Evidence and understanding

Change is ceaseless over time; obvious or imperceptible, but always there. We can break it down as punctuation points, events, as discrete or continuous as we may find convenient. This aids our own understanding, our limited grasp of the world. Events leave traces in their passing, evidence that they have occurred. We look to the evidence, the events, things and their relationships to the world in order to understand the puzzles of existence.

Our perceptions can provide evidence for innumerable things, most of them unnoticed. We evaluate and interpret the traces left in the world by events in order to understand.

Claims of Knowledge

The problem is belief

Claims of knowledge depend on belief, justified beliefs according to some. Is it possible to have correct and justified beliefs? This is a question that has bedevilled philosophers for millennia, and yet is relevant to practical day to day concerns.

Our current understanding is limited and undoubtedly incorrect in numerous ways. Over time, our understanding will change, perhaps for the better, but perhaps for the worse. Maybe in some respects we have it correct, at least in small and practical ways When looking at many complex issues, our understanding gets a lot more suspect.

Perhaps we are best served by regarding all beliefs as tentative, by reserving judgment, looking for evidence. We are better realizing that we do not know over believing that which is incorrect. The latter is frequently far more damaging.

We can see an example in religion. Atheism and deism are both claims to knowledge, knowledge which I do not think we are or will ever be in a position to be certain about. Clearly both the claims of the atheists and the claims of the deists cannot both be correct. It is better to be agnostic, to be non-dogmatic and to suspend judgment. See Understanding through existing beliefs at https://ephektikoi.ca/2020/04/26/understanding-through-existing-beliefs/

It helps to discard the delusion that we stand on some privileged position of knowledge, having a direct conduit from the omniscient one.

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