Language of Arithmetic: Addition

Mathematical symbols and formula are ways of expressing relationships in the world. They serve to proffer solutions to human situations.

Curriculum January 4, 2021

Mathematical symbols and formulas are ways of expressing relationships in the world. The simple basic arithmetic logics of the elementary branch of mathematics that deals with division, addition, subtraction and multiplication provide powerful insights to human situations and relationships. Here we examine the branch of addition:


The word addition is a very common word that every class of persons is at home with in terms of productivity, benefits, and items.  It is an arithmetic process of adding, annexation, inclusion or extra.  In mathematics, in simplest form, it could be written as:  1+1, add 2 to 4, or  join 4 and 6.

The first formula: 1+1 (one plus one), addresses addition of distinct individuals on the same platform of knowledge for best practice.  This entails that for right productivity in Adventist Education, strong-willed individuals that are rooted in the teachings of Christ and the church, is a must. 

Furthermore, Adventist Education is a project that starts from home. Unequally yoked parents will certainly not give the best to their children in terms of productivity as a result of different philosophies and ideologies of life.  In other words, the principle of “equally-yoked” can be deduced from arithmetic formula of “plus” no matter the number involved.  God created man and woman and gave them the task of procreation and care for his creation. God’s 1+1 is an expression of equally-yoked principles in terms of philosophies and ideologies for any of human engagements or relationships.

The second principle, “add 2 to 4” expresses annexation.  This involves the process of putting or adding extra or additional things or items to some already existing ones.  For a successful operation of this arithmetic principle, the ‘4’ already in existence must have been fully established or developed to stand their ground together in terms of principle, philosophies and ideologies before ‘2’ can positively and effectively work with them.  The ‘2’ that is being annexed does not have the same footing with the ‘4’ and must be aided by ‘4’ in real human relationships, whether in families, churches, schools, government etc, if there are no capstones or cornerstones where others that joint can learn and lean on, there is bound to be crisis of addition or a negative addition.

This has resulted in ‘4’ being divided or scattered by ‘2’, especially in problem-solving situations.  In essence, joining ‘2’ in any context to ‘4’ has to be understood from the principle of annexation of individuals or things or knowledge or teachings to already developed individuals or conditions that can effectively integrate ‘2’ through the rudiments of that situation or condition.  Lack of understanding of this principle has led to cracks in human, societal, and organizational relationships, and even in the church.

The third style of addition, “join 4 and 6″ expresses inclusion.  The use of ‘and’ expresses individuality and distinctness of ‘4’ and ‘6.’  That is, ‘4’ as a complete set or group of, may be, individuals with their values, philosophies, ideologies, beliefs and so on, being joined to ‘6’ another set or group of individuals with their own values, philosophies, ideologies, beliefs and so on. In human society, this principle has posed a very serious challenge in situations where solutions to problems are sort.  The joining of ‘4’ and ‘6’ is a very tasking one that would involve cutting off, deleting and inserting, if the process must yield positive result.  In essence, the act of joining in any context must be followed with optimum care, dedication, and sacrifice.  It must not be done in a hurry, nor with any atom of chaos or coercion for positive result.

In religion, especially in Christian religion, the language “join” is often used especially when there is new members crossing from one belief system to another. The understanding of the new membership (4 or 6) as a group or set of individuals with different values, philosophies, ideologies, beliefs and so on should be meticulously followed. In education as well, this principle has much to do in terms of philosophies that drive the educational systems as well as the course syllabus and materials that will help achieve the set mission of any educational institution.

When a faith-based institution is made to operate with the secular institutions in same or similar guidelines especially issued by the government, there is always a high-level compromise on the side of the faith-base. Applying this principle by a faith-based institution will help to be intentional in the adoption of the guiding government principles in a way that will not result in compromising the faith standard.


Ochulor Nwaugo

Dr. Nwaugo is a lecturer at the Department of Languages and Literary Studies at Babcock University, Ogun State, Nigeria.

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