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  1. #1
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    Ways to know knowledge...

    I would like to set a framework for us to investigate knowledge and trying to classify ways of knowing in an effort to facilitate further discussion. To start out i would like to apply my own layman's terms before i post a more exhaustive list of ways. I also find it important that most of what we know is a contemplation of many different ways.

    On a surface level I can see how there are 2 main ways of knowing..... direct and indirect. I might assert that the majority of things that we think we know are through faith/trust in a higher authority. This would seem to hold true for anything outside my immediate physical proximity and removed from my direct senses. This would include anything reported to us by another, whether it be a news source, family, friend, or expert that we trust the judgement of. This external knowledge still has to be validated by our own world view in order to be believed or accepted as truth.
    Directly we can know through our own sensory experience, reasoning, or intuition.

    With that being said i would like to submit a longer and possibly more exhaustive list that any One of these could involve much discussion.

    1. Language

    This seems to provide an upper limit to what it is that we can know. We all seem to 'Think' in confines of and in the definitions of our primary language. Some questions in this area would be... "Can we know anything that cannot be communicated in language?" Linguistic determinism would say no.

    2. Sense Perception

    This seems to be the primary way that we can internalize external data or information. "How reliable is sense perception for knowing?"Historically, the view that the senses provide the basis for all our knowledge was challenged by the idea that prior concepts might be needed before any perception takes place at all. Indeed, it is common now to view sense perception as an active process of interpreting the world according to prior expectations, conceptual frameworks and theories. There is, therefore, some disagreement as to whether we directly perceive the world as it is, or whether perception is an active process where we supply much of the content of our experiences ourselves.

    3. Emotion

    Darwin believed that emotions are purely physiological and therefore universal and experienced across all cultures. The opposite view is that of the social constructionists, who argue that emotions depend on a social consciousness, and have no natural basis at all. Emotion has sometimes been regarded as an unreliable way of knowing. Emotions have, for example, been criticized as being irrational obstacles to knowledge that distort our picture of reality. However, others believe that not only do emotions help make sense of social and cultural experiences and behaviours, but they are also the source of social, ethical and political knowledge by helping us form an understanding of the world around us.

    4. Reason

    Reason allows us to go beyond the immediate experience of our senses. It is closely linked to logic—the deducing of valid conclusions from given starting points or premises. An interesting question of whether standards of rationality and norms of reasoning are grounded in culture. Areas of knowledge might set their own requirements for the types of reasoning that are accepted. This is of importance in the natural sciences but also in human sciences such as psychology and economics.

    5. Imagination

    Imagination is often identified in a narrow sense as the capacity to form a mental representation of something without the stimulus of sense experience. Imagination is sometimes viewed in a broader way as being associated with creativity, problem-solving and originality. This is very important in the theory creation stage of science. Imagination is also sometimes associated with possibility, in that it can be argued that only things which are possible can be imagined. It can be argued that imagination also plays a deeper role, for example, in moral education, developing empathy, or providing opportunity for self-expression and an increased understanding of the self.

    6. Faith

    The term “faith” is most frequently used to refer specifically to religious faith, but can also be used in a secular sense as a synonym for trust. It can be seen as a commitment to a particular interpretation of experience and reality which is not necessarily religious at all, such as humanism. Logical positivism claims that statements of faith have no meaningful cognitive content, so it doesn’t make sense to speak of faith as a way of knowing. However, for many people faith is a key way in which they try to understand and explain the world.

    7. Intuition

    Intuition is sometimes described as immediate cognition, or knowledge which is immediately evident without prior inference, evidence or justification. Intuition is often contrasted with reason, as it is regarded as knowing without the use of rational processes. Intuition has been much discussed in the field of ethics in terms of whether we have moral intuition, or a kind of innate sense of right and wrong. It is also seen by some to play an important role in scientific advances. "Is it possible that intuition is knowledge given to us by our subconscious and unconscious minds?"

    8. Memory

    Most of the knowledge that individuals have is in the form of memory and therefore how we retain information and how past events and experiences are reconstructed is an important aspect of how personal knowledge is formed. How we interpret new situations can be heavily influenced by experience and previous events; therefore, memory is vital in creating "new" knowledge. We rely on our memory every day and because many of our memories seem to be reliable, this gives us confidence that our other memories are reliable. "How reliable is memory in actuality?"

    Hopefully this will open up further discussion in any and all categories of knowing. I would also like to reiterate that most knowing is a combination of and mixture of several of these categories at once.

    With Utter devotion to Truth and Love,
    Matthjar

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matthjar View Post

    8. Memory

    Most of the knowledge that individuals have is in the form of memory and therefore how we retain information and how past events and experiences are reconstructed is an important aspect of how personal knowledge is formed. How we interpret new situations can be heavily influenced by experience and previous events; therefore, memory is vital in creating "new" knowledge. We rely on our memory every day and because many of our memories seem to be reliable, this gives us confidence that our other memories are reliable. "How reliable is memory in actuality?"

    Hopefully this will open up further discussion in any and all categories of knowing. I would also like to reiterate that most knowing is a combination of and mixture of several of these categories at once.
    Hello Matthjar

    Thank you for starting this thread and giving the list as a starting point. The mind and memory is the most fascinating (to me) subject to do with human anatomy. All that is being said on this forum is coming from a human mind. The human mind is so complex that it is not fully understood even though science has found out a lot about the mind and as we watched in the video we were given the link to, the parts/areas of the brain are being identified with our emotional responses when presented with questions and images.

    A product of the mind is skill and ingenuity, but those are based on knowledge and knowledge has to be learnt. That reminds me; I do not see the word "inspiration" on your list as a way of knowing. That comes to mind from what you say about intuition; "Is it possible that intuition is knowledge given to us by our subconscious and unconscious minds?" What about intuition coming from someone else's mind. That would be inspiration, do you not think?

    In regards to Richards theory about 'The Golden Rule and the Foundation of Objective Morality' or 'The Logic of Love: A Natural Theory of Morality', morality has to be learned by us all. Morality is linked with behaviour and behaviour is modified as a result of learning. It is impossible for a baby not to learn. We think of of a baby from the time it is conceived and its brain developing, as having an empty memory to begin with. All stored memory that is recalled, can modify our actions and thoughts. I do not see any difference when it comes to the subject of morality. In the Bible, morality begins with Adam and Eve. What knowledge did they have to begin with? They did not have to learn language and they did not have to learn to walk and speak and all those things a baby has to do. Adam and Eve did have to learn between right and wrong , good and evil, (as we all do) and how did Adam and Eve learn that, is where the argument continues.

    All the best
    David

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    Hello Matthjar

    Thank you for starting this thread and giving the list as a starting point. The mind and memory is the most fascinating (to me) subject to do with human anatomy. All that is being said on this forum is coming from a human mind. The human mind is so complex that it is not fully understood even though science has found out a lot about the mind and as we watched in the video we were given the link to, the parts/areas of the brain are being identified with our emotional responses when presented with questions and images.
    Your welcome David!!! It truly was my pleasure doing so. Memory is very fascinating to me also!!! If i had to pick a favorite i would it would be imagination!!! It does seem very true that for every question we answer it it replaced with 2 more. It is almost a hint of the infinity of the universe.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    A product of the mind is skill and ingenuity, but those are based on knowledge and knowledge has to be learnt. That reminds me; I do not see the word "inspiration" on your list as a way of knowing. That comes to mind from what you say about intuition; "Is it possible that intuition is knowledge given to us by our subconscious and unconscious minds?" What about intuition coming from someone else's mind. That would be inspiration, do you not think?
    My immediate reaction is that Inspiration is Imagination + Intuition. Not sure if that is True or not its just a hunch or (Intuition) ;-). I would definitely agree that it is possible that intuition could be knowledge from another... possibly a higher other... or a collection of others... both and neither... the possibilities truly are staggering!!!


    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post

    In regards to Richards theory about 'The Golden Rule and the Foundation of Objective Morality' or 'The Logic of Love: A Natural Theory of Morality', morality has to be learned by us all. Morality is linked with behaviour and behaviour is modified as a result of learning. It is impossible for a baby not to learn. We think of of a baby from the time it is conceived and its brain developing, as having an empty memory to begin with. All stored memory that is recalled, can modify our actions and thoughts. I do not see any difference when it comes to the subject of morality. In the Bible, morality begins with Adam and Eve. What knowledge did they have to begin with? They did not have to learn language and they did not have to learn to walk and speak and all those things a baby has to do. Adam and Eve did have to learn between right and wrong , good and evil, (as we all do) and how did Adam and Eve learn that, is where the argument continues.
    Yes I really like where you are going with that train of thought. At one time people thought children were "Tabula Rosa" or a blank slate... we now know that genetics gives us many predispositions that may or may not be supported by environment. I am fairly certain we have only perceived a very small portion of whole body of knowledge on the subject. Yes that is a MOST interesting question... and it definitely bears further discussion!!!

    I just watched a video that examined the concept of "Infinity".... it is truly mind blowing... i was; however, struck (literally) with the idea that in a Infinite system everything that could be imagined would HAVE to exist, truly even the Act of Imagining could literally call it forth into existence. If there is no beginning and no end then everything is possible....and nothing is impossible.. To me this is why the Concept of God is the most probable!!! Sometimes i get the impression that Quantum mechanics is also showing us this truth of reality ... that whatever you can imagine can exist ..... it could also be that collectively this effect just becomes amplified exponentially. Personally my whole quest in life is too have my subject perception of reality to MATCH or EQUAL the objective reality. This may not be possible but perhaps is an honorable and good goal to have. I base this much in the assertion that the 'Truth will set you Free.'

    Most of all I think this whole idea shows us the importance of keeping an Open Mind... and not automatically rejecting things that don't currently exist in you current subjective reality. I also can see this when Jesus claimed to enter the kingdom of heaven you must become like a little child... still full of Wonder and Awe at all the things that you Don't know rather than confident and superior in all the things that you do. True Wisdom is definitely knowing that you know a minute minuscule fraction of the infinite universe, or in relation to infinity nothing at all. This notion also suggests that all knowledge ultimately comes from Infinity/God.

    To anyone interested in watching an a video on "Infinity" here is the link. https://vimeo.com/101882592 . The notion that "God=Infinity" is also very interesting to me... and evidenced by the claim that with "God all things are possible." And as always i am very open to any and all feedback from you or any other who may be reading this.

    I just found another video that somewhat expresses my philosophy as a music video "Bounce" with a choral lyric of "Free your Soul"....and "Take a little time away from home"... it seems to capture that child like innocence of wonder of awe that we once cherished.
    https://vimeo.com/97117689

    With Utter devotion to Love and Truth,
    Matthjar
    Last edited by Matthjar; 08-27-2014 at 09:59 PM.

  4. #4
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    Jan 2012
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    Hello Matthjar

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthjar View Post
    Your welcome David!!! It truly was my pleasure doing so. Memory is very fascinating to me also!!! If i had to pick a favorite i would it would be imagination!!! It does seem very true that for every question we answer it it replaced with 2 more. It is almost a hint of the infinity of the universe.

    My immediate reaction is that Inspiration is Imagination + Intuition. Not sure if that is True or not its just a hunch or (Intuition) ;-). I would definitely agree that it is possible that intuition could be knowledge from another... possibly a higher other... or a collection of others... both and neither... the possibilities truly are staggering!!!
    What then is the inspiration by which the Holy men of God wrote? You would be saying that the Holy men of God, wrote according to their imagination + intuition. That is an argument I have against Rose and Richard who think the Bible is the creation of men and does no involve God.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthjar View Post
    Yes I really like where you are going with that train of thought. At one time people thought children were "Tabula Rosa" or a blank slate... we now know that genetics gives us many predispositions that may or may not be supported by environment. I am fairly certain we have only perceived a very small portion of whole body of knowledge on the subject. Yes that is a MOST interesting question... and it definitely bears further discussion!!!
    I do not know how much we can influence genetics. Until all the genes are identified and know what they do, then it is a dangerous area to tinker. I know that certain faulty genes have been identified that are the cause of specific conditions in the body, but how much genes affect our learning, I do not know. We know that chemicals like food colouration additives can affect children and make them hyperactive. Drugs have an effect on us for good and bad and some drugs are natural and others are specifically man-made and who is to say what the long-term side effects of those man-made drugs will be?

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthjar View Post
    I just watched a video that examined the concept of "Infinity".... it is truly mind blowing... i was; however, struck (literally) with the idea that in a Infinite system everything that could be imagined would HAVE to exist, truly even the Act of Imagining could literally call it forth into existence. If there is no beginning and no end then everything is possible....and nothing is impossible.. To me this is why the Concept of God is the most probable!!! Sometimes i get the impression that Quantum mechanics is also showing us this truth of reality ... that whatever you can imagine can exist ..... it could also be that collectively this effect just becomes amplified exponentially. Personally my whole quest in life is too have my subject perception of reality to MATCH or EQUAL the objective reality. This may not be possible but perhaps is an honorable and good goal to have. I base this much in the assertion that the 'Truth will set you Free.'
    Do we know what every imagination could be? Is every imagination possible? I think some things are impossible for God and man's imagining that nothing is impossible for God is wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthjar View Post
    Most of all I think this whole idea shows us the importance of keeping an Open Mind... and not automatically rejecting things that don't currently exist in you current subjective reality. I also can see this when Jesus claimed to enter the kingdom of heaven you must become like a little child... still full of Wonder and Awe at all the things that you Don't know rather than confident and superior in all the things that you do. True Wisdom is definitely knowing that you know a minute minuscule fraction of the infinite universe, or in relation to infinity nothing at all. This notion also suggests that all knowledge ultimately comes from Infinity/God.
    The mind of a young child is like a sponge. A child is absorbing information, but does reasoning with that information come later? The evil comes from those who cause children to believe lies. Jesus did not hold back from saying what should be done to such people.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthjar View Post
    To anyone interested in watching an a video on "Infinity" here is the link. https://vimeo.com/101882592 . The notion that "God=Infinity" is also very interesting to me... and evidenced by the claim that with "God all things are possible." And as always i am very open to any and all feedback from you or any other who may be reading this.

    I just found another video that somewhat expresses my philosophy as a music video "Bounce" with a choral lyric of "Free your Soul"....and "Take a little time away from home"... it seems to capture that child like innocence of wonder of awe that we once cherished.
    https://vimeo.com/97117689
    I will watch the video. Infinity is baffling when considered as a straight time-line. Are two points in space joined by a straight line, or by a circle?

    Is space infinite, or is space a closed loop? The answers make no difference. Either we will not live long enough to find out, or those who reach God's kingdom and made immortal will not care about infinity, or things coming to an end.

    All the best
    David

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