Do You Have What it Takes? A Breakdown of the Educated Person


by Thomas Burkhardt

An educated person is a well rounded person. To be educated is to
knowledgeable in many areas. Diversity is essential in the sense that many
different things inspire thought, which then derive permanent conclusions from
these experiences. Anyone who has the audacity to call themselves educated
needs to have a firm grasp of many different areas. These categories span
through Science, Technology, Language, Art, Feelings and Values. All of these
are building blocks that help make up an educated person, but just as important,
these are the same qualities that form an individual.
One of the most important concepts that a person learns from Science is
a fundamental thinking process. This process starts with curiosity, asking the
question," Why does that work?" It then moves on to theorizing or guessing.
Next, this person takes his or her theory and puts it to the test by conducting
various experiments. Finally this individual will draw a final conclusion from
those findings. Science also helps a person look at things objectively, which
means there is no feelings influencing experiments that can lead to fraudulent
conclusions. This can be a double edged sword however, because in many
instances when a scientist is emotionally removed from the experiments performed,
the question, "Should I?", is never asked. For instance under the reign of
Hitler many cruel medical experiments were preformed. In The Medical
Experiments by William Shirer the author states,"Prisoners were placed in high
pressure chambers and subjected to high-altitude tests until they ceased
breathing. They were injected with lethal doses of typhus and jaundice. They
were subjected to 'freezing' experiments in icy water or exposed naked in the
snow outdoors until they froze to death." This also deals with the subject of
values and will be discussed detail later.
Probably the most positive way to utilize Science would be to take it to
the next level, Technology. This is were an educated person takes what laws and
theories he learns in science and integrates them into everyday life, finding
ways to make life easier and arguably better. I say arguably because many
educated people are against technological advancement. These philosophers say
that technologies are being probed without understanding and therefore they are
being abused. These philosophers feel that this will be the chief downfall of
humankind. Mary E. Clark showed her opposition in her article Science and
Values, in which she states,"When such knowledge is used to manipulate Nature we
call it 'technology', and over the past century this manipulative capacity has
grown to the point where we can now annihilate ourselves as a species."
Another important aspect of being an educated person is a firm grasp of
the use of Language. This person needs to develop the gift of relating his
thoughts and feelings into a clear and interesting way. Many people try to use
large words and awkward vocabulary to sound educated, but a true educated person
can relate an idea in a way that any person could understand.
In his article Simplicity, William Zinsser advocates this idea when he
makes points like, "We are a society strangling in unnecessary words, circular
constructions, pompous frills and meaningless jargon."and,"The person snoozing
in a chair, holding a magazine or book, is a person who was being given too much
unnecessary trouble by the writer." To be an educated person is a person that
not only can relate ideas to someone else, he can also understand other peoples
ideas and feelings and can use them to draw over all conclusions to answer the
questions at hand.
In addition an educated person must be in touch with inner feelings,
this person must know thyself, and must value the importance of feelings and
life itself. Robertson Davies in his article about people with emotional
atrophy called The Deadliest of Sins, says this about these people, "They seldom
make mistakes, because they never put themselves in a position where they are
not complete masters of the situation....they have died to joy and pain and thus
feeling." One can not be educated without experiencing the joys and pains of
life, this would leave nothing to learn from.
One aspect of being considered educated that is imperative is the
ability to communicate, or in some situations, vent his or her feelings in a
positive matter. This demonstrates pure knowledge of ones own spirit. One of
the best ways to do this is through an artistic medium. This is the main reason
why so many artists are referred to as ingenious. These people