Friday, October 21, 2005

The Power of Crying Out (Can words really have supernatural power?) part 11

Considering the above observations about words and statements, here's a few questions to consider, and try to consider them under the assumption that words have power. Does it matter whether the word is spoken, written, or communicated in sign language? What if the word is mispronounced or misspelled? What if the person intends to say something but uses the wrong word? Is it his intention that matters or is it the word itself? What if a person repeats something he heard in another language without actually knowing what he's saying? Do the words still have power? What if some ancient long ago began to experiment with sounds and, by a fluke, happened to say a few English words before English was even invented? What if a person makes a statement where grammatically, it could mean any of three different things? Which meaning carries the power? What about a pun in which a statement can actually mean two different things at the same time? What if the statement a person makes is grammatically incorrect? What if a person intends to say one thing, but actually says something else because of a slip of the tongue or because they use the wrong words or use bad grammar? Is it what thte person actually says that has power or what the person intended to say that has power? What if a speech is recorded played over and over again? Does it have the same power coming out of a tape recorded as it does coming out of the original person't mouth?

It seems to me that when you really think about what a word is and what sentences are, that words cannot really have supernatural power. A written word is only a string of letters made with ink or something. It only has meaning insofar as everybody agrees to associate the string of letters with something in reality. A spoken word is nothing but a sound one makes with their mouth and their vocal chords. It only has meaning insofar as everybody agrees to associate that sound with some particular meaning. So words can't literally have supernatural power. Words are just conventions used to convey ideas between persons who agree by convention to what the words refer to. Remove the agreement, and the words are just meaningless sounds. If words did have meaning in and of themselves, then the sounds are the power regardless of whether anybody attributes meaning to the words at all. In that case, one could harness all the power of the universe by exhaustively learning every sound it's possible to make with the mouth. But then he'd be using some sounds that weren't really ordinary words in any language. If you follow this train of thought, you find that a person who harnesses the power of words will end up using "magic words" which are typically just sounds in some secret language which bring about effects by their use. That's magic. It's not Christian.

Well that's about all I have to say. I wonder if I should send Bill Gothard a copy of this? :-)

Your ole buddy,
Sam

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