In 1963, Edmund Gettier came up with an argument which called into question the theory of knowledge that had dominated philosophy for thousands of years. He argued that there are circumstances under which one’s belief may be true and justified, but despite this, the information may not count as…
In 1963, Edmund Gettier came up with an argument which called into question the theory of knowledge that had dominated philosophy for thousands of years. He argued that there are circumstances under which one’s belief may be true and justified, but despite this, the information may not count as knowledge.
In Gettier’s eyes, there exist certain situations in which a person does not hold knowledge, even when these conditions are met.
Counterarguments to Gettier:
Richard Kirkham: “The only definition of knowledge that could ever be immune to all counterexamples is the infallibilist one. To qualify as an item of knowledge, goes the theory, a belief must not only be true and justified, the justification of the belief must necessitate its truth. In other words, the justification for the belief must be infallible.”
Green sulfur bacteria: chlorobacteria
purple sulfur bacteria: rhodospirilla
President Obama summarizes the past two years of my life in a single paragraph.
Eventually, my rejection of authority spilled into self-indulgence and by the time I enrolled in college, I’d begun to see how any challenge to convention harbored within it the possibility of its own excesses and its own orthodoxy. I started to reexamine my assumptions, and recalled the values my mother and grandparents had taught me. In this slow, fitful process of sorting out what I believed, I began silently registering the point in dorm-room conversations when my college friends and I stopped thinking and slipped into cant: the point at which the denunciations of capitalism or American imperialism came too easily, and the freedom from the constraints of monogamy or religion was proclaimed without fully understanding the value of such constraints, and the role of victim was too readily-embraced as a means of shedding responsibility or asserting entitlement, or claiming moral superiority over those not so victimized.
A simple way to declare your love for your city: be the first to do a timelapse of it.
Actually, my point was that humans are so irrational that we might as well believe in a higher power. I think that if a person were to analyze all of his/her actions in a day, then they’d realize that a large portion of their actions were done just for personal whims unrelated to any sort of logical thinking about the best sort of actions one ought to take. So we’re so irrational all the time but then when it comes to philosophies about life, then all of a sudden, we have to be these super logical, reasonable beings? It’s a bit paradoxical. And I would never judge the ancients who worshiped Thor and Zeus. I would just see the similarities, in that all of us want to believe in something. They just did it slightly differently than I do.
When I was a kid, I used to see things, perhaps in movies or on tv, that made me wish life were “cooler.”
When I watched Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, I thought that it would be sooo COOL if somewhere, there was an edge of the world like that.
But there may be.
One lesson that I’ve learned as a human, one extremely, extremely, crucial lesson, is that humans are infinitely stupid. We will know some things at some times, but for the most part, we will be near 0% with regards to the percent of knowledge out there.
And so, there may very well be a cliff with water pouring over it. It may be 1000000 light-years away. All I know for sure about that cliff is that I don’t know.
But what I do know about science has proven to me that the universe can definitely be more creative than the movies. The fascination that I feel with science has been more worthwhile to me than anything else I’ve ever seen. And I don’t have to be disheartened by the lack of a spectacularly fascinating, amazing, awe-inspiring world. Because there is no lack of it. I’m in it.
Atheists have great arguments. Superb. They base their existences off of reason, for the most part. And so do I. But I’m religious.
Why the differences between us? We are 99% the same in terms of belief.
I just believe in a little something extra.
We are tiny, tiny, tiny creatures in a vast universe, literally too vast for our minds to comprehend. But our brains do not explode with the thought of it. No, far from that. We rarely think about the universe in our day-to-day lives.
So have you realized more than I have? We’re still both practically nothing in the vast scheme of things.
We both know that due to the infinite nature of the universe, there’s probably life out there. And those beings may or may not know more than we do. But do we go crazy over the thought of other life? No.
Even in this small, small world of ours, billions of interactions are going on at every second. At this microsecond, people are laughing, people are dying, birds are chirping, wind is blowing, stock markets are crashing, coconuts are falling, children are being abused, bridges are being built, and the world is spinning. At this microsecond, a trillion trillion trillion atoms are vibrating. A googloplex electrons are dancing. How then do you live? How do we live, knowing the commotion, ruckus, and beauty of… everything? Belief, I guess. We’re confident that the earth will not fold in on itself within the next two minutes. We’re confident that the protons in all the atoms in the earth will not suddenly consolidate and form a black hole where the Earth once was. You may be saying, well of course that’s not going to happen! That’s absurd! Protons don’t do that! That’s so statistically improbable.
But how do you know? Most likely, if you’re familiar with what I’ve been talking about, you’ve probably had a high school education in chemistry and/or a couple semesters of chemistry/physics/etc. in college. You sat in class, listened, and believedthat what you were being told was true. Honestly, how the hell do you even know? Have you ever seenan atom? Maybe everybody’s just been lying to you this whole time. Better yet, even if you could see an atom, how do you know that your eyes are not just playing tricks on you? You could be hallucinating. You could be dreaming. Life is just a dream anyway, isn’t it? If someone took away your sight, your hearing, and your voice, what would remain of your life? Would you be existing?
And so you believe in everything. You believe that you will get up in the morning after you go to sleep, despite knowing that millions of people have died in their sleep, believing that they would wake up in the morning.
Do you think that you are being innovative by not believing in a higher power or a purpose? You believe your chemistry teacher when she tells you that there are trillions of cells working like little machines in your body at every second, but you refuse to believe that there is some purpose to our existence?
This post is not to bash atheists. It’s to pose some questions. Maybe make you think a little. Actually, there’s only one question. Here goes:
And once you answer that question, you will know what you are meant to do and what life