Learning to Learn


*   The dictionary defines learning as "To gain knowledge, comprehension, or mastery of (something) through experience or study."  Also, "To fix in the mind or memory; memorize."

*   The ability to grasp and retain knowledge is perhaps the single most important thing we can be taught.  Yet, I know of no public school classes dedicated to learning to learn.  The importance of this subject is not a recent discovery.  In 1907 Henry Adams said, "What one knows is, in youth, of little moment; they know enough who know how to learn."  And way back in the 5th century B.C. a man named Tze-sze noted, "To be fond of learning is to be near to knowledge."  The Book of Books as you might expect testifies also:


Bible Verses Concerning Learning

*   Prov. 1:1-7 ... wisdom, understanding, insight, judgment

*   (Prov 1:1-7 NIV)  The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: {2} for attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight; {3} for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair; {4} for giving prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young-- {5} let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance-- {6} for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise. {7} The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.

*   Prov. 3:13-14 ... happiness and gain

*   (Prov 3:13-14 NIV)  Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, {14} for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold.

*   1 Cor. 12:28-29 ... teaching as a gift

*   (1 Cor 12:28-29 NIV)  And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. {29} Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?

*   Eph. 6:4 ... a responsibility to teach children

*   (Eph 6:4 NIV)  Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

*   2 Tim. 3:15 ... scriptures make us wise unto salvation

*   (2 Tim 3:14-17 NIV)  But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, {15} and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. {16} All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, {17} so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Aids to Learning

*   Prayer ... Useful in any endeavor!  Remember, prayer is needed by us and desired by God.

*   Set aside time for study ... habits can be good or bad.  This one is good.

*   Remove distractions ... you can't give FULL attention to two things at the same time.

*   Be selective ... There is more to be known than any person could ever master in this life.  Your time is limited and valuable.

*   Nutrition ... mind is dependent upon body as body is dependent upon mind.  Good nutrition makes good sense.

*   Sleep ... very much the same story as with nutrition.  Necessary for good health.  Not too much or too little.

*   Establish fundamentals by memorization ... For example; the order of the Gospels is Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  This will save time and free you for more fruitful things.

*   Determine/Gather resources ... things such as concordances, topical bibles, commentaries, encyclopedias, trips to the library.  Try to buy those references that are proven to be good values.

*   Know your vocabulary ... if uncertain of the meaning/meanings of a word look it up in a dictionary or appropriate reference.

*   Use techniques for condensing ... highlighting, underlining, outlining, summarizing.  Be thoughtful of your condensing.  Find the essence of the material.  Take notes.

*   Question ... Why?  What does it mean?  What isn't being answered?  How reliable is my source?  Does it make sense?  God does make sense.

*   Resolve conflict ... Be alert for inconsistencies in what you think you know.  Double-check your assumptions.  God is not the author of confusion!

*   Seek and establish principles ... Principles are universal truths that serve to stabilize and clarify our thoughts.  They are primary standards by which new ideas can be tested.

*   Don't be afraid to admit you don't know ... You can't learn by hiding truth.  The truth may be; I don't know or I can't be certain.

*   Persevere ... if at first you don't succeed; try, try again. The better things are usually those that require the most effort to acquire or else everyone would have them.

*   Seek counsel ... but decide for yourself.  The whole purpose of study is to discover for yourself.  If counsel is good it is provable and clear.

*   Use it or lose it ... revisit your studies. Share your knowledge with others. Continue to refine and clarify it.  You can't teach experience ... the element of time is an important part of learning.  Be patient, with yourself and with others.

*   Knowledge is not Wisdom ... and wisdom is not knowledge.  Beware of vain pride in knowledge; it is the proof that you do not yet have wisdom.  Beware of boasting of wisdom, for the wisdom of man is but foolishness to God!



Logical Fallacies


1.     Argument by exception. Taking the rare or unusual case and offering it as proof for (or against) the general case.

2.     Begging the question. Arguing that a claim is true by repeating the claim in different words. Sometimes called circular reasoning.

3.     Confusing chronology with causality. Assuming that because one thing preceded another, the former caused the latter. Also called post hoc, ergo propter hoc (Latin for "after this, therefore because of this").

4.     Either/or reasoning. Assuming that there are only two sides to a question, and representing yours as the only correct one.

5.     Equivocating. Misleading or hedging with ambiguous word choices.

6.     Failing to accept the burden of proof. Asserting a claim without presenting a reasoned argument to support it.

7.     False analogy. Assuming that because one thing resembles another, conclusions drawn from one apply to the other.

8.     Hasty generalization. Offering only weak or limited evidence to support a conclusion.

9.     Overreliance on authority. Assuming something is true simply because an expert says so and ignoring evidence to the contrary.

10.            Oversimplifying. Giving easy answers to complicated questions, often by appealing to emotions rather than logic.

11.            Personal attack. Demeaning the proponents of a claim instead of their argument. Also called ad hominen (Latin for "against the man").

12.            Red herring. Attempting to misdirect the discussion by raising an essentially unrelated point.

13.            Slanting. Selecting or emphasizing the evidence that supports your claim and suppressing or playing down other evidence.

14.            Slippery slope. Pretending that one thing inevitably leads to another.

15.            Sob story. Manipulating others emotion's in order to lead them to draw unjustified conclusions.

16.  Straw man. Directing the argument against a claim that nobody actually holds or that everyone agrees is very weak.