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In Defence of Knowledge

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posted on Mar, 24 2015 @ 06:48 PM
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“We cannot know!” they yell with certainty. “There is no truth!” they assert. Such self-defeating statements are tiring, and logically and empirically wrong the moment they are uttered. We can know, and do so often. Could it be that they simply do not want to know?

I admit, assertions the likes of these are feeble fence-sitting at worse, and nothing to be paranoid about, but if such a disclosure and confession of ignorance does not inspire one to become less ignorant in the face of their new found knowledge and truth, given that a fair amount of knowing is involved in concluding one is ignorant, we see that the reality of the matter is that they simply would rather not know at all, but only when it suits them. They cannot be bothered with anything but their own knowledge. Because of their immediate contradiction, we see an admission of ignorance is no such thing. It is an admission of doubt. They doubt knowledge; but are rarely ignorant of it.

Sadly, being certainly uncertain, or knowledgeably ignorant, is not only drastically ridiculous, but when I hear such arguments, I picture Ouroboros eating his own tail. In other words, why even open your mouth if you’re going to eat yourself?

For some perhaps superstitious reason, knowledge and certainty is considered something out of human reach, and privy only to God, as if there was an inaccessible dimension within which a magical type of knowledge—absolute knowledge—is contained and guarded by, assuredly, roving bands of armed angels and demigods. Or perhaps absolute knowledge doesn’t even exist at all. And the agnostic, skeptic and all-around fence-sitter love to point this out. However, the adjectives “absolute” and “certain” are describing the commitment of the knower to the knowledge, and never the knowledge itself. No knowledge is absolute if it does not come from an absolute source. And as we already know, only humans speak in absolutes.

Maybe we can put it this way: certainty is a commitment—a very human commitment—to knowledge. We can be certain of knowledge in varying degrees of ways, but for the most part, we are either rationally or irrationally certain of it. We can be certain about beliefs through evidence and reason, because we have examined the basis of our own beliefs according to practical standards, or we can resort to faith by sheer act of will, arrogance or coercion, with no other standard besides willy-nilly. In the same neighborhood, there is also rational and irrational doubt, and we can hold the same standards to our doubt as we would our beliefs.

As such, those who proclaim to know that “we cannot know” do so irrationally, both in their belief that this is a true statement, and in their doubt of true statements. The opposite of knowledge is ignorance. The opposite of doubt is belief. To doubt knowledge is thus to believe in ignorance.

There is no evidence that “we cannot know”. Knowing is a human pass-time. There is also no evidence that we cannot be certain or sure, and this I am certain of.

The Scholastic notion of divine or absolute truth is simply a poor description of truth, and describes nothing true about knowledge at all. To say we cannot attain truth takes knowledge and truth out of the hands of those who create it. Truth and knowledge are found nowhere outside of humans and their discourse. There is no evidence nor reason to wait for this sort of absolute knowledge to magically present itself or fall into our laps. There is no divine text from which we can confirm our conclusions. A proposition is true only if and when a proposition is true—after a human has proposed it, when it is sufficient, and when it can be proven to be adequately analogous to reality.

Quit doubting knowledge. Quit believing in ignorance. Be certain; and if not, find and discover certainty. Might you be wrong? Absolutely. 100%. Garaunteed. But never as wrong as those who fear knowledge.

Thank you for reading,

LesMis
edit on 24-3-2015 by LesMisanthrope because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 24 2015 @ 07:08 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

Your post brings to mind something Rumi said.

'Silence is the language of god, all else is poor translation.'

That kind of otherworldly silence is incomprehensible. I've been there. I've floated in it, in a body of stars. It is all there really is to know, because it is the ground of being. Hindu call it Brahman. They would say you, LesMis, are caught in Maya. Illusion.

Your kind of worldly knowledge is indeed a poor translation. But if it's all you got, run with it. A fool who persists in his folly becomes wise. 😉

👣


edit on 060TuesdayuAmerica/ChicagoMaruTuesdayAmerica/Chicago by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 24 2015 @ 07:18 PM
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I'll stop doubting knowledge when humanity loses the ability to lie...Remember even evidence and reason can be flawed.



posted on Mar, 24 2015 @ 07:40 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope
I certainly don't doubt knowledge. Knowledge has always been a tremendous aid in our situation here. Medical knowledge is a great example of this, and there are so many examples that it probably isn't really necessary to enumerate any more.

Unfortunately man's thirst for knowledge has also reinforced the world view that we should control everything in order to serve mankind first and foremost - and this is very often at the great expense of others, creatures, nature, resources, etc.

As a result modern man has become more and more divorced from the natural world, separated from it by our vast cities, and by a constantly thinking mind - and so modern man suffers this separation greatly, as does our world.

And in the midst of all this incredible drive for control through knowledge still no one knows what a single thing actually IS in reality! We can provide endless descriptions about everything, but when you really examine even the simplest of objects, we do not know what any object actually IS. What it IS, not how we perceive it with our limited perception, not what we call it, and not how we can endlessly describe and analyze it. But what it actually is in reality.

Man should realize this and perhaps some much needed humility about our actual circumstance here will soften this aggressive, separative, fear-based need to control everything. Knowledge in and of itself is not the culprit - it is what fear-based people do with it that causes the problems.

edit on 3/24/2015 by bb23108 because:



posted on Mar, 24 2015 @ 08:08 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

"Nothing is true. Everything is permitted."

This is the philosophy by which I steer my consciousness. I believe that truth is, like many things in our lackadaisical sometimes whimsical lives, is inherently subjective. I mean, who is it that decides what is true? The scientists, clergymen, philosophers, politicians? Is it the blue collar workers, the white? Is it me? If I am color blind what is the truth then? I see colors differently from other men (well... not me specifically but you know...) so then, what is the true color? I'm not convinced truth is real. Conceptualization is in the eye of the beholder (artist) so who is anyone to declare truth? Personal truths, perhaps but universal? Just kidding I'm just talking nonsense... or am I?




posted on Mar, 24 2015 @ 08:42 PM
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a reply to: BlueMule

Everyone seems to float in their little dreams. That's what we have TV for.



posted on Mar, 24 2015 @ 08:46 PM
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originally posted by: DAZ21
I'll stop doubting knowledge when humanity loses the ability to lie...Remember even evidence and reason can be flawed.


It would be a lie to lose the ability to lie. We can always verify on our own accord.



posted on Mar, 24 2015 @ 08:50 PM
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a reply to: bb23108

We know what things are. That's what knowing is. We relate to something and describe it. Letting that go is not knowing. Letting go of and doubting that is not knowing what something IS.



posted on Mar, 24 2015 @ 08:54 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

We don't always have time to verify everything anyone tells us, that's why we should always take everything with a pinch of salt.

To blindly believe what you are taught, is as good as being ignorant of knowledge, for If you believe everything you hear you'd be less than half knowledgeable.

Basically, sometimes it's good to sit on the fence to wait and see which side is greener.



posted on Mar, 24 2015 @ 09:02 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope
Did you mean to say knowing, or did you mean to say categorizing and describing observations? The first is knowledge. The second is the poor translation



posted on Mar, 24 2015 @ 09:16 PM
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originally posted by: LesMisanthrope
a reply to: BlueMule

Everyone seems to float in their little dreams. That's what we have TV for.


Oh so that's what TV is for. Thanks for sharing your TV knowledge. Why, your knowledge isn't trivial at all! And here I thought TV was for watching, entertaining, enjoying, irritating, informing, provoking, mind-numbing, uniting, dividing, challenging, comforting, scaring, loving, aggravating, communicating, disseminating, enlightening, touching, self-helping, self-harming, making and breaking, definitely not for faking, innovating, inspiring, shocking, mocking, naming and shaming, exposing, influencing, uncovering, investigating, mud-raking, celebrating, commemorating, indulging, creating, advertising, branding, acting and interacting, monetising, merchandising, franchising, voting and promoting.

aaand...

...cue the credits.


👣


edit on 150TuesdayuAmerica/ChicagoMaruTuesdayAmerica/Chicago by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 24 2015 @ 09:19 PM
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originally posted by: LesMisanthrope
We know what things are. That's what knowing is. We relate to something and describe it. Letting that go is not knowing. Letting go of and doubting that is not knowing what something IS.

We can predict how things behave, we can relate to anything, we can describe it endlessly, gaining unfathomable amounts of knowledge, and still, when all is said and done, we do not know what any thing actually IS. No matter how many ways you look at an object, it does not amount to actually knowing what that object is in reality.

This understanding does not in the least negate all the descriptive knowledge we can accumulate. In fact, if our actual condition of not knowing what anything IS is deeply recognized, it will enable us to see we are not truly separate from anything, and this enables us to fully participate in this vast mysterious universe - not separated and isolated in our heads seeking knowledge and control.



posted on Mar, 24 2015 @ 09:27 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

You certainly are a Chesterton fan. He spoke of the same idea and put Friedrich Nietzsche as the prime example of the man that denies the existence of absolute.

The tower of Babel made us lose our unity, and with that we lost our certainty.

Good read, good provocation of thought.



posted on Mar, 24 2015 @ 09:48 PM
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originally posted by: BlueMule
a reply to: LesMisanthrope

Your post brings to mind something Rumi said.

'Silence is the language of god, all else is poor translation.'

That kind of otherworldly silence is incomprehensible. I've been there. I've floated in it, in a body of stars. It is all there really is to know, because it is the ground of being. Hindu call it Brahman. They would say you, LesMis, are caught in Maya. Illusion.

Your kind of worldly knowledge is indeed a poor translation. But if it's all you got, run with it. A fool who persists in his folly becomes wise. 😉

👣



Do you not see the Irony here??? Are you sure you really understand that quote by Rumi???

The fact that you would first quote that specific statement then go on and speak to others about it's truth by your own personal account of it and also to then try and use it to attack the words or knowledge of someone else is to me quite humorous.

In case you haven't figured it out yet. Here's Why:



posted on Mar, 24 2015 @ 09:58 PM
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a reply to: mOjOm

Of course I see the irony. Surprised? Thanks for your concern but I'm not a noob. Funny that you felt the need to say anything at all. As for me, I enjoy bantering with LesMis, if that's ok with you. That means using words, poor translations though they are. Poor translations are poor translations, not poisonous snakes.

'Words and sentences are produced by the law of causation and are mutually conditioning—they cannot express highest Reality.' -The Lankavatara Sutra

Words can't express the incomprehensible silence, but they are fun sometimes. In case you haven't figured that out yet.

Having fun yet?

👣


edit on 188TuesdayuAmerica/ChicagoMaruTuesdayAmerica/Chicago by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 24 2015 @ 11:08 PM
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originally posted by: BlueMule

Funny that you felt the need to say anything at all.

Having fun yet?

👣



Come on now, I think we both know the answer to that, don't you??






posted on Mar, 25 2015 @ 01:15 AM
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a reply to: DAZ21

But to blindly doubt what you learn is even more tragic, especially when there is no reason to do so.



posted on Mar, 25 2015 @ 01:19 AM
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a reply to: BlueMule




Oh so that's what TV is for. Thanks for sharing your TV knowledge. Why, your knowledge isn't trivial at all! And here I thought TV was for watching, entertaining, enjoying, irritating, informing, provoking, mind-numbing, uniting, dividing, challenging, comforting, scaring, loving, aggravating, communicating, disseminating, enlightening, touching, self-helping, self-harming, making and breaking, definitely not for faking, innovating, inspiring, shocking, mocking, naming and shaming, exposing, influencing, uncovering, investigating, mud-raking, celebrating, commemorating, indulging, creating, advertising, branding, acting and interacting, monetising, merchandising, franchising, voting and promoting.

aaand...

...cue the credits.



👣



To someone who watches it I suppose. I cannot justify it personally.



posted on Mar, 25 2015 @ 01:28 AM
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I think a recognition of a part of ignorance is healthy.
I prefer to say "I think...", or "I feel...." or "I perceive..."
and remain loyal to what I think, feel, or perceive,
Until that changes.

Belief in knowledge seems faulty to me.
History shows us that science continually places faith in knowledge,
then runs into that barrier for a long time, which keeps us from discovering more.
Until, (after years and years of mistaken belief) we find out we were wrong.

We go with the new perception for a while, clinging to it like insecure children, soothing ourselves with murmurs of "I know this. I know this....." squeezed out between our thumb, and our eyes shut.

Until change breaks through our illusionary nest and troubles us again with the howl
"There is MORE"

Choose to believe that you know things, if it so soothes, nothing wrong with that.
I just don't feel a desire to. Perhaps I get excited by the possibility of more.



posted on Mar, 25 2015 @ 02:10 AM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

Damned i felt caught while reading S&F, because maybe it is something i really needed to read. "Wtf do i know?" is one of my main sentences. And it has certain advantages, i just don't like people assuming they know something, when all they got is a belief. But if your personal data says so, maybe there comes a point when you have to start trusting it. I should work on a new balance. Less agnostic, maybe. But, wtf do i know?

a reply to: Bluesma

as always you sound so true to me. The truth is always just an approximation.



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