Total Posts:18|Showing Posts:1-18
Jump to topic:

What is knowledge...

Skepticalone
Posts: 6,095
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/18/2016 9:55:53 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
...and how is it acquired?
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
Deb-8-A-Bull
Posts: 2,181
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/18/2016 10:17:08 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/18/2016 9:55:53 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
...and how is it acquired?

I forget who said it. But When you learn things like at school and at a young age, then you forget about learning it . Knowledge is what's left.
dhardage
Posts: 4,545
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/18/2016 10:24:51 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/18/2016 9:55:53 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
...and how is it acquired?

My definition of knowledge is information we have acquired and deemed to be accurate. We acquire it via our senses by reading, doing, touching, listening, and experiencing. We confirm it by experiment and personal experience as well. I'm not a philosopher and I don't examine my own epistemology too closely but that's how I see it.
dhardage
Posts: 4,545
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/18/2016 10:25:45 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/18/2016 10:17:08 PM, Deb-8-A-Bull wrote:
At 2/18/2016 9:55:53 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
...and how is it acquired?

I forget who said it. But When you learn things like at school and at a young age, then you forget about learning it . Knowledge is what's left.

Mark Twain said knowledge is that which remains after everything you learned in school is forgotten. Is that what you are referring to?
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,095
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/18/2016 10:34:39 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/18/2016 10:24:51 PM, dhardage wrote:
At 2/18/2016 9:55:53 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
...and how is it acquired?

My definition of knowledge is information we have acquired and deemed to be accurate. We acquire it via our senses by reading, doing, touching, listening, and experiencing. We confirm it by experiment and personal experience as well. I'm not a philosopher and I don't examine my own epistemology too closely but that's how I see it.

I agree. I asked because some of our believing friends seem to have an alternative view.
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
Deb-8-A-Bull
Posts: 2,181
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/18/2016 10:38:19 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/18/2016 10:25:45 PM, dhardage wrote:
At 2/18/2016 10:17:08 PM, Deb-8-A-Bull wrote:
At 2/18/2016 9:55:53 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
...and how is it acquired?

I forget who said it. But When you learn things like at school and at a young age, then you forget about learning it . Knowledge is what's left.

Mark Twain said knowledge is that which remains after everything you learned in school is forgotten. Is that what you are referring to?

Yes Thx . I like it ,
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/18/2016 10:42:12 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/18/2016 9:55:53 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
...and how is it acquired?
Great question, Skep.

From an empirical perspective (that is to say: a functional, pragmatic perspective), I would say that knowledge is systematically accumulated information producing accurate, reliable, independently verifiable answers to specific, significant questions.

Breaking it down:

Data are precise, accurate empirical observations;
Information is the precise, accurate, transparent answer to a significant, specific question;
Knowledge is information producing accurate, reliable, independently verifiable answers to specific, significant questions.

To explain the adjectives:

Precision: exactness of specification;
Accuracy: correctness within tolerance;
Reliable: consistent, repeatable;
Transparent: data and methods are fully specified;
Independent: confirmable through multiple unrelated sources;
Specific: clear, coherent definition
Significant: you can act on it

Knowledge is acquired by systematic and precise empirical observation to reduce ignorance and inaccuracy. Or put simply, we develop and improve knowledge by developing falsifiable conjectures (i.e. hypotheses), and accumulating observational data that eliminate wrong ideas.

I'm not saying that's the only kind of knowledge or that this is the only way to develop and improve it. What I'm saying is that anything less specific, significant, independent or reliable than this definition should not be called knowledge; and any method we claim produces knowledge ought to meet this minimum standard, since this is presently the most pragmatic and effective standard we know of.

I hope that may be useful.
DPMartin
Posts: 1,096
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/18/2016 10:51:40 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
The OED original definition is v; To own the knowledge of; to confess; to recognize or admit as true and n; Acknowledgement, confession. b. Acknowledgement or recognition of the position or claims.
Therefore to know:
To perceive (a thing or person) as identical with one perceived before, or of which one has a previous notion; to recognize; to identify. Sometimes with again; also, later, with for.

So in the case of "to know God" in Christian terms, one cannot know God without what is of God that recognizes God, hence born of what is of God. So to "know" God one must acknowledge and confess God to God and ask that on may come to know Him. And that requirement is in the name of, and through the Lord Jesus Christ. And yes the acknowledgement is through faith.
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,095
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/18/2016 11:10:20 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/18/2016 10:42:12 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 2/18/2016 9:55:53 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
...and how is it acquired?
Great question, Skep.

From an empirical perspective (that is to say: a functional, pragmatic perspective), I would say that knowledge is systematically accumulated information producing accurate, reliable, independently verifiable answers to specific, significant questions.

Breaking it down:

Data are precise, accurate empirical observations;
Information is the precise, accurate, transparent answer to a significant, specific question;
Knowledge is information producing accurate, reliable, independently verifiable answers to specific, significant questions.

To explain the adjectives:

Precision: exactness of specification;
Accuracy: correctness within tolerance;
Reliable: consistent, repeatable;
Transparent: data and methods are fully specified;
Independent: confirmable through multiple unrelated sources;
Specific: clear, coherent definition
Significant: you can act on it

Knowledge is acquired by systematic and precise empirical observation to reduce ignorance and inaccuracy. Or put simply, we develop and improve knowledge by developing falsifiable conjectures (i.e. hypotheses), and accumulating observational data that eliminate wrong ideas.

I'm not saying that's the only kind of knowledge or that this is the only way to develop and improve it. What I'm saying is that anything less specific, significant, independent or reliable than this definition should not be called knowledge; and any method we claim produces knowledge ought to meet this minimum standard, since this is presently the most pragmatic and effective standard we know of.

I hope that may be useful.

Thanks, Ruv. That is helpful.

Would intuition play any role in knowledge or the acquisition of it?
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,095
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/18/2016 11:15:54 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/18/2016 10:51:40 PM, DPMartin wrote:
The OED original definition is v; To own the knowledge of; to confess; to recognize or admit as true and n; Acknowledgement, confession. b. Acknowledgement or recognition of the position or claims.
Therefore to know:
To perceive (a thing or person) as identical with one perceived before, or of which one has a previous notion; to recognize; to identify. Sometimes with again; also, later, with for.



So in the case of "to know God" in Christian terms, one cannot know God without what is of God that recognizes God, hence born of what is of God. So to "know" God one must acknowledge and confess God to God and ask that on may come to know Him. And that requirement is in the name of, and through the Lord Jesus Christ. And yes the acknowledgement is through faith.

DP, it's not clear to me what you mean. I believe you're saying 'to know God we must know God'. Can you clarify, please?
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/18/2016 11:18:05 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/18/2016 11:10:20 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 2/18/2016 10:42:12 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 2/18/2016 9:55:53 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
...and how is it acquired?
Great question, Skep.

From an empirical perspective (that is to say: a functional, pragmatic perspective), I would say that knowledge is systematically accumulated information producing accurate, reliable, independently verifiable answers to specific, significant questions.

Breaking it down:

Data are precise, accurate empirical observations;
Information is the precise, accurate, transparent answer to a significant, specific question;
Knowledge is information producing accurate, reliable, independently verifiable answers to specific, significant questions.

To explain the adjectives:

Precision: exactness of specification;
Accuracy: correctness within tolerance;
Reliable: consistent, repeatable;
Transparent: data and methods are fully specified;
Independent: confirmable through multiple unrelated sources;
Specific: clear, coherent definition
Significant: you can act on it

Knowledge is acquired by systematic and precise empirical observation to reduce ignorance and inaccuracy. Or put simply, we develop and improve knowledge by developing falsifiable conjectures (i.e. hypotheses), and accumulating observational data that eliminate wrong ideas.

I'm not saying that's the only kind of knowledge or that this is the only way to develop and improve it. What I'm saying is that anything less specific, significant, independent or reliable than this definition should not be called knowledge; and any method we claim produces knowledge ought to meet this minimum standard, since this is presently the most pragmatic and effective standard we know of.

I hope that may be useful.

Thanks, Ruv. That is helpful.
Glad to help, Your Skepitude!

Would intuition play any role in knowledge or the acquisition of it?
Absolutely. Intuition can produce conjectures about models, observations, ontologies (new things that might be observed, or new ways to classify them), methods and systematic sources of error that can then be validated and verified through observation, and lead to better knowledge, and better methods to produce it.

So what is intuition, epistemologically?

It sorta doesn't matter, since what matters is whether it's useful. But empirically, we could view intuition as conjecture born of tacit experiences -- that is, experiences we've connected in novel ways, but haven't formalised, documented or tested.

Obviously, the more we experience, the more material we have to build intuitions from; the more creative we are, the more novel the conjectures we produce, and the wiser we are (that is, the more we're aware of the concerns and connections behind our questions), the more likely our intuitions are to be useful.

So empirical knowledge not only accommodates intuitions; it benefits from them. In the same vein, I could show you how tarot cards can help empirical knowledge too, depending on how you use them. :)
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,095
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/18/2016 11:31:04 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/18/2016 11:18:05 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 2/18/2016 11:10:20 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 2/18/2016 10:42:12 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 2/18/2016 9:55:53 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
...and how is it acquired?
Great question, Skep.

From an empirical perspective (that is to say: a functional, pragmatic perspective), I would say that knowledge is systematically accumulated information producing accurate, reliable, independently verifiable answers to specific, significant questions.

Breaking it down:

Data are precise, accurate empirical observations;
Information is the precise, accurate, transparent answer to a significant, specific question;
Knowledge is information producing accurate, reliable, independently verifiable answers to specific, significant questions.

To explain the adjectives:

Precision: exactness of specification;
Accuracy: correctness within tolerance;
Reliable: consistent, repeatable;
Transparent: data and methods are fully specified;
Independent: confirmable through multiple unrelated sources;
Specific: clear, coherent definition
Significant: you can act on it

Knowledge is acquired by systematic and precise empirical observation to reduce ignorance and inaccuracy. Or put simply, we develop and improve knowledge by developing falsifiable conjectures (i.e. hypotheses), and accumulating observational data that eliminate wrong ideas.

I'm not saying that's the only kind of knowledge or that this is the only way to develop and improve it. What I'm saying is that anything less specific, significant, independent or reliable than this definition should not be called knowledge; and any method we claim produces knowledge ought to meet this minimum standard, since this is presently the most pragmatic and effective standard we know of.

I hope that may be useful.

Thanks, Ruv. That is helpful.
Glad to help, Your Skepitude!

Would intuition play any role in knowledge or the acquisition of it?
Absolutely. Intuition can produce conjectures about models, observations, ontologies (new things that might be observed, or new ways to classify them), methods and systematic sources of error that can then be validated and verified through observation, and lead to better knowledge, and better methods to produce it.

So what is intuition, epistemologically?

It sorta doesn't matter, since what matters is whether it's useful. But empirically, we could view intuition as conjecture born of tacit experiences -- that is, experiences we've connected in novel ways, but haven't formalised, documented or tested.

Obviously, the more we experience, the more material we have to build intuitions from; the more creative we are, the more novel the conjectures we produce, and the wiser we are (that is, the more we're aware of the concerns and connections behind our questions), the more likely our intuitions are to be useful.


So empirical knowledge not only accommodates intuitions; it benefits from them. In the same vein, I could show you how tarot cards can help empirical knowledge too, depending on how you use them. :)

Okay, one final question (if you don't mind) before I mull this over for a while : Is "magical thinking" a type of intuition?
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/19/2016 12:27:06 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/18/2016 11:31:04 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 2/18/2016 11:18:05 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 2/18/2016 11:10:20 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
Would intuition play any role in knowledge or the acquisition of it?
Absolutely. Intuition can produce conjectures about models, observations, ontologies (new things that might be observed, or new ways to classify them), methods and systematic sources of error that can then be validated and verified through observation, and lead to better knowledge, and better methods to produce it.
So what is intuition, epistemologically?
It sorta doesn't matter, since what matters is whether it's useful. But empirically, we could view intuition as conjecture born of tacit experiences -- that is, experiences we've connected in novel ways, but haven't formalised, documented or tested.
Obviously, the more we experience, the more material we have to build intuitions from; the more creative we are, the more novel the conjectures we produce, and the wiser we are (that is, the more we're aware of the concerns and connections behind our questions), the more likely our intuitions are to be useful.
So empirical knowledge not only accommodates intuitions; it benefits from them. In the same vein, I could show you how tarot cards can help empirical knowledge too, depending on how you use them. :)
Okay, one final question (if you don't mind) before I mull this over for a while : Is "magical thinking" a type of intuition?
I don't at all mind, Skep, since this topic is both an interest and a passion for me.

(By way of disclosure though, this is an informatician talking about a subject of psychological and sociological study, so I don't claim any of this is thoroughly researched; it's just my take on things.)

Magical thinking is a product of intuition, but its primary purpose isn't knowledge in the sense we've discussed above. Its job is to screen, order, manage and use the knowledge we have to make ourselves feel safer, happier and more secure with what we know. So it's a psychological defense mechanism -- a product of ego. Everyone does it sometimes, and psychologists say it helps maintain psychological well-being. For all I know, there may be some evolutionary benefits to species too.

The idea with magical thinking is you think your way to the world you wished for, rather than engineering the world you've got. Not all magical thinking is belief in magic. It's also deciding that a 5% chance of win favours you more than 19 other guys, while an 80% chance of loss is more likely to happen to four other guys than you. A 20something's belief they're invulnerable is magical thinking; so is a belief that everyone has a perfect job, or a soul-mate looking for them, that every citizen can afford their own home if they work hard enough, and that every actor has Hollywood stardom awaiting them if they only believe.

While some magical thinking is healthy psychologically, the issue with it epistemologically is that if it becomes a dominant paradigm, then your knowledge quickly gets out of step from the real world it's meant to understand. Essentially, you start loading your knowledge-base with information supporting what you want to believe, rather than information that will help you discover what is reliable. Eventually your knowledge becomes so contaminated, and your learning and evaluation methods so corrupt, that you can no longer see what's reasonable or reliable at all and you start blaming any failures on other sources.

A real-world example of this is the 'investor's trap', where if you cut your losses on a bad investment, you get certain loss, while if you continue over-investing, you maintain hope of recovering your money. Over-extended lenders can look for signs of recovery on a bad investment, while ignoring signs that their own decisions are becoming less objective and reliable. This can affect lenders, gamblers, owners of failing businesses, stockmarket day-traders, owners who've over-capitalised their homes, and so on.

Yet one reason magical thinking might be beneficial to our species is that sometimes, however rarely, an overly hopeful conjecture might be right. Think of it this way: if you're fatally wrong about an overly hopeful conjecture, then the species can afford to lose you. Yet we're a cooperative species, so if you're right about an overly hopeful conjecture then the whole community may benefit.

So magical thinking might sometimes produce viable knowledge, but it also can produce systematic ignorance and error that contaminate your methods. So we need epistemological tricks to get the benefits while limiting the costs. Falsifiability is key: it's fine to wish upon a star, but we need to know empirically whether our wish actually has been granted, or whether we've wasted our efforts. :) Actionability is relevant too: magical thinking about situations we don't have to action is far less risk than magical thinking in situations we do. :)

Great questions, Skep. Good luck with your ponderings here!
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,095
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/19/2016 1:25:00 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/19/2016 12:27:06 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 2/18/2016 11:31:04 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 2/18/2016 11:18:05 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 2/18/2016 11:10:20 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
Would intuition play any role in knowledge or the acquisition of it?
Absolutely. Intuition can produce conjectures about models, observations, ontologies (new things that might be observed, or new ways to classify them), methods and systematic sources of error that can then be validated and verified through observation, and lead to better knowledge, and better methods to produce it.
So what is intuition, epistemologically?
It sorta doesn't matter, since what matters is whether it's useful. But empirically, we could view intuition as conjecture born of tacit experiences -- that is, experiences we've connected in novel ways, but haven't formalised, documented or tested.
Obviously, the more we experience, the more material we have to build intuitions from; the more creative we are, the more novel the conjectures we produce, and the wiser we are (that is, the more we're aware of the concerns and connections behind our questions), the more likely our intuitions are to be useful.
So empirical knowledge not only accommodates intuitions; it benefits from them. In the same vein, I could show you how tarot cards can help empirical knowledge too, depending on how you use them. :)
Okay, one final question (if you don't mind) before I mull this over for a while : Is "magical thinking" a type of intuition?
I don't at all mind, Skep, since this topic is both an interest and a passion for me.

(By way of disclosure though, this is an informatician talking about a subject of psychological and sociological study, so I don't claim any of this is thoroughly researched; it's just my take on things.)

Magical thinking is a product of intuition, but its primary purpose isn't knowledge in the sense we've discussed above. Its job is to screen, order, manage and use the knowledge we have to make ourselves feel safer, happier and more secure with what we know. So it's a psychological defense mechanism -- a product of ego. Everyone does it sometimes, and psychologists say it helps maintain psychological well-being. For all I know, there may be some evolutionary benefits to species too.

The idea with magical thinking is you think your way to the world you wished for, rather than engineering the world you've got. Not all magical thinking is belief in magic. It's also deciding that a 5% chance of win favours you more than 19 other guys, while an 80% chance of loss is more likely to happen to four other guys than you. A 20something's belief they're invulnerable is magical thinking; so is a belief that everyone has a perfect job, or a soul-mate looking for them, that every citizen can afford their own home if they work hard enough, and that every actor has Hollywood stardom awaiting them if they only believe.

While some magical thinking is healthy psychologically, the issue with it epistemologically is that if it becomes a dominant paradigm, then your knowledge quickly gets out of step from the real world it's meant to understand. Essentially, you start loading your knowledge-base with information supporting what you want to believe, rather than information that will help you discover what is reliable. Eventually your knowledge becomes so contaminated, and your learning and evaluation methods so corrupt, that you can no longer see what's reasonable or reliable at all and you start blaming any failures on other sources.

A real-world example of this is the 'investor's trap', where if you cut your losses on a bad investment, you get certain loss, while if you continue over-investing, you maintain hope of recovering your money. Over-extended lenders can look for signs of recovery on a bad investment, while ignoring signs that their own decisions are becoming less objective and reliable. This can affect lenders, gamblers, owners of failing businesses, stockmarket day-traders, owners who've over-capitalised their homes, and so on.

Yet one reason magical thinking might be beneficial to our species is that sometimes, however rarely, an overly hopeful conjecture might be right. Think of it this way: if you're fatally wrong about an overly hopeful conjecture, then the species can afford to lose you. Yet we're a cooperative species, so if you're right about an overly hopeful conjecture then the whole community may benefit.

So magical thinking might sometimes produce viable knowledge, but it also can produce systematic ignorance and error that contaminate your methods. So we need epistemological tricks to get the benefits while limiting the costs. Falsifiability is key: it's fine to wish upon a star, but we need to know empirically whether our wish actually has been granted, or whether we've wasted our efforts. :) Actionability is relevant too: magical thinking about situations we don't have to action is far less risk than magical thinking in situations we do. :)

Great questions, Skep. Good luck with your ponderings here!

Thanks for your input, Ruv!
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
Ramshutu
Posts: 4,063
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/19/2016 4:59:40 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/18/2016 9:55:53 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
...and how is it acquired?

This is a topic that is people here tend to trip up on, almost all of the time, especially when making nuanced philosophical arguments what what we do and don't know.

There area really three aspects that we need to consider.

Truth is the actual state of reality, regardless of what it appears like, or not.

Belief (and I don't mean this in the religious sense), is a personal opinion on what the actual state of reality really is that may or may not be accurate.

Knowledge is a measure of how accurately, and how confidently you can show that something is true.

Faith is effectively the process of convincing yourself that belief is knowledge.

Knowledge isn't about proof, but really about eliminating possibilities. Most importantly, and quite a lot more slippery, is that knowledge is dependent on your frame of reference.

It'll probably be best to clarify this with an analogy; to borrow an analogy from AronRa for a moment.

Lets say I saw a 10 tonne T-Rex walking down the street. I know that I saw a T-Rex, as my frame of reference is what my eyes are telling me, but do I know there was actually a real living T-Rex that walked down the street in the frame of reference that human beings experience as reality.

Did anyone else see it?

If the answer is yes; then you've removed the possibility you were hallucinating. If there was dung, video's, news reports, damage to buildings as massive-a** dinosaur tracks up and down the street, the collection of data starts rendering alternative possibilities more unlikely than there being a living T-Rex. There will also come a point where the alternative possibilities become even more and convoluted, to the point that you can honestly say you "know" there was a T-rex walking down the street.

What if there was none of that?

There was no dung, no damage, no one else saw it, there are no tracks, no video and none of physical evidence one would expect to see if there was actually a T-Rex, and while I may believe there was actually a T-Rex, the absence of any of that physical data when there should have been, my ability to explain either where it came from or where it went to, combined with the plausible alternative possibility that my brain simply malfunctioned means that while I may believe that T-rex actually existed, I can't claim that I know it did.

Seeing is believing. Seeing isn't knowing.

The problem is that in terms of what my brain observed I definitely did see it, and I definitely know I saw it, in terms of what I experienced or saw is real, I don't know and can't claim that I do; at best I can say I know what I "think" I saw, because I made an observation of something within my own frame of reference; but I can't establish anything outside that frame of reference objectively, so other than that, I just don't know.

So, given this, I "believe" there was a T-Rex. I don't "know" there was a T-Rex.

However, if I was convinced there definitely was a T-Rex based on my own "personal experience", and despite not really knowing whether it was actually there, I made the claim that it definitely was; that would be "faith" because I am confusing the belief with knowledge.

One thing I wanted to point out, is the main issue that everyone seems to trip up on when railing against science.

The phrase "Know for certain", and "how can you prove..." when it comes to reality is a contradiction-in-terms.

You can't.

I can't, neither can anyone. Unless they confuse belief with knowledge or simply pretend that they do.

Essentially, to know something about reality, you have to be able to show that the data or information is indicative of one explanation or possibility over any other; however, any number of speculatively invented explanations could also be posited, that you can neither show, nor disprove and so could be true. As a result, even at your most certain there is always the possibility that you could be wrong and don't know it. Unlikely, granted, but still possible.

Even statements such as "the sky is blue", is not known for certain, although to all intents and purposes, we do; because there could be some weird explanation involving all sorts of weird convoluted physics that render it's blueness some obtuse illusion.

So to answer the second question; to know something, you have to be able to show it.

In terms of logic and maths, showing things is pretty easy because truth in a maths and logics is dependent only on itself as a frame of reference. So I can say in common mathematical terms 1+1 = 2, but trying to establish whether 1+1=2 in reality as a whole, the evidence seems to indicate that is almost certainly true, it possible that there is some convoluted illusion that makes us think that but it really isn't.

To show something about reality, you need to indicate that one explanation is the most probable; and more probable than any others by a significant margin.
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,095
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/19/2016 2:34:16 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/19/2016 4:59:40 AM, Ramshutu wrote:
At 2/18/2016 9:55:53 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
...and how is it acquired?

This is a topic that is people here tend to trip up on, almost all of the time, especially when making nuanced philosophical arguments what what we do and don't know.

There area really three aspects that we need to consider.

Truth is the actual state of reality, regardless of what it appears like, or not.

Belief (and I don't mean this in the religious sense), is a personal opinion on what the actual state of reality really is that may or may not be accurate.

Knowledge is a measure of how accurately, and how confidently you can show that something is true.

Faith is effectively the process of convincing yourself that belief is knowledge.

Knowledge isn't about proof, but really about eliminating possibilities. Most importantly, and quite a lot more slippery, is that knowledge is dependent on your frame of reference.


It'll probably be best to clarify this with an analogy; to borrow an analogy from AronRa for a moment.

Lets say I saw a 10 tonne T-Rex walking down the street. I know that I saw a T-Rex, as my frame of reference is what my eyes are telling me, but do I know there was actually a real living T-Rex that walked down the street in the frame of reference that human beings experience as reality.

Did anyone else see it?

If the answer is yes; then you've removed the possibility you were hallucinating. If there was dung, video's, news reports, damage to buildings as massive-a** dinosaur tracks up and down the street, the collection of data starts rendering alternative possibilities more unlikely than there being a living T-Rex. There will also come a point where the alternative possibilities become even more and convoluted, to the point that you can honestly say you "know" there was a T-rex walking down the street.

What if there was none of that?

There was no dung, no damage, no one else saw it, there are no tracks, no video and none of physical evidence one would expect to see if there was actually a T-Rex, and while I may believe there was actually a T-Rex, the absence of any of that physical data when there should have been, my ability to explain either where it came from or where it went to, combined with the plausible alternative possibility that my brain simply malfunctioned means that while I may believe that T-rex actually existed, I can't claim that I know it did.

Seeing is believing. Seeing isn't knowing.

The problem is that in terms of what my brain observed I definitely did see it, and I definitely know I saw it, in terms of what I experienced or saw is real, I don't know and can't claim that I do; at best I can say I know what I "think" I saw, because I made an observation of something within my own frame of reference; but I can't establish anything outside that frame of reference objectively, so other than that, I just don't know.

So, given this, I "believe" there was a T-Rex. I don't "know" there was a T-Rex.

However, if I was convinced there definitely was a T-Rex based on my own "personal experience", and despite not really knowing whether it was actually there, I made the claim that it definitely was; that would be "faith" because I am confusing the belief with knowledge.




One thing I wanted to point out, is the main issue that everyone seems to trip up on when railing against science.

The phrase "Know for certain", and "how can you prove..." when it comes to reality is a contradiction-in-terms.

You can't.

I can't, neither can anyone. Unless they confuse belief with knowledge or simply pretend that they do.

That's a good point. I'm sure I have been guilty of this.

Essentially, to know something about reality, you have to be able to show that the data or information is indicative of one explanation or possibility over any other; however, any number of speculatively invented explanations could also be posited, that you can neither show, nor disprove and so could be true. As a result, even at your most certain there is always the possibility that you could be wrong and don't know it. Unlikely, granted, but still possible.

Even statements such as "the sky is blue", is not known for certain, although to all intents and purposes, we do; because there could be some weird explanation involving all sorts of weird convoluted physics that render it's blueness some obtuse illusion.

So to answer the second question; to know something, you have to be able to show it.

The problem I run into is opponents attack the evidence and say it shows something else or they say a layman can't possibly know what the evidence shows. The first objection is a matter discussing the evidence, but the second attempts to put knowledge beyond the reach of the layman. What are your thoughts on this second objection?

In terms of logic and maths, showing things is pretty easy because truth in a maths and logics is dependent only on itself as a frame of reference. So I can say in common mathematical terms 1+1 = 2, but trying to establish whether 1+1=2 in reality as a whole, the evidence seems to indicate that is almost certainly true, it possible that there is some convoluted illusion that makes us think that but it really isn't.

To show something about reality, you need to indicate that one explanation is the most probable; and more probable than any others by a significant margin.
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
DPMartin
Posts: 1,096
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/19/2016 3:09:59 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/18/2016 11:15:54 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 2/18/2016 10:51:40 PM, DPMartin wrote:
The OED original definition is v; To own the knowledge of; to confess; to recognize or admit as true and n; Acknowledgement, confession. b. Acknowledgement or recognition of the position or claims.
Therefore to know:
To perceive (a thing or person) as identical with one perceived before, or of which one has a previous notion; to recognize; to identify. Sometimes with again; also, later, with for.



So in the case of "to know God" in Christian terms, one cannot know God without what is of God that recognizes God, hence born of what is of God. So to "know" God one must acknowledge and confess God to God and ask that on may come to know Him. And that requirement is in the name of, and through the Lord Jesus Christ. And yes the acknowledgement is through faith.

DP, it's not clear to me what you mean. I believe you're saying 'to know God we must know God'. Can you clarify, please?

That"s correct, the acknowledgment through faith (in His Word revealed, now in the flesh the Son of God Jesus Christ), to be born of what is of God (the Holy Spirit that is the Presence of God) that would most certainly already know God.
Chaosism
Posts: 2,662
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
2/19/2016 4:06:54 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/18/2016 9:55:53 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
...and how is it acquired?

I can't say too much more than what has been said by others, here, but quickly...

I tend to favor the definition of "justified true belief" as the definition of knowledge, because absolute knowledge is impossible. The epistemological conundrum is evidence in the meaning of "true" being "in accordance with reality". This creates a problem because in order to actually deem something as necessarily true, we must compare it to actual reality, which is the problem to begin with. For example, claim X (description of reality) can only be deemed as true if is identical to Y (reality), and we have to have direct access to Y in order to make this comparison, which we don't, of course (epistemic barrier).

I also acknowledge the analytic/synthetic distinction, as well, because I do think that the truth of analytic propositions (i.e. math, all married men are bachelors) can be determined with certainty, because they derive all of the variable from definitions and not from the actual world. Of course, applying these conclusions to reality re-introduces the same problem.

Regarding the acquisition of knowledge, this can only be done through experience of reality by accepting only beliefs that can be falsified and striving to falsify beliefs and utilizing functional, demonstrable patterns of reality to make predictions (i.e. logical reasoning). All that we know is based on our experiences derived from that which exists beyond our conscious control.

Of course, this is after accepting the necessary assumption requires to advance beyond solipsism.