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How do you KNOW what you KNOW?

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posted on Jul, 11 2006 @ 08:06 AM
This is a simple question but, nevertheless, it is an important question. How do you know what you know? Did your parents shape your knowledge base? Do you trust the reports of one particular newspaper or magazine? If so, why? Do you develop what you "know" through reading literature, biographies and history texts? Perhaps you have developed your "knowledge base" from your education.....a particularly erudite professor perhaps?

"I won't believe it until I see it". This is how some people react to news. But we can't all see the truth as others see it. What defines the way you come to believe something? Why do some people only believe the liberal news and others only believe the conservative view on things? Why do people vary so greatly in who they believe?
Some people nod with approval at every word that, for example, the president might say whereas there are those who would balk and shake their heads in disbelief at those very same statements.

How do you know what you know? And why do you believe some things while you totally reject other things as being true? Yes, this is a philosophical question but it is also at the heart of the science disinformation. What is the truth?

posted on Jul, 11 2006 @ 08:49 AM
I had a good childhood, but nevertheless a rough beginning. As you may, or may not know, i had to leave with my parents my native land of Cuba when i was little and that was very traumatic for me (and them). Ever since then i've had my "feelers" up for politics and what ifs and what could happen, bla bla bla....
I lived thru the Bay of Pigs bombing, heard the bombs fall, a noise i will never forget. All that aside, i guess having two languages, going to private school as a child, and also in the public school systems, as well as a two year college degree, and life in general has taught me a lot. I like History and i like to read a lot, specially about the life of tribes and missionaries who attempted to spread God's word.
I've held some good jobs in the past and mingled with owners and CEO's of companies. I am well travelled and well read. I am not a good writer at all, i dont know if its the language thing. I'm just giving you a little background here.

I suppose my parents had a hand, my grandmother certainly told me enough stories, God love her, and taught me a thing or two.
I like to look for facts on the Internet, i guess that is my best resource now. i watch Fox news mostly, not because they say the truth, but because i like to listen to what "they" are saying.

I read newspapers, i educate myself constantly as to what happens not only here but in this world. I practice Quantum Physics and am very involved with that.
All in all, i know what i know from daily routine, news, internet,books, etc.

Even a good Romance novel can take you to far away places and you can learn from that. The best source is reading. It stimulates the mind there's no limit to what you can learn.

Why do i reject some things as being untrue? Opinion, i guess. Everyone has one, and i have been known to sway opinions once in awhile. I'm not saying that "my" opinion is the right one (please i dont want to be missunderstood), i'm just saying like everyone else, i stand by my opinion. What would it be if i didnt?

[edit on 11-7-2006 by dgtempe]

posted on Jul, 11 2006 @ 09:00 AM
benevolent tyrant, I think some interesting reading for you would be in Epistemology, the Philosphy of Knowledge. It tackles all the questions you raised. There are several 'schools of thought', but then when you've finished reading them you'll ask yourself, "who's right?".

It's a paradox.

Answers with any certainty are hard to come by in my opinion.

posted on Jul, 11 2006 @ 01:43 PM
Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians

I'm not aware of too many things
I know what I know if you know what I mean
Philosophy is talk on a cereal box
Religion is a smile on a dog

I'm not aware of too many things
I know what I know if you know what I mean
Choke me in the shallow water before I get too deep
What I am is what I am are you what you are or what?

I'm not aware of too many things
I know what I know if you know what I mean
Philosophy is a walk on slippery rocks
Religion is a light in the fog

I'm not aware of too many things
I know what I know if you know what I mean
Choke me in the shallow water before I get too deep
What I am is what I am are you what you are or what

posted on Jul, 11 2006 @ 04:15 PM
dgtempe, thank you for the interesting description of the events that helped to shape your paradigm, the experiential aspect that, well, makes you -- you. One's childhood, one's developmental years are certainly a vital aspect in not only the way you experience events (the Bay of Pigs, for example) but in how you view them. Interesting.

Asking myself "how I know what I know" began about twenty years ago. I was in my thirties when I decided to re-read some books that were interesting but had sat untouched either on shelves or in boxes that had been tucked away in basements, attics etc. Some of Ayn Rand's work were in the "re-read" pile. The question of how one knows what he or she "knows" and how that knowledge effects their life (and how that knowledge could be manipulated to affect --- and control -- your life was raised.

Knowing "what I know" certainly must being in my childhood, my culture, my religion. The interaction and the relationship that I had with my parents, my sibling, my friends, my neighbors, teachers and acquaintances all played a role in shaping my life, my thinking and perception. They all were the initial 'programming' that shaped the way my brain takes in information. Like a computer, the information is really just that, information, it is essential to properly file information into categories. In humans, these categories would be things like "likes" and "dislikes", "right" or "wrong", "good" or "evil", "sin", "not a sin". How else explain how 'intelligent" people, given the same information, the same facts exactly, can take differing opinions on topics. Perhaps there are many other reasons that would enter this, but the shaping of one's perceptions can reflect in one's adult actions and beliefs, indeed, entirely affecting the way one perceives 'any' information at all.

Besides childhood experience, what other aspects have shaped your opinions, your beliefs? In fact, what other factors have affected the way you have come to "know" what you "know".

For myself, a powerful factor was in my culture. Culturally, I am a Lithuanian. Though I am an American citizen living in Canada, I consider myself a Lithuanian; not as my government, not as some sort of label. I am Lithuanian , not as a nationalist but, rather, because those are "my people". It's as simple as that. Because of this, I carry some of the prejudices of my people who have come to "know" their cultural history through their own, collective, paradigm. In this cultural cauldron, a strong aversion to Russian Imperialism throughout the ages and especially during the Stalin Communist era. Today, I have a deep distrust and I can easily develop and ask any number of questions, in a conspiratorial bent over issues actions and statements that the "new" Russia makes. Coming from that culture, I was raised to be an All-American kid who sincerely BELIEVED "in Truth, justice and the American Way". I bought the whole enchilada, "hook, line and sinker". Why? Because my parents accepted the entire American Dream entirely. The entire Lithuanian community that composed the social world of my childhood also had entirely accepted and incorporated that promise of a country whose "streets were paved in gold". And you know what, for them, it was an answer to their dreams and if it was a grand delusion, it was a good delusion for them. It was better than the nightmare of their 'wartime' memory -- as individuals, as a culture, as a people. And their beliefs became my own.

I probably would have lived my entire life out happy, content, in this belief. The information that the United States gave me was sufficient. Their point of view was MY point of view. Then the Viet Nam war made me question -- deeply. Even though I found myself in constant odds with my own principles -- principles that were "good-old fashioned American, apple pie, 'Mom' and the 'girl next door', they were confronted by a reality that was difficult to accept, understand. My government "lied" to me. And those lies seemed to compound every time the government did anything -- anything -- it seemed. Now I find myself questioning -- everything.

posted on Jul, 11 2006 @ 08:34 PM
i know I dont know everything. i know not to trust everything i read.

but, ive got confidence in my fellow man who are knowledge seekers as I. there would not be enough of them to send me down the wrong path, as there would probably be way more on the good side to catch me.

I guess that means, I probably believe things that are not true. Thats usually the first step to admitting that your in for a life of endless research and nothing is absolute. Which makes life more interesting, anyway.

posted on Jul, 11 2006 @ 09:38 PM

Originally posted by BelowBottomKnown
I probably believe things that are not true. Thats usually the first step to admitting that your in for a life of endless research and nothing is absolute. Which makes life more interesting, anyway.

I "probably believe things that are not true" as well. Yet, in spite of logic and reason, I continue to cling to "things that are not true". Religion, for example, defies logic and reason. Some things, it would seem, demand faith. But does "faith" mean that something is true? Again, religion, some aspects certainly, is not something that I am willing to discard simply because I can't prove it. I also cling to beliefs like "good will always triumph". There's a belief that can't be proven nor is it logical. Sometimes good wins, sometimes evil prevails. That's it. Still, I want to believe that this is true.

posted on Jul, 25 2006 @ 03:18 PM
I believe that I have been bombarded with information throughout my life which, because of its source is accepted as the truth. I began to question this truth at school thanks to parents and older siblings that could, due to life experiences, give a different aspect on the school curriculum. I am thinking among others of WW2, The 60's, Forced medication trials, Local History etc. I decided that if I was to become an honest person then subjects that I was interested in or that would 'touch' me would be studied as fully as possible until I had enough information for me to make a decision on what is known. Nowadays even that is becoming marginalised by Google et al becoming 'government friendly' and . I believe that newspapers are now exploiting people's desire for a quick fix in a busy day by publishing headlines whereby the great general public will make their minds up on an issue and accept it as fact without reading the article.

posted on Jul, 25 2006 @ 03:28 PM
I was reading broadsheet newspapers at the age of four, and have rarely been without a book or internet connection ever since.

I know what I know from 36 years of experiences, from hosting paranormal forums and chats and from carrying out my own investigations into the subjects, from my observations of life the way I want to live it and from watching other people make mistakes, and from making a large amount of my own.

I've seen enough death and tradgedy in real life to know that anyone who glorifies death in any way is a fool.

I've also been dead, but not for long.

I know enough to understand that governments only tell you what they want you to hear, and that the truth is sometimes more bizzare than you can imagine, but usually its the simpleist idea that is right.

I know that if you don't love someone, you should get the hell out of the way as soon as possible and let them find someone that can love them.

I know that all women look different without makeup on

Most of all, I know that if I put my mind to something I can usually achieve it.

And I also know that my advice is good for me, but maybe not for other people

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