Counterintuition

I am so excited by this prompt for the promptless from rarasaur  – counterintuition.  Counter means against and intuition is an abstract noun!  I hope that sentence is counterintuitive, as you might have been waiting for a definition of intuition.

There are so many examples, I hardly know where to start.  But to begin with here are two from Microsoft and WordPress.

On several windows operating systems in order to turn off a computer it was necessary to click on the START button.

WordPress themes come with header text which reads something like “Just another WordPress blog” or “This WordPress blog is the cat’s pajamas” (Wu Wei) or “4 out of 5 dentists recommend this WordPress blog” (Pachyderm).  If like me you wouldn’t want your blog to be seen dead wearing this sort of tagline, you would probably go and look at the “appearance” where you can change settings.  Having read through all the options, your tagline would still be unchanged.  If all else fails read the instructions.  So you click on “help” and find that you have to go to the general settings!  I find that counterintuitive.

In real life the best example I can think of is the amazing compound, which is less dense in solid form than as a liquid.  When a liquid is cooled, it becomes denser and then begins to solidify at its freezing point.  The resulting solid form is denser than the liquid.  But for one amazing compound this does not happen.  At first it does what would be expected but suddenly at a particular temperature (4 degrees Celsius) the molecules begin to rearrange themselves into a crystalline structure, which is less closely packed.  Then the crystals become solid at zero degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit).  So if you did not already know what this amazing substance is, you have probably guessed by now.  It is water.

The Bible contains many truths, which are counterintuitive.  I am going to give a few examples.

The wise men from the East went looking for the baby born to be king in a palace.  He had been born in a stable.

Many of Jesus teachings are counterintuitive.

In Matthew 16:25 “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.”

A story appropriate for Holy Week (the week before Easter) is of Jesus asking his disciples if they had any swords.  When one of them later used a sword and cut off the ear of one of those arresting him, Jesus healed the man (Luke 22: 47-51) demonstrating his own counterintuitive teaching, “Love your enemies.”  Matthew 5:43

One of the most amazing counterintuitive events in the Bible happened after Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension.  A young man named Saul had been persecuting the followers of Jesus.  He was on his way to another town to find more of them to arrest, when something totally unexpected happened.  Acts 9:1-31 is just the beginning of his story.

So thank you, rarasaur, for this prompt – and thank you all for reading my response to it.

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