Googled wisdom

Nov 23rd, 2006 | By | Category: Spirituality

Being easily amused, the wayside pulpit from a Presbyterian Church in the United States seemed clever.

There are many questions that Google can’t answer.

My question this evening was, ‘What is the flashing white light beyond the ridge of the Dublin mountains that I can see from the kitchen window of our house’. Even including only the keywords produced no satisfactory answer.

I assume that the questions that the author of the sign is considering are probably of a more general nature than mysterious illuminations seen from the east coast of Ireland. It is likely that Google’s unanswered questions in this case are the ‘big’ questions, questions of life, the universe and everything.

(The answer to these questions, as any reader of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy will know is, of course 42; the problem in Douglas Adams’ stories being not knowing the answer but knowing the questions.)

Perhaps it is not a bad thing that Google cannot answer some questions, if it could, whose answers would be offered? The religious fundamentalists’ dogmas or the scientific fundamentalists’ assertions? If the religious answers were chosen, whose religious answers would they be?

People who have all the answers are dangerous.If one possesses all the truth, then anyone who disagrees must be in error and must be corrected, and so crusades and pogroms and persecutions become reasonable.

Even Jesus allows that some questions must remain unanswered, that some things must remain a mystery, even on such a big question as the End, he says that God alone knows.

Google can’t answer all the questions; wisdom is being like Google.

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