Welcome All! I'm a dreamer, I hope you are too! A Posse ad Esse, or From possibility to reality, is a general state of mind. I hope you'll share your possibilities with me as I will with you. Namaste~

December 17, 2007

philosophical divergence.

I thought this would make an interesting amendment to the post I made Friday regarding curiosity and continuing to explore and learn. It may get a little philosophical and slightly confusing, but if your interested in how my head works then it may be interesting to you.

I read last night at a blog I’ve been checking into, who’s author and I seem to be very close on many things, about his struggles with the inevitable quandary that can come from questioning the things around us, and the things that we “know”. As we question things with an open mind, and analyze the things we learn, eventually we come to a point where we will be forced to question some of our beliefs. He points to religion and patriotism, and rightly so, as targets of potential conflict. Many of us, if not all, have had a time when our beliefs have been challenged. After the untimely loss or illness of a loved one; “If there were a God, why would he let this happen?”. When learning about backroom dealings, and misdirection in our governments; “Why should I hold allegiance to this Government that just wants to stick it too me?”. If you haven’t had these moments I dare say you’ve led a charmed, if not sheltered, life. I’ve had them time and time again; many times with regard to the same thing as more information has revealed itself.

Plato believed that knowledge is a subset of both Truth and Belief. That is to say that merely believing something does not make it knowledge. By contrast, if a thing is true and irrefutable, yet is not believed, neither does it count as knowledge. Let me present you with a thought I’ve had that challenges this idea. “The sky is blue.” Simple enough right? I can prove it by taking a picture of it, or dragging you out to see it. And you can believe it because it is right before your eyes. Does this make it knowledge? The Truth and Belief arguments have been met; or have they. Can something be proven one way and still not be so? I say yes. In fact the sky is not blue, merely the light waves of the blue spectrum that our eyes are able to discern are blue. The sky is clear (Essentially speaking, Los Angeles not withstanding.) So what then constitutes truth? If I have seen or experienced a thing that cannot be proven outwardly, it is true, or merely belief? Perhaps we have not evolved to a point where some things that can be “felt” can be “proven”. Did Black Holes exist before Steven Hawking provided the method for proving them? Was the earth still round even before we believed it? For that matter, perhaps some things that seem to be provable are not true at all. We once “knew” that the atom was the smallest form of matter in existence, but now “know” that it is not.

Why do I bother to make this point? Because in my life I have learned that there are things that I choose to believe, regardless of their current state of provability or subjectivity. To me they exist as knowledge; at least for the moment. Things like God and good and evil, the existence of self-fulfilling thought and that soul-mates really do exist (And that I found mine by the way.). If we adhere to provable knowledge for everything it would be a dull life indeed. So while I advocate curiosity and the search for knowledge, I would add that that search be tempered by a willingness to believe that which you “know”, yet cannot prove. Search on friends.




Theresa said...

Have you seen the movie "Proof" with Gweyneth Paltrow and Jake Gyllenhaal? It is a nice illustration of your point. A cozy film to watch with one's soulmate too, if you get the chance!

P~ said...

Teresa, I actually haven't, but it is one that my wife and I have both said that we would love to see. Maybe over long weekend coming up. Good to hear from you.