Let Me Ask You a Question – 1/14/18

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Let me ask you a question:

How can you know that your knowledge is true?  Or can you?

32 thoughts on “Let Me Ask You a Question – 1/14/18

  1. I know my knowledge is true when I “bounce’ it off my intuition. Then my intuition responds with a positive sensation or a message that says not all the facts or nope. If I’m speaking to someone my intuition is listening. It will cause me to agree, step back and think about it or ask more questions.

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    • But this would be based solely on your experience, intelligence, perception,etc. How can you be certain you can trust these? The woman who lives with delusions could be as confident using your method and still be completely wrong.

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      • Had an intuitive hit. Followed the info the best way I could understand it. It was accurate. My experience with it has proven accurate. Have had bosses trust my input because I proved it was accurate. Our bodies hold the information to make decisions not our thoughts, experience, etc. I also dream my life before it happens which is more psychic than checking in with how something feels to know if it’s the best choice. It’s all made of the same stuff.

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      • I agree. It is interesting how people come to any decision or belief. Within myself I’m always amused at my decision making (lack their of) due to lack of sleep or hunger. :>

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  2. If I bang my hand down hard on the desk at which I am sitting, pain will be the consequence of my action. Therefore I know that my desk/my knowledge of it’s presence is a concrete fact, not merely a figment of my imagination.
    Having said the above, I may, of course be dreaming, and in that dream-like state believe that I am bringing my hand down on the desk. I would, of course be mistaken in that belief. I am, however as certain as I can be that I am sitting at my desk, at approaching 6:30 pm, on a cold evening here in the UK and that my dog is lying, to the left of me peacefuly sleeping having recently been fed. I could, however be mistaken but, on the balance of probability it is highly unlikely that I am in error.
    So, after all that meandering, I guess that my answer is that it is extremely difficult (perhaps impossible) to be wholly certain of one’s knowledge. It is, however possible to be so certain as makes no real difference. (I won’t, for example bang my head hard against my study wall due to the certainty in my mind that doing so will injure me)!
    As a historian, I am concerned with the veracity of facts. For example those who deny that the Nazis murdered approximately six million Jews are shown to be wrong by the vast amount of historical evidence (including the testimony of survivors) which clearly shows that this horrific act did, in fact take place.

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      • A healthy scepticism is to be encouraged. For example, if you where to tell me that you can fly like a bird, I would need to see that for my self prior to believing it, or at the very least have it confirmed by experts of unimpeachable integrity. However doubting everything is dangerous. For instance there are crackpots who claim that the American government blew up the twin towers (and not Islamic extremists). This is a patent lie and to use a modern phrase “fake news”. I don’t need to have been there when the towers where blown up to know that it was Islamic extremists who perpetrated that atrocity. Likewise its dangerous when far-right extremists (neo-Nazis) argue that the extermination of the Jews did not take place. There is overwhelming evidence that it did). So, yes scepticism is healthy but only up to a certain point.

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      • It is important to have a clear methodology in how one will process information to build a knowledge base or it becomes easy to fall for anything. I would use the “flat-earthers” as an example.

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  3. In part, it depends on the level. For example, if I walk through where I believe I see a doorway and don’t run into a wall instead, I confirm what I learned as an infant by cross checking between sensory modes, particularly sight and touch at first. I can’t know that the world I think I see is exactly how it really is, but its close enough that I can manage in it. I suppose that cross checking also applies to other levels, like history and atomic physics, but a lot of that sort of knowledge I have to take on trust in the sources.

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  4. This is all very interesting and many intellectual pathways can be explored with this question. But here is the fact …I do not have the time in my life to only believe in the things that I know through first hand experience. That would have me living in a very small and restricted little world even though I have had 68 years of a very full life. And besides…even what I have experienced could be just an ethereal image in someone other beings mind. And who am I anyway? ( Cue music from the Twilight Zone……)

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      • It is very difficult, but I personally think it is now easier to get more than one side of the story. For example in the UK history books, we were right going on the crusades and our knights we noble and only killed when threatened. When in fact they were arseholes and we had no right to do the crusades at all. Its a very poor example but hopefully highlights what I am trying to say

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  5. Knowledge is as true as the facts you have at that point in time. Before Columbus, many thought the earth was flat and this was the knowledge at the time until new facts were collected. Now we know through space travel and other exploration that this is unequivocally true. Knowledge was adjusted.

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    • I was thinking more along existential lines. I wonder sometimes how I would know if I were completely delusional and the world that exists was very different from the world I see and experience.

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