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Can We Know?

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posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 02:14 PM
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Can we know?
 


?


There are those that assert that we cannot know, that certainty, surety and conviction are the vain pursuit of an ignorant species, and that truth and falsity are but illusions. Somewhere beyond the senses, but no less seen by them, is a nouminal reality, a reality that isn't actually as it appears to us, and everything we feel, see, touch and smell are but fleeting sensations and appearances to an unknowing subject.

This knowledge, however, is nonetheless posited as a truth, as certain, as conviction, and thereby defeats itself the very moment it is spoken. This absurdity presupposes that truth, knowledge and certainty are out of our grasp, that somewhere out there is an absolute truth, absolute knowledge which can only be known by something omniscient, a God—a complete reductio ad absurdem and a leap of faith—when in fact, knowledge, truth, certainty and surety are human affairs and human artifacts. They are in our grasp because we create them. We can know because, as knowing beings, we engage in knowing. Truth, knowledge, reality are all honorific terms we bestow upon certain ideas that we feel are ideal, whether it actually pertains to anything or not. They are not bestowed by anything else. No absolute truth or omniscience has ever been required, but only because truth, knowledge and certainty have never existed outside of human discourse.

"I know that I cannot know" is a paradox, and when asserted, is a closed system of understanding. This assertion can only ever refer to itself, and is therefor closed. If we were to put "I know..." on one side of the card, and put "I cannot know..." on the other, we are left flipping the card over ad infinitum to gain any understanding of it. There's no veracity in it, and we can never arrive at any comfort in its certainty. If we were to change the card to say "I know..." on one side, "americans on average eat 18 acres of pizza every day" on the other, we'd have an open system of understanding, where we can then refer to something other than the card, namely, the data and evidence, from which we can come to a relative degree of certainty in its regard.

The only reason one would say "I know that I cannot know" is that they've arrived at some degree of certainty, thereby refuting themselves instantly. It is not that they cannot know, it is that they do not wish to try.




posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 02:22 PM
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reply to post by Aphorism
 


The holographic universe inside the brain.



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 02:27 PM
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Veritas incognito ergo dubito



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 02:29 PM
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reply to post by MX61000
 





The holographic universe inside the brain.


Then are our brains a part of this holographic universe?



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 02:30 PM
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reply to post by Senser
 





Veritas incognito ergo dubito


According to what?



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 02:37 PM
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reply to post by Aphorism
 


Like a spiderweb.
edit on MarX61000 by MX61000 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 03:08 PM
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reply to post by Aphorism
 


So in your opinion, we are capable of knowing absolutely? I'd like to take a moment to refer to Renee Descartes, who said that we can only ever prove we ourselves exist, and we can only ever prove it to ourselves. Essentially, each individual's mind is the only absolute fact in all of existence, and only within that subjective awareness we call a mind.

Is that what we call knowing?



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 03:09 PM
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the difference between "knowing" and "having an idea" of something i think should be explained here, and as to what context of each you are referring.

as even with statistics, as your example cites, there is room for error and fallibility, for how, without doing the study of pizza eaters ourselves, single handedly, do we KNOW without a doubt that the information is correct? therefor, how do you KNOW that you do indeed, KNOW that what it says is true?

absolute truth is something that can only be experienced. without it, all we have is a good idea. now, a good idea, of course, can lead to a certain level of understanding in a wide array of topics, but thats all it is.

certainly that does not mean that one cant ever know anything without doubt, thats not what i am saying.

i merely wish to draw a line in the sand between what you are explaining and what you are not explaining? if that makes sense.

to what exactly does "can we know?" refer? there is quite a leap between knowing that americans eat pizza, and knowing that reality is a simulation. the latter being a view that some have an idea of, but cant, with certainty, exclaim as fact. and the former, being something that SOMEONE says they know, and pass to others as fact, which then gives the rational mind a reasonable idea of what is the truth.



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 03:17 PM
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reply to post by AfterInfinity
 





So in your opinion, we are capable of knowing absolutely? I'd like to take a moment to refer to Renee Descartes, who said that we can only ever prove we ourselves exist, and we can only ever prove it to ourselves. Essentially, each individual's mind is the only absolute fact in all of existence, and only within that subjective awareness we call a mind.

Is that what we call knowing?


I'm saying there is no such thing as knowing absolutely, or no absolute fact. Saying so is a leap of faith. Doing so would require an omniscient mind. There's no such mind that has ever had anything to do with truth or knowledge.

Descartes could doubt everything except that he was doubting. Except he never once doubted his doubt.



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 03:22 PM
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reply to post by EmpathicBandit
 


Good points.




i merely wish to draw a line in the sand between what you are explaining and what you are not explaining? if that makes sense.


I think knowledge and ideas are in the same sphere of thinking, but we no less can differentiate between speculation and certainty. Since I hold that knowledge is never absolute, nor has it ever been, certainty and truth in its regards is up to the one thinking about it. It is a matter of taste.



to what exactly does "can we know?" refer?


It's not a matter of can we know, but that we do know, as in we are performing the action of knowing. It is up to the knower to set a hierarchy of truths, beliefs, and principles, from which to find certainty in.
edit on 18-3-2014 by Aphorism because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 03:28 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 03:34 PM
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reply to post by Aphorism
 



I'm saying there is no such thing as knowing absolutely, or no absolute fact. Saying so is a leap of faith. Doing so would require an omniscient mind. There's no such mind that has ever had anything to do with truth or knowledge.

Descartes could doubt everything except that he was doubting. Except he never once doubted his doubt.


That's a road that winds unto itself.



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 03:35 PM
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reply to post by johnwilsonbach
 





Yes, we can know. It must be revealed.
Do you love reality?
What do YOU think?


If by "revealed" you simply mean "another story woven about it", sure, it can be "revealed".



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 03:55 PM
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reply to post by Aphorism
 


"I'm saying there is no such thing as knowing absolutely, or no absolute fact. Saying so is a leap of faith. Doing so would require an omniscient mind. There's no such mind that has ever had anything to do with truth or knowledge. "


But does not that imply you have defined your position as omniscient by claiming to know something that is unknown?

Any thoughts?



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 04:04 PM
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reply to post by Kashai
 





But does not that imply you have defined your position as omniscient by claiming to know something that is unknown?


My choice was made by employing an open system of understanding. I am relating what I know of the evidence. However, you are correct to point out that we speak in absolutes, but that is all it amounts to.



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 04:18 PM
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reply to post by Kashai
 


Nice post. Good argument too. Here's my take on it. There are certain things we can know, and there's certain things we cannot. What is an absolute truth? I don't know. What's a hand? I know that. Here's a few example illustrating my point:

Let's say I have 2 pencils on a table. One is red and another is blue and one is on the right and the other on the left. I ask you to hand me the pencil on the left. You KNOW what a pencil, a table, and left are so you understand (know) what it is I want/mean so you hand me the pencil on the left. This knowledge comes from our experience as well as the communication we use to express and understand eachother.

Now let's say I ask you to pass me the blue pencil. You KNOW what color you associate the word blue with and I KNOW what color I associate the word blue with. But we do not KNOW if we are experiencing the same qualia.

Is right/left an absolute truth? What about colors or even experience?

I'll leave you with a quote by Ram Das (paraphrased):

"There's something inside of you, that is also inside of me, that understands what I'm saying"



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 04:35 PM
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reply to post by Aphorism
 


astutely put. thanks for the response!

i concur with your reasoning.



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 04:40 PM
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Kashai
reply to post by Aphorism
 


"I'm saying there is no such thing as knowing absolutely, or no absolute fact. Saying so is a leap of faith. Doing so would require an omniscient mind. There's no such mind that has ever had anything to do with truth or knowledge. "


But does not that imply you have defined your position as omniscient by claiming to know something that is unknown?

Any thoughts?



claiming to understand there are limitations to knowing, is not to claim knowing the limitations, but only the understanding that those limitations do indeed exist. the knowledge of what lays beyond is the realm of omniscience. For one can not know absolutely without knowing what they do not know about said absolute, (which is of course impossible, for if one knows WHAT one does not know, then one does indeed KNOW the thing in question, unless one is simply recognizing the possible unknowns and factoring them into their equation, from which we gain an understanding of what COULD be known, but which is, in fact, unknown) from this viewpoint, unquestionable knowing creates a paradox of understanding.



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 04:44 PM
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reply to post by Aphorism
 


We think in absolutes which is why we speak in absolutes. Thinking in absolutes is a learned behavior the result of what we observe in our environment in relation to the observable separateness between things. This in the context and development of certain neural connections and our sensory capacity to interact with our environment as we perceive it with the common senses.

Take the example of proving or disproving psi ability in humans. In order to present any response in earnest one would need to test every human being on the planet, hence a "population" from the research perspective.

In order to know the real status of a creator one would also need to relate to the population, meaning of everything.

And not in some abstract hypothesis, with respect to discovery a physical effort at exploration that involves traveling literally everywhere.

Any thoughts?



posted on Mar, 18 2014 @ 05:04 PM
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reply to post by EmpathicBandit
 



Lets take a simple example: I have been on planes and have traveled to much of the world but I have never seen the curvature of the earth. The surface of the Earth seems flat and no matter where I have gone there is no difference. From my observation the moon and sun
seem more like a flat circular disk (like a discus).


So my premise is that the Earth is flat.

Now while I do not believe the Earth is flat but in context the only way to prove that is to physically travel into orbit and see it for oneself.



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