Confessions of a Supra-Skeptic

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posted on May, 8 2009 @ 08:17 PM
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reply to post by Deus Ex Machina 42
 


You sir, have completely misunderstood the point of the OP. Or are you illustrating it for me? If so I appreciate it.


[edit on 8-5-2009 by Watcher-In-The-Shadows]




posted on May, 8 2009 @ 08:49 PM
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reply to post by Watcher-In-The-Shadows
 


Confessions of a Supra-Skeptic

Watcher - I would really like to hear more about your actual confessions... :-)

the questioning I understand – being really big on questions and the whole questioning thing myself - even with the questioning of the questions. I never stop

I've been reading through this and I'm not exactly sure what message you want us to take away from this. Some of the others seems to understand, so, could be I'm just a little slow :-)

Is it that you believe we're doomed by complacency? Do you think most of us "settle" on a belief because it's more comfortable, or less terrifying than questioning? Or is it about arrogance? Assuming we know more than we do – than it’s possible to know - we claim some kind of power we have no right to claim?



When we are young, we endlessly question everything. Then, suddenly, most of us stop.


When it comes to analyzing what other people do or don’t do – I believe there is no point to it.

I do it – all the time - so don’t get me wrong. It’s endlessly fascinating – the thoughts of others, their beliefs, their conclusions...

There is no point however - because we can never know for sure, and to assume only ends up as judgment

no one ever stops questioning – as long as they’re alive

so now we get to a personal belief of mine - which is: it’s OK to allow yourself to believe - to know something

It’s not about ego, it’s not arrogance – it’s not wrong. Even when we’re not accurate, or there is no real way we can know anything for sure – allowing yourself the luxury of believing you can know something sets you on the road to real knowledge

When we’re constantly questioning – everything is possible – nothing is ever wrong

However, when we know something for sure it will become very obvious when we’re wrong – and so we learn

Besides – sometimes we’re right :-)

We do ourselves no favor by assuming we know nothing. For one thing – it places each of us in the position of assuming that nobody knows.

Or worse - that somebody knows.

Both positions make us more vulnerable



And that is our problem in the end, the great curse of mankind, we cannot abide by the unknown, so we fill our world with the way we think it should be and call it reality. We give up our questions of all things and only focus it upon which us or those we call our peers deem acceptable to question...
Or perhaps I am just a crazy untrusting supra-skeptic?

In the end, I fear that I will ever have is questions.

What do you think?


What do I think? :-)

Assuming I’ve understood what you were going after – I’ll say that your opening video is for me an example of one of my worst nightmares

That person – whoever they may be (and they exist in many different forms) that thinks that they know me somehow. They know my mind, my heart, my fears, strengths and weaknesses

The person who actually believes that they’re in a position to challenge me – or even flatter me – entice me with my own potential...

This person would get a very blunt response from me: get away from me – and get away from me now


Believe nothing,
no matter where you read it,
or who said it,
no matter if I have said it,
unless it agrees with your own reason
and your own common sense.
Buddha


As far as I’m concerned – no truer words were ever spoken

Ever.

it’s not arrogance or foolishness to trust your own judgment – and to know

it’s being able to change your mind that’s important

and – the endless questioning is unavoidable – as long as you’re alive :-)



posted on May, 8 2009 @ 11:24 PM
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reply to post by Spiramirabilis
 


I gave you a star! Well done. You explained it well.

I am not young, I have learned a lot in my over 50 years. It bugs me to no end when people say, "The more I learn the less I know." It is an oxymoron statement IMO.

Of course, as long as I am alive I want to continually grow and learn. There is never an end to knowledge, and I realize how that statement is usually meant, but...it is often said with false humility!


It is a pretending to be humble while arrogantly feeling that they really feel that they do know it all! There are exceptions, but I find that often they are the least teachable.



Is it that you believe we're doomed by complacency? Do you think most of us "settle" on a belief because it's more comfortable, or less terrifying than questioning? Or is it about arrogance? Assuming we know more than we do – than it’s possible to know - we claim some kind of power we have no right to claim?


Is not all the above reality? Yes, I would say that the majority stay in their comfort zones, their; American Idol fantasy world. Does that speak for you and I, or Watcher? Are we more the exceptions? Are people more gray than colorful? Blenders in society rather than individuals who would rather stand out for what they believe in?

It is wonderful to ask questions and even more wonderful when we receive answers! Sometimes there is judgment from others when we have conviction because we have an answer. Some would prefer, I think, to have the road be an endless question rather than face an answer that didn't fit their program.



posted on May, 9 2009 @ 12:44 AM
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reply to post by Spiramirabilis
 

First off, thanks for posting. Lets see if I can 'splain myself.


Is it that you believe we're doomed by complacency? Do you think most of us "settle" on a belief because it's more comfortable, or less terrifying than questioning? Or is it about arrogance? Assuming we know more than we do – than it’s possible to know - we claim some kind of power we have no right to claim?


More or less, yes.


When it comes to analyzing what other people do or don’t do – I believe there is no point to it.


Millions of sociologists and psychologists tend to disagree.



I do it – all the time - so don’t get me wrong. It’s endlessly fascinating – the thoughts of others, their beliefs, their conclusions...


Whole heartly agreed here.


There is no point however - because we can never know for sure, and to assume only ends up as judgment


I think it serves a very good purpose, so long as we take those asessments with a grain of salt.


no one ever stops questioning – as long as they’re alive


I tend to disagree here. A great many prefer to have the answers to questions they most likely never really think about handed to them. It's safer and easier that way, with the added bonus they get to blame someone else if it all goes wrong. Look at Nazi Germany.


so now we get to a personal belief of mine - which is: it’s OK to allow yourself to believe - to know something


While I honestly do respect your belief I equate convincing yourself that you "know" anything to simply ceasing to question. Or allowing something else to "channel" your questioning elsewhere.


It’s not about ego, it’s not arrogance – it’s not wrong. Even when we’re not accurate, or there is no real way we can know anything for sure – allowing yourself the luxury of believing you can know something sets you on the road to real knowledge


Oh it isn't about ego or arrogance at first but ego and arrogance tend to rear their ugly heads. I mean look at fundamentalist christians or militant atheists. Both are utterly and totally convinced their beliefs are only ones that could even possibly be correct and both miss much. But, it's like Socrates said, "The only true wisdom is in knowing that you know nothing." I think that is because we are always re-evaluating things, not taking a point in our questions and saying "This is true! This is the answer to my questions! I need not question this anymore because it is the truth."


When we’re constantly questioning – everything is possible – nothing is ever wrong


I agree but I will modify somewhat, everything is neither right or wrong. And isn't that how reality seems to be? Nothing being impossible just improbable?


However, when we know something for sure it will become very obvious when we’re wrong – and so we learn


Or dig in and become delusional about it. Happens fairly often.


Besides – sometimes we’re right :-)


But if we can never truly "know" anything, how could we know for sure we are "right"?
See what I am saying? This kind of crap always goes through my mind. There is a confession for you. Most think I am just being cheeky and stubborn but I am honestly not meaning it such.


We do ourselves no favor by assuming we know nothing. For one thing – it places each of us in the position of assuming that nobody knows.

Or worse - that somebody knows.


I don't think anyone does and to decide that someone does is ceasing to question something. I think by our very natures and the nature of reality truly "knowing" anything is impossible as we are soo limited. I mean think about it. We are limited by what our senses can take in. We are limited by what our minds can understand. And even worse we are limited by what we will and will not accept.


Both positions make us more vulnerable


Not really. Assuming that no one knows, I think, makes us not take the lazy way out. When we assume that no one else knows that means we have to figure it out for ourselves or simply ignore the question and move on. Both are desirable in my opinion.


What do I think? :-)

Assuming I’ve understood what you were going after –


I rather enjoyed hearing your thoughts and the chance to clarify my own. So cheers!



I’ll say that your opening video is for me an example of one of my worst nightmares

That person – whoever they may be (and they exist in many different forms) that thinks that they know me somehow. They know my mind, my heart, my fears, strengths and weaknesses

The person who actually believes that they’re in a position to challenge me – or even flatter me – entice me with my own potential...

This person would get a very blunt response from me: get away from me – and get away from me now


I view it as a challenge really, a challenge I am loath to turn down due to my nature. I included that video because it had the questions for the matrix that sort of fitted my frame of mind at that particular moment.


As far as I’m concerned – no truer words were ever spoken

Ever.


I have a great respect for Budha.


it’s not arrogance or foolishness to trust your own judgment – and to know


I think it can be and it's made into those things all too often.
And well, as I said, I don't think "knowing" is really possible.


it’s being able to change your mind that’s important


Which tends to be opposite of declaring you "know" something. Usually.


and – the endless questioning is unavoidable – as long as you’re alive :-)


Oh how I wish it was for most people. Me, well, I don't show any signs of stopping soon.




[edit on 9-5-2009 by Watcher-In-The-Shadows]



posted on May, 9 2009 @ 12:51 AM
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reply to post by Watcher-In-The-Shadows
 


my first - and most succinct response to this last post is:

crap! this is going to be a lot of writing...

so - brb

:-)



posted on May, 9 2009 @ 12:52 AM
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reply to post by Spiramirabilis
 


LoL!!!!
Feel free to take your time.

Was I too short and sweet for my own good again?



posted on May, 9 2009 @ 03:18 AM
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reply to post by Watcher-In-The-Shadows
 



When it comes to analyzing what other people do or don’t do – I believe there is no point to it.
Millions of sociologists and psychologists tend to disagree.


they have a job to do :-)

when I said this, it was in response to the surety with which you determined that most people reach a certain age – and stop questioning. Here is where you and I are both going to get into trouble – nothing but assumptions and speculation between the two of us on any of it

nobody ever stops questioning - the process never stops

for you to even suppose that it stops shows that you beleive that you know something you can’t possibly know :-)

I say there is no point to it – because there is automatically a value judgment created by assuming something you can’t know - you’ve judged because it suits your argument – not because it’s true

what I see: even people who appear to be rather fixed in their opinions and sure of their knowledge - claiming to actually know what they know - are forced to reexamine the question over and over in order to maintain their position - they’re forced to confront what they don’t believe in order to still believe what they believe

questioning continues – no point examining if we only need it to judge - no telling what the process will turn out from moment to moment


I think it serves a very good purpose, so long as we take those asessments with a grain of salt.


this suggests to me that it’s not so much about whether other people are willing to always question – and admit that they can’t actually know anything for certain - as it is about your being sure that they won’t and they can’t :-)

is your ability to be sure of their inability to be sure the more substantial of the two choices?


no one ever stops questioning – as long as they’re alive
I tend to disagree here. A great many prefer to have the answers to questions they most likely never really think about handed to them. It's safer and easier that way, with the added bonus they get to blame someone else if it all goes wrong. Look at Nazi Germany.

Do you believe there were no Nazis – or even citizens of Nazi Germany – that never questioned their own actions? Or their own inaction? Too many variables involved in this example. So I’m going to suggest something very ugly – we can each and every one of us do horrible things even as we question what we’re doing – while we’re doing it. Circumstance can rule the day for all of us – this is the real lesson of Nazi Germany. You and I right now are using this example - something that's been handed to us - without questioning it


so now we get to a personal belief of mine - which is: it’s OK to allow yourself to believe - to know something
While I honestly do respect your belief I equate convincing yourself that you "know" anything to simply ceasing to question. Or allowing something else to "channel" your questioning elsewhere.


what we’re really talking about is certainty – not knowledge



Oh it isn't about ego or arrogance at first but ego and arrogance tend to rear their ugly heads. I mean look at fundamentalist christians or militant atheists. Both are utterly and totally convinced their beliefs are only ones that could even possibly be correct and both miss much.


Who is it that’s convinced that they’re missing so much? Who is the missing person in this scenario – the person capable of actually knowing that either one of the two can’t really know?


But, it's like Socrates said, "The only true wisdom is in knowing that you know nothing." I think that is because we are always re-evaluating things, not taking a point in our questions and saying "This is true! This is the answer to my questions! I need not question this anymore because it is the truth."


Well – this isn’t going to win me any points :-)

but – Socrates – schmocrates

at some point – somebody has to know something – even if they only know if for that one moment – we can’t exist without knowing – we can’t move forward

certainty is a very valuable thing

I would suggest to Socrates – if he were at all interested in my opinion – that wisdom is to continue wondering about what we believe we know

I know that sounds like the same thing - but it's not


When we’re constantly questioning – everything is possible – nothing is ever wrong
I agree but I will modify somewhat, everything is neither right or wrong.


I think that it’s absolutely necessary at times to have absolutes – even if we consider them to be just working absolutes while they’re still useful


And isn't that how reality seems to be? Nothing being impossible just improbable?


Reality? :-) Can reality exist without perception? I think it can. Can perception exist without reality?

I wonder – you can’t see that your ability to determine that nothing is impossible (with or without it’s being probable) is something that you assume to be true? We can argue about the words all we want – knowledge/belief/faith/certainty...

when we get down to it – seems to me – your being confronted by the certainty of someone else might be the issue here – because it works directly against your certainty – which is in the end only your certainty of uncertainty


However, when we know something for sure it will become very obvious when we’re wrong – and so we learn
Or dig in and become delusional about it. Happens fairly often.


delusion? please explain :-)

In order for you to determine someone is clinging to delusion – as opposed to honestly examining reality – or questioning reality - you’ve automatically revealed that you believe you are the keeper of a sacred truth – the truth of reality. You say you’re questioning – but you’ve made a decision – you know something – and you’ve judged others according to your knowledge

I’m not going to hold it against you though – because – we all do it

so – my big fat deal point?

we all do it – we all believe we know :-)



But if we can never truly "know" anything, how could we know for sure we are "right"? See what I am saying? This kind of crap always goes through my mind. There is a confession for you. Most think I am just being cheeky and stubborn but I am honestly not meaning it such.


what if we use the word believe instead? we believe we’re right.

what’s driving you nuts maybe is the complete opposite of what drives other people crazy

you feel more comfortable in the grey area – it makes sense to you. Others hate the grey – they need black and white. What I wonders is – is there any difference between the grey or black & white – besides segregation?

I say – no difference – but it doesn’t change the fact that both parties believe they know something - and they each believe the other is wrong :-)

before you point out that that’s exactly what you’re saying – I want to point out – yes, that’s exactly what you’re saying

take a good look :-)


We are limited by what our minds can understand. And even worse we are limited by what we will and will not accept.


I agree with that


Both positions make us more vulnerable
Not really. Assuming that no one knows, I think, makes us not take the lazy way out. When we assume that no one else knows that means we have to figure it out for ourselves or simply ignore the question and move on. Both are desirable in my opinion.


What I mean by vulnerable is – it puts us in the position of having to accept that we can’t know – meaning that there’s no point in our even wondering about anything – questioning anything

you can know – whether it’s likely or not – that’s a different thing

I don’t want to turn this into a discussion about enlightenment – because that’s not at all what we’re talking about (are we?)

but – just for grins: if you can’t know – it’s not possible for you to become enlightened

why even seek knowledge if there is nothing you can know? Also - questioning becomes useless - what would be the point?


I view it as a challenge really, a challenge I am loath to turn down due to my nature. I included that video because it had the questions for the matrix that sort of fitted my frame of mind at that particular moment.


I understand. When I look at it – I see it as an invitation for people to hand over their brains in a paper sack – since they won’t be using them anymore anyhow :-)


I have a great respect for Budha.


Me too – especially since he doesn’t exist – and never did. How cool is that?


it’s not arrogance or foolishness to trust your own judgment – and to know
I think it can be and it's made into those things all too often.
And well, as I said, I don't think "knowing" is really possible.


maybe if you thought of knowing as a point in time as opposed to something you can keep in a box


it’s being able to change your mind that’s important
Which tends to be opposite of declaring you "know" something. Usually.


no – it’s just changing your mind – you knew – now you know something else


and – the endless questioning is unavoidable – as long as you’re alive :-)
Oh how I wish it was for most people. Me, well, I don't show any signs of stopping soon.


you must still be alive :-)



posted on May, 9 2009 @ 03:31 AM
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also - Watcher

don't know what part of the globe you're hanging out on right now - but on my part of the globe it's past my bedtime

catch you later

:-)



posted on May, 9 2009 @ 04:29 AM
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reply to post by Spiramirabilis
 

Oh boy....... I think this might be going down hill. But here goes. Just know I am not trying to pick a fight or devalue your opinion, I merely disagree and it sounds to me like you're trying to justify something.

Which I would like to assure you is something you need not do if that is the case.

they have a job to do :-)

when I said this, it was in response to the surety with which you determined that most people reach a certain age – and stop questioning. Here is where you and I are both going to get into trouble – nothing but assumptions and speculation between the two of us on any of it


Actually it was more a observation. There is a point in which children will stop asking questions, or at least driving adults insane with them. To put it psychologically it's when social programming starts to take hold.


nobody ever stops questioning - the process never stops


No, I am going to have to disagree with you once again. No body questions an answer they consider a given.


for you to even suppose that it stops shows that you beleive that you know something you can’t possibly know :-)
I say there is no point to it – because there is automatically a value judgment created by assuming something you can’t know - you’ve judged because it suits your argument – not because it’s true


What do I believe I know? What answers have I offered really beyond questioning the assertion that people always question? Especially in light of the tendency mankind has towards fanaticism. To steal a line from a song, "What consumes your thoughts controls your life.".


what I see: even people who appear to be rather fixed in their opinions and sure of their knowledge - claiming to actually know what they know - are forced to reexamine the question over and over in order to maintain their position - they’re forced to confront what they don’t believe in order to still believe what they believe
questioning continues – no point examining if we only need it to judge - no telling what the process will turn out from moment to moment


Forced by what? What evidence do you have for this? I have seen a great deal of those people you mention not re-examine anything and instead twist whatever challenges their preconceptions to suit what they have decided is fact.


this suggests to me that it’s not so much about whether other people are willing to always question – and admit that they can’t actually know anything for certain - as it is about your being sure that they won’t and they can’t :-)

is your ability to be sure of their inability to be sure the more substantial of the two choices?


Um, I am not sure, I have never stated I was. I was commenting on what I have noticed to be the most common outcome, NOT the only possible one.


Do you believe there were no Nazis – or even citizens of Nazi Germany – that never questioned their own actions?


Um, this is a rather silly question. But one I will answer. It's given there are individuals that would question what was going on, that was part of the gestapo's function to cut down individuals that did.


Or their own inaction? Too many variables involved in this example. So I’m going to suggest something very ugly – we can each and every one of us do horrible things even as we question what we’re doing – while we’re doing it. Circumstance can rule the day for all of us – this is the real lesson of Nazi Germany. You and I right now are using this example - something that's been handed to us - without questioning it


You are taking alot of leave here I am noticing, I have done a great deal of research into Nazi Germany so I know what I am talking about. And no, I disagree, I personally would not have allowed or participated the things they did then. A great deal of the German people wantonly pulled the wool over their eyes *IE did not question* and allowed the holocaust to happen then screamed foul when their madmen led them to ruin. And as to the Nazi leadership themselves they had themselves convinced they were doing good, for their people at the very least, despite the sheer wrongness of their acts.


what we’re really talking about is certainty – not knowledge


No, we're talking about knowledge. I refer you to definition #4.

Main Entry: knowl·edge
Pronunciation: \ˈnä-lij\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English knowlege, from knowlechen to acknowledge, irregular from knowen
Date: 14th century
1obsolete : cognizance
2 a (1): the fact or condition of knowing something with familiarity gained through experience or association (2): acquaintance with or understanding of a science, art, or technique b (1): the fact or condition of being aware of something (2): the range of one's information or understanding c: the circumstance or condition of apprehending truth or fact through reasoning : cognition d: the fact or condition of having information or of being learned
3archaic : sexual intercourse
4 a: the sum of what is known : the body of truth, information, and principles acquired by humankind barchaic : a branch of learning

SOURCE:www.merriam-webster.com...


Who is it that’s convinced that they’re missing so much? Who is the missing person in this scenario – the person capable of actually knowing that either one of the two can’t really know?


For one both sides are missing the nuggets of truth in both of their arguments. And missing person???? You lost me there.



Well – this isn’t going to win me any points :-)

but – Socrates – schmocrates

at some point – somebody has to know something – even if they only know if for that one moment – we can’t exist without knowing – we can’t move forward


Ok, prove to me that someone knows ANYTHING for certain. Considering the great deal of things us as a species THOUGHT we knew that we no longer think we do.


certainty is a very valuable thing


Something that can't be differentiated from false certainity til proven otherwise and people do not question what they consider question and will often twist things to protect it. After all, look at the great many hang ups of modern science were the evidence appears to go against accepted fact.


I would suggest to Socrates – if he were at all interested in my opinion – that wisdom is to continue wondering about what we believe we know

I know that sounds like the same thing - but it's not


Human complacency being what it is, rrriiiggghhhtttt. A person who feels he has his answers will not look for them.


I think that it’s absolutely necessary at times to have absolutes – even if we consider them to be just working absolutes while they’re still useful


That's an oxymoron if ever I heard one. There is no such thing as a temperary absolute. Especially in the dualistic mind. Feel free to give me an example and I will gladly change my tune.


Reality? :-) Can reality exist without perception? I think it can. Can perception exist without reality?


If I pretended to know either answer to either question I would call myself a fool.

To be continued...



posted on May, 9 2009 @ 04:50 AM
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reply to post by Watcher-In-The-Shadows
 


Society has no place for cynics like myself Wits. I came to terms with that 5 years ago. I prefer not to talk about myself unless quoting others, but i will say this . . .

The current state of our society is sickening to me; the hypocrisy, the corruption, the apathy, the ignorance . . . even with the small role i play, i have trouble seeing myself playing the part for much longer.

One day when the umbilical chord is frayed to its last wire, I hope that i have the strength to leave this electric womb.

[edit on 5/9/2009 by JPhish]



posted on May, 9 2009 @ 05:10 AM
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Originally posted by WITS
When we are young, we endlessly question everything. Then, suddenly, most of us stop.
sadly, it appears that is the case.


Originally posted by Spiramirabilis
reply to post by Watcher-In-The-Shadows
 

Is it that you believe we're doomed by complacency? Do you think most of us "settle" on a belief because it's more comfortable, or less terrifying than questioning? Or is it about arrogance? Assuming we know more than we do – than it’s possible to know - we claim some kind of power we have no right to claim?

That’s sort of how I feel about it.


no one ever stops questioning – as long as they’re alive

I’m not so sure of that. Most people cross off their curiosities with checkmarks of certainty. I can not speak of my future, but as of now, the only thing that I have “stopped” questioning is my own existence. Even then, I occasionally question the nature of my existence. From my own experience, the same can not be said of most people.


It’s not about ego, it’s not arrogance – it’s not wrong. Even when we’re not accurate, or there is no real way we can know anything for sure – allowing yourself the luxury of believing you can know something sets you on the road to real knowledge
believing you can know something is a fabulous notion for me, but believing you know something? Mind the sig.

[edit on 5/9/2009 by JPhish]



posted on May, 9 2009 @ 05:52 AM
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Forgive me for weighing into the discussion...


Originally posted by Watcher-In-The-Shadows
reply to post by Spiramirabilis
 


what we’re really talking about is certainty – not knowledge

No, we're talking about knowledge.
Ok, prove to me that someone knows ANYTHING for certain. Considering the great deal of things us as a species THOUGHT we knew that we no longer think we do.

Anything for certain? I hold a few tenets of certainty, although I would hardly classify myself as being intractable with my certainties. One example only though? I do hope anyone may reply.

My name. My certainty is my name. I know for certain what it is. It is not a physical object, and yet I'm certain I have a name. It is not mine exclusively as other people share my first, middle and last names. But it is certain to me that it is my name. I have titles as well, sister, daughter, etc. I know my name is not Who I am. But I remain ever certain of What my name Is.




certainty is a very valuable thing

Something that can't be differentiated from false certainity til proven otherwise and people do not question what they consider question and will often twist things to protect it. After all, look at the great many hang ups of modern science were the evidence appears to go against accepted fact.
A person who feels he has his answers will not look for them.

I believe that the field of Science is misconstrued by many. I believe that Science is more an art form than many would acknowledge and the majority of people believe all "Scientific" wisdom to be fact. Where are the words Theory and Hypothetical used most often?
Science can only take information that we can process with our five senses to find answers. If any answers lie beyond the range of our senses and ability to perceive them, then Science cannot "confirm" it; yet this does not make the 'truth' of a thing any less 'true'.


I think that it’s absolutely necessary at times to have absolutes – even if we consider them to be just working absolutes while they’re still useful

That's an oxymoron if ever I heard one. There is no such thing as a temperary absolute. Especially in the dualistic mind. Feel free to give me an example and I will gladly change my tune.

A working absolute?????????????????????

I'm sorry, I couldn't help but to be a slight bit gobsmacked at the suggestion.

You can have a working theory, a working argument, or just the clear understanding that all evidence you have received is leading you to X conclusion. A theory that could mean that A, B and C theories are less likely to be true. Does it make X an absolute?

Specifically when you are talking of reality, truth and what lies beyond the physical perception of humanity? There are no absolutes.

Forgive me if you were using the word absolute with the connotative meaning of idea. I have enjoyed your thinking Spiramirabilis, you have some interesting angles.



posted on May, 9 2009 @ 11:10 AM
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reply to post by Watcher-In-The-Shadows
 


lol

man Watcher – this is starting to border on abuse – you want Skeptic Overlord to come in here and chew us out for wasting paper?


Just know I am not trying to pick a fight or devalue your opinion...

it’s ok – you can pick a fight – as long as you don’t insult my mother it’ll be OK :-)

and you can’t devalue my opinion – I’ve assigned it a value you can’t touch, so, just don’t you worry :-)


I merely disagree and it sounds to me like you're trying to justify something...
Which I would like to assure you is something you need not do if that is the case.


got nothing to justify – got nothing to prove – just got my point of view – same as you


Actually it was more a observation. There is a point in which children will stop asking questions, or at least driving adults insane with them. To put it psychologically it's when social programming starts to take hold.


you said: When we are young, we endlessly question everything. Then, suddenly, most of us stop.

it may be an observation – but it’s the observation you’re using to make your point – which, if I understand you correctly – is that people stop questioning and start assuming they just know


No, I am going to have to disagree with you once again. No body questions an answer they consider a given.


if I ask you “is the sky blue?” you consider it – I promise – you can’t not

questioning never stops


What do I believe I know? What answers have I offered really beyond questioning the assertion that people always question?


you’ve assured me more than once that people stop questioning – as if you know this to be the case. So, you’ve already stopped questioning your own position – and started knowing

hey – maybe you’re right after all? :-)



Forced by what? What evidence do you have for this? I have seen a great deal of those people you mention not re-examine anything and instead twist whatever challenges their preconceptions to suit what they have decided is fact.


it’s automatic – if I tell you the sky is red – and you’re unshakable belief is that it’s blue – you will still consider whether or not it’s red or blue – it’s automatic

just because it happens really, really fast doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen

in order to defend or maintain your position - you will have to consider the alternative - questioning is built in - even if you choose to stick with what you think you know


Um, I am not sure, I have never stated I was. I was commenting on what I have noticed to be the most common outcome, NOT the only possible one.


...we cannot abide by the unknown, so we fill our world with the way we think it should be and call it reality. We give up our questions of all things and only focus it upon which us or those we call our peers deem acceptable to question.......


that was from your OP

so, putting it another way - is your perception – your assumption - that people give up their questions and focus on what’s already been determined to be acceptable somehow more certain, more provable, more dependable an assumption than their assumptions? Your knowledge of what they will and will not do is something of which you are certain?

meanwhile – the only thing I’m saying is that I think you’re wrong – I think we can’t really say for certain that we know people stop questioning. I think we are always questioning


Do you believe there were no Nazis – or even citizens of Nazi Germany – that never questioned their own actions?

Um, this is a rather silly question. But one I will answer. It's given there are individuals that would question what was going on, that was part of the gestapo's function to cut down individuals that did.


dude – you brought it up :-)

and – not even going to touch on your knowledge of Nazi history

you want to be able to say that people didn’t think – people didn’t question. I’m saying that you can’t say that there was no one who questioned – you can only see what happened regardless. Questioning is not the same thing as choice or action


And no, I disagree, I personally would not have allowed or participated the things they did then.


:-) yeah – that’s what I like to say too – I would question – I would absolutely question

but, what would I do?


A great deal of the German people wantonly pulled the wool over their eyes *IE did not question* and allowed the holocaust to happen then screamed foul when their madmen led them to ruin.


something like that. But – not us though – right? That could never happen to us – because we question stuff?


And as to the Nazi leadership themselves they had themselves convinced they were doing good, for their people at the very least, despite the sheer wrongness of their acts.


here’s a good example of why this entire discussion is almost futile – I can’t prove what I believe – but, I absolutely believe you are wrong here

I believe the Nazis knew what they were doing was wrong – they did it because it was a means to an end. It wasn’t for the good of their people – it was pragmatic

They didn’t do it without thinking about it – I’m sure there were all kinds of questions. They still chose to do what they did

When you make the claim that some people simply don’t think – they stop questioning – what I hear is you setting yourself up for a very big fall. You’ve begun to believe that your ability to think is in some way superior to theirs.

Maybe you’re right – I don’t know you that well – it seems like you might be smarter than the Nazis. For sure you’re nicer :-)

The danger for all of us comes with assuming that others are somehow behaving in a substandard fashion – which automatically suggests that we believe – we would never make the same mistakes – our thinking is superior

and we say this from inside a cloud of humility – camouflaged somehow by saying “I can’t really know anything”

that is always a mistake

You do know something – you have decided for yourself that certain things are wrong. Would you not question those things then? There’s nothing that you won’t claim that you actually know? Because – if you can’t question whether or not you might be wrong – and the Nazis were right – then you’ve undone your own argument. You’ve stopped questioning – and started just knowing stuff.


what we’re really talking about is certainty – not knowledge
No, we're talking about knowledge. I refer you to definition #4...


:-) yup – that’s knowledge all right. Certainty is what gives you permission to believe that you know what you know



For one both sides are missing the nuggets of truth in both of their arguments. And missing person???? You lost me there.


:-)

there’s somebody else here who thinks they’re knowing something besides the fundamentalists and the atheists. In fact – they believe that the other two aren’t knowing things as well as they could or should.


Ok, prove to me that someone knows ANYTHING for certain.


prove to me that nobody knows anything – for certain


Considering the great deal of things us as a species THOUGHT we knew that we no longer think we do.


funny thing knowledge – it changes. But what about this – what about the possibility that knowledge can exist in fragments? A chunk of gold is no less gold than the bigger chunk it came from – but – it’s still not the whole chunk

what we claim to know may be actual knowledge – but it’s not all there is to know. The glass can be half full – and full – at the same time.


... people do not question what they consider question and will often twist things to protect it. After all, look at the great many hang ups of modern science were the evidence appears to go against accepted fact...


well – I’m in no position to start questioning science – all my very best examples are essentially based on crayon colors :-)

I know this about science – it changes it’s mind. It may not change as fast as people would like – but there’s a reason for that – you can’t claim to know something you don’t know for real. Even when it looks like you might be able to just make a leap of faith and land safely – better to take the time and do the work necessary to make sure there’s a there to leap to.

if only you and I could be alive to have this same conversation 200 years from now. I'd put my money on science changing it's mind about all kinds of things - but not reluctantly - just not as fast as we'd like.



Human complacency being what it is, rrriiiggghhhtttt. A person who feels he has his answers will not look for them.


really? How do you know? :-)


That's an oxymoron if ever I heard one. There is no such thing as a temperary absolute. Especially in the dualistic mind. Feel free to give me an example and I will gladly change my tune.


Temporary absolutes are something we use all the time. We call it the truth – until we know it’s not.

The world was created in seven days. Then, oh no – looks like maybe it wasn’t.

See?


Reality? :-) Can reality exist without perception? I think it can. Can perception exist without reality?

If I pretended to know either answer to either question I would call myself a fool.


I’ll pretend – I pretty much live in the land of make believe anyhow...and being called a fool is par for the course

I may not be able to define reality – but I know it exists

I – like you – believe in questioning the definitions of reality – because I don’t trust the perceptions of anyone else anymore than I trust my own

but all this questioning can only happen if we’re perceiving – and what would we be perceiving if not reality?


To be continued...


really? :-) OK then...



posted on May, 9 2009 @ 11:33 AM
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reply to post by azurecara
 


lol

first of all - I'm capable of saying almost anything at 3:00 in the morning



A working absolute????????????????????? I'm sorry, I couldn't help but to be a slight bit gobsmacked at the suggestion.


you know why I love language? It's not science - it is art - you can make it do whatever you want :-)


Specifically when you are talking of reality, truth and what lies beyond the physical perception of humanity? There are no absolutes.


none?

how do you know?

:-)


Forgive me if you were using the word absolute with the connotative meaning of idea. I have enjoyed your thinking Spiramirabilis, you have some interesting angles.


thank you - I'm sure there's a scientist or two out there that might not have enjoyed them as much - but, I imagine they'll let me know

absolutely

:-)

edit to add: along with annoyed scientists - I'm pretty sure there are a few philosophers that want to smack me around a little too

Where is Illusionsaregrander anyway? :-)

[edit on 5/9/2009 by Spiramirabilis]



posted on May, 9 2009 @ 03:44 PM
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Originally posted by MatrixProphet
I gave you a star! Well done. You explained it well.

I am not young, I have learned a lot in my over 50 years. It bugs me to no end when people say, "The more I learn the less I know." It is an oxymoron statement IMO.

Of course, as long as I am alive I want to continually grow and learn. There is never an end to knowledge, and I realize how that statement is usually meant, but...it is often said with false humility!


It is a pretending to be humble while arrogantly feeling that they really feel that they do know it all! There are exceptions, but I find that often they are the least teachable.


Ahh, I think you misunderstand the statement.

The more I learn, the more I realize I don't know. It's not so much that I "know" less. But rather I realize how much more I don't know.

The true measure of knowledge is not based upon what someone "knows". It is based on the questions they ask. Because the questions we ask are based on what we "know", but also based on the ability to see the next step/question.

I think of it as being like a circle. When you are young, that circle of knowledge is very very small. And so the amount of unknown things surrounding that bit of known is also small. As you gain knowledge, the circle grows. As that circle of knowledge grows, the amount of unknowns realized around it also grows. All those unknowns have been there, but we can only realize the unknowns around what we know.

All I really know is what I've experienced and understand. I realize that my perspective is not your perspective, so I realize that bit of unknown. Multiple that by the 6 billion people currently living on only this planet, at this point in time, and the amount of things I realize I don't know, also grows.

So I don't think it means the person actually knows less, but rather they realize as they get wiser/older how much more they don't know.





[edit on 9-5-2009 by badmedia]



posted on May, 9 2009 @ 04:47 PM
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reply to post by badmedia
 



The more I learn, the more I realize I don't know. It's not so much that I "know" less. But rather I realize how much more I don't know.


I guess I didn't do a good job of explaining myself. Sorry.

I meant those who use it as a measure of false humility.



posted on May, 9 2009 @ 05:49 PM
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reply to post by MatrixProphet
 





I gave you a star! Well done. You explained it well.


:-)

not so sure - part of me wants a do-over

sometimes words just don't mean enough - especially if you get them out of order



posted on May, 9 2009 @ 06:21 PM
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Originally posted by Spiramirabilis
reply to post by azurecara
 

lol
first of all - I'm capable of saying almost anything at 3:00 in the morning


A working absolute????????????????????? I'm sorry, I couldn't help but to be a slight bit gobsmacked at the suggestion.

you know why I love language? It's not science - it is art - you can make it do whatever you want :-)


I agree with you to a point...




Specifically when you are talking of reality, truth and what lies beyond the physical perception of humanity? There are no absolutes.

none?
how do you know?
:-)


Here is the definition of absolute that I work with: Not to be doubted or questioned; positive: absolute proof.

How can you have absolute proof of what lies beyond the physical perception of humanity? Of entirely subjective things such as reality and truth? You can only have an absolute of a subjective topic as it is relevant to you at a given point in time - and as people are always changing, than holding on to that subjective absolute would become difficult over time.

Now even that assertation is subject to my own questioning. Who am I to say there are no absolutes? Perhaps I am wrong; something I can healthily accept.

So my understanding is that there are no absolutes. There are only working conclusions to date.

I hope no one wants to smack you around, I'm sure they will find you engaging to discuss things with.



posted on May, 9 2009 @ 06:26 PM
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reply to post by Spiramirabilis
 



sometimes words just don't mean enough - especially if you get them out of order


I get the jest of what I think you are saying. It is hard to put into words at times, something so deep. It is easy to be misunderstood.

Some things I may differ on but that is what discussion is all about. We share our views regardless if others agree or not.



[edit on 9-5-2009 by MatrixProphet]



posted on May, 9 2009 @ 07:12 PM
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reply to post by Watcher-In-The-Shadows
 



No body questions an answer they consider a given.


This is a bit of an absolute, is it not? Stupid people don't question certainly as much as a thinking person does.



Oh it isn't about ego or arrogance at first but ego and arrogance tend to rear their ugly heads. I mean look at fundamentalist christians or militant atheists. Both are utterly and totally convinced their beliefs are only ones that could even possibly be correct and both miss much. But, it's like Socrates said, "The only true wisdom is in knowing that you know nothing." I think that is because we are always re-evaluating things, not taking a point in our questions and saying "This is true! This is the answer to my questions! I need not question this anymore because it is the truth."


Couldn't this also be referring to humility? A teenager thinks they know better than their parents and often consider their parents stupid or out of touch. Whereas, the parent has already walked in a child's shoes and have learned wisdom.

Aren't there levels of importance in questions? Some things I have come to know are truth but realize that there are always going to be variables within that truth. Truth is not often as black and white as we imagine.



Spir: When we’re constantly questioning – everything is possible – nothing is ever wrong


You: I agree but I will modify somewhat, everything is neither right or wrong. And isn't that how reality seems to be? Nothing being impossible just improbable?


Well, how would you define "wrong?" Again variables.



But if we can never truly "know" anything, how could we know for sure we are "right"? See what I am saying? This kind of crap always goes through my mind. There is a confession for you. Most think I am just being cheeky and stubborn but I am honestly not meaning it such.



I think we are hyperbolizing a bit? We can take it so far that we never commit to anything, nor develop conviction.

"Right, wrong or indifferent, this is how I feel!" ...Conviction.

It is also okay to have limitations and base our conviction on those limitations. It gives us a sense of self, otherwise, we become chameleons. A very codependent way to live.


I have seen a great deal of those people you mention not re-examine anything and instead twist whatever challenges their preconceptions to suit what they have decided is fact.


I really agree with this. MOST people in my experience are contented to stay in their box and will alter reality to conform to it.

Here is the wrench:

Denial will not stop reality!



A great deal of the German people wantonly pulled the wool over their eyes *IE did not question* and allowed the holocaust to happen then screamed foul when their madmen led them to ruin. And as to the Nazi leadership themselves they had themselves convinced they were doing good, for their people at the very least, despite the sheer wrongness of their acts.


Pavlov's dogs. Studies have shown that Americans (study was with Americans) with enough brainwashing and desperateness are capable of doing the exact same thing. The test used a shock setup where the subject was "conditioned" to respond exactly as the facilitator of the experiment dictated. Unfortunately, it didn't take long before your average person was doing what had been predicted man would do under pressure.



Ok, prove to me that someone knows ANYTHING for certain. Considering the great deal of things us as a species THOUGHT we knew that we no longer think we do.


Not hard to do. Too broad.





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