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