Philosophical Question II ....

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Gl3nn, Feb 18, 2009.

  1. Gl3nn

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    Ok, since the first philosophy thread was popular, here comes question No. 2.


    Should a person's personal point of view be considered an asset in the pursuit of knowledge, or an obstacle to be overcome?

    In other words, do our biases help us or hinder us in the pursuit of truth?



    (Thanks to Schwulboy for helping btw)
     
  2. dong20

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    Why can't they be/do both?
     
  3. Corius

    Corius New Member

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    IMHO the true philosopher, scientist, theologian, etc., knows that human knowledge is always incomplete, We all have to function with the knowledge we have acquired up to any point. The healthly attitude is to be ready to be surprised by the new and also to be ready to accept the new as it appears. The thing about knowing something about anything somehow makes one eager to know even more. And, that can mean having to shed knowledge which turns out to be false. I'm impressed by the fact that the best informed people I know are quick to admit the vast areas of knowledge which are still for them hidden.
     
  4. schwulboy1989

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    how is something both a help and a hinderance?
     
  5. schwulboy1989

    schwulboy1989 Active Member

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    first off, woohoo for the proper english!!!

    how do we separate knowledge/truth and belief?
     
  6. Gl3nn

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    I think knowledge is something accepted by everyone and is the same for everyone in the world and there is proof for most things that can be defined as knowledge. Eg: biology, maths, ...

    Belief is something personal, not the same for everyone and that what someone believes in can not be proven. This is of course when we're talking about religious belief. I can also for example believe in science, that of course, CAN be proven. Belief itself can be proven, but what people believe in cannot...always.
    I don't remember who said it, but it went something like this: When we stop believing in God, we don't start believing in nothing, we start believing in everything. This of course refers to science etc.

    Truth: Lies somewhere in the middle. It can be personal, but something can also be generally accepted as truth by everyone. Eg: gras is green (let's not get into the colour debate, plz. lol). Truth combines both belief and knowledge, I think.

    Of course, what truth, belief and knowledge is, depends on the person you're asking.

    So I guess everything is relative.
     
  7. schwulboy1989

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    so what about when everyone agreed that the world was flat? what about the things that we can't even touch at the moment, like black holes?

    if enough people agree, does that make it more true?
     
  8. dong20

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    Maybe try to think about it ... :rolleyes:
     
  9. Gl3nn

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    Knowledge evolves. With more time and technology comes more knowledge and possible corrections of knowledge (eg: the world isn't flat, but round). You have to take in account the technology and means that people have to see how they came to this knowledge and where it possibly went wrong.

    Usually, if enough people agree, it does make it more true. But those people have to know what they're talking about of course. If for example 10 mechanics are talking about how to solve the economical crisis and 10 economists are talking about it, the economists are of course most believable.

    As I said, everything is relative, everything has its exeptions.
     
  10. Gl3nn

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    Do you mean that it could be a hinderance for knowledge or truth, but knowing that it is a hinderance will make you find other perspectives to try and overcome the hinderance (and therefore it is a help as well)?
     
  11. Smartalk

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    Even before we draw our first breath we are influenced by our genetic make-up. Once in the world we bombard with countless stimuli that stimulate everyone of our senses. These in themselves mould our emotions, our character, our personality and so on. As we grow we encounter an ever-expanding array of both positive and negative experiences. At this juncture it would depend on what we had imputed on each and every experience we have encountered. The thing to remember nothing exists from its own side it is only what we have imputed it to be. It is like having 5 identical computers; it is what is imputed into that computer that dictates what function it will perform. How it is used or abused by a computer or a complete novice who messes around with the root directory. So it is very difficult to conceptualise what would be classed as a help or a hindrance.
     
  12. midlifebear

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    Easy to answer. Read up on how one's personality and world view is built upon schemata as defined in modern psychology. Without a personal schema, you have no basis from which to acquire and assimilate new schemata that are continuously incorporated into your view of reality. Some people adopt or are taught such strong prejudicial schemata they cannot reconcile new information that may be more accurate or beneficial. Note, I've avoided the use of the term "personal bias," because one's schema of reality (whether you believe in a shared and knowable reality or not) is essential for recognizing patterns and differences in patterns of behavior models. By behavior models, I do not necessarily mean just the way another person behaves, but how apples fall to the ground (gravity), a rabid dog may have a frothy and cantankerous demeanor probably best avoided, or how bumping around in the world in general has trained your particular depth perception so that you no longer walk into walls (as you may have when you learned to walk) -- all models that represent existence.

    If you're lucky, you may be able to make it through life with a schema objective enough to realize that "moral" precepts regarding good or evil are not independent forces acting upon humanity from the outside in, but rather the opposite. An individual with an imbalanced unalterable schema identifies and incorporates only schemata that feeds a pyscho-sociological ego so extreme it effects pain and persecution upon others. It's the same with the precept of good, which comes from within and effects what is generally acknowledged, by consensus of others, the absorption of schemata presumed to be beneficial to the collective consciousness.

    Ta da!

    Now go brush your teeth and get ready for bed. Kisses. :smile:
     
    #12 midlifebear, Feb 18, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2009
  13. JustAsking

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    No, actually belief has little to do with a scientific theory. And neither does popular opinion. A theory about something like the shape of the earth has to explain exisiting observations and predict future ones. The better it does that, the more it is accepted as a scientific theory.

    The theory that the earth is flat produces very few accurate predictions and explains very little past observations. So it is considered false. The spherical earth theory does a better job at those things so it is considered the accepted theory.

    As for the OP, when it comes to scientific knowledge, personal point of view has some value. It creates a curiosity about something and it sustains the work of an investigator until the theory is well formed and some evidence starts to build in its favor.

    At that point, however, a good scientist leaves personal opinion behind and pursues the facts as they accumulate. This is how we have ended up with quite a few bizarre but highly useful theories, such as Quantum Mechanics and Relativity. Both of those theories are pretty much "incredible" and the farthest thing from a person's intuition.

    The same goes for such amazing notions as continental drift. If it were left up to personal opinion, no one would have produced a theory like that.
     
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