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|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?
|English translation:a higher and more noble level in his view|
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.
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Local time: 17:25
|Thank you very much, Ken|
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer
19 mins confidence:
good, but one could do even better
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.