Certain Knowledge

Known unknowns and unknown unknowns!

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RCSaunders
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Certain Knowledge

Post by RCSaunders »

Philosophers and sundry pseudo-intellectual academics, psychologists, religionists, and mystics can tell you with absolute certainty that certain knowledge is not possible. Human beings cannot do anything they must do to live without knowledge. If knowledge is not possible, human life is not possible.

Fortunately, by the time one is an adult, one knows literally millions of things, and most of them are certain.

Things you know for certain:

What you are currently experiencing.
What you are currently doing.
Where you currently are.
What you are seeing.
What you are hearing.
What you are feeling.
What you are tasting.
What you are smelling.
That you are reading.
That you are thinking.
That you are awake.
That you exist.
That you are conscious.
That you are conscious of something.
That it is day (or night).
That is is raining (or it isn't).
That it is warm (or cold).
What your nose, ears, eyes, mouth, arms, hands, legs, feet and chest are.
What and where the bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, doors, and windows are.
What clothes are.
What pants, shirts, socks, and underwear are.
What a dress, slacks, blouse, sweater, panties, and bra are.
What water is.
What food is.
What bacon, eggs, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, grapes, and apples are.
What meat, flour, cake, cookies, crackers, and snacks are.
What hamburgers, hot dogs, tacos, french fries, and ice cream are.
What a knife, fork, spoon, plate, bowl, glass, cup, and saucer are.
What a refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, washing machine, and clothes dryer are.
What a sink, bathtub, toilet, and shower are.
What cars, trucks, boats, planes, trains, and motorcycles are.
What a book, a TV, a table, a chair, a desk, a lamp, and a computer are.
What a cat, dog, cow, chicken, pigeon, goat, sheep, pig, and horse are.
What clocks and calendars are.
What time, day, month, and year it is.
What a building, home, store, restaurant, factory, and police station are.
What a pond, lake, brook, river, hill, mountain, valley, and cliff are.
What trees, bushes, weeds, flowers, grasses, and funguses are.
What stars, the moon, and the sun are.
What counting, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division are.
What a party, a team, a show, a circus, a ceremony, and a speech are.
When something is alive.
When something is dead.
When the lights, TV, water, gas, or radio are on or off.
That electric lighting is possible.
That heavier than air flight is possible.
That refrigeration is possible.
That sound and pictures can be transmitted electronically anywhere in the world.
That getting to the moon is possible.
That X-rays are possible.
That anaesthesia (painless surgery) is possible.
That bacteria cause disease.
That vaccination is possible.
That lasers are possible.
[The last ten things were all unknown or declared impossible by philosophers and academics until 300 years ago. Now they are all certain.]

You know a language and how to read, understand, and write it. (Else you would not be reading and responding to these things.)

You know all those things and thousands more as well as hundreds more things about each one of the things you know, and you know them all for certain.

Why Human Beings Must Have Knowledge

Except for human beings, most animals are able to do everything their nature requires them to do to live successfully, often within a few hours or days of their birth. They are able to walk, run, fly or swim, perform their biological functions, find and acquire the kind of food they must eat, prepare whatever shelter they need, mate and raise their young. Human beings are born unable to do anything their nature requires them to do to live as human beings.

A human being cannot do any of the things their nature requires them to do, even to live, much less to live successfully, and until they they have learned those things most of what their life requires must be done for them, and it will take years of learning to be able to live as a human being.

There is nothing your life requires you can have without knowledge. When you are first born it is not your own knowledge that keeps you alive, fed, clothed, sheltered, and safe from the dangers of life, it is the knowledge of those who choose to love and nurture you, but it is still their knowledge of how to provide those things that make your young life possible. As you grow older, more and more of the things your life requires will depend on the knowledge you gain as you grow and mature. By the time you are an adult, how you live will depends on your own knowledge.

There is not a single thing a human chooses to do that can be done without knowledge. From the simplest daily routines of life to the most difficult tasks of one's occupation, every action requires knowledge. By the time we are able to dress ourselves and prepare our own meals the enormous amount of knowledge required to perform such tasks is taken for granted, but none of them could be performed if one did not know left from right or front from back, or how to use a can opener, or what a refrigerator is, or what time they had to be at work. Whatever you choose to do with your life from yard work to brain surgery, nothing you do will be possible without knowledge.

That human beings have knowledge is irrefutable. Everything human beings have ever done and produced is the evidence, because none of it would have been possible without knowledge. Just the fact there are human beings is proof they have knowledge, because their existence would be impossible without it.

Certain Does Not Mean Infallible Or Omniscient

The philosophers and mystics that want to convince you certain knowledge is not possible do not mean what you and I mean by certain knowledge.

Certain knowledge does not mean infallible knowledge. It does not mean one can never be mistaken, but that is what the deniers of knowledge mean. The fact that one can make mistakes does not mean they can only make mistakes. Mistakes are always exceptions.

Certain knowledge does not mean omniscient knowledge. It does not mean one knows everything there is to know about everything there is, or even about anything. The fact that one cannot know everything does not mean one knows nothing. If one knew everything there would be nothing else to learn. No new experience or discovery would be possible.

What Is Known

All there is to know is what exists: all the physical entities one encounters or learns about, all their attributes and characteristics, all their behavior, and their relationships to each other, (material existents), as well as all those things which exist as the product of the human mind, such as language, mathematics, logic, art, literature, the physical sciences, history, geography, philosophy, and superstitions.

One knows what things are. All the things listed as, "things you know for certain," at the beginning of this chapter are things one knows, because they know what they are. Whether physical things (like articles of clothing or food), experiences (like seeing and smelling), or ideas, (like vaccination and refrigeration), one knows what they are because each has its own unique set of characteristics and attributes which describe them. If one did not know what they were, they would not be able to think or talk about them or use them.

Knowing what those things are does not mean knowing all there is to know about any of them, but it does mean one knows something about them, at least enough to identify them and distinguish them from other things. The fact that one knows what they are, together with whatever they know about them is certain knowledge.

What About Mistakes, Ignorance, Superstition, Deception, and Illusion?

Certain knowledge does no mean infallible knowledge, omniscient knowledge, that everyone has knowledge, that all supposed knowledge is true knowledge, or that one can never be deceived.

None of those things—mistakes, ignorance, superstition, deception, or illusion—could be known without certain knowledge. If nothing could be known for certain, there would be nothing but mistakes, ignorance, superstition, deception and illusion. It is the fact that we are usually right that we can tell when we've made a mistake. It is the fact we know what knowledge is that we can recognize when it is lacking. It is the fact that we know what true knowledge is that makes it possible to know what superstition is. It is the fact deception is an exception that it can be detected. If there were no certain knowledge, an illusion could never be discovered. If one did not know what a true (perceived) representation is, there would be no way to know an illusion was not a true representation of reality.

Those Who Deny Certain Knowledge

What motivates any particular individual to deny true knowledge is possible is not important, but it is never innocent. The denial of knowledge is always an excuse for putting over some irrational view that rational knowledge would make impossible, usually some mystic or political ideology that cannot possibly be rationally defended. The most common of their arguments are, "you cannot prove it is not true," and, "you cannot know anything for certain so it's just your opinion."

One thing you can know for certain is that anyone who tries to convince you what you know cannot be certain is trying to put something over that they know is not true. They just don't want you to know it.
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henry quirk
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Re: Certain Knowledge

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:thumbsup:
Skepdick
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Re: Certain Knowledge

Post by Skepdick »

Anything is possible when trivialised. Such as your trivial conceptions of "certain knowledge".

None of it addresses the problem of induction

We know the past but cannot control it. We control the future but cannot know it. --Claude E. Shannon
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RCSaunders
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Re: Certain Knowledge

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henry quirk wrote: Wed May 13, 2020 11:41 pm :thumbsup:
Thanks, Henry! Good do know I'm not living in a world populated entirely by morons.
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henry quirk
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Re: Certain Knowledge

Post by henry quirk »

RCSaunders wrote: Thu May 14, 2020 12:28 pm
henry quirk wrote: Wed May 13, 2020 11:41 pm :thumbsup:
Thanks, Henry! Good do know I'm not living in a world populated entirely by morons.
For the most part: that's exactly what it is. Just look at the state of things.
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RCSaunders
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Re: Certain Knowledge

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Skepdick wrote: Thu May 14, 2020 9:33 am Anything is possible when trivialised. Such as your trivial conceptions of "certain knowledge".

None of it addresses the problem of induction

We know the past but cannot control it. We control the future but cannot know it. --Claude E. Shannon
I am on very good terms with both Mr. Shannon and Mr. Hamming having designed memory and transmissions systems with error detection and correction capability. The "information," in information theory has nothing to do with knowledge, only to do with the integrity of transmissions, even if the content is meaningless.

Induction is not a method of reasoning or a way of establishing knowledge in any field, especially science. Since Hume and Kant utterly destroyed the field of epistemology and every idiot who has allowed their minds to be corrupted by their academic teachers has swallowed the lie that induction is how science is done (it isn't) statements like yours are ubiquitous.

Before someone can say, "We know the past but cannot control it. We control the future but cannot know it," they must know what is meant by, "past," and what is meant by, "future," else they are saying nothing at all. Every denial of knowledge assumes it.
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Re: Certain Knowledge

Post by Skepdick »

RCSaunders wrote: Thu May 14, 2020 2:20 pm The "information," in information theory has nothing to do with knowledge, only to do with the integrity of transmissions, even if the content is meaningless.
You are wrong.

Information theory studies the quantification, storage, and communication of information.

One of the concerns of information science is knowledge-ontologies.
RCSaunders wrote: Thu May 14, 2020 2:20 pm Induction is not a method of reasoning or a way of establishing knowledge in any field, especially science.
Yes. That's the view of philosophy. But philosophers have zero credibility here.

Deductive certainty is impossible in non-axiomatic systems such as reality, leaving inductive reasoning as the primary route to (probabilistic) knowledge of such systems
RCSaunders wrote: Thu May 14, 2020 2:20 pm Since Hume and Kant utterly destroyed the field of epistemology and every idiot who has allowed their minds to be corrupted by their academic teachers has swallowed the lie that induction is how science is done (it isn't) statements like yours are ubiquitous.
You are 100% guilty of this yourself - you speak like an academic. Epistemology is generalized probability theory/quantum computing.

https://www.amazon.com/Probability-Theo ... B00AKE1Q40
RCSaunders wrote: Thu May 14, 2020 2:20 pm Before someone can say, "We know the past but cannot control it. We control the future but cannot know it," they must know what is meant by, "past," and what is meant by, "future," else they are saying nothing at all. Every denial of knowledge assumes it.
Of course! Without entropy there is no "past" and "future". Entropy is the arrow of time.

There is a 1:1 correspondence between Entropy (information theory) and Statistical Mechanics.

The principle of maximum entropy is not about the denial of knowledge. It's about the acceptance of ignorance.

I know that I know nothing.
Take precisely stated prior data or testable information about a probability distribution function. Consider the set of all trial probability distributions that would encode the prior data. According to this principle, the distribution with maximal information entropy is the best choice.
The principle was first expounded by E. T. Jaynes in two papers in 1957[1][2] where he emphasized a natural correspondence between statistical mechanics and information theory. In particular, Jaynes offered a new and very general rationale why the Gibbsian method of statistical mechanics works. He argued that the entropy of statistical mechanics and the information entropy of information theory are basically the same thing. Consequently, statistical mechanics should be seen just as a particular application of a general tool of logical inference and information theory.
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RCSaunders
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Re: Certain Knowledge

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Skepdick wrote: Thu May 14, 2020 2:30 pm I know that I know nothing.
If you say so, I'm not going to argue with you.
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Re: Certain Knowledge

Post by Skepdick »

RCSaunders wrote: Thu May 14, 2020 4:34 pm If you say so, I'm not going to argue with you.
You can't argue even if you wanted to.

Not unless you figure out how to decide whether knowing that you know nothing is knowledge or not.
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Re: Certain Knowledge

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

RCSaunders wrote: Wed May 13, 2020 7:42 pm Philosophers and sundry pseudo-intellectual academics, psychologists, religionists, and mystics can tell you with absolute certainty that certain knowledge is not possible.
..
As usual you are being to rhetorical thus misleading.

What is true is;
Philosophers [of philosophy-proper] and all rational humans will tell you with relative-certainty that absolutely-certain-knowledge is not possible in reality.

Whatever is 'certain' must always be qualified to a Framework of Knowledge only and never outside its realm.

Your list of "Things you know for certain" cannot be stated as absolutely absolute but has to be qualified to whatever the relevant specific Framework of Knowledge.

For example;
"What stars, the moon, and the sun are" are not certain but only relatively-certain to the different Framework of Knowledge.

What is 'certainly' a star as a physical object in the sky to the common layman is not certain as claimed, but merely an illusion in another perspective.
What is perceived as a star is merely lightwaves from a Sun which is or was million of light years away. In real time, the 'certain' real star could have imploded and is non-existent.

There are so many perspectives and Frameworks of Knowledge that one can deliberate on what is the certain star, moon, sun or whatever objects.

Reference, refer to
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophical_skepticism
Philosophical skepticism is a philosophical school of thought that questions the possibility of certainty in knowledge.

Descartes' on Skepticism and
Wittgenstein's 'On Certainty'.

Thus again;
Philosophers [of philosophy-proper] and all rational humans will tell you with relative-certainty that absolutely-certain-knowledge is not possible in reality.
Whatever is 'certain' must always be qualified to a Framework of Knowledge only and never outside its realm.
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RCSaunders
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Re: Certain Knowledge

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Veritas Aequitas wrote: Tue May 19, 2020 8:19 am
RCSaunders wrote: Wed May 13, 2020 7:42 pm Philosophers and sundry pseudo-intellectual academics, psychologists, religionists, and mystics can tell you with absolute certainty that certain knowledge is not possible.
..
As usual you are being to rhetorical thus misleading.

What is true is;
Philosophers [of philosophy-proper] and all rational humans will tell you with relative-certainty that absolutely-certain-knowledge is not possible in reality.

Whatever is 'certain' must always be qualified to a Framework of Knowledge only and never outside its realm.

Your list of "Things you know for certain" cannot be stated as absolutely absolute but has to be qualified to whatever the relevant specific Framework of Knowledge.

For example;
"What stars, the moon, and the sun are" are not certain but only relatively-certain to the different Framework of Knowledge.

What is 'certainly' a star as a physical object in the sky to the common layman is not certain as claimed, but merely an illusion in another perspective.
What is perceived as a star is merely lightwaves from a Sun which is or was million of light years away. In real time, the 'certain' real star could have imploded and is non-existent.

There are so many perspectives and Frameworks of Knowledge that one can deliberate on what is the certain star, moon, sun or whatever objects.

Reference, refer to
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophical_skepticism
Philosophical skepticism is a philosophical school of thought that questions the possibility of certainty in knowledge.

Descartes' on Skepticism and
Wittgenstein's 'On Certainty'.

Thus again;
Philosophers [of philosophy-proper] and all rational humans will tell you with relative-certainty that absolutely-certain-knowledge is not possible in reality.
Whatever is 'certain' must always be qualified to a Framework of Knowledge only and never outside its realm.
As I wrote:
One thing you can know for certain is that anyone who tries to convince you what you know cannot be certain is trying to put something over that they know is not true. They just don't want you to know it.
What are you trying to put over?
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bahman
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Re: Certain Knowledge

Post by bahman »

Certain knowledge: We are interacting minds. The interaction is due to existence of a medium so-called matter. The mind is the essence of any being with the ability to experience, decide, and cause. It has a memory too. It constantly processes its memory.
Wyman
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Re: Certain Knowledge

Post by Wyman »

Wow that’s an incredibly long winded way of saying cogito ergo sum. We all learned that freshman year in philosophy 101
Veritas Aequitas
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Re: Certain Knowledge

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

RCSaunders wrote: Tue May 19, 2020 5:46 pm
Veritas Aequitas wrote: Tue May 19, 2020 8:19 am
RCSaunders wrote: Wed May 13, 2020 7:42 pm Philosophers and sundry pseudo-intellectual academics, psychologists, religionists, and mystics can tell you with absolute certainty that certain knowledge is not possible.
..
As usual you are being to rhetorical thus misleading.

What is true is;
Philosophers [of philosophy-proper] and all rational humans will tell you with relative-certainty that absolutely-certain-knowledge is not possible in reality.

Whatever is 'certain' must always be qualified to a Framework of Knowledge only and never outside its realm.

Your list of "Things you know for certain" cannot be stated as absolutely absolute but has to be qualified to whatever the relevant specific Framework of Knowledge.

For example;
"What stars, the moon, and the sun are" are not certain but only relatively-certain to the different Framework of Knowledge.

What is 'certainly' a star as a physical object in the sky to the common layman is not certain as claimed, but merely an illusion in another perspective.
What is perceived as a star is merely lightwaves from a Sun which is or was million of light years away. In real time, the 'certain' real star could have imploded and is non-existent.

There are so many perspectives and Frameworks of Knowledge that one can deliberate on what is the certain star, moon, sun or whatever objects.

Reference, refer to
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophical_skepticism
Philosophical skepticism is a philosophical school of thought that questions the possibility of certainty in knowledge.

Descartes' on Skepticism and
Wittgenstein's 'On Certainty'.

Thus again;
Philosophers [of philosophy-proper] and all rational humans will tell you with relative-certainty that absolutely-certain-knowledge is not possible in reality.
Whatever is 'certain' must always be qualified to a Framework of Knowledge only and never outside its realm.
As I wrote:
One thing you can know for certain is that anyone who tries to convince you what you know cannot be certain is trying to put something over that they know is not true. They just don't want you to know it.
What are you trying to put over?
Point is you can never be absolute certain of anything including your above quote, and even this point.
Your thinking is too shallow and narrow without the rigor essential for philosophy.
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RCSaunders
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Re: Certain Knowledge

Post by RCSaunders »

Veritas Aequitas wrote: Wed May 20, 2020 5:21 am Point is you can never be absolute certain of anything ...
So, you are not certain of that. How odd. You argue as though you thought you were certain.
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