Balance of Power

The Balance of Power Throughout the semester, a theme that has guided our thoughts has been the idea that the self is the capacity to have capacities. Through what we have read, written about, and discussed, we have been trying to come up with our own answers to the questions about the self; what a capacity is, how we find them, which ones are essential to human flourishing, what we do with them once they are found? Yet all of these questions lead us to answer that final and defining question of “what is the ‘truth’?” A capacity is a capability or a realized power in a person. Some of the authors that we read throughout the semester believed that these capacities must be implanted into us, and then nurtured and trained. C.S. Lewis says that, “The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts.”(1-p.27) However, in this statement he contradicts his own belief. In order for irrigation to work and make things grow, there must be something there beneath the surface to begin with. This is exactly my belief. I agree with Lewis that our capacities must be trained and educated, but those that are essential to human flourishing are inside our hearts waiting to be uncovered. But how then, do we go about uncovering these capacities? The answer is so simple, and yet far to complex to completely explain in one paper. It takes thought. In fact, thought is the best example of a capacity. No one can teach thought. It is an innate quality of all human beings. However, thought is not complete in its original state. We must train and educate our ability to think. We can train it to be analytical, critical, evidential, logical, careful, clear, subjective, objective, etc. The list could go on and on. We can ‘irrigate’ it and watch it grow. But that is assuming that it is there in the first place. Kierkegaard was on the right track to uncovering what is inside of us. He believed that it would…

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