There have been a lot of brutal discussions lately on HubPages regarding both religious and economic beliefs. In the form of the skeptic's argument, I present the idea that perhaps none have the knowledge they so furiously defend.
1. We can find reasons for doubting any one of our beliefs.
2. It follows that we can doubt all our beliefs.
3. If we can doubt all our beliefs, then we cannot be certain of any of them.
4. If we do not have certainty of any of our beliefs, then we do not have knowledge.
5. Therefore, we do not have knowledge.
BTW, the argument is valid because the conclusion logically follows the premises, but I expect some might disagree with the soundness of the premises. In other words, do you disagree with any of the premises? The premises are numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4.
Point Six says,
Since you can cycle through the first five point to conclude you do not have knowledge,
Then it stand to reason. that you do have have knowledge.
because it takes knowledge to cycle through to the fifth point which is doubtable
This leaves you to conclude therefore,
That the man without knowledge is so simply because he believes himself to be without knowledge,
And cannot be convinced except of his ownself by his ownself, for he will create a world that is exactly like himself, that is without knowledge.
While in the mean time. the man with knowledge sees himself as knowledge and others as knowledge who believes falsely about their ownself.
Scientific knowlege relies on experiment leading to a conclusion which stands up to any examination. Faith, on the other hand, believes in a conclusion unverified by scientific experiment as there is no observable data. Blind faith, such as religious belief of all stripes, may bring much satisfaction to the holder, but, as Marx. I believe. said, "It is an opiate..."
Quantum physics has brought such expanded frontiers to us of late, it has reduced most religious thinkers to clinging to the, "OK, what came before that...who orchestrated the "Big bang," etc. There may, indeed, be a super powerful species - or individual - in the universe who has engineered life and evolution on Earth, but it's too far fetched for this writer. As soon as we expose Time for the myth it is, we may have more answers.
PS I realize this is not quite what you asked, but can be considered ancillary to your question.
This discussion has no bounds my friend. That's the beauty of abstract philosophy. If our perception of reality is flawed, we would have no idea because we can only know what we perceive. Does a brain kept alive by life support understand its own reality?
Oh Marx... He is such a downer! You reminded me of Marx's social conflict theory lol. That the structure of society is formed from economic competition and eventually overt subjugation by the ruling class. He might not be far off though!
Well, the brain in that situation might understand whatever it perceives its reality to be (your point), but it would have real trouble communicating this to others. Our peception of reality cannot be flawed - it's our reality we are perceiving! Whatever produces this "reality" is what is not fully understood at present. I will say the atomic theory postulated in QP holds out a lor more hope for our continued participation in the universe after our "death" than does religious dogma with its heaven and hell. We may even continue to exist forever, as will all other forms, living in a seperate time zone ...after all, if infinity exists as we imagine it today, we will come back again and again, given unlimited time to reform in this - and all other forms.
The wisest man in the world is only certain of one thing....that he knows nothing.
Religion and faith are not areas where objective knowledge have much impact one way or the other. As Stephen Gould said, science and religion are 'non-overlapping magisteria'.
We do have knowledge. Our being uncertain with our beliefs is sometimes a product of learning new things that in some ways may strengthen out beliefs or otherwise then its up for us to decide.
Knowledge is based on that which is true. Truths are based on constants and constants are based on nature. For instance, If someone proves to me that all children, universally, go through a second "embryonic" stage of development from birth to 6 in which the psyche is formed, this becomes knowledge for me. If I say that all men are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable (natural) rights which include life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, it is knowledge based on a particular recognizable truth. If I know that an apple hits the ground at the same time as a bowling ball, then my knowledge is based on an observable truth. If I say that socialism is detrimental to the human spirit and motivation to live, it is because the results have been proven every time it has been tried in human history. If I say that the will is to the psyche, what the heart is to the body, it is because I know it to be true. To know what is universally true is to possess knowledge.
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