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Old 09-26-2015, 08:00 PM
 
1,721 posts, read 1,008,109 times
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I posted this in another thread, but thought it might interesting to discuss in it's own right. So Let's discuss the nature and limits of what we can and can't know. While we've accumulated an impressive body of knowledge, it seems to me there will always be limits, and things we can't know.

While many persons like to imagine that our minds can transcend our intellectual and physical limitations, in reality they don't. In terms of understanding the full complexity of all that exists, humans are probably incapable. Even the most intelligent and highly motivated persons are only capable of comprehensive understanding of a few limited areas.

For instance, Richard Dawkins has a comprehensive understanding of biology and zoology, but admits his understanding theoretical physics is limited. Conversely, Lawrence Krauss understands much more about theoretical physics, but much less about biology and zoology than Dawkins.

To even begin to understand reality in all it's complexity, an individual would need a comprehensive understanding of mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, zoology, physiology, ecology, neurology, psychology, anthropology, archaeology, and numerous other areas of study. She or he would also need to synthesize all this information accurately, recognizing where complex connections and where they don't, but appear to.

Considering mastery of any one of these fields requires at least several years, and several decades in some cases, is a comprehensive understanding of all that is even plausible? I doubt it.

As humans, we like simplicity because it's easier to deal with. This leads some of us to believe overly facile, false explanations like, 'god did it', 'quantum mechanics shows everything is connected', etc. But the reality is far more complex and difficult -if at all possible- to understand.
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Old 09-26-2015, 10:00 PM
 
Location: Not-a-Theist
3,440 posts, read 1,587,520 times
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As posted in the other thread;

I agree we need to have knowledge in all the subjects you mentioned above & other areas. However it is not necessary [not practical - to impossible] to have a PhD in all the subjects except a few especially Philosophy.

Dawkins and Krauss do not have a philosophy-proper background. That is why they are seldom decisive.

Philosophy [especially academically] as it is currently understood is bastardized. What I meant is philosophy-proper. [Philosophy-P].
http://www.city-data.com/forum/40156338-post12.html

Philosophy-P is the knowledge that override all knowledge and that is why we have the common phrase 'Philosophy of X' where 'X' can be anything in reality including general philosophy itself. Philosophy-P is the core that connect all knowledge of reality.
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Old 09-26-2015, 10:06 PM
 
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Actually, you need to know practically nothing. The only thing you really need know is to how to concentrate your thinking into a point on a subject of your interest. When you accomplish this, The Light of Intelligence reveals the entire truth on that subject, showing you it as it is.
With that ability, you have answer to any possible question. Of any nature.
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Old 09-26-2015, 10:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ukrkoz View Post
Actually, you need to know practically nothing. The only thing you really need know is to how to concentrate your thinking into a point on a subject of your interest. When you accomplish this, The Light of Intelligence reveals the entire truth on that subject, showing you it as it is.
With that ability, you have answer to any possible question. Of any nature.
So in other words you're in complete denial about your own limitations. That is complete and utter mystical gibberish. "The Light of Intelligence reveals the entire truth on that subject"? You really believe that?

It does well illustrate how so many persons -you especially- are in denial about their own intellectual limitations.
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Old 09-29-2015, 06:59 AM
 
Location: Chicago
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It's all very complex and constantly changing.

Life is about creating and learning. There is no need to know everything.
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Old 09-30-2015, 03:30 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PanapolicRiddle View Post

While many persons like to imagine that our minds can transcend our intellectual and physical limitations, in reality they don't. In terms of understanding the full complexity of all that exists, humans are probably incapable. Even the most intelligent and highly motivated persons are only capable of comprehensive understanding of a few limited areas.


This starting axiom (the 'if', if, you will.) is flawed so the rest of the "then part" has many holes. When don't know the "physical limits" yet. You say "probably can't" so we have to address "probably can" with almost as much certainty as your claim.

I am not sure I would use the word "transcend" because we don't know the physical limitations yet. I mean since they found that "space is something", transcend doesn't really apply anymore. We would need to agree on a range "processing the incoming information" from the surroundings people have. I use professional ball players as an example. They are freaks of nature, so much so that the back ups are usually quite a bit of a drop. distribute those guys around the towns and city. People telling others others "how good our guy is" would fall on many deaf ears.

Dawkins is weak, at best he is a second stringer.
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Old 10-01-2015, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Pacific 🌉 N, 🌄W
11,037 posts, read 4,831,127 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PanapolicRiddle View Post
I posted this in another thread, but thought it might interesting to discuss in it's own right. So Let's discuss the nature and limits of what we can and can't know. While we've accumulated an impressive body of knowledge, it seems to me there will always be limits, and things we can't know.
The term rationalism is used in two different ways by philosophers. In it's broader sense, it describes the view that we should base our belief about the nature of things on reason rather than on superstition, hearsay, authority, or some other non-rational source. When it is used in this way, rationalism is a view to which practically all philosophers obviously would subscribe. But rationalism has a narrower sense as well, to describe the epidemiological theory that reason, as a faculty of the mind to be distinguished particularly from the sense experience, is the sole source of human knowledge. According to the epidemiological rationalists, only those things whose truth we can demonstrate constitute something we can legitimately claims to know. One of the results of rationalism is to constrict quite sharply the scope of human knowledge. Excluded, for example are almost all the beliefs of ordinary life, belief most of us take for granted as things we know.

Quote:
Rationalism and empiricism in their original forms are outdated theories today, in part because of Kant’s insights. Nevertheless, they still are useful for depicting two fundamentally different ways in which we assess the sources of knowledge. Rationalism will continue to be attractive whenever we have knowledge that cannot be easily explained by experience. Empiricism will be attractive whenever the claims of innateness look fishy.
https://www.utm.edu/staff/jfieser/cl...-knowledge.htm

Quote:
Originally Posted by PanapolicRiddle View Post
For instance, Richard Dawkins has a comprehensive understanding of biology and zoology, but admits his understanding theoretical physics is limited. Conversely, Lawrence Krauss understands much more about theoretical physics, but much less about biology and zoology than Dawkins.
You would be surprised how much Evolutionary Biology Laurence Krauss understands. I watched a documentary of those two traveling together giving intellectual talks at Universities around the globe. Both were very knowledgeable and articulated clearly on the topics but Krauss blew me away with how much Evolutionary Biology knowledge he had.
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Old 10-03-2015, 05:05 PM
 
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evolutionary biology is decoding dna, like decoding running program, so of course he would understand it. Or understanding how variations in protein concentration changes can be back coded into dna based on the sytem, for no-christ sake, it aint rocket science.
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Old 10-08-2015, 04:55 PM
 
Location: Whittier
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This is why the singularity will be scary.

I think it will be cool, but I digress.

Machines (most likely Quantum) will be able to synthesize this sort of information and become somewhat omniscient. Faster than we will ever be able to.

I think time is the main driver here regardless. With enough time, I think one could know everything; through evolution or perhaps mating with technology.

Unfortunately or fortunately depending on your stance we currently only live to about 80 years or so and our brains, as you say, cannot process some of the deeper paradoxes/problems of thought.

In short, I think its possible to "overcome" but it would take a little help from technology and time.

That being said, on the opposite end of the spectrum you have meditation and the clearing of the mind. Ironically this has been said to bring clarity and Truth more than empirical Knowledge.

So...I don't know.
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Old 10-15-2015, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Missouri, USA
4,377 posts, read 2,983,422 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PanapolicRiddle View Post
I posted this in another thread, but thought it might interesting to discuss in it's own right. So Let's discuss the nature and limits of what we can and can't know. While we've accumulated an impressive body of knowledge, it seems to me there will always be limits, and things we can't know.

While many persons like to imagine that our minds can transcend our intellectual and physical limitations, in reality they don't. In terms of understanding the full complexity of all that exists, humans are probably incapable. Even the most intelligent and highly motivated persons are only capable of comprehensive understanding of a few limited areas.

For instance, Richard Dawkins has a comprehensive understanding of biology and zoology, but admits his understanding theoretical physics is limited. Conversely, Lawrence Krauss understands much more about theoretical physics, but much less about biology and zoology than Dawkins.

To even begin to understand reality in all it's complexity, an individual would need a comprehensive understanding of mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, zoology, physiology, ecology, neurology, psychology, anthropology, archaeology, and numerous other areas of study. She or he would also need to synthesize all this information accurately, recognizing where complex connections and where they don't, but appear to.

Considering mastery of any one of these fields requires at least several years, and several decades in some cases, is a comprehensive understanding of all that is even plausible? I doubt it.

As humans, we like simplicity because it's easier to deal with. This leads some of us to believe overly facile, false explanations like, 'god did it', 'quantum mechanics shows everything is connected', etc. But the reality is far more complex and difficult -if at all possible- to understand.
From what little I've read about quantum physics, it looks like new knowledge of reality will progressively become more based off mathematics than anything we can accurately mentally envision. I predict we'll eventually cease searching for he answers to the big questions. We'll find out most of the answers neither are comprehensible to most of us, nor serve much of a purpose to most of us to know. From that point we'll focus more on practical things like how to cure balding and more efficient interstellar travel.
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