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Forums ► General Info ► Knowledge=Power
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Post # 1

The quote scientia potentia est, widely assumed to be the words of Sir Francis
Bacon(an english philosopher), means 'knowledge is power' in Latin.
So what exactly is knowledge?
The study of knowledge, known as epistemology, seeks to answer three questions:
What is knowledge?
How is our knowledge obtained?
How do we know the things we know?

What is knowledge?
Knowledge has many different interpretations and meanings.
Plato defined knowledge as being a 'justified true belief' .
A rough definition of knowledge is 'familiarity with a subject'.
The Catholic encyclopedia says, " Knowledge, being a primitive fact of consciousness,
cannot, strictly speaking, be defined; but the direct and spontaneous consciousness
of knowing may be made clearer by pointing out its essential and distinctive
" Most religions view knowledge as a gift from their creator(s). It
can be broken down into several different categories: situational, partial and
scientific knowledge.
Truth is often considered knowledge, though it has certain
objectives and guidelines it must meet. The three primary truths, 'First Fact',
'First Principle' and 'First Condiditon', determine what is truth and likewise what
then is knowledge. Dugald Stewart , scottish philosopher, describes the three primary
truths as "" They are such and such only, as can neither be proved nor refuted by
other propositions of greater perspicuity. They are self-evident; not borrowing the
powers of reasoning to shed light upon themselves.
" Truth is the agreement of a
judgment with reality. Belief can be considered knowledge as well. When one believes
something strong enough it becomes true to them. You can believe that you are a
bear, even if obviously you are not, and if you believe it is so then to say "I am a
bear" would be true. Belief is a key component in knowledge. If you do not believe
what you know, then what is it that you really know? As Plato suggested,
Justification is a type of knowledge. If you believe something to be true, you must
be able to justify why you hold that belief.Justification is split into two
different categories: irrationalism (belief, faith, etc) and panrationalism
(observation, rational authority, etc). The American philosopher Robert Nozick , well
acredited american philosopher, suggests his view of knowledge using the formula
S knows that P if and only if:

  1. P;
  2. S believes that P;
  3. if P were false, S would not believe that P;
  4. if P is true, S will believe that P.'

How is our knowledge obtained?
a priori : known without experience. Latin: what comes before .
a posteriori: known through experience. Latin: what comes after .
These terms are used to dictate between different types of knowledge and how they
are obtained. Socrates believed that all humans were born with knowledge, which
would directly fall under a priori . He developed the ' Socratic Method ', in which one
person is question in their logical analysis and facts in order for commonly held
beliefs to be analyzed and checked for consistency. It was a way to seek your own
truths from your own knowledge. " Aristotle ," wrote one scholar, " regarded 'essence'
[universals] as metaphysical", whereas she regarded it as epistemological, thus
giving proof to the concept that knowledge is conceptual, created by an inquiring
mind as the answer to what it sought from the empirical experience. It was never "in
the thing"; it was in the conceptual definition of "the thing
(see sources). He believed that knowledge was empirical , meaning gained through ones own observation and experiences. This falls under a posteriori.

How do we know the things we know?
This ties in to both previous questions.
You know what you know from personal experience. If you touch something hot, you
know it is hot. You learned from your interaction with it. It is testable and
rational. You learn through knowledge that others tell you. This is how the
educational system works. One person, considered knowledgable, tells you something
that you either take as fact or not. Skepticism of what someone tells you leads you
to define your own beliefs, sets of truth, and knowledge. You learn how to speak,
walk and read from this manner of learning. While most people prefer learning
through expeirence to learning from someone else, these are both ways to gain
knowledge and know the things that you know. Science is a way of knowing something,
because it provides tests and variables to prove a hypothesis that you ask. You
observe your surroundings, seek explanations, investigate into them and find
patterns. This is how you know what you know.

So knowledge is power. It's self-exploration and discovery of the world around you.
It's based in factual information and individual belief. It's defined with truth and
justification. It's tested with science and skepticism. It provides us answers to
questions. It creates questions in and of itself. Knowledge is a valuable tool, that
everyone should seek after. Those who have knowledge lead a rich and interesting


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Re: Knowledge=Power
Post # 2
interesting read.
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Re: Knowledge=Power
By: / Beginner
Post # 3
Yes, it was a nice post
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Re: Knowledge=Power
Post # 4
Excellent post, I just wanted to point out that we can never truly know anything. Any knowledge we possess that we believe to be true requires at least some level of faith. This is because our knowledge posteriori is gained from use of the five senses, from experience something. These five senses though, can be tricked into experiencing something that is not actually there. Therefore any knowledge gained through experience has that slight uncertainty, that small possibility of being false.
for example, say a schizophrenik man hallucinates that he sees an apple falling upwards. This man, having no prior knowledge of gravity, and not realizing that hes hallucinating, comes to believe that the truth of the world is that objects fall up. This is obviously not true.
So, we can never truly "know" anything. Socrates himself even said "I know that I know nothing, and I'm not even sure I know that!"
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Re: Knowledge=Power
Post # 5
is that understandable? I wrote that last night when I was kind of tired and I'm not sure its easily understandable.....
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Re: Knowledge=Power
Post # 6

It made complete sense. And I appriciate the comment. It's very true!

I enjoy the philosophy that everything we perceive cannot be proved to be real. All the senses we know can be reproduced and imagined by the brain alone. The body has nearly fourteen to twenty+ senses that through scientific research they have proven the brain to be able to replicate and therefore falsify. (sense of heat, sense of balance, sense of time, etc).

So yes, it remains that we can never be for certain if we know what we know that we know.

(say that three times fast, eh?)

I suppose I should have included something on that. Thank you for pointing that out.

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Re: Knowledge=Power
Post # 7
Thanks, I aim to serve. And your post wasn't half bad either ;) lol
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Re: Knowledge=Power
Post # 8
to have knowledge thats secret is to have a greater overstanding on the world stage,the gods simply play a game with earth and every one has a stand.the rich think they run the stage but they are just standing with the rest of us,i think its time for peace around the world yet that would bore the war mongrels unless they where asked to fight for there lives.i know what i say is real i have observed life for a long time.they are all backward thinking.its time for a change,stop messing with our thinking.let us evolve.
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Re: Knowledge=Power
Post # 9
In our modern times? Spiritual evolution is unlikely, and physical evolution is unneccesary, simply because first the first time ever, we are the ones in control of our envirement and not the other way around.
Human beings are greedy and selfish by nature, its encoded in our DNA. However, being able to overcome these animalistic urges and do whats best for others and not just for ourselves is whats seperates us from wild beasts. Unfortunately, many of the people in todays world seem to have forgotten that.
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