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a higher and far more exalted position within his view

English translation: a higher and more noble level in his view

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13:31 Feb 20, 2009
English to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Religion / Creation vs. Evolution
English term or phrase: a higher and far more exalted position within his view
"One of the most notable English scientists last century was Faraday, who demonstrated the principle of electromagnetism, and who humbly stated that the greatest discovery he had made was of the Lord Jesus Christ as his own Saviour.
Faraday’s humility is borne out by the following excerpt from the book Researches in Chemistry and Physics and originally from a lecture on ‘Mental Education’ delivered before the Royal Institution on 6 May 1854:
I believe that as a man is placed above the creatures round him, there is ***a higher and far more exalted position within his view***; and the ways are infinite in which he occupies his thoughts about the fears, or hope, or expectations, of a future life. I believe that the truth of that future cannot be brought to his knowledge by any exertion of his mental powers, however exalted they may be; that it is made known to him by other teaching than his own; it is received through simple belief of the testimony given. Let no one suppose, for an instant, that the self-education I am about to commend, in respect of the things of this life, extends to any considerations of the hope set before us, as if man by reasoning could find out God. It would be improper here to enter upon this subject further than to claim an absolute distinction between religious and ordinary belief. I shall be reproached with the weakness of refusing to apply these mental operations which I think good in respect of high things to the very highest. I am content to bear the reproach … I have never seen anything incompatible between those things of man which can be known by the spirit of man that is within him and those higher things concerning his future, which he cannot know by that spirit."

What did Faraday mean?
Ana Juliá
Spain
Local time: 20:58
English translation:a higher and more noble level in his view
Explanation:
answer by popular demand ;-) :

a level in the abstract sense (spiritual, intellectual, etc.) that is even higher and more noble than that of the viewer

What he meant (according to the original wording) is that no matter how superior a man may be relative to those around him (and the implication of 'is placed' is that he does not owe this position to his own efforts, but instead to what might be called 'providence', or in more direct religious terms the benevolence of a benign Creator), he can still see that there there is is something higher and much more noble.

This also expresses a sentiment of humility in keeping with the ideas of the time (and the concept of an English gentleman), similar to Newton's famous 'If I have seen further than others, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants'.

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Note added at 55 mins (2009-02-20 14:27:00 GMT)
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*there is something* (only one of each...). I hate editing text in the answer window.
Selected response from:

Ken Cox
Local time: 20:58
Grading comment
Thank you very much, Ken
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
3 +4a higher and more noble level in his viewKen Cox
2good, but one could do even better
Derek Gill Franßen
Summary of reference entries provided
this is apparently a misquotationKen Cox

  

Answers


19 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5
good, but one could do even better


Explanation:
I think he is saying that, even though humans enjoy a high and exalted position, i.e., above animals (with our intellect), there is an even "higher calling," i.e., even more important things to think and do, that our intellect allows us to see.

Derek Gill Franßen
Germany
Local time: 20:58
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 8

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Ken Cox: IMO the concept 'good but you could do better' came later (somewhere around the end of the 19th century).
1 hr

neutral  Jim Tucker: "Within his view" = "within the view of (hu)man(s), as opposed to animals," in this text. Your explanation is spot on - but the suggested answer is not.
6 hrs
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48 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +4
a higher and more noble level in his view


Explanation:
answer by popular demand ;-) :

a level in the abstract sense (spiritual, intellectual, etc.) that is even higher and more noble than that of the viewer

What he meant (according to the original wording) is that no matter how superior a man may be relative to those around him (and the implication of 'is placed' is that he does not owe this position to his own efforts, but instead to what might be called 'providence', or in more direct religious terms the benevolence of a benign Creator), he can still see that there there is is something higher and much more noble.

This also expresses a sentiment of humility in keeping with the ideas of the time (and the concept of an English gentleman), similar to Newton's famous 'If I have seen further than others, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants'.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 55 mins (2009-02-20 14:27:00 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

*there is something* (only one of each...). I hate editing text in the answer window.

Ken Cox
Local time: 20:58
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 20
Grading comment
Thank you very much, Ken

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Derek Gill Franßen: After giving it some thought, I tend to agree with your interpretation. But I decided to ask the mods to unhide my original suggestion, so that it can also be evaluated.
17 mins

agree  Bernhard Sulzer
1 hr

agree  Gary D: a higher more moral view, Of high moral or intellectual value; elevated in nature or style.
9 hrs

agree  Phong Le
22 hrs
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Reference comments


26 mins peer agreement (net): +3
Reference: this is apparently a misquotation

Reference information:
see e.g.

http://tinyurl.com/bc3nn4

where the text is given as

"High as a man is placed above the creatures round him, there is a higher and far more exalted position within his view..."

which means that no matter how superior a man may be to those around him (or possibly: no matter how superior humans may be to other creatures), he can still see a position that is higher and much more exalted [more glorious].

Ken Cox
Netherlands
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 20

Peer comments on this reference comment (and responses from the reference poster)
agree  Derek Gill Franßen: Do you think he meant that our exalted position above animals (i.e., our intellect) allows us to recognize the existence of God? Or that our intellect allows us to see a higher position for ourselves, perhaps closer to God (my originally hidden answer)?
4 mins
agree  Bernhard Sulzer: there is a spiritual (higher, raised, elevated beyond that of a mere mortal) ) and far more honorable/honored/noble pos. within view (within grasp, but also in his future) position - existence which he/she will have - can you post an answer, Ken.
8 mins
agree  Deborah Workman: Even though man has been given a position above the other creatures God has made, he is able to glimpse/recognize a position that is even higher [yes, more exalted/glorious] than the one he occupies.
10 hrs
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