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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffywolf View Post
    It's true that the thought people attempt that scares the shit out of me. People living in such a distrustful way are capable of anything. I bet most extremists do this too, in order to justify their behaviour.
    I tend to think that it's not distrust but, in fact, trust. Trust in knowledge that will set you free. It's not anything negative or pessimistic that causes you anxiety, but instead, it can give you peace. If you acknowledge that you know nothing, you can free yourself from the restrictions.

    Think about it this way. You "know" something and you hold on to that knowledge and when something comes along that crushes everything you've known before, isn't is horrible? You'd have to pick up the pieces and start from the absolute beginning. And that can be difficult. Causing you, indeed, to distrust everything that comes your way. Harbouring constant negativity.

    But if you accept that you know nothing, that everything is in some fluid state, all the new information that you accumulate easily adds to the old and changes your perspective, and does so in a calm, peaceful manner. Personally, I see freedom in that.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sky is BLUE! View Post
    I tend to think that it's not distrust but, in fact, trust.
    Think about the world before great inventions. That which has made it a place of no certainty has been the search for knowledge. Now we have the capacity to destroy it. If people would have trusted in not knowing we wouldn't have all these problems. The only way of not letting it get worse might be to let it be. It is interesting that Lao Tzu seems to have seen the same "progress" in his time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tao te Ching
    In a little state with a small population, I would so order it,
    that, though there were individuals with the abilities of ten or a
    hundred men, there should be no employment of them; I would make the
    people, while looking on death as a grievous thing, yet not remove
    elsewhere (to avoid it).

    Though they had boats and carriages, they should have no occasion
    to ride in them; though they had buff coats and sharp weapons, they
    should have no occasion to don or use them.

    I would make the people return to the use of knotted cords (instead
    of the written characters).

    They should think their (coarse) food sweet; their (plain) clothes
    beautiful; their (poor) dwellings places of rest; and their common
    (simple) ways sources of enjoyment.

    There should be a neighbouring state within sight, and the voices
    of the fowls and dogs should be heard all the way from it to us, but I
    would make the people to old age, even to death, not have any
    intercourse with it.

  3. #23
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    This knowledge begets ignorance. The ignorant are placid like Buddha may have been. We have these perceptions to discern the truths within it. We navigate reality with these perceptions like the bat navigates the world with echolocation, like a butterfly navigates with ultraviolet vision, like the ant follows the trail with a pheromone trail. This is how we survive. We exist through these perceptions, and without them we would cease to exist. So we might say that we know because we submit to the unknown. Fling yourself into the void of faith.

    I guarantee you that brooding over this knowledge will not enable your ascension to godhood. No. It will kill you. It will prevent you from taking a leap in faith, even when the variables of ignition have been checked and doubly checked and thrice checked. You will sit in submersed contemplation until you drown in ascetic delusion.

    EDIT: Don't use this knowledge to spit information out in rejection. Use it to remove the barb-wire around your mind. To acquire all information and mold it into yourself. Inevitably, you will have a contradiction. What to do? What to do? Does cognitive dissonance form?

  4. #24
    Junior Member DMCubic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffywolf View Post
    I noticed no NT's responded to this thread yet.

    The title is all whack, the premise is illogical and I can't see how someone can possibly benefit from such a pessimistic state of mind.

    That there's much more to learn than what we already know is a fact. And that in terms of the universe there's a long way to go for us. And due to our limited senses, unattainable to some degree.

    Ultimately, striving for more knowledge will always be worth more to me than wiping the slate clean.

    So, to end with an inspirational sentence that goes against the topic title. Build on the foundations of others, don't try to invent the world yourself a new.

    The title *is* in fact whacked out in a sense. I would say that our practical knowledge of the world is certainly valid in the inferential sense. Anyone who enjoys air conditioning, automobiles, modern medicine, and supermarkets has empirical science to thank. But the premise is not totally illogical. When the Buddhists and others say that you should unlearn everything, they don't mean you should un-learn all the math and science and history you took in school.

    What you do need to realize, though, is that none of it has *ultimate* validity because *all* propositional knowledge includes, either explicitly or implicitly, a reliance on unprovable first principles. For example, most scientists (and people in general) believe in matter that exists independent of any cognizing mind. This is entirely unprovable (just look at the flimsiness of G.E. Moore's "proof" of the existence of an external world, the best one we have yet in Western philosophy) and is an article of faith as much as believing in God (and George Berkeley notably thought that the latter was easier to believe in than the former). All the amazing progress science has made notwithstanding, many people are prone to the IMO arrogant assumption that these is ultimate truth in those findings. There is not. All scientific, mathematical, logical, and philosophical knowledge (hell, even our common sense) relies on unprovable axioms that employ undefinable terms. We make them up ad-hoc basically to ensure that we have grounding in our daily life and in our research. Evolution has shaped us to see things in certain ways and take certain first principles more readily than others, but then again Evolution also saw fit to bless us with appendixes, which are worse than useless since the only interesting thing they can ever do is rupture and kill you. So do understand that if you claim to "know" anything expressible in language (yes, even "I am"), you are necessarily going to have unprovable presuppositions you rest your knowledge on. These can be more (belief in a vengeful paternalistic sky-god) or less (belief that any two lines on a plane must either intersect or be parallel) toxic. And the only way to de-toxify them is to see that they are baseless assertions that we use because they are convenient and we want to create a body of theory on that basis (including naive realism, which most people don't call a theory at all - but it is).

    The thing is, knowing this about our axioms doesn't mean our knowledge goes away. We just see it creatively. The non-Euclidean geometry that Riemann invented, making possible Einstein's work in relativity, came about because he questioned the axioms and undefined terms of Euclidean geometry. He realized that you could still get a meaningful and highly useful geometric theory by tweaking the old Euclidean axioms a little bit, a move many mathematicians saw as rather insane. Truly creative, truly powerful thought is barred to those who treat their axioms and undefined terms as sacred cows, or who haven't yet come to the understanding that unprovable first principles are at the root of everything they call knowledge. So by casting all into doubt, you don't wipe the slate clean. You erase all the useless scribbles, compactify and miniaturize what was on there already, and free up tons of new, empty space upon which you can write new things. In doing this we do, in fact, build on the foundations of others, the way Riemann built on Euclid. We just get better at pruning away the bullshit that comes from seeing axioms as rigidly defined truths delivered unto us from on high.


    P.S. If you really want to bake your noodle, consider the fact that "I exist" is an unprovable first principle just like any other. What exactly do you mean by those two words? If you can't exactly say what they mean, then the statement is just a baseless assertion that you take as a first principle.

  5. #25
    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katsuni View Post
    This's regarded by some religions, and several ideologies, as the stepping stone to all else. After giving it a little thought, I think I've actually already been doing so without realizing it consciously.

    The basic idea, is that yeu know nothing; to understand or learn anything, yeu must first accept this, and understand that yeu truly do not know anything. One cannot correct a problem until the problem has been admitted to and identified.

    Now that being said, we have a starting point to work with, similar to the "I think, therefore I am" starting point. Except... we can't really PROVE we think. We may believe such, but such can also be mere illusion and assumption. I've never truly had my thought process actively work, so much as it just magically comes up with related information and makes conclusions based on the information, but there's no real 'thinking' involved, it just happens. It's quite strange when yeu stop to try to think about the actual process...

    Now that being said, we're stuck with knowing nothing. We can't even prove we exist, nor that we think. Great. So we have nothing at all.

    And therein we can use that to determine that if we don't know anything, then we have no basis to assume that we know whot isn't either; we don't know that magic doesn't exist, that god is real, or that we aren't all linked to some hive mind a la the matrix. We have no clue whot is real, which means anything is possible.

    Therefore, we can only rule based on whot seems most plausible, under the assumption that the information presented to us is accurate.

    Our senses can be deceived, our minds can hallucinate or play tricks on us, our memories are largely just key points that get 'filled in' with guesstimates as needed.

    Due to this, we really can only state whot we believe to be true, given this rather shaky foundation to work with.

    Furthermore, this acceptance of our ignorance of reality as a whole, would put us on much better grounds to deal with people. We wouldn't really have racism because we would be able to accept that we flat out don't know anything about that person; all we have are assumptions. We wouldn't need ideological wars, as we would be able to accept others' viewpoints as merely a seperate interpretation, possibly due to having different information.

    And most importantly, we'd be able to get over the concept of "knowing the truth".

    Too many times we believe we "KNOW" whot god wants. Whot the heavans demand, that there is no afterlife, that we have a purpose and a destiny, and that everyone who disagrees is wrong.

    Once we learn that we really flat out don't "KNOW" anything, maybe we can stop dealing in absolutes that only cause harm, and accept that there may be things out there beyond our understanding, and beyond our knowledge base.

    Or maybe it's just late at night, I'm bored, and felt like ranting. Whichever.
    If you know that you do not know you do not know that you know.
    If you do not know that you do not know you are a fool.

  6. #26
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    Wow, Cubic... That sums it up pretty damn good...

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildcat View Post
    If you know that you do not know you do not know that you know.
    If you do not know that you do not know you are a fool.
    Hehe. Exactly.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMCubic View Post
    The title *is* in fact whacked out in a sense. I would say that our practical knowledge of the world is certainly valid in the inferential sense. Anyone who enjoys air conditioning, automobiles, modern medicine, and supermarkets has empirical science to thank. But the premise is not totally illogical. When the Buddhists and others say that you should unlearn everything, they don't mean you should un-learn all the math and science and history you took in school.

    What you do need to realize, though, is that none of it has *ultimate* validity because *all* propositional knowledge includes, either explicitly or implicitly, a reliance on unprovable first principles. For example, most scientists (and people in general) believe in matter that exists independent of any cognizing mind. This is entirely unprovable (just look at the flimsiness of G.E. Moore's "proof" of the existence of an external world, the best one we have yet in Western philosophy) and is an article of faith as much as believing in God (and George Berkeley notably thought that the latter was easier to believe in than the former). All the amazing progress science has made notwithstanding, many people are prone to the IMO arrogant assumption that these is ultimate truth in those findings. There is not. All scientific, mathematical, logical, and philosophical knowledge (hell, even our common sense) relies on unprovable axioms that employ undefinable terms. We make them up ad-hoc basically to ensure that we have grounding in our daily life and in our research. Evolution has shaped us to see things in certain ways and take certain first principles more readily than others, but then again Evolution also saw fit to bless us with appendixes, which are worse than useless since the only interesting thing they can ever do is rupture and kill you. So do understand that if you claim to "know" anything expressible in language (yes, even "I am"), you are necessarily going to have unprovable presuppositions you rest your knowledge on. These can be more (belief in a vengeful paternalistic sky-god) or less (belief that any two lines on a plane must either intersect or be parallel) toxic. And the only way to de-toxify them is to see that they are baseless assertions that we use because they are convenient and we want to create a body of theory on that basis (including naive realism, which most people don't call a theory at all - but it is).

    The thing is, knowing this about our axioms doesn't mean our knowledge goes away. We just see it creatively. The non-Euclidean geometry that Riemann invented, making possible Einstein's work in relativity, came about because he questioned the axioms and undefined terms of Euclidean geometry. He realized that you could still get a meaningful and highly useful geometric theory by tweaking the old Euclidean axioms a little bit, a move many mathematicians saw as rather insane. Truly creative, truly powerful thought is barred to those who treat their axioms and undefined terms as sacred cows, or who haven't yet come to the understanding that unprovable first principles are at the root of everything they call knowledge. So by casting all into doubt, you don't wipe the slate clean. You erase all the useless scribbles, compactify and miniaturize what was on there already, and free up tons of new, empty space upon which you can write new things. In doing this we do, in fact, build on the foundations of others, the way Riemann built on Euclid. We just get better at pruning away the bullshit that comes from seeing axioms as rigidly defined truths delivered unto us from on high.


    P.S. If you really want to bake your noodle, consider the fact that "I exist" is an unprovable first principle just like any other. What exactly do you mean by those two words? If you can't exactly say what they mean, then the statement is just a baseless assertion that you take as a first principle.
    This is surprisingly true. I can remember when I was first introduced to mathematics and I could plainly see it had no basis.

    This bothered me until I read, "The Laws of Form", by the mathematician George Spencer-Brown which told me that all mathematics was based on an injunction, "Make a distinction!".

    Mathematics is based on an injunction? Mathematics is based on an order?

    How fascinating.

    So rather than mathematics being based on unprovable axioms, it is based on a simple order, "Make a distinction!".

  9. #29
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nolla View Post

    You don't define and you don't do anything with it. That is how it is supposed to be. Unconditional. If you can live with someone keeping this attitude, then you got it. You don't demand anything as you know you can't control the other in any case. They give what they want to give and you are happy, since all this is bonus to you if you weren't expecting anything (defining it beforehand).
    I figured that I don't define it because I don't have it and have no desire for it, so I do not seek it either.

    But that might work as well.

    The dangerous aspect of it is potentially making the same mistakes over and over again, if you practice using perspective from knowing nothing and treat every situation a new. Experience (both mine and that of others) is more valuable to me, so I'll stick with that in the general sense. Instead of treating every situation from a blank perspective.

    So no matter which way you look it. Progression is made through building up. Not breaking it down. Keep your knowledge and use it accordingly. That is wisdom.

    Trying to look at things with newborn eyes has no wisdom in it.
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

  10. #30
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMCubic View Post
    The title *is* in fact whacked out in a sense. I would say that our practical knowledge of the world is certainly valid in the inferential sense. Anyone who enjoys air conditioning, automobiles, modern medicine, and supermarkets has empirical science to thank. But the premise is not totally illogical. When the Buddhists and others say that you should unlearn everything, they don't mean you should un-learn all the math and science and history you took in school.

    What you do need to realize, though, is that none of it has *ultimate* validity because *all* propositional knowledge includes, either explicitly or implicitly, a reliance on unprovable first principles. For example, most scientists (and people in general) believe in matter that exists independent of any cognizing mind. This is entirely unprovable (just look at the flimsiness of G.E. Moore's "proof" of the existence of an external world, the best one we have yet in Western philosophy) and is an article of faith as much as believing in God (and George Berkeley notably thought that the latter was easier to believe in than the former). All the amazing progress science has made notwithstanding, many people are prone to the IMO arrogant assumption that these is ultimate truth in those findings. There is not. All scientific, mathematical, logical, and philosophical knowledge (hell, even our common sense) relies on unprovable axioms that employ undefinable terms. We make them up ad-hoc basically to ensure that we have grounding in our daily life and in our research. Evolution has shaped us to see things in certain ways and take certain first principles more readily than others, but then again Evolution also saw fit to bless us with appendixes, which are worse than useless since the only interesting thing they can ever do is rupture and kill you. So do understand that if you claim to "know" anything expressible in language (yes, even "I am"), you are necessarily going to have unprovable presuppositions you rest your knowledge on. These can be more (belief in a vengeful paternalistic sky-god) or less (belief that any two lines on a plane must either intersect or be parallel) toxic. And the only way to de-toxify them is to see that they are baseless assertions that we use because they are convenient and we want to create a body of theory on that basis (including naive realism, which most people don't call a theory at all - but it is).

    The thing is, knowing this about our axioms doesn't mean our knowledge goes away. We just see it creatively. The non-Euclidean geometry that Riemann invented, making possible Einstein's work in relativity, came about because he questioned the axioms and undefined terms of Euclidean geometry. He realized that you could still get a meaningful and highly useful geometric theory by tweaking the old Euclidean axioms a little bit, a move many mathematicians saw as rather insane. Truly creative, truly powerful thought is barred to those who treat their axioms and undefined terms as sacred cows, or who haven't yet come to the understanding that unprovable first principles are at the root of everything they call knowledge. So by casting all into doubt, you don't wipe the slate clean. You erase all the useless scribbles, compactify and miniaturize what was on there already, and free up tons of new, empty space upon which you can write new things. In doing this we do, in fact, build on the foundations of others, the way Riemann built on Euclid. We just get better at pruning away the bullshit that comes from seeing axioms as rigidly defined truths delivered unto us from on high.


    P.S. If you really want to bake your noodle, consider the fact that "I exist" is an unprovable first principle just like any other. What exactly do you mean by those two words? If you can't exactly say what they mean, then the statement is just a baseless assertion that you take as a first principle.
    My problem with the method is that it is radical and useless. Like most arguements you use, most of them are subjective and perspective. Both of these key aspects of our society. Set aside the 'existance principle' for a moment, and I ask you to recognize that these aspects are real because we deem them to be. We created them, in order to guide the continuation of our species along a certain path. They are important factors that we deem neccesary to live in a state of potential harmony. But both have to be based on experience, knowledge and wisdom in order to make things work. The fact we don't live in harmony is only because we lack in our ability to right our wrongs, and come from different upbringings. But even in different upbringings, the fundamental aspects of life and the path we take, are similar to every human being. Potentially compatible.

    So to me it is important to keep what you know and expand on what you know, fervently. To be capable of learning from mistakes made by both you as well as others, and keep pushing the treshold of our existance further and further. And if everyone would do the same the world would no doubt be a better place. Just saying.

    "Knowing that you know nothing" despite being a paradox, is attempting to go backwards on that line. How, in practicality, can that ever be considered a good thing? What positive results does it have? I can't think of any. :p
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

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