1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

What We Call 'Knowledge', Is Really ...

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by PureX, Aug 9, 2020.

  1. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Messages:
    15,014
    Ratings:
    +6,383
    Religion:
    Philosophical Taoist/Christian
    What we call "knowledge" is really just control. The more we "know" of our environment, ourselves, and each other, the better we are at controlling their affect on us. Which is WHY we "seek knowledge". What we're really seeking is greater control.

    So, ... what we so often refer to as "truth", is really just relative functionality. If an idea of something "works" for us (gives us control over our environment), we accept it as being "true". If it doesn't "work" for us, we consider it "false".

    Knowledge and truth are all about functional control. And not at all about gaining an accurate understanding of 'what is', as we are all so often telling ourselves.

    Any thoughts?
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Winner Winner x 2
    • Useful Useful x 1
  2. Thief

    Thief Rogue Theologian

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    Messages:
    46,796
    Ratings:
    +4,362
    without knowledge.....control is a crap shoot

    if you don't know what you are doing.....you can get hurt

    but 'knowing' is also the notion of awareness

    you know the stars above
    the earth beneath your feet
    at least you think you do

    and do you 'really' .....know yourself?
     
  3. Thief

    Thief Rogue Theologian

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    Messages:
    46,796
    Ratings:
    +4,362
    and Man has a drive ....curiosity
    seeking to know

    even if death is the pending result
     
  4. icehorse

    icehorse Veteran Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2014
    Messages:
    10,117
    Ratings:
    +5,582
    Religion:
    spiritual anti-theist : )
    Seems like this is really a question of semantics. Is the pursuit of hedonism a variation on "control"? If so, then I'd agree, but in that case I'd say you're defining "control" in an unusual way.

    More concretely, all mammals, and some birds have an innate "play drive". We seek out opportunities to play - even adult mammals do. And play is INTRINSICALLY motivating. It is it's own reward. out in the wild, young mammals at play are often learning survival skills through play, but not always. Often they play just for the sheer joy of playing. And humans of course put a LOT of energy into playing, and it would be a stretch to say it's about control.

    When I'm playing Go, I'm gaining knowledge. Go will be more fun the more knowledge I have about it. Video gamers can say the same thing, their growing knowledge will make gaming more fun.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. mikkel_the_dane

    mikkel_the_dane Shadow Wolf's Aspie sibling

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2018
    Messages:
    3,943
    Ratings:
    +907
    Religion:
    The Wrong One
    I agree. You just have to look at that we don't need the words as such. They are short cuts for what in the end matters to humans, namely power, prestige and resources.
    Of course there is more to life that power, prestige and resources, but that is another debate.
     
  6. Thief

    Thief Rogue Theologian

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    Messages:
    46,796
    Ratings:
    +4,362
    then we consider the sociopath.....

    control

    self seeking
    self centered
    self serving

    control
     
  7. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2012
    Messages:
    28,554
    Ratings:
    +9,875
    Religion:
    dystopian Christian
    Its true that control is one major desire, but people vary. In my case it is usually true that seeking knowledge is related to my search for control, but there is another case. The pleasure of learning can link to that reward mechanism in our brains which can overcome the resistance that we have against work. People can hunger to learn. An example is that some people love music and ever increasingly different kinds of music. Music doesn't control anything, but some people just cannot get enough.

    I think its related to the innate beauty of knowledge which can be satisfying, and anything knowledge-like or which is a new experience rewards us with pleasure. People deeply value beauty and hunger for variation, and they can develop that hunger. Hunger is a deeper desire than desire to control, so it can be stronger. Its simpler and more direct and can override the desire to control.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  8. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2011
    Messages:
    20,622
    Ratings:
    +14,250
    Religion:
    Druidry
    I don't agree at all. I certainly don't seek knowledge for "control" in many instances (usually it's curiosity and awe). Never mind the fact that any "control" knowledge gives you is a two-way street. What you know controls you too.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  9. Tambourine

    Tambourine Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2020
    Messages:
    2,013
    Ratings:
    +891
    Religion:
    none
    That's one possible definition of the term, yes.
     
  10. QuestioningMind

    QuestioningMind Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2010
    Messages:
    3,810
    Ratings:
    +2,753
    I certainly agree that the more knowledge we have about how our environment works the greater potential we have for controlling said environment. I'd say that being able to control our environment is a major reason why people seek knowledge, but it's not the only reason why we seek it.

    But I don't know what you mean by it's not about gaining an accurate understanding of 'what is'. The more knowledge we gain about what works and what doesn't work, the greater our understand of 'what is' becomes. Can you provide an example of some knowledge that helps to give us more control over our environment that isn't actually true?
     
  11. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Messages:
    15,014
    Ratings:
    +6,383
    Religion:
    Philosophical Taoist/Christian
    Hedonism is a philosophical motive for our wanting control (personal pleasure). One of several.

    Play releases chemical reactions in our brain that give us pleasure. An evolutionary trait that increases our interactions with each other, and with our environment that then increases our "knowledge" (control) of these.
    These things are "fun" because we are biologically programmed to seek control of our environment. And that's exactly what we're trying to do when we 'play games'.
     
    #11 PureX, Aug 9, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2020
  12. Thief

    Thief Rogue Theologian

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    Messages:
    46,796
    Ratings:
    +4,362
    and .....chess

    is a form of knowledge?

    let us not confuse learned response to....knowledge
     
  13. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Messages:
    15,014
    Ratings:
    +6,383
    Religion:
    Philosophical Taoist/Christian
    Does it? Does knowing how some system functions really tell us anything about where it came from or why it exists? I don't see that it does.
    That's a trick question. "True" refers to that which functions relative to our experience and understanding of existence, i.e.: that which increases our control. You're asking for a tall example of short.
     
  14. icehorse

    icehorse Veteran Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2014
    Messages:
    10,117
    Ratings:
    +5,582
    Religion:
    spiritual anti-theist : )
    So it's back to my original thought which is this is just about semantics. I suppose you can define "control" to be so all-encompassing and while it's not wrong per se, it doesn't seem to allow for important nuance and distinctions.
     
  15. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Messages:
    15,014
    Ratings:
    +6,383
    Religion:
    Philosophical Taoist/Christian
    What it's not allowing is an actual comprehensive understanding of 'what is'. All it's about is what works (for us).
     
  16. QuestioningMind

    QuestioningMind Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2010
    Messages:
    3,810
    Ratings:
    +2,753
    Does it? Does knowing how some system functions really tell us anything about where it came from or why it exists? I don't see that it does.

    Of course it does and if you don't see it that means you must not be looking. For instance, back in the days when we had little to no knowledge about volcanoes ignorant human beings imagined that they erupted because some volcano god was upset. Today, now that we've gained knowledge about geology we understand that a volcano is nothing more than a nature product of internal geological processes. We know precisely where it came from and why it exists.

    Knowledge and truth are all about functional control. And not at all about gaining an accurate understanding of 'what is', as we are all so often telling ourselves.

    So give me an example of something that it 'true' (i.e. all about functional control) that is NOT 'what is'?
     
  17. Tambourine

    Tambourine Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2020
    Messages:
    2,013
    Ratings:
    +891
    Religion:
    none
    And unmoved within the limits of great bonds
    it is unbeginning unending, since generation and destruction
    have wandered quite far away, and genuine conviction has expelled them.
    And remaining the same, in the same place, and on its own it rests,
    and thus steadfast right there it remains; for powerful Necessity
    holds it in the bonds of a limit, which encloses it all around,
    wherefore it is right that What Is be not unfulfilled; for it is not lacking: if it were, it would lack everything.


    But since there is a furthest limit, it is perfected
    from every side, like the bulk of a well-rounded globe,
    from the middle equal every way: for that it be neither any greater
    nor any smaller in this place or in that is necessary;
    for neither is there non-being, which would stop it reaching
    to its like, nor is What Is such that it might be more than What Is
    here and less there. Since it is all inviolate,
    for it is equal to itself from every side, it extends uniformly in limits.


    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/parmenides/
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Messages:
    15,014
    Ratings:
    +6,383
    Religion:
    Philosophical Taoist/Christian
    Actually no, we don't. All we know is how it happened within it's physical context. Yet that tells us nothing about the origin or purpose of that physical context. It's like a line of dominoes. We think because this domino knocks that domino over, and that domino knock the next one over, that we then understand what's happening. And yet we know nothing at all about how the dominoes got there, why they are spaced as they are, or what the eventual outcome of their actions will be.
     
  19. QuestioningMind

    QuestioningMind Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2010
    Messages:
    3,810
    Ratings:
    +2,753

    All we know is how it happened within it's physical context. Yet that tells us nothing about the origin or purpose of that physical context.

    Please provide evidence that a volcano must have a purpose beyond venting pressure from the Earth's core. I'd also love to see what evidence you have that a volcano (or anything else for that matter) exists in any context other than the physical.
     
  20. Tambourine

    Tambourine Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2020
    Messages:
    2,013
    Ratings:
    +891
    Religion:
    none
    Why do you assume that physical things must have a purpose, though?
     
    • Like Like x 1
Loading...