|THE NATURE OF KNOWLEDGE|
How do we know anything?
What is necessary and sufficient for an ignorant person to acquire knowledge?
How much knowledge can we acquire?
How reliable is that knowledge?
The investigation into The Nature of Knowledge or the Nature of Knowing, is one of the fundamental disciplines in philosophy, and its technical name is Epistemology.
IF YOU DO NOT KNOW
There are Four things we can know about knowing.
1- MEANS: How do we acquire knowledge?
2- SOURCES: Whence comes knowledge?
3- LIMITS: The quantity of our knowledge
4- RELIABILITY: The quality of our knowledge
(It cannot be shouted loud enough!)
That is, if we want to add information to that which we already have,
BUT every act of faith needs an Object of Faith.
That is, when we believe, we must believe in something or someone. When we believe, we are placing our trust in something or someone.
We can classify all Objects of Faith or
FAITH IN THINGS- All objects, living and non-living, other than people or God, we will call Things. Faith in Things helps us to learn about objects around us so that we can deal with difficulties that we encounter and to live more productive and comfortable lives. A small portion of this type of information is collected and classified as SCIENCE. It is the result of experiences, particularly experiences repeatable at will, which are called controlled experiments. The controlled experiments that scientists really desire are unobtainable ideals, but we will humor them and pretend that there are such things.
FAITH IN PEOPLE- Other people, whether living or dead, whether we know them personally or not, are our objects of faith when we want to learn about experiences of other people. A small portion of this type of information that has been recorded in reliable records is called HISTORY. This group of information includes records and reports of Unique, Unrepeatable events such as births, wars, deaths, etc.
FAITH IN GOD- If we believe that God is able to communicate with people, then the knowledge we acquire thru faith in God is called REVELATION.
The Limits of each source of knowledge is as follows:-
SCIENCE- The information that we can “obtain” from material objects is very limited. The substances with which we interact are very few and even in a long lifetime, our experiences are extremely limited. Out of all the possible information that is potentially available, Science is the most limited.
HISTORY- This method of obtaining information is much wider and can give us information about events and objects that we could never experience on our own.
REVELATION- This path to knowledge is potentially the most compelling, because the Creator can give us knowledge about things and events and Himself, that we could never experience.
Each source of knowledge has varying degrees of Reliability
SCIENCE- The task of a scientist is to make careful observations of his natural surroundings, and then to try and organize those experiences into manageable patterns. After what may be years of repeated experiences or experiments, scientists try to devise “laws” which are usually mathematical representations of their measurements. These “laws” are likely to be revised as their experiences widen.
HISTORY- Historical information is more reliable, because after many years of observation and testing, we can eliminate errors that at first we believed to be valid information. Knowledge that has been accumulated over many lifetimes can help us to discard information that has not withstood “the test of time”.
REVELATION- Revelation is the most reliable source of knowledge, because the Object of Faith is God Himself. He is the sole source of Truth, omniscient and completely trustworthy. We are at His mercy for revealed knowledge, and must admit that we are utterly incapable of probing into His acts or His thoughts.
There are many incorrect Epistemologies. They are too numerous to mention. They have misled people for centuries and continue to do so.
MEANS- ALL KNOWLEDGE IS ACQUIRED THRU FAITH
SCIENCE- FAITH IN THINGS
HISTORY- FAITH IN PEOPLE
REVELATION- FAITH IN GOD
SOURCES- WHENCE COMES KNOWLEDGE
SCIENCE- EXPERIENCES REPEATABLE AT WILL
HISTORY- EXPERIENCES OF OTHERS
REVELATION- KNOWLEDGE GIVEN BY GOD
LIMITS- THE QUANTITY OF OUR KNOWLEDGE
SCIENCE- EVENTS THAT ARE REPEATABLE AT WILL
HISTORY- EVENTS WITNESSED & RECORDED BY OTHER PEOPLE
REVELATION- EVERY EVENT THAT HAS EVER TAKEN PLACE AND KNOWLEDGE ABOUT GOD HIMSELF
RELIABILITY- THE QUALITY OF OUR KNOWLEDGE
SCIENCE- LEAST RELIABLE
HISTORY- MORE RELIABLE
REVELATION- MOST RELIABLE- THE ONLY SOURCE OF TRUTH
If anyone claims that they know mathematical and geometrical truths without having to exercise faith, we must remind them that numbers and geometric shapes are purely imaginary ideas about non-existent impossibilities, and thus cannot be considered knowledge.
|… all that is not of faith is sin. Romans 14:23|
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