To some, this is a ridiculous question steeped in pointless naval gazing. To others, it’s a comedic take on people who ask the ‘big questions’. To others this is a reasonable assessment of what we want to understand. To me, it’s all three at the same time. And maybe that’s the point.
And like most rhetorical questions, I don’t really want to KNOW if I really know what I think I know. Rather, I’m curious about how this questions makes one think a few steps ahead. It’s not about what we know. It’s about the idea that we think we know in the first place. Like, what makes us think we are so awesome that we can understand the very nature of a thing? What makes us think we are so special? Why are we the only living thing on the planet that can ‘know’? Or is that even a logical thought in the first place?
So, yeah, wondering whether we can even really know things is interesting in and of itself. Perhaps even more interesting than the simple question of whether we are right or wrong. Because that’s the nature of knowing, I think. Knowing implies we are correct. And like my buddy Paul Gadola says, we all think we are correct. So knowing is a bit biased to say the least. We ALL think we know. And we often disagree. And modernity has brought, if nothing else, an ever increasing number of potential explanations to things which means the options of knowing what is right are becoming more and more infinite.
In other words, knowing, or being right, is increasingly more impossible. And, more importantly, does it even matter? If there are ‘subjective truths’ (which I believe are really subjective realities, and not truths at all) then REALLY what does it matter? Can’t we all be right? Doesn’t everyone get a trophy?
What follows, then, is my curiosity in the knowing itself. Not whether or not I know. And how did I arrive at that knowing? One of the major assumptions of the Are vs Should Problem is that much of what we think and believe was simply inherited, so why do we connect so much of our identity with this inherited ‘knowledge’?
Moreover, isn’t it the capacity to think we know stuff far more interesting than actually knowing the stuff? Were the ancient Greeks correct to ‘know thyself’? Isn’t that the first step, anyway? How can we know ANYTHING without first understanding how we would even begin to know in the first place?
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YouTube video link here: https://youtu.be/9qGAvcDwg6M
Here are two links to the Toltec and Taoist ideas of ‘not doing’ and ‘non thinking’:
Preview video below: