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Author Topic: Can we know only what we are prepared to know?  (Read 1641 times)

Offline coberst

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Can we know only what we are prepared to know?
« on: 31/03/2009 13:54:23 »
Can we know only what we are prepared to  know?

If an individual has never learned to add and subtract that individual cannot learn how to divide and multiply. 

Our American educational system, K-12, attempts to teach minimum fundamentals that prepare an individual to function within our high tech society.  Our colleges and universities generally augment these fundamentals with some form of specialized knowledge that will make it possible for graduates to obtain good jobs. 

Few graduates from our American educational system are prepared to comprehend the very complex type of problems our society encounters.  In a democracy such as ours the citizens can choose the politicians to act as their representatives in government.  In a democracy such as ours the citizen can veto any public policy that they do not comprehend even though it might be necessary for the survival of the American culture and perhaps even of the survival of the human species.

Under such circumstances is a democratic form of government adequate? 

If not what form of government is adequate? 

Is it possible for us to educate citizens to the higher level of sophistication that is required to manage a sophisticated high tech society such as ours?


 

Offline Don_1

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Can we know only what we are prepared to know?
« Reply #1 on: 01/04/2009 08:36:36 »
Democracy is certainly not ideal, but until someone comes up a something better, it is, I suppose, the best available option.

In answer to your question 'Can we know only what we are prepared to know?' there are many who chose to blank out that which they do not wish to know. This is evident in just about every walk of life. The attitude appears to be 'if it does benefit me or is contrary to my wealth or in my opinion is a waste of my time, then I don't want to know'. This can be very selfish, but I fear it is in our nature. It is very fortunate that some have the ability to control this trait.
 

Offline coberst

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Can we know only what we are prepared to know?
« Reply #2 on: 01/04/2009 11:42:50 »
Democracy is certainly not ideal, but until someone comes up a something better, it is, I suppose, the best available option.

In answer to your question 'Can we know only what we are prepared to know?' there are many who chose to blank out that which they do not wish to know. This is evident in just about every walk of life. The attitude appears to be 'if it does benefit me or is contrary to my wealth or in my opinion is a waste of my time, then I don't want to know'. This can be very selfish, but I fear it is in our nature. It is very fortunate that some have the ability to control this trait.

If we blank out what we do not wish to know that must mean that we are capable of comprehending that matter. 

I am convinced that we cannot "see" that which we are not prepared to "see"; metaphor ‘know is see’.

It is like walking in a forest such that we are unable to see very far because the trees restrict our view.  We can use the analogy of walking in the forest, which to see beyond the surrounding trees we must have the means to climb a tall tree to see a bit further.

Perhaps we might extend the analogy to say that we must have some means to raise our self above the surrounding clutter before we can see a bit further.  Only when we find a hill with tall trees and climb one of those trees can we see the mountain ahead, which we might climb and see a mountain range in the distance, which we might travel too so that we can see even further.  But as long as we do not climb some trees we cannot see beyond the mundane appearances of our little world of trees that surround us.
 

Offline Don_1

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Can we know only what we are prepared to know?
« Reply #3 on: 01/04/2009 13:13:08 »
Quote
If we blank out what we do not wish to know that must mean that we are capable of comprehending that matter. 

Yes, we may be able to comprehend, but can still choose not to take notice.

Quote
metaphor ‘know is see’.

'Know' or 'see' - Same difference, yes.

You are describing an inability to be able to see (know) as in 'can't see the wood for the trees'. This is not an inability due to choice. You are describing an inability to be able to see because we have so very much to take in all around us.

But there is an ever present inability to see out of choice, which is our greatest failing. The driver who persistently does 50/60mph in a 30mph zone, he knows he shouldn't, he knows why he shouldn't, he knows the possible consequences of his actions, but chooses to disregard them.
 

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Can we know only what we are prepared to know?
« Reply #3 on: 01/04/2009 13:13:08 »

 

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