“Articulate speech marks [people] out as [individuals] and in some settings, this can be rather dangerous because people are often suspicious and frightened of articulateness. ” (Humanities). Articulateness describes a person’s ability to express an idea coherently. A well articulated idea, concept or opinion, does not use proof based on a fallacy to back up its view. When people speak or write articulately, they are able to convey a message to others in a way that cannot be distorted.
It can even be said, “[a]rticulateness builds the human community. ” (Humanities) Without the ability to understand each other there would be no way for a society to function. Each person would not be able to communicate a message from his or her thoughts to another person, thus any sort of teamwork would be impossible. It is the understanding of others’ ideas told to a person in a way more specific than basic gestures or grunts that allows humans to be more successful in groups than any animal.
Properly expressed thoughts are the best way to communicate in any form of society, because failing to articulate properly often leads to misinterpretation. A lack of articulation, and thus a lack of complete understanding, leads to people being misinformed. Sometimes people in power use the ability to misinform others to their advantage. By deliberately explaining campaigns vaguely so that the general public does not fully understand, people in power, or people who wish to be in power, can skew facts in their favour.
“We are taught to read and write so that we can obey the traffic signs and to cipher so that we can make out our income tax” (Humanities), but people are deliberately expected to maintain only a level of intelligence sufficient to allow them to participate in society at a minimal level. People are kept in a docile state so that they will not question generally accepted ideas proposed by the government. People are only provided with education to a level insufficient to challenge the inarticulate ideas of those considered superiors.
The general public is expected to automatically respect the opinions of superiors, and the people considered more powerful in society are thus able to fool the unintelligent general public. If campaigns proposed by governments were explained articulately, the people would be able to understand the true intent and make fully informed decisions. Privileged to all of the information, the general public would be able to spot any deceptions and each campaign would be subjected to scrutiny. Inarticulateness is nearly as powerful a tool as true articulateness, in some respects.
By extending the human capacity of knowledge further than allowed in fundamental schooling, it is possible to overcome the system that attempts to keep society unintelligent. People are able to absorb and think about ideas of others that they have not physically met or spoken to through reading well-written literature. The more people read and are able to understand literature, the more they will develop their own articulate ideas. “As we challenge ourselves to read more and more difficult literature, we become able to extend ourselves further” (Literature).
Literature allows people to “[leap] over the boundaries that usually separate us from other selves and worlds” (Literature) and increase each person’s base of knowledge substantially. It is only with prior knowledge of a subject that humans are able to intelligently articulate their ideas. However, society is not quick to embrace the powers that articulate thought gives individuals. People do not wish to pick up books unless they are necessary for their immediate success in a submissive society. “A society like ours doesn’t have much interest in literacy” (Humanities).
Governments work to keep society in a level of cautious unintelligence, and are hesitant to embrace articulate ideas because they are truly powerful things. Powerful and well articulated ideas often lead to change, and change is something most people are apprehensive of. People with individual thoughts are marked out and scorned by the masses, and in many less democratic countries than Canada radical thinkers are silenced by means of intimidation or imprisonment. “Understanding and articulateness lead to [government’s] destruction” (Humanities).
The government, as we know it, the system that works in a way which is not always beneficial to the general public because society remains afraid to challenge, could not exist. A well-articulated idea that goes against the government can cause upheaval in society. If people were to act on those ideas and rebel against laws put in place by the government, any sort of order would be in a state of constant flux, moving from one extreme to another. Without radicals, there would be no forward movement in humanity.
Radicals such as Aristotle, who believed that there was a proper way to think and that many of the things society automatically accepts as truths are nothing more than fallacy, were scorned during their lifetimes. Many scholars’ ideas were immediately dismissed because people were frightened of their ability to articulate ideas that were radically different from those commonly held. In society there is a nature ingrained into each person, a feeling that one singled from the group will be defenseless and vulnerable. This instinct may be a result of evolution, something that humans needed in order to survive.
Now it could be said the need that humans feel to conform to a group because it is presumed safer, is holding society back. Radical thinkers move humanity forward. The need for acceptance, and the desire to fit in rather than stand out in a community is something common to each person. “Young adolescents today often betray a curious sense of shame about speaking articulately” (Humanities). There is an almost paralyzing fear shared by many people, most noticeably in school children but in adults as well, of not only public speaking but also even raising their hands in a classroom setting.
A child asked to give a speech to a classroom of peers about a topic, to share ideas and opinions unique to that child, will often become frightened that his or her opinions will not be shared by the rest of the class. The need for acceptance is often greater than the need to articulate and stand out. People in many cases would rather believe and agree with an idea that they have valid reason to believe to be false in order to be part of a community than voice their own opinion and be rejected. Fallacies are a barrier created by the structure of society in order to discourage articulate thought.
People are often afraid of articulateness because it conveys well-formed and direct ideas, something uncommon in society. Humans are naturally afraid of something that is unfamiliar to them. An intelligent individual who thinks differently from the masses, even if his or her idea is perfectly valid and conveyed in such a way that makes their reasoning clear, are often ridiculed because society tends to accept fallacies as proof of validity. An example of a commonly believed fallacy is Circulous probando, or “thinking in circles” (Think).
This term created by Aristotle, “often entails joining an intellectual herd charging round and round” (Think). The drive that humans have, the instinct to stay equal with the group both in a physical sense and an intellectual respect, leads society to want to believe in fallacies. The notion that if “everybody thinks such and such; it must be so for the simple reason that everybody thinks it is so” (Think). is safe. If everyone in the group believes a fallacy, those people are all on the same level intellectually, and there is safety in numbers.
No one in the group will be singled out. The more people believe in something, be it fallacy or truth, the more likely it is that other people will believe the same simply because it is commonly accepted. This way of thinking can be detrimental to a group of people, because if the group believes in commonly held fallacies over intelligent articulate thought. “The surest way to destroy freedom is to destroy the capacity to articulate freely. ” (Humanities) Without articulate freedom, human society will never progress or evolve.
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 5 October 2016
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