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Analyze this quote: "New knowledge is the most valuable commodity on earth. The more...

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gmparts | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 8, 2009 at 3:42 AM via web

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Analyze this quote: "New knowledge is the most valuable commodity on earth. The more truth we have to work with, the richer we become."

"-Kurt Vonnegut

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 8, 2009 at 3:54 AM (Answer #1)

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I hope that by "analyze" you mean that we should discuss our opinion about the quote.  Here's mine.

For the most part, I think this is true.  Technologically and economically, new truths have made us richer.  They have improved our physical quality of life in so many ways. Medicines, computers, cars -- all of these add to our quality of life and make us richer.  All are possible because of new truths.

However, when we learn new truths, we perhaps lose some of our innocence and happiness.  For example, it's mind-boggling for me to think that there are billions of galaxies, with billions of stars each, in the universe.  Thats' truth, but in some way it makes me feel less secure and like I understand things less.  And in that way, I'm not sure it makes me richer.

Or take, for example, the way that going to college can sometimes make people question religious beliefs they held all their lives.  I'm not saying that religion and knowledge/science are incompatible, but they can seem that way and new knowledge can challenge people's faith.  And that doesn't make you feel richer.

So it seems that new truth can make us richer, but it can also shake our understanding of the way things are.  If those old understandings were comforting to us, letting go of them doesn't always make us feel richer.

 

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