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How do we know what we think we know?

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posted on Aug, 2 2016 @ 06:42 PM
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From:

www.merriam-webster.com...




epistemology play
noun epis·te·mol·o·gy i-ˌpis-tə-ˈmä-lə-jē
Popularity: Top 20% of words
Definition of epistemology

: the study or a theory of the nature and grounds of knowledge especially with reference to its limits and validity


= = = =

imho, this is one of the more crucial issues of life, mind, consciousness . . . reality.

I don't aim to write a major summary of the issues but, instead, to kind of poke at some of the more prickly aspects that routinely rear their head hereon.

It is difficult for me to recall a time of my life, an age, when I did not think hard about what I knew and how I knew it. Just been weird that way, I guess.

There are TWO BASIC WAYS OF KNOWING:

1. The GREEK method of dissecting something into tinier and tinier portions until the portion is no longer divisible. The LHC could be construed at a kind of ultimate machine to do that in terms of breaking things down to the smallest sub-atomic particles observable in any sense of the word--any sense of the word that still makes . . . uhhh . . . sense.

vs

2. The HEBREW method of immersion, merging, experiencing as thoroughly as possible in order to KNOW something. Adam was said to KNOW Even--i.e. via merging in sexual intercourse.


I don't of any wives who'd prefer their hubby's KNEW them primarily by the dissection, GREEK method.

Though, certainly, the "scientific method" arising out of the Greek method has served us well IN SOME RESPECTS.

My Dissertation used both methods to poke at my subject. I still have a strong bias that using both methods is the BEST strategy to know something, learn truth, etc.

Certainly some topics lend themselves more to one strategy over the other.

Intangible things like "Love" are more likely better learned in most respects via the HEBREW method.

The composition of a metal artifact or a glaze composition from an archeological dig would likely be better arrived at via the Greek method.

Nevertheless, even in the latter two cases--much is added to the technological listing of the percentages of specific ingredients when one adds the phenomenological data from:

--Where was the artifact found?
--What were the other artifacts found nearby?
--What position was the artifact in relationship to the human bones found in the dig?

--What other examples of similar artifacts were found in the area; in the region; on the continent; around the world?
--What is the likely age of the artifact?
--How was the artifact made?

--Was the artifact likely made by the group it was found among or was it imported from another region/group?
--What were the social structures of the group making and/or using the artifact?
--What were the likely uses of the artifact from utilitarian to ceremonial?

--How costly in terms of hours or days of labor was the artifact--in that culture at that time?
--How many similar artifacts were found?
--How large in population was the human group involved?

--Did every member of the group seem to have such an artifact or only the elite or a specific worker class or group in the tribal group--e.g. a blacksmith and a blacksmith hammer? Or e.g. did every male have a sword or only military types?

--How often was such an artifact ceremonially buried with a body?
--What kind of symbol of wealth was the artifact?
--How likely was the artifact used to barter for other artifacts?

etc.

Certainly the percentages of iron, nickel, carbon etc. in a sword are keenly important and of interest. They relate to hardness, sharpness etc. Yet, answers to the above questions give a much more robust experience, understanding, KNOWLEDGE of the swords involved with a given group.

Sadly, on ATS and in much of Western culture, the GREEK method of KNOWING is the only one very respected by far too many of the purportedly educated folks concerned.

I consider that a major evidence of ignorance as well as a major debilitating and ignorance enhancing flaw:

--in our educational processes;
--in our GROUP-THINK mentality so carefully propagated by the oligarchy's massive propaganda lobotomizing efforts the last 100 years.

--in our personal constructions on reality;
--in our personal understandings of our personal identities and realities of the self;

--in our constructions on the contextual realities surrounding us;
--in our constructions on and anticipations toward future potential realities, changes, events, conditions.

etc.

There are those COMPULSIVELY CONTRARIAN sorts of folks in our social networks who are SO UTTERLY DRIVEN by their HUGE DEGREE OF RAD (Attachment Disorder) that they seemingly cannot conceive of any other way of knowing than the purported "scientific" method.

Their biases are sooooo lopsided and extreme in such regards that they virtually shred the 'scientific method' to pieces . . . certainly neutering it of a great deal of validity because of their very rigid, narrow and ADDICTED-TO-A-FALSE-NEGATIVE-RISK stance
.

They appear and sound to be utterly 100% persuaded that such a stance is THE MOST SCIENTIFIC when little could be further from the truth.

One of the major revelations of science has been that there HAS TO BE A BALANCE between the risk of a false negative error vs the risk of a false positive error IF ONE IS TRULY, HONESTLY, REALISTICALLY SERIOUS ABOUT DISCOVERING TRUTH.

Otherwise, fullest amount of TRUTH will simply not be so accurately or reliably discovered.

Yet, the RELIGIOUSLY ADDICTED folks continue to bow, kowtow before and lick the altar of the pseudo-'science' of being married to dogmatic devotion to an almost exclusive risk of a false negative error in their allergic terror of a false positive error.

HOW IGNORANT!
HOW STUPID!
HOW UNEDUCATED!
HOW UNINFORMED!

Yet they insist in pontificating in tones dripping with purportedly omniscient haughtiness as though THEY ALONE had a corner on all knowledge, all reality, all constructions on reality.

What a great example that is of the blind leading the blind.

As a sociologist and psychologist, it is fascinating that such folks seem to ALSO be addicted to a RELIGIOUS FERVOR ADHERENCE TO the "Religion of Scientism" and tend to function as the upper elite hierarchy of the priestly class in said Religion of Scientism.

It does not seem to matter to them that dozens of examples of their being THOROUGHLY WRONG in major 'scientific' stances, pronouncements, understandings the last 200+ years have repeatedly made such 'scientists' look absurdly silly and ignorant. They continue stridently prancing about with the same tunnel vision, same rigid narrowness of view and conviction that rendered their predecessors also terminally WRONG on such a long list of issues.

The trap of being wedded almost exclusively to an addiction to risking only a false negative has struck again and again and again.

And still they won't give up that extremely flawed way of KNOWING, discovering truth.

[continued]




edit on 2/8/2016 by BO XIAN because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 2 2016 @ 06:59 PM
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yes. let's plow deep...



posted on Aug, 2 2016 @ 07:00 PM
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You know something not because somebody told you, but because you can see it for yourself.

That which you know you know.

How do you know?

You just know.

As long as grass grow, wind blow and the sky's blue.



posted on Aug, 2 2016 @ 07:00 PM
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What good is science if you do not make a living doing it. This is how they determine what to research. Number one rule of doing scientific research is finding how it will benefit you. They follow the paycheck.



posted on Aug, 2 2016 @ 07:11 PM
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a reply to: BO XIAN

Your point about two different ways of knowing, I see as being the same: they are both reverse engineering / going inward.

Your point about falsifiablity is pretty spot on, though: it is absurd to demand that truth be falsifiable. The very nature of truth is that it's not falsifiable, because it's truth -- only a lie can be falsifiable.



posted on Aug, 2 2016 @ 07:28 PM
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a reply to: intrptr

I largely agree . . . to a point . . . in some contexts . . . regarding some issues . . .

though even with an intense conviction that I KNEW . . . sometimes I was wrong.

Thankfully, that deep, intense inner KNOWING

was far more right than wrong . . . over the long haul . . . but not 100% always 100% right.

There's still plenty of noise on the human channel, distorting reality.



posted on Aug, 2 2016 @ 07:30 PM
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a reply to: GBP/JPY

Have been accused of that most of my life.

Usually by folks shaking their heads at me or about me.



posted on Aug, 2 2016 @ 07:30 PM
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a reply to: rickymouse

Agreed. But I'm unclear about how you are relating that to the topic very specifically or generally.



posted on Aug, 2 2016 @ 07:33 PM
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originally posted by: Bleeeeep
a reply to: BO XIAN

Your point about two different ways of knowing, I see as being the same: they are both reverse engineering / going inward.


Wellllllllllll . . . many hundreds of years of bright folks pondering have made practical use of those distinctions.

And, in my own Dissertation . . . where I melded the two into one process . . . they still offered very different contributions to the whole. imho.


Your point about falsifiablity is pretty spot on, though: it is absurd to demand that truth be falsifiable. The very nature of truth is that it's not falsifiable, because it's truth -- only a lie can be falsifiable.


Much AGREE.

This 'blind love' (infatuation?) incestuous orgasmic affair with that method gets embarrassingly stupid, at times.



posted on Aug, 2 2016 @ 07:35 PM
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originally posted by: BO XIANThere are those COMPULSIVELY CONTRARIAN sorts of folks in our social networks who are SO UTTERLY DRIVEN by their HUGE DEGREE OF RAD (Attachment Disorder) that they seemingly cannot conceive of any other way of knowing than the purported "scientific" method.

Their biases are sooooo lopsided and extreme in such regards that they virtually shred the 'scientific method' to pieces . . . certainly neutering it of a great deal of validity because of their very rigid, narrow and ADDICTED-TO-A-FALSE-NEGATIVE-RISK stance.

They appear and sound to be utterly 100% persuaded that such a stance is THE MOST SCIENTIFIC when little could be further from the truth.


This perfectly describes something (well, someone) with whom I had a back-and-forth today. It got to the point where said person would not even read what I was writing in response (well, that was their claim) and they would just respond with an I-know-all attitude.

It's utterly exhausting to deal with people like that.

Great post!
edit on 2-8-2016 by SlapMonkey because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 2 2016 @ 07:37 PM
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I feel like we live in a an empty void of no purpose.



posted on Aug, 2 2016 @ 08:12 PM
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I agree wholeheartedly that scientism as religion is a problem. It's not only not seeing the forest (Hebrew) for the trees (Greek), but also refusing to even look at many trees. In other words, science often refuses to use the scientific method to study things that science believes can't exist. They don't, or, if they do, it's such a very, very small subset of scientists who do that it doesn't get much airplay. It's not that these subjects cannot benefit from study via the scientific method: they could, but the bias against them is too great. Paranormal issues are a case in point. It's Politically Incorrect to study them. It wrecks careers. And they cheat. I'll give a couple of examples.

The Theory of Plate Tectonics was originally developed by Albert Wegener in "The Origin of Continents and Oceans" (1912). It was originally flatly rejected. Wegener was basically a meteorologist so he wasn't "qualified" in the field. And frankly, there was little evidence at the time, unless you look at the bulge in western Africa neatly melting into the depression in Eastern South America, but hey! That's anecdotal, don't you know. By the 1950-1960's the theory gained more support, but by that time Wegener had been drummed out of scientific circles and was dead. Kind of like a painter who dies a pauper, but now his works sell for millions. Science caught up with itself that time, but Wegener was needlessly ostracized at the time.

A second example is UFOs and Phil Klass, an editor at an aviation magazine who relentlessly pursued people who "believed in UFOs" to discredit them. Some of them richly deserved it, but Klass went a lot further than that. He wrote to people's employers attempting to get them fired. He slandered them. He accused them of all manner of misdeeds he couldn't prove. He made up stories. The stuff he did, which is documented, was absolutely shameful. Now to be fair Klass wasn't exactly a bona fide "scientist," but he certainly embraced "scientism" in political ways.

Of course, we could write a book filled with examples like this.

I understand that science is in part a reaction to hocus pocus claims, but I believe that they are throwing the baby out with the bathwater. And the fact that they do that is holding all of us back. The next major breakthrough in scientific progress MUST include some of these forbidden subjects because THAT'S where the breakthroughs will be found! I know that is a bold claim, but so be it. It's very similar to the limits of Newtonian Mechanics.

It kind of reminds me of the probably apocryphal story of the patent examiner who resigned because everything had been invented. (Never happened IMO.) At the end of the nineteenth century Newtonian Mechanics had "explained" everything in the Universe. Oh, there were some "i's" to dot and "t's" to cross, but they believed that on the whole, the Universe was a clock. It ran. That's all there was to it. Just some details to fill in.

Then along came Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, which incorporated Newtonian Mechanics and went far beyond it. It wasn't that Newtonian Mechanics was "wrong," but there was a lot more to the Universe than that. And from a scientific standpoint, the whole house of cards collapsed. And Einstein explained it in a single article of few words with a thought experiment about throwing a ball on a moving train. You didn't really need equations to understand the basic concept--which changed everything in an instant.

We face a similar position 100 years later. Einstein tells us FTL travel, for example, is impossible. This is not for lack of discovery; it is a feature of the structure of Reality. Quantum Mechanics tells us we create reality by observing it, and that in the absence of observation, it's not there. The two contradict each other, and no General Systems Theory has been yet able to unite the two.

Obviously, we've got something wrong.

In popular culture we continue to talk blithely about aliens. Lots of people think they've seen them, talked with them, been abducted by them. And not all these people are crazy publicity seekers. But unless Einstein is flat out and completely WRONG-O, it's impossible. It simply cannot be. You cannot travel faster than light. It cannot be done. The nearest star is 4.2 light YEARS away. Deal with it. And if you're willing to say that Einstein was wrong, you need to show your work. And frankly, I've neither met nor heard of anyone up to the task. You can't just dismiss it with a wave of the hand and point a finger to science fiction. The theory is bigger than you are--by a lot.

I submit that Einstein is absolutely correct, but that we have been butting our heads against the wall while ignoring the door that is obvious: The paranormal, the idea that science won't touch. There is something about Reality that science has not figured out because science won't touch it with a ten foot pole. Yet there lie answers and there lies the next major breakthrough for all of us--figuring this out.

Now, I am NOT getting all religious on you, but religion has a grasp on this (through the Hebrew method of knowledge) that science does not. At least religion KNOWS that there is something there. The vast majority of religious thought has been added by "monks with nothing to do" but there is a core truth here that has nothing at all to do with "gods and saviors" and codes of morality. They are seeing something through very murky windows and reporting back largely their own made-up stories and misperceptions that make no sense at all, but still reflect that they see something through those windows.

Now if we could get science off its fat butt to study things like reincarnation, communication with the so-called dead, and similar issues, we might get somewhere. But as long as we are faced with this obtuse wall of hostility, we'll never get there.

edit on 8/2/2016 by schuyler because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 2 2016 @ 08:15 PM
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a reply to: SlapMonkey

Thanks for "getting it."

The head against brick wall experience is no fun . Particularly so relentlessly and harshly.



posted on Aug, 2 2016 @ 08:20 PM
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a reply to: schuyler

Thanks for your very insightful post.

Great points.

I don't think science will rise to the task.

I think events will overtake science and leave it in the dust.



posted on Aug, 2 2016 @ 08:35 PM
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originally posted by: BO XIAN


It is difficult for me to recall a time of my life, an age, when I did not think hard about what I knew and how I knew it. Just been weird that way, I guess.



You have an analytical mind, BIO XIAN, now while is nice to analyze everything do not get to caught up in it because you will miss what surprise and spontaneity, bring in life.

Take life for what it is, live it and enjoyed, is after all very short.



posted on Aug, 2 2016 @ 09:00 PM
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a reply to: BO XIAN

There is a third method BO follow the money reported in The Fiscal Times the Pentagon cant account for $6.5 trillion in the most recent audit,it is going to be one hell of a false flag to distract from that.



posted on Aug, 2 2016 @ 09:05 PM
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though even with an intense conviction that I KNEW . . . sometimes I was wrong. [/quote
Then we don't really know, just think we do.

I'm always amazed at how some threads take off with just a statement some thing or event is true. People start jumpin on the bandwagon, affirming it, attacking others who don't. Theres no proof, none required, we know somebody said or did this or that.

Religion, war, politics, crime... doesn't matter, emotion and belief cloud reason and judgment.

Lots of that goin' round.



posted on Aug, 2 2016 @ 09:09 PM
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a reply to: luciferslight

That's a pretty horrible feeling.

Thankfully, it's one I've only had a brief brush with.

And, FEELINGS are poor . . . definers of reality.

I pray you find a leg up and out of that horrible pit sort of feeling and perspective.



posted on Aug, 2 2016 @ 09:12 PM
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a reply to: marg6043

Thanks for your kind words.

One of my most fun PhD program courses was 2 semesters of . . . PSYCHODRAMA.

Don't remember the founder's name. He wrote THE BOOK on SPONTANEITY.

It has taken me a lot of 'work' to loosen up in my craft/art. Things go easier and better that way, though.

Thanks for the reminder.



posted on Aug, 2 2016 @ 09:15 PM
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a reply to: khnum

Following the money in our era . . . can get complicated. LOL.

Certainly the criminal duo grasping again to be Destroyers In Chief in the WH are artists at such things. Or, maybe just greedy and with very protective puppet masters over them.

That would be a lot of money to try and make as though nothing had happened.

Sigh.



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