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  1. #1
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    Nov 2005
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    Is this too cryptic or is it understandable?

    Hi everyone,

    Firstly, thanks for this great site. I appreciate your presence on the net.

    Now, my english teacher, sweet lady, has made the remark that my english is far to cryptic. To a point I agree. So I've tried to moderate myself. Here's a text I wrote under my own moderation. The text is a subject to religion, I acknowledge that religion is a sensitive issue, so I apologize if you find this as propaganda. It's not my intent.

    The text:

    As far as I can trace time back and the human’s trapped within it, I’ve come to conclude that among men and women alike, faith has the weakest foundation than any other creation by humans. Faith always tries to explain and grasp the truth, but yet mostly it is based on anything but truth itself. Even if truth was a part of faith, its effect would be impaired and rendered useless by the multitude of other ingredients which forms the faith. To mention a few: desires, lust, will, egoism, emotions, conjectures, arrogance, pride and so forth. Faith (falsely) “fills” in where knowledge is missing. Hence, it becomes a conjecture and guesswork.

    Realizing and coming to such a view on ‘faith’, I found it hard to continue believing in the quran as I used to. I thus searched the quran to see how it expected me to form faith. “What should it contain and what should be its pillars?” I thought. I’m happy I did, for the quran revealed to me a way of reaching the truth which would give ‘faith’ a new meaning to me: a faith which would not deceive me into believing that I’ve found the truth, but rather teach me how to find it and make it clear to me that I know not except little.


    Thanks,

    Nadeem.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
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    Re: Is this too cryptic or is it understandable?

    There are a few errors, like 'human's' and 'the weakest ..then'. Looking at the aspect of 'decrypting' the writing, it jumps around a bit. Take the 'to mention a few' part- this isn't a sentence, and should be joined onto the previous sentence where it belongs. Secondly, it isn't substantiated. i'm not a religious person, but some of the elements need soe back-up for me- is lust an inredient of faith? The next sentence then pops up without any connection. In discursive writing, sentences should be connected- this way they build up into a clearer picture. If they aren't connected, they become a shopping list of points.

    In the second paragraph, 'faith' appears with and without inverted comas, which is inconsistent. In line 3, I'd change 'reaching the truth' because this suggests you have reached it, while line 5 suggests that the Quran offers a blueprint for how to reach it. The concluding phrase needs to change a bit- 'clear to me that I know but little' (if you want to keep the rhetorical flourish)

    I don't know if there are limits on the length of the text, but if not, then try to answer the following question- could a reader, like me, who has not read the Quran and has a very limited knowledge of Islam, read this and know how your studies enabled you to see beyond your first definition of faith and acquire the knowledge and skills to set yourself on the journey towards finding the truth? I have got the idea clearly enough, but you haven't given me examples to show me how this process happened- if you did that, you'd make your point a lot more forcefull in my opnion.

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