Originally posted by nerbot
Four words to always use instead of "I don't know."
"I don't know, but...."
Answers start with an idea not a full stop.
[edit on 16/5/2008 by nerbot]
Excellent point. That actually gets to the heart of what I'm saying in a far more succinct fashion than my post. Admitting my own ignorance should be
accompanied by the hope that I can lessen it over time and discover answers to the questions life presents me with. What I was really trying to say
was that even once I've learned something, however, I also hope to maintain the capacity to leave my mind open to the possibility that it could be
incorrect, and to always leave room for thought rather than allowing my mind to become completely
reliant on accepted facts, so that there is
still room for possibility, the unknown, and a measure of humility before the infinite universe that surrounds me as compared to my capacity to
I might say things like (to finish the sentence you began,) "I don't know, but I think ___________," or in some cases perhaps, “I don’t know,
but I would like to believe ________.” The latter is one I find myself using a lot actually, because my beliefs (or my aspirations toward beliefs)
are always changing with each lesson I learn (or think that I’ve learned.)
In many instances in my life (though far less on ATS than in my daily life,) I (and I've seen examples of this beyond myself as well) have actually
gotten criticized by people for wanting to reserve judgment and actually ponder and think before answering or responding to a question or giving my
two cents on a particular subject. I have a lot of trouble committing to the act of responding with "Yes, absolutely," or, "No, absolutely not,"
without at least thinking about a question thoroughly. Sometimes the answers aren't immediate enough, and I have to take a lot of time and do
research before I can give an honest answer. Even then, sometimes I end up with an open-ended lack of definitive knowledge. Sometimes definitive
answers just aren't forthcoming (yet!) Other times I do have a firm personal
opinion or feeling
, but don't feel justified in declaring
it definitively true because in the end it's only my opinion or an emotion in reaction to something (saddness in reaction to a specific political
policy for instance, with which others agree; in that instance I have a well formed personal
view, but remain unconvinced that mine is more
correct than that of others.)
Interestingly enough, that choice itself (to think before responding) often gets criticized. It creates a sense of peer pressure, at times, to have a
ready answer for everything, rather than admitting that I honestly don't know.
That's really what I was getting at. I agree, however, that one should never stop trying
to find the answer, if ones goal is to "deny
ignorance." I hope this made some sense. We're having a heat wave here (by our standards) and I'm about to topple over so any incoherence can
probably be blamed on that.
[edit on 5/16/2008 by AceWombat04]