Incomplete knowledge

  • Thread starter Zero
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  • #26
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Laws can't be changed; they can only apply or not apply in a situation or process. If something changes a law, it was not a real law. The problem these days is that most people mix up the pure law aspect with the force aspect of agency. Then we get all the unclear sayings we hear -- up to bizarre ideas like the velocity of light being a law, etc. Moreover, events (like an apple falling from a tree) usually do not follow only one law, but a combination of laws -- for example in this case not only the law of gravity is involved.

The problem of what happens after death need not be "figured out", because doing so can only lead to wild fantasies (like Thanos expressed some). It can actually be found out precisely because the state of death is simply there being no change whatsoever. The curious mind can get into complete 'listening' (i.e. stopping the monkey business of introducing presuppositions), where it can find out in an empirical process what all that really means.

For doing so, there is no need to imagine spirits or angels. Reality can be understood without any of that. But in actually doing so (on the path of 'listening' to the totality of interconnections), which is nothing mystical, one can get some insight about what degree of reality such beings can have. No amount of abstract considerations can replace actual personal insight.

The question of whether consciousness just "evaporates" when dying or remains after death cannot be answered correctly in the usual perspective, if only because people have no clear and full insight of what the diverse aspects of consciousness are about. The idea that one will continue as George Bush or whatever one was is silly because of the way being George Bush usually is experienced. Whoever does not go to the limits in investigating his own consciousness -- in the mentioned 'listening' mode, not in consuming some drug -- will never get anywhere real, espeacially not with respect to what happens after death.

On the other hand, as mentioned earlier, this investigation is possible only as an incarnated person, because only in this state one can direct one's thoughts, e.g. into 'listening'. The achievable completeness of knowledge depends on how we direct our thoughts. There is no limit a priori; limits are introduced by the presuppositions of all sorts (including tacit or unconscious ones, prejudices, fears, illusions, etc.). But all of that can gradually be filtered out by persevering in remaining open.
 
  • #27
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Originally posted by sascha
The problem of what happens after death need not be "figured out", because doing so can only lead to wild fantasies (like Thanos expressed some). It can actually be found out precisely because the state of death is simply there being no change whatsoever. The curious mind can get into complete 'listening' (i.e. stopping the monkey business of introducing presuppositions), where it can find out in an empirical process what all that really means.
What, then are you suggesting we continue to remain conscious when we die? Where does our consciousness come from anyway? Is it just a by-product of the fact that we have a brain? Or, is it more like the radio waves that we receive over the radio?


For doing so, there is no need to imagine spirits or angels. Reality can be understood without any of that. But in actually doing so (on the path of 'listening' to the totality of interconnections), which is nothing mystical, one can get some insight about what degree of reality such beings can have. No amount of abstract considerations can replace actual personal insight.
Reality is only the aftermath, of everything which occurred prior to its coming into existence ... seen as well as unseen.


The question of whether consciousness just "evaporates" when dying or remains after death cannot be answered correctly in the usual perspective, if only because people have no clear and full insight of what the diverse aspects of consciousness are about. The idea that one will continue as George Bush or whatever one was is silly because of the way being George Bush usually is experienced. Whoever does not go to the limits in investigating his own consciousness -- in the mentioned 'listening' mode, not in consuming some drug -- will never get anywhere real, espeacially not with respect to what happens after death.
And yet if it weren't for the fact that we have dreams, then we would have no means by which to get in touch with it -- the "id" of our id-entity.


On the other hand, as mentioned earlier, this investigation is possible only as an incarnated person, because only in this state one can direct one's thoughts, e.g. into 'listening'. The achievable completeness of knowledge depends on how we direct our thoughts. There is no limit a priori; limits are introduced by the presuppositions of all sorts (including tacit or unconscious ones, prejudices, fears, illusions, etc.). But all of that can gradually be filtered out by persevering in remaining open.
There is no prior reality before the one which we have before us, right? Which is to say, everything exists in the here and now, and yet, originates (springs) from nowhere?
 
  • #28
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Iacchus32, in what you say you remain in the traditional perspective: looking at a world 'out there', then wondering about how we can understand it. In contrast, I propose to consider the strict totality (i.e. with no subdivision introduced, such as thinker and thought, subject and object, etc.), and to keep up systematically this openness (that's what I mean by 'listening'). What you say is the result of not doing so. You only repeat today's mainstream, albeit in a slightly more holistic way than usual. In the end the mainstream must rely on dreams for its id-entity, it remains in the imagination of an origin in time (and maybe even space), etc.. What a pity. The really relevant things cannot be consumed as 'information', or by adopting the 'right' belief (as opposed to 'wrong' ones). They must be sought in personal involvement. The subjective effort ('listening') is the necessary condition for being able to become aware of what finally is objective. Every person has his / her own path. Even ideas like time and space must be thought through. I am not proposing a (more or less new or original) belief, I am trying to show how insight can objectively be achieved.
 
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  • #29
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Originally posted by sascha
Iacchus32, in what you say you remain in the traditional perspective: looking at a world 'out there', then wondering about how we can understand it.
Actually I acknowledge both an inner-world and an outer-world, and am in fact more concerned with what's going on in the inner-world, because this entails the act of "knowing what we know" -- i.e., through the experience -- which indeed is subjective. But still, unless you can see it for yourself, how would you know?

Which is to say, the acknowledgment of an objective reality is a totally a subjective experience. Therefore, why should we try to rule out our subjective capabilities, when in fact that's all we've really got?


In contrast, I propose to consider the strict totality (i.e. with no subdivision introduced, such as thinker and thought, subject and object, etc.), and to keep up systematically this openness (that's what I mean by 'listening'). What you say is the result of not doing so. You only repeat today's mainstream, albeit in a slightly more holistic way than usual.
And yet when I know something, I also associate the tag of "experience," because that's exactly what it is, an experience. Hence the act of being conscious.


In the end the mainstream must rely on dreams for its id-entity, it remains in the imagination of an origin in time (and maybe even space), etc..
In what way? As electro-chemical processes that go off in the brain? That sounds like more of a means of discounting it than acknowledging it exists? Unless of course that's all it really entails. Or, maybe what you're saying is that science is actually in la la land and doesn't really know about it? :wink:


What a pity. The really relevant things cannot be consumed as 'information', or by adopting the 'right' belief (as opposed to 'wrong' ones). They must be sought in personal involvement.
Personal involvement in what? Do you mean in a religious sense? Or, are you referring to the "experience of knowing" itself?


The subjective effort ('listening') is the necessary condition for being able to become aware of what finally is objective. Every person has his / her own path. Even ideas like time and space must be thought through. I am not proposing a (more or less new or original) belief, I am trying to show how insight can objectively be achieved.
Yes, insight is typically achieved through the means of introspection. Whereas reality has to bounce off of something, which is accomplished through what we "mirror" on our insides.
 
  • #30
Zero
Sounds like some people create entire fantasy worlds to fill in the gaps of their incomplete knowledge. That too is accounted for in our biology.
 
  • #31
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To my sense things become really interesting once one notices that both the inner-world and the outer-world are finally judged by the same instance. In the last resort, thinking the cosmos means considering strict totality (but I admit that few are uncompromising enough to reach there). The relevant question is thus not how to introduce 'useful' subdivisons (which all end up in some aporia), but whether the judging instance is fully aware of its own means and way of doing so (its categoreal structure). Any basic subdivison introduces a one-eyedness, a bias, etc. -- something distorting.

The tag of "experience" is more relevant in getting to know (the cognitive process) than in knowing (the result). Usually people can either think something, or think the thought of thinking that thing, but not both simultaneously. This is why they believe there must be basic splits. But in fact, if they would care to 'step back' inside and contemplate strictly the whole, they would be able to notice that they actually are the unity of their awareness, by being attentive to it. One's own act of thinking can then gradually be experienced -- instead of only perceiving its results (and ending up in wanting natural science -- the look of others -- to give the answers, which can of course never reach the core of the issue, but only lead into more and more words about less and less of what really is relevant). Yes, this is the path to la la land.... in utterly serious stone-faced attitudes, believing god knows what.... looking at everything 'from outside' and feeling thus enormously 'objective', but -- because of not noticing the personal involvement (e.g. in the assumptions, beliefs, hopes, fears, etc.) -- finally never reaching the essentials.

The term "introspection" is not wrong here, but unfortunately burdened with useless connotations. Most people imagine introspection to be some kind of 'inner looking' (remember e.g. Mentat's fantasies), which in the end famously leads to the 'homunculus problem'. The fact that one is actually doing something (directing thoughts) while thinking escapes the usual attention. Then these people are compelled to invent all sorts of abstract construals for making up for the lost terrain (which can't ever be conclusive -- see above). The scene would be rather amusing if it did not lead to so many absurdities in the ensuing human relations.
 
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  • #32
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Zero, could you be more specific about who fantasizes what?
 
  • #33
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Reason why I say we will get the truth after we die is for the following reason i have written down.

We are a part of a system of live and die and every life must live by that system. Some question what happens after death and I am pretty sure i can acknowledge what happens because of my beliefs. I believe that all matter has a drive to reach perfection and will always seek ways to reach that goal. Thinking about the universe, galaxies, solar systems and earth works together it makes a lot of sense. There are different types of perfection seekers for not every life thinks in the same manner. Now with the drive that exist in all matter will also mean existing in all life. Life is with thinking in most cases. Maybe all but we don't know that for certain. I'll direct this to humans since we are humans and can understand our kind more then any other. Our brains hold all of our information, thoughts, personalities and emotions. And our memories that caused them. We die then our thoughts will parish. We, our personality will cease to exist. Our body will decompose and the rest will evaporate. With our body and mind gone then how can we live on, we can't.

Earth has enough chemicals to create the essence of life. As soon as life was mixed up then became evolving. Since every matter has a goal to perfection. A part of perfection is dealing with what you got and for life that was to live on by reproducing and survival. For mankind they created a concepts of right and wrong to survive for perfection could not be reached if we did it alone and destroyed each other. After we die that drive for perfection still exist but it exist without thought. That is why we can't comprehend that answer. That moment after we die, the moment where thought no longer exist is the moment where the answer is perfectly clear. But how can we comprehend a moment without thought when the thought of nothing and void is incomprehensible. We may not be able to comprehend nothing but we can acknowledge it. Like how most people can not comprehend how a computer works but they acknowledge that is does work.
 
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  • #34
Zero
Originally posted by sascha
Zero, could you be more specific about who fantasizes what?
Everyone, to a degree...some much more than others. we all pretend to understand things we really don't, but people like me at least try to keep it to a minimum. Others belive in all sorts of gap-filling things like religion, faith in general, UFOs, ESP, talking to the dead, herbs, drugs...conspiracy theories in general are also very popular, because they carry on the myth of control. --

THe reasons our brains do this are probably too many to list...here's a couple:
1) A close enough answer derived quickly has more survival benefit than a perfect answer arrived at too late.
2) A need to feel in control exists, the lack of which will cause madness and eventually death. A false sense is as good as a real one.
3) A curiosity that cannot be contained, combined with a limited ability to satusfy it.

I think that these three points explain the whole 'inner world/outer world' myth. It is a quick explanation that works in the short term, it clears your mind for other tasks, and allows you a false sense of control.
 
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  • #35
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Thanks, Zero, for your details. Sure, many such motivations are operative in generating fantasies -- especially in a cultural context that does not exactly foster quiet sober reflection, but rather is a bit pushy (the idea of "control" has become extremely pervasive) and hence reproduces pushyness all the time, which has more irrational effects than rational ones. So it is nice to find people who keep a bit of distance from all those coercions.

And thanks, Thanos, for your details. They show me a bit more clearly how you feel while existing and about the moment when all this changes. Note that there is an interesting counterpart, which merits some attention too: the change called birth, from nothingness towards being.

Maybe both of you can appreciate that the fundamental gesture I propose, which is to maintain a mental openness (the term 'listening' is something like a metaphor) instead of introducing fantasies into our queries, can be useful to both of you: it is as much a way of approaching the "nothing" that Thanos is hinting at, as it is a way of avoiding excessive fantasizing, as Zero observes.
 
  • #36
Zero
Being open-minded is fine...being open-minded to evidence, that is. If the evidence points one way, we need to follow that way to its conclusion. How do you follow lack of evidence?
 
  • #37
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Originally posted by Zero
Being open-minded is fine...being open-minded to evidence, that is. If the evidence points one way, we need to follow that way to its conclusion. How do you follow lack of evidence?
Which evidence is that? That which is external, but can only be evaluated internally, because this is the only means by which you have to evaluate anything? Hence I'm afraid all you can really do is chalk it up to "subjective experience." Which, need not be a problem though, if in fact you understand this is an honest assessment of how the mind works.

In which case it's this same process, that is if you will begin to listen, that will give you insight into yourself and just about everything else. In fact, you can say this is the means by which God speaks to you man (through the means of honest assessment). Although granted, you need not necessarily make the "God association" in order to understand who you are.
 
  • #38
Zero
Originally posted by Iacchus32
Which evidence is that? That which is external, but can only be evaluated internally, because this is the only means by which you have to evaluate anything? Hence I'm afraid all you can really do is chalk it up to "subjective experience." Which, need not be a problem though, if in fact you understand this is an honest assessment of how the mind works.

In which case it's this same process, that is if you will begin to listen, that will give you insight into yourself and just about everything else. In fact, you can say this is the means by which God speaks to you man (through the means of honest assessment). Although granted, you need not necessarily make the "God association" in order to understand who you are.
Blah blah blah...your created mythological god again?
 
  • #39
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The question is, to my sense: evidence of what? It is relatively obvious that once we have evidence of something that points one way, then "we need to follow that way to its conclusion". That is fine. But -- as Zero's question about lack of evidence shows -- the preliminaries are the tricky part. To my sense, already there an openness of mind is rather useful.

But maybe I should give an example. Logic cannot be proved as such; only specific logics can be proved (e.g. modal, fuzzy, etc.). Goedel's theorem is there for clarifying this. So how can we have evidence of logic as such? What I have called 'listening' is the 'dimension' that allowed Goedel (in this example) to think clearly the thorny issue. He sought evidence where there was none.
 
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  • #40
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Originally posted by Zero
Blah blah blah...your created mythological god again?
The "evidence" is within. Always has and always will be. Now, if you wish to associate that evidence with the "myth of evolution," then that's another story I guess? ...

So what is the evidence to anything if we are unable to mirror it within? How do we "know" that it's true? Isn't that afterall what makes us Human, our ability to do this?
 
  • #41
BoulderHead
Originally posted by Iacchus32
…So what is the evidence to anything if we are unable to mirror it within? How do we "know" that it's true? …
By believing?
The established method is to validate the evidence under controlled conditions by independent inquires. This is why it is natural even for idealist minded individuals to relate their experiences/observations to others…

Ask yourself; can I validate that which is within another?

The "evidence" is within. Always has and always will be.
The counter argument to ‘knowing’ there is a deity through wholly personal inner experience goes something like this;

1a) you tell me that you stubbed your toe and it is swollen.
This I can accept at face value.

1b) you then tell me the reason you stubbed your toe was due, say, to the actions of another individual.
This I cannot accept at face value.

2a) you tell me you have had an overpowering and irresistible feeling that you have been in the presence of a deity.
This I can accept at face value.

2b) you then tell me a deity was responsible for the feeling you had.
This I cannot accept at face value.
 
  • #42
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Originally posted by BoulderHead
By believing?
The established method is to validate the evidence under controlled conditions by independent inquires. This is why it is natural even for idealist minded individuals to relate their experiences/observations to others…
But don't you believe we're endowed with the capabilties to see things for ourselves? Or else how would we be able to know "the truth" of anything? Indeed, seeing is believing.


Ask yourself; can I validate that which is within another?
Sure you can, if you've been given the capacity to experience the same thing.


The counter argument to ‘knowing’ there is a deity through wholly personal inner experience goes something like this;

1a) you tell me that you stubbed your toe and it is swollen.
This I can accept at face value.

1b) you then tell me the reason you stubbed your toe was due, say, to the actions of another individual.
This I cannot accept at face value.

2a) you tell me you have had an overpowering and irresistible feeling that you have been in the presence of a deity.
This I can accept at face value.

2b) you then tell me a deity was responsible for the feeling you had.
This I cannot accept at face value.
Truth is revealed to us through our experience, and unless it is revealed to us in this way, then there is nothing to say we should have to accept it. Again, seeing is believing. :wink:
 
  • #43
BoulderHead
Originally posted by Iacchus32
But don't you believe we're endowed with the capabilties to see things for ourselves? Or else how would we be able to know "the truth" of anything? Indeed, seeing is believing.
Maybe I’m just not ‘seeing’ the same thing you are…

Sure you can, if you've been given the capacity to experience the same thing.
What do you suppose are the implications of the word “if” in the above?

Truth is revealed to us through our experience…
Mistakes and falsity are likewise revealed, too.
If truths are revealed incrementally as the above seems to suggest, then stepping off the Tram prematurely may leave an individual shy of Terminal ‘T’...

…and unless it is revealed to us in this way, then there is nothing to say we should have to accept it. Again, seeing is believing. :wink:
Believing isn’t necessarily the same thing as knowing.
 
  • #44
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I feel sorry for the blind man who don't believing anything.
 
  • #45
BoulderHead
Belief does not require as a prerequisite, the ability to see.
 
  • #46
Zero
Originally posted by Iacchus32
The "evidence" is within. Always has and always will be. Now, if you wish to associate that evidence with the "myth of evolution," then that's another story I guess? ...

So what is the evidence to anything if we are unable to mirror it within? How do we "know" that it's true? Isn't that afterall what makes us Human, our ability to do this?
It doesn't count as evidence unless it can be shared with everyone, and everyone can agree on it...and that's without brainwashing or shrooms.
 
  • #47
Another God
Staff Emeritus
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Originally posted by Iacchus32
The "evidence" is within.
An interesting point that was brought to my attention just recently was the beliefs of the Pragmatist Philosopher John Dewey. Being someone heavily influenced by the discussions in these forums, when told that Dewey's stance was that there is no distinction between Inner and Outer, that the world that exists 'out there' is precisely the world we live in, and thats all there is, I questioned it.

Eventually I realised that I had no reasonable basis to ignore his points, being namely that the distinction between inner and outer is a relic of old outdated philosophy with no basis. The world exists, and we exist in it, and thats all there is to it.

I dunno, I haven't explained this incredibly well, but I don't know it very well yet. I just know that after a good discussion with my lecturer left me wondering...
 
  • #48
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The distinction of Inner versus Outer is indeed not a quality of reality, but a choice of humans. After all, as I stated some days earlier, the instance that judges the Inner and Outer is the same; it just happens to feel a lot closer to what it calls its Inner than to the Outer, because it has a more direct access to the first.

In times where knowledge is being defined as "justified true belief" (with ensuing woes like the Gettier problem), it is difficult to get out of the cage of belief at all. We should again focus on full universal certainty, not the usual fragmented theories and knowledge. Firmly believing that complete knowledge is impossible is the first step towards actually making it impossible. One should at least leave open a door to endeavors that seek to be better than that.

It would thus make sense to select approaches that don't fall into the trap of primal assumptions and hence subdivisions, and which can afford a truly universal categoreality. But that's not possible in the scope of traditional methodology. This is why I advocate another path than the traditional....
 
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  • #49
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Originally posted by BoulderHead
Belief does not require as a prerequisite, the ability to see.
That would be blind faith then. In which case seeing is believing. :wink:
 
  • #50
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Originally posted by Zero
It doesn't count as evidence unless it can be shared with everyone, and everyone can agree on it...and that's without brainwashing or shrooms.
This is purely a myth. Since when are we going to get even two people to agree 100% on anything? It'll never happen ... except perhaps in "somebody else's" mind. :wink:
 

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