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8/8/12 questions and discussion

From: Jon A.
Sent on: Friday, August 10, 2012 5:03 PM
8/8/12 questions and discussion

1-how/how doesn't not knowing impact our lives?7
2-is it possible to not be an agnostic?4
3-is there a myth that says freedom equals happiness?6
4-what are the alternatives to capitalism, have they been used/did they work?5
5-assuming GW is true what are the chances we'll successfully adapt?5
6-do we live in an indeterminate universe?5
7-how could we connect with people who share no ethnicity or culture in common with us?6
8-what should be hidden?4


how does or does not "not knowing" impact our lives?

Jamie: in life most people are looking for answers but the answers seemed predetermined by odds. But that 1% unknown remains. History flips all the time. There are new discoveries that change what we know. We always want to know what's true. It might seem all we're doing is creating fictions. Are we deluding ourselves? Most things are a "fact" for only a short time. Why do we seem so interested in permanence of truth? Is there value in shortness?

Jon: do you have any answers to these questions?

Jamie: it seems very Western. I'll soon be looking at Eastern philosophy and hope to find insight into how it sees the truth. Short-lived truth might have its own value.

Matt: what does this have to do with not knowing?

Jamie: Not knowing is a large part of our reality. 

Jon; ignorance is bliss, what you don't know won't hurt you.

Damnny: is it better to know or not to know?

Jamie: it depends on whether it's always good to know the consequences of actions/decisions taken now. 

Ben: if we know/do not know consequences, would we act the way we do? 

Danny: is there anything it's best not to know?

Art: nobody makes any plans so we seem to prefer not knowing. The idea of not knowing is a technique we've held on to. There's no goal for humanity. Religions have god's plan, scientists just collect data.

jon: you too?

Art: I try to plan but I'm never correct. But I try.

Matt: "preppers" is a name for folks nowadays who are certain (they KNOW) about the future and are prepared/preparing for it. 

Jon: but we do know a lot more than we used to about what is true, don't we?

Jamie: most people do not want to know what's in their hot dogs but at the same time this not knowing could bring harm.

Steve: freedom is not knowing, as opposed to knowing all the outcomes wherein we are trapped by certainty. It's there we'd lose freedom. Not knowing is good for feeling free. 

Danny: would not knowing, could one have free will without knowledge? 

Siva:  knowing gives freedom to change a certain future. 

Jamie: changing the future is like a math problem; you can change the variable for a different result.

Danny: not knowing, not having something,  is impacted by desire. Without desire, not knowing is a void, neither good nor bad.

Eric: do we really always need to know? For art and creative things, it's good not to know. Some philosopher said there are two kinds of problems: clock maker problems and steam engine maintainer problems. the clock problems are specific but can be numerous. The steam engine problem is simple: stop shoveling coal! We often look to know something without a clear reason as to why we want to know. Just knowig isn't going to solve any given problem. Is it useful? The CO shooting, the Milwaukee shooting, many want to know why those guys did such violent and destructive things, but it's purely speculation. Yes, we don't want history to repeat itself. But, unless we really know we can't prevent anything.

Matt: Christopher Columbus is a "hero", we are taught as children. But our teachers "forget" to tell of his dark side; he was greedy, owned slaves. This is an example of not knowing that impacts all of us negatively. It contributes to a false understanding of human history, human nature. I am grateful to know of Columbus' complexities.

[At this point we fell apart discussion-wise as we got trapped again and again in disputes over what is or is not true, what we do or do not know, about several hot topics. So we failed to stay on topic. It's interesting how easily we went for debates on what is true. It's much harder to stick to this question.
This question asks us to imagine or remember what happens when we are ignorant. When is ignorance good for us? What can we do about not knowing; what should we do about not knowing?
Speaking for myself alone, I find it very difficult to think of any knowledge I possess now that I wish I did not have. I feel acutely how little I know. 

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