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What is wrong with "I don't know"?

  1. Jesus was a hippy profile image61
    Jesus was a hippyposted 5 years ago

    Why is it, that some theists insist that you MUST claim to know how the universe came to be? Some claim that being unsure is a bad thing. Why? Others claim that not knowing is a sign of weakness and lack of conviction. How?

    I had one poster saying that "I dont know" is "not good enough" and I need to take some conviction and stop being so weak minded.

    They then went on to say that my saying "I don't know" makes me delusional.

    I just can't understand how any form of logic or reason could lead someone to think or say that.

    1. janesix profile image60
      janesixposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      It doesnt bother me if other people dont know. It just bothers me that i dont know.

      1. Cagsil profile image60
        Cagsilposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        What difference would it make if you knew?

        1. janesix profile image60
          janesixposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Who knows. Id like to say that it would make me feel better knowing. But then what mysteries would i have to try to solve that would be as interesting? And then i would be left being bored out of my mind probably.

          1. Cagsil profile image60
            Cagsilposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            lol lol

          2. Jerami profile image77
            Jeramiposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            This comment is not about technological advances but issues of the heart.
              Rather than just boredom, it is possible that If/When we find the answers we are looking for we find ourselves dumbfounded.
               And sometimes when we find these answers, we wish we hadn't.        Sometimes when we are given vision into one area, we then become blinded to others.
               There is something to be said for "Ignorance is Bliss"
               I don't think this is true in every area,  or is it?
               
               A wise man once said something like, " all that we can really do is to eat, drink and be merry".

    2. profile image0
      Motown2Chitownposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      My take on this is that Theists feel that if someone is going to tell them that their faith in a Creator is irrational, illogical, unintelligent, or delusional, then that must mean they have something 'better' to offer.  If the only thing an Atheist/Agnostic has to offer is "I don't know," the Theist feels that they are being ridiculed for their beliefs, but that no one has anything more authoritative to offer.

      In the end, it boils down to faith/belief on the side of the Theists.  We believe that there is a God and that He created and ultimately controls the Universe.  We don't KNOW for certain anymore than those who don't believe, but we need something to hold onto.  Atheists/Agnostics do not hold those same beliefs, but they aren't as afraid to be unsure.

      So, it becomes a dumb standoff instead of a wonder filled conversation about the amazing Universe in which we live.

      Sad, huh?

      1. Jesus was a hippy profile image61
        Jesus was a hippyposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        I agree that a lot of people do exactly that but recently I have seen a couple of people insisting that other MUST believe something.

        I had one poster saying that "I dont know" is "not good enough" and I need to take some conviction and stop being so weak minded.

        They then went on to say that my saying "I don't know" makes me delusional.

        I just can't understand how any form of logic or reason could lead someone to think or say that.

        1. profile image0
          Motown2Chitownposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          I've run across that recently...here in our forums.  Truth be told - whatever we believe - NO ONE ACTUALLY KNOWS.

          Don't worry - if you don't know, you're just like everyone else.  It doesn't make you weak minded at all, it makes you honest.  smile

          Edit:  I'd even go so far as to say that the ones who KNOW for sure (or claim to) are the ones tending toward delusion.

    3. kess profile image60
      kessposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      I dont know is fine if you act the part.

      But those who says they do not know seem always critical of the knowledge of another.

      You cannot know and dont know at the same time.

      So yes that person is deluded.

      He is wise never to speak a word of contempt of any man unless he can say I do know without any doubts whatsoever.

      1. Jesus was a hippy profile image61
        Jesus was a hippyposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        What makes you think that you cannot discredit someone elses claim without having a better explanation for it yourself?

        If you came home and a chair was missing from your home, and I told you a killer whale came in your house and took it, do you have to know what happened in order for you to discredit my claim?

        Do you really need to know what really did happen in order to claim that my story is highly unlikely?

        1. kess profile image60
          kessposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          The question is either you know or dont know, the doubtful one would be humble in his doubtfulness otherwise he makes himself a fool...

          Imagine in your scenario, that a fight ensue over the statement...

          Who is then the fool the one making the claim or the one doubting the claim?

          1. Jesus was a hippy profile image61
            Jesus was a hippyposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            The person making the unfounded claim without evidence would be the fool and the person doubting the unfounded claim without evidence would be guilty of using logical and rational thought.

    4. mischeviousme profile image59
      mischeviousmeposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      It doesn't, just an ignorant person with an answer perpetualy running in the back of their mind.

    5. Chris Neal profile image84
      Chris Nealposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Not having seen the post in question, I will say that it might be possible they were parodying some atheists who state that anybody who believes in God at all, let alone Jesus, is "delusional." Again, I don't know the poster, they may have been quite serious, but the language you cite sounds more than a little like a couple of atheists I can think of who routinely use language like that.

      However, to answer your actual question, when you don't know, saying I don't know is perfectly acceptable. However, if you DO know, then it's not! And trying to tell people like me that we don't actually know when we do, doesn't make it so!

      1. Cagsil profile image60
        Cagsilposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        roll

      2. profile image0
        Motown2Chitownposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Chris, I very much understand what you're trying to say here.  The issue that folks have with Christians who 'know' is that, in reality we don't.  The existence or non existence of God has never been proven.  We 'believe' He exists, but we cannot see Him, we cannot prove His existence to anyone.  Until we can, we believe in Him because of our experiences, our feelings, the way we interpret the Universe, and any number of personal factors.

        Atheists/Agnostics do not believe and most are perfectly comfortable saying they don't know.  When we say we do, they will automatically say that we don't - and they will be right.  We have to come to terms that our belief is our belief - and we have constant faith and hope that we're right.

        smile

        1. kate12402 profile image61
          kate12402posted 5 years ago in reply to this

          I completely agree with your post.  Very well written.  If both Christians and atheists could just both accept that they don't "know" either way then the conversation could be focused more on the actual debate rather than questioning the sanity of the opposing party.

          1. livelonger profile image87
            livelongerposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            I agree. Wonderfully put, M2C. smile

            I think some believers think they will get extra-credit celestial brownie points if they loudly insist they "know" God is real, but unless they're delusional, they don't really "know" anything. There is only belief, and you can't force anyone else to believe the same things you do.

            In fact, talking about it just invites (understandable) accusations of irrationality.

            1. kate12402 profile image61
              kate12402posted 5 years ago in reply to this

              Exactly!! Ahh it is so nice to see that there are people who understand that.  I was looking at a forum a few days ago about religion that was just filled with irrationality, finger pointing, and personal attacks.  That just gets in the way of intelligent conversation.  And the "celestial brownie points" comment almost made me pee my pants from laughing.  Thanks for the smile smile

            2. profile image0
              Motown2Chitownposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              Thanks, Jason.  smile  You're right - some believers really do think that for everyone they convince to believe like they do, they'll have a bigger mansion in Heaven.  I'd rather just do the best I can to witness Christ's love and live in a shack.  After all, it's Heaven.  How shacky is a shack gonna be?  Of course, I'll be confined to the Catholic side of Heaven.  The Lord puts us there to be sure the Protestants and Fundies don't know we're there. tongue

              Edit:  Not to mention the Jews, the Buddhists, the Pagans, etc...

          2. profile image0
            Motown2Chitownposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            Thanks.  smile  I've actually found with some die hard atheists that we're able to talk quite productively and fruitfully when we allow for the others' belief/non belief to be acknowledged as just that.

        2. Chris Neal profile image84
          Chris Nealposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          I'm perfectly at peace with the fact that my belief is my belief, and that most atheists cannot understand how, if they don't know how could I not say the same thing? I used to be an agnostic, so I'm not totally unfamiliar with it. But the fact is, I do know. I wrote a Hub about it. I don't expect anyone who doesn't believe to read that Hub and then slap their forehead and say, "Of course! What an idiot I am!" but it would be nice if they didn't feel compelled to try three times harder to get me to "admit" that I'm wrong. And I talk to some atheists who, I'm sure, think I'm nuts but still can respect my honesty and the fact that I try to be nice to people and not argue too much. It simply depends.

          But for me, it's really not a matter of blind faith.

          1. Jeff Berndt profile image90
            Jeff Berndtposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            But is it still faith, or actual knowledge? I mean, have you actually gathered empirical evidence in a repeatable way that can be peer-reviewed by others, and all of this supports your belief?

            Or have you arrived at your belief based on revelation, or prayer, or some other non-repeatable non-verifiable processes?

            Belief is cool, and faith is cool, but faith isn't knowledge.

            1. Chris Neal profile image84
              Chris Nealposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              Faith is hoping for things unseen, that's in the Bible. All I can say, don't be too quick to dismiss revelation, sometimes it leads to greater truth.

              1. Jeff Berndt profile image90
                Jeff Berndtposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                Sure, but 'revelation' and 'discovery' are two very different things, just like 'faith' and 'knowledge' are different things.

                I think we're really close to the same page, here, really. The only difference that I can see is that I don't claim to know about how the universe came to be. I have belief, but that's different from knowledge.

                1. kess profile image60
                  kessposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                  Jeff consider this a minute...

                  If you happen to have knowledge of how the universe begin and exist, and this you know without a shadow of a doubt. The knowlege is so significant that how you perceive this world is drastically different from those whom you interact without such a knowledge,

                  How then would you describe your new perception on life and what term would you then use ?

                  Would it be belief, faith, knowing....think and tell me.

                  1. kate12402 profile image61
                    kate12402posted 5 years ago in reply to this

                    I think maybe that question is misleading.  Knowledge refers only to the actual information, the pure fact.  Knowledge is not defined by how you react to it, or how you use it, it just is.  Knowledge is information. 

                    Revelation is reaction to knowledge.  Revelation is a profound and deep connection to knowledge that changes your very being. 

                    That is only my humble opinion.

                  2. Jeff Berndt profile image90
                    Jeff Berndtposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                    How then would you describe your new perception on life and what term would you then use ?
                    That depends. How did I obtain this knowledge? Is it something I can show everyone? Can I say, "Hey, everyone, look at this!" and when they look, they'll see what I saw? In short, can my new perception be independently verified by a disinterested third party?

                2. Chris Neal profile image84
                  Chris Nealposted 5 years ago in reply to this

                  Point well made.

          2. mischeviousme profile image59
            mischeviousmeposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            How can you say that blind faith is a knowing? That's probably the most purpose defeating statement I've read in a long time. How can one contradict themselve's in such a way. "I know my belief is my belief, but I do know" is basically what you said, correct? You can't say you believe and know at the same time... A knowing is something that can't be refuted beyond the self, so tell us a new one...

            1. Chris Neal profile image84
              Chris Nealposted 5 years ago in reply to this

              I said it's NOT "blind faith." I wrote the Hub, believe it or don't but it's what I've experienced and what I believe.

              Being unable to "replicate" God in a laboratory is not the same as saying He doesn't exist. And a replication of saying that you don't believe in revelation or whatever is not the same as saying you've investigated it and found it wanting. I'm not in a vacuum out here, there are a lot of people who believe in God. Instead of simply saying that we're all insecure and uneducated how about actually looking into who we are and why we believe what we believe?

              It's easy to simply dismiss what you don't understand. I've certainly done it often enough in my life, it's one reason why I recognize it when others are doing it. I'm frankly embarrassed that I did it, but I've learned that it's hard to really try to understand other points of view sometimes. Which is why I think so few people really make the attempt. I've encountered other Christians in these forums who have labeled me insane. What we don't know scares us.

  2. Shanna11 profile image91
    Shanna11posted 5 years ago

    I don't know what's wrong with "I don't know". sad

  3. kate12402 profile image61
    kate12402posted 5 years ago

    I think there are two parts to 'I don't know.'

    The first part is the state of not knowing.  There is nothing wrong with not knowing something.  I think the person who says that they know all is delusional.  There is always something that we as individuals, and as a race for that matter, do not know. 

    So to say you don't know something is just stating a fact of life. 

    But having said that, saying I don't know can also become almost an excuse for not looking.  I think not knowing is normal and to recognize that you don't know something requires self-awareness, understanding, acceptance, and wisdom.  But after having acknowledged that you don't know, the goal should then become to know.  In the cases of theology, I think the goal should become to continue on a life-long journey of discovery and learning during which maybe you come to know or learn more, if not all or even most.  Abandoning that journey and resigning yourself to passive unknowing is what's wrong with 'I don't know' in my opinion. 

    But from your posts and your hubs it would seem to me that you don't live your life in the back seat, so to speak.  And in this case, I would say there is absolutely nothing wrong with recognizing that you don't know everything.  In fact, kudos to you and everyone here for recognizing that there are things you don't, and may never know.

  4. Haunty profile image86
    Hauntyposted 5 years ago

    Obviously, you have to know EVERYTHING!!!

  5. MelissaBarrett profile image61
    MelissaBarrettposted 5 years ago

    I've lived in this apartment for over a year now.  I have no idea who built it.  I don't particularly care if it just magically showed up one day 120 years ago.  I clean it... I sleep in it... I raise my kids in it...

    And not knowing where it came from doesn't bother me in the least...

  6. Eaglekiwi profile image73
    Eaglekiwiposted 5 years ago

    The only thing that is wrong with "I dont know" is that it is suggested that is is wrong smile

    When you know that it is not, then it will no longer be an issue smile

  7. Druid Dude profile image61
    Druid Dudeposted 5 years ago

    JWAH. Keep searching. To not know, and to be happy not knowing...well, they do say, 'ignorance is bliss' When the answers are so obvious, (And, were you to have an epiphany, you would begin to understand how simple and easy to comprehend it all is) to have this particular 'knowable' within your grasp, strips away all unknowns. One little 'AHA! moment'can transform your understanding.

 
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