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January 7, 2020 / Congau

Ignorance

I know nothing. I can’t know anything. Knowledge is impossible.

But I’m not a skeptic.

There are objects of knowledge, so something can be known. We just can’t know them. Therefore we have to believe; that’s all we can do, and that we must do.

Knowledge is having an absolute certainty that something is a fact and having it for the right reason. Also, it must in fact be true.

How would that be possible? We may be dreaming; our senses may betray us; people may lie to us; we may be delusional.

Truth is not enough for knowledge. Suppose someone wanted to lie to you but told you something that accidentally happened to be true. Then you wouldn’t know what you think you knew, even if it was true.

Suppose all our knowledge was like that.

Suppose there was a small box. Inside it there was either something or nothing; there was either a marble or there was not a marble. Your friend had never looked inside, but he told you it contained a marble and you believed him. Now, suppose there was really a marble inside; did you know? No, you didn’t.

Do we have sufficient reason to know everything we think we know? Of course not. We are told and we believe. Even our firmest convictions are insufficiently based. How do you know that the earth is round?

I believe that the earth is round. I’m not a skeptic.

We can’t know anything, but things can be known. The earth is either round or flat; it is not both. The earth has a shape and therefore it can be known.

There are facts and there are truths and we must believe in them or else we can’t do anything.

There is no knowledge, only belief, and that’s why we must believe.

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