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The limits of faith and knowledge (personal thoughts)
07-24-2013, 01:07 PM
Post: #1
The limits of faith and knowledge (personal thoughts)
Hi!

I'm new to the forum, I've browsed around a lot and I thought it might be time to make an account. I've been having issues comprehending the nature of knowledge and how is it that I am supposed to believe or prove anything. I dabbled in epistemic nihilism and have also flaunted with ontological nihilism for quite some time, and to some extent I still hold this view. I believe in a deity (I am agnostic regarding the ability to know such a deity), but I've come to the conclusion that I can not know anything about anything (let alone a deity). I only assume that such things are even "fallibly knowable".

Religion has caused me much dismay due to this unfortunate circumstance. Within the religious sphere there tends to be a propensity toward contradicting claims, apologetics for such religious claims, external contradicting doctrines to the previous claims (IE:- other religions) and this seems to go on ad nauseum. How am I supposed to make or take on any kind of claim if I cannot even establish a ground in which I can make such a claim? I would assume this question extends to everyone. How is one supposed to justify anything? (especially metaphysical claims!) how are we supposed to believe or claim that we know or have grounds for believing anything when we all live in a fuzzy indeterminate universe where facts tend only to be approximations of what people commonly (and mistakenly) assume are absolute facts? (this itself may just be an assumption).

Looking for input, all claims welcome.

Cheers,

Jamie
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07-24-2013, 01:22 PM (This post was last modified: 07-24-2013 01:23 PM by Achrelos.)
Post: #2
RE: The limits of faith and knowledge (personal thoughts)
I have the same problem as you. I'm not a nihilist, and certain things I do say are "knowledge." But when it comes to deities and religion I agree with most of your points. Every religion claims it is the truth but none can support the claim. I am very interested in what religious people have to say.

Ištu dumqim amqut, u anaku anmiq
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07-24-2013, 03:32 PM
Post: #3
RE: The limits of faith and knowledge (personal thoughts)
It seems that there are very few things, if anything at all, that we can actually know about the external world with certainty. However, this does not mean that some things cannot be more likely than others. Moreover, this does not mean it's equally good to just pick something and believe it. If there is some large set of hypotheses and you think there is reason to conclude that neither is more likely than another, then the result is that they are all, individually, unlikely and it would be incorrect to believe any one of them. Instead, you should simply accept that you do not know which it is and operate under that uncertainty. Your beliefs should be scaled with what is justifiable, not with what you want.
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07-24-2013, 04:28 PM
Post: #4
RE: The limits of faith and knowledge (personal thoughts)
Good OP, Chemical. Personally I can't help you to leave the epistemological hole you find yourself - I LIVE in that hole - but I can reassure you that it's comfortable in here once you get used to the decor.
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07-24-2013, 04:58 PM (This post was last modified: 07-24-2013 05:00 PM by shiverleaf15.)
Post: #5
RE: The limits of faith and knowledge (personal thoughts)
I guess I've taken the following philosophy:

- First, know that you exist to make the observations.
- Then, acknowledge the power of persuasion in making conclusions, but don't lose track of that, don't forget they are persuasions and not dogmatic knowledge.
- Be open to speculation as well as skepticism but always acknowledge that you don't know if future-you may change his/her mind. So always be open minded.
- Make the foundation of all your discussions "I believe in X for Y reasons but I may be wrong, who knows". Expect people to have similar attitudes. If they are too dogmatic, don't let their assertiveness change who you are. Evaluate all you meet.

An addendum:

For me, the word "faith" has been given false meanings today. It never should mean "blind belief".

It derives from the Latin "fide", which was equivalent to the Greek "pistis", unless I'm mistaken. And "pistis" means persuasion. Everything we "know" is persuasion.

"To yield and give way to our passions is the lowest slavery, even as to rule over them is the only liberty." -Justin Martyr
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