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What is understanding?

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posted on Oct, 4 2009 @ 09:10 PM
I've been wondering what understanding is. People have their own ideas about what the world is or should be. What I may think is different from you may think. In fact you may totally have another opinion than I do about how TPTB works... or in another subject you may have a totally disagreeing point of view.

I've been thinking about this because I thought I understood things before. I took it upon myself a while ago to study history. I am still learning it. I understand things better now. That is true. That helps me understand events in perspective. I think that people are better off knowing the horrible atrocities of the aristocracies of the past and how we're not really that better off than people were 100 years ago in terms of how corrupt our governments are. It also helps to know that humanity has always been a struggle of conflict and power and equality. You only think those things. You don't know them until you look at it in the face.

I also used to think I understood the modern world. I would always complain about the mainstream media. I think however that the mainstream media is critical to understanding what is going on. From the mainstream media you get to find out what different parts of the establishment are thinking. You learn how these people think. You can then make your own arguments against their points of views and see to what point their view breaks down and understand their agenda more clearly.

I also used to think I understood basic issues that we faced daily. Poverty, hunger, strife, war. I understand the more complicated problems we of the world that we face daily now.

I used to just think that no one understood the problems we face. I did nothing about them and didn't share my points of view with other people about these problems because I didn't feel it would make a difference. I did not realize that I have to keep trying to make a difference. I have to make an effort to try to teach other people about the problems we face. It's a gradual thing but I didn't know that if I just acted apathetic towards these problems that nothing would change and someone else would take my voice.

I don't completely understand the world. I know that. However, I'm coming closer to an idea about what understanding is. Do we ever truly understand all the problems we face? Is that a realistic possibility to ever 100% know everything that's bad with society... and to know why it's not how it should be? Why don't we understand what things mean right away? It takes us a while to grasp the seriousness of problems. We get the general ideas of it... and then we get the realities of what it means right away... and then we forget about the problem and it goes in the back of our minds.

Is this some fault of human condition? Do we ever know? Are we to always try to seek for the truth and then to be pushed back from having it? What is this understanding? I see that the world is complicated. It's not simple. One has to think about it. If people don't understand that the world isn't really all that they see... and that there is more to the world to themselves how are we going to ever progress?

How are we ever going to progress as a humanity if we don't understand? Could it be that we do understand and that we just don't know it? I've been thinking about this for a while and I would like to know what your thoughts on it were. What is understanding? What do we seek to know?

posted on Oct, 4 2009 @ 09:13 PM
Great thread Frank.

To tell you the truth, I think that's the whole joke of this existance. To realize that we will NEVER know the truth and attempting to do so is quite futile given the tools we have.

Understanding is a feeling, and like everything else it is subjective to the human experience. This will always be the case with our species and we were given curiosity and free choice by however or whatever put us here.

It's a very strange question to attempt to give the answer to I will admit. The thing is I am like every other monkey on this board, clueless to as what the real "truth" behind anything is, including this vague term that is "understanding".


posted on Oct, 5 2009 @ 06:24 AM
Before I answer your questions I need to first give something of a definition to the term"understanding".
In my own understanding; to understand, or to comprehend, is to infer meaning from what is agreed upon, either by a group of people or a person, to be fact.

Originally posted by Frankidealist35
Do we ever truly understand all the problems we face?

No, not until it is all over and we are free from having to deal with it and are therefore able to take an objective viewpoint, distant from the suffering of the relevant problem. The issue then arises that we are constantly hailed with a barrage of problems all throughout our lives, which does not cease until we die.
Which then raises the question, do we ever truly understand what's going on in our lives?
Or do we feign knowledge and claim an infinite insight into the changing world we live in?

Speaking of which:

Originally posted by Frankidealist35
Is that a realistic possibility to ever 100% know everything that's bad with society... and to know why it's not how it should be?

No, it is possible to be aware of such problems of society; but never definitively know and never know all 100% of issues. This is due to the constantly changing 'amorphous blob' that is society, for as long as we refuse to agree with each other, society will change and warp how it is made and what is unacceptable.
Such as witch-hunts being once acceptable, which are now considered rather inhumane atrocities.

Originally posted by Frankidealist35
Is this some fault of human condition?
Do we ever know?
Are we to always try to seek for the truth and then to be pushed back from having it? What is this understanding?

It is, vicariously, a fault of the human condition. However, it is more directly the fault of humanity as a whole, as a group of animals, rather than some intrinsic fault of the human psyche.

We assume we know, and that is all we will ever need in order to drive some sort of progress, as animals. This issue then becomes "What is truth and, or, knowledge?", which is a bit of a meandering question to answer, hence why I will refrain from it.

The issue in the third question lies deeper, it lies in human emotion. Do you really want to be fully aware of the sheer number of casualties of children in third world countries due to a lack of medicine and nutritional food? If so, would you be able to survive having someone tap you on the shoulder and inform you every time one of those children died? What if instead of being simply informed, you got to see it, every time; the loss, the fear, the sadness, the hatred.
The issue is not that we don't care, and not that we don't understand how horrible and prevalent these issues are in society, it is due to us being limited by our humanity to only being able to stomach these issues for so long before we become so hardcore that we lose our humanity all together.
As such, we must push ourselves backwards from understanding everything all at once, because we can't even handle understanding something as simple as whatever reasoning there may be for the deaths of people around the world without the threat of losing that which makes us human.
This is the understanding that it is our humanity that drives us to be better than the animals around us, and that without it we are no better than the sheep in the herd.

Originally posted by Frankidealist35
How are we ever going to progress as a humanity if we don't understand?

As I mentioned, society will be constantly warping until we are able to progress when we all do understand. Not you and me, but all of us.
Every single one.

Originally posted by Frankidealist35
What is understanding? What do we seek to know?

We seek to understand, and subsequently know, all that we do not currently understand or know.
As mentioned by Tenth, above, it is an issue of subjectivity.

posted on Oct, 5 2009 @ 06:44 AM
This reminds me of a question I posed during a fifth grade sex ed speech........ What does an orgasm feel like ???

Its obvious for those who've had one, ... but impossible to explain to a fifth grader.

I'm not saying your a fifth grader, ... just that the answer is simple, yet hard to explain.

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