• Dear forum visitor,

    It looks as though you have not registered for a forum account, or are not signed in. In order to participate in current discussions or create new threads, you will need to register for a forum account by clicking on the link below.

    Click here to register for a forum account!

    If you already have a forum account, you can simply click on the 'Log in' button at the top right of your forum screen.

    Your Elvenar Team

Types of Knowledge and Dealing with Dissonance

ajqtrz

Well-Known Member
[REMINDER: I write long posts. If you don't have the patience to read 11 paragraphs, this post is not for you. And please don't tell me you skimmed them or, worse "TL:DR" but would still like to offer an opinion. (Sorry I have to say this, but there are a few forum readers who think it perfectly okay to mark it as TL:DR or say "I skimmed it" and then to offer a, usually testy, critique. It's like a person offering an opinion of a new restaurant even though they have never eaten there, because they read the menu.)]

Types of Knowledge and Dealing with Dissonance​

Knowledge is what I expect to be true. That's the definition I use and it's a pretty good one as it makes a distinction between truth and knowledge in two ways. First, truth is what is. It is nothing more. Since knowledge is what I expect to be true, to me it's the same as what is. And second, what I expect to be true may not be what I say is true but something else. It may be what I consciously think is true, but which my actions and reactions show is not what I actually expect. For instance, I may tell myself I shouldn't be afraid of clowns because clowns will not hurt me, but am afraid of clowns exactly because something inside of me overrules what I express as true...that clowns won't hurt me. All of which is to say there are different kinds of knowledge.

First, there is physical knowledge. You go to walk and your body knows what muscles to contract in a precise rhythm that enables you to walk. You project into the next few seconds a set of motions by which you walk and expect those motions to produce walking. But suddenly, you develop a problem with your inner ear and your balance goes haywire. You find yourself expecting to walk with the same set of projected movements only to fall. Your body knowledge finds itself projecting what will happen incorrectly. It's knowledge is now, not true, even if it might remain in you body as knowledge. Now you have to reeducate your body.

Second, there is social knowledge. You have a friend. You expect your friend to support you in certain ways. You expect him to react to you in a more or less positive manner. You've been friends for a long time and trust him. But one day you say something which upsets him. He gets mad and storms out. You expected him to take your statement in a certain way and he took it differently. Your knowledge of your friend was wrong. You now need to examine why you thought he'd react the way you thought he would, and incorporate a new understanding of your friend into your social knowledge.
And there is mental or intellectual knowledge. This is what most people think of when they think about knowledge. We make statements expecting them to be true. We listen to statements of others, generally expecting them also to be true. When confronted with contradictory reasoning or evidence, we usually try to incorporate the new ideas into our thinking by adjusting our thinking a little. If we can't we discover what we thought we knew, wasn't as true as we thought, and sometimes have to make significant adjustments.

All three types of knowledge lead us to expect something and in all three cases we get something else, causing dissonance between knowledge and truth. All three challenges are uncomfortable and we generally move as quickly as possible to resolve them.

If the matter is physical we retrain our bodies to adjust to the "new reality," usually by grabbing the easiest and fastest solution to the problem and assuming the problem is minor. If that doesn't work we might try something else and so on until we are forced to go to the doctor. In every case, if the symptom of our problem goes away we assume the problem has gone away.

If the matter is social we may try to resolve the issue by minimizing it. This means we ignore it if we can, then, if necessary, we use humor or some other, more or less kind, way to do so. As the challenge to the relationship continues we eventually begin attacking the other person, trying to isolate them from our social group, and eventually, breaking off contact. In other words, if the relationship doesn't function in a way that makes us comfortable, we generally break off the relationship, sometimes violently.

Mental knowledge is no different than the other two in that we try the simplest ways to adjust our knowledge base to accommodate the new fact/idea. We grab the first explanation that appears to resolve things and let it go at that. If that doesn't work and the challenge persists, we go to the next larger idea. Usually their is a predictable pattern to it all. We want to claim the new idea/data is in line with our position if we just adjust it a bit. Then it's okay if we adjust our thinking just a little. If we find that the idea/data is more significant and can't be easily accommodated we might go a bit deeper and make some deeper distinctions. But as long as the problem persists we seek to resolve it. In the end though, at some point, we have to either admit that the idea/data doesn't fit with what we expected and we are wrong at some level, or we need to resolve the matter by other means.

"Other means" is almost always short-hand for redefining social relationships. If we have changed our mind about religion we may move to another religion, or leave religion altogether. Ditto for politics. And just about anything else. On the other hand, if the challenge is coming from outside our group we go through a process by which the challenge is removed. First, we gently try to deal with the idea/data. If that doesn't work we try to appeal to the sense of group cohesion, usually as a sort of ad populum appeal. And then, if the problem still exists, we usually start attacking the messenger and his/her affiliations/habits/motives and so on, -- ad hominem remarks. In the end, if the idea/data is still unresolved we try to ostracize the messenger.

And if the social isolation of the messenger doesn't work, the group usually turns to the physical. This usually takes the form of having the "authorities" do something about the messenger rather than actual physical violence. It means something like kick him/her from the group. This is especially effective if the authorities are part of the social order and derive something from maintaining it as it is. Or it might be that it's just easier to remove the "offender" than to actually deal with the intellectual idea/data he or she brings to the table.

So, there are three types of knowledge and three ways to deal with dissonance. In dealing with dissonance we begin with the smallest adjustments and move on to larger and larger changes in ourselves or our environment until the conflict is resolved or just goes away, one way or another.

AJ
 

ed1960

Well-Known Member
But one day you say something which upsets him. He gets mad and storms out. You expected him to take your statement in a certain way and he took it differently. Your knowledge of your friend was wrong
Not always true, you could have just the opposite be factual in that the friend is mad because his/her knowledge of you was wrong. Now you have to figure out which was the case and make your moves based on that imperfect knowledge. And to make it more confusing Both could be wrong and not know it at first.
 

ajqtrz

Well-Known Member
Not always true, you could have just the opposite be factual in that the friend is mad because his/her knowledge of you was wrong. Now you have to figure out which was the case and make your moves based on that imperfect knowledge. And to make it more confusing Both could be wrong and not know it at first.
You are right. In either case though, somebody didn't have the right knowledge and somebody had to adjust that knowledge. Nice observation.

AJ
 

Gath Of Baal

Well-Known Member
First, truth is what is. It is nothing more. Since knowledge is what I expect to be true, to me it's the same as what is.
History has shown us that not all knowledge is truth, So thinking this way a person is just as wrong as another who might also be championing a false truth and in the end they are both wrong.

Example:

Knowledge at the time had everyone believing the Earth was flat, then a person comes along and claims the Earth is a Triangle, In the end they are both wrong, and thinking that the knowledge of the Earth being flat is truth makes a person just as wrong as the one claiming it is a Triangle, So not all knowledge is truth :p

I am willing to bet that in 1000 years from now a lot of the knowledge we know today will have been proven false or inaccurate, so we would all be guilty of claiming false knowledge as the truth. Just in the past 40 years some knowledge that I learned in school has already been proven wrong but at the time it was considered the truth.

Someone always has to be the first to challenge a current knowledge based truth, and history has shown us just what happens to that person via crucifixion, burned alive, hung, publicly humiliated, made a fool of, ridiculed by their peers, careers destroyed, Etc.

This is why when someone says something to me that goes against what I think is the truth, I always try to find out why they think what they are saying is the truth, because that person could be the first.


Just my opinion :p
 

ajqtrz

Well-Known Member
@Gath Of Baal

If "knowledge is expectation" then every time we are surprised by the unexpected we discover something we thought was true, wasn't. It happens to all of us, all day long in all kinds of ways. I sit here and expect to type away. Then the phone rings. It's unexpected at that precise moment. If I had expected it I would have stopped typing in anticipation of it ringing. But I didn't because I was not expecting it. My "vision" of the immediate future was different than what actually came about. What I expected is what I knew at the moment to be "true" but what happened is what was actually true.

And when people champion an untruth, they seldom champion it knowing it to be an untruth. That would be lying. The thing is, they champion it because the expect it to be true. Mythically, when Columbus sailed as he did, many expected to never see him again since he was going to sail over the edge of the world. That he didn't was, to some, unexpected. And when he didn't the world rapidly came to expect that if you sailed west from Europe you would get to the New World. And, if your ship wasn't sunk by any one of various methods, you did.

You know what you know by what you expect. You find what you don't know by the unexpected.

AJ
 

The Unbeliever

Well-Known Member
History has shown us that not all knowledge is truth, So thinking this way a person is just as wrong as another who might also be championing a false truth and in the end they are both wrong.

Example:

Knowledge at the time had everyone believing the Earth was flat, then a person comes along and claims the Earth is a Triangle, In the end they are both wrong, and thinking that the knowledge of the Earth being flat is truth makes a person just as wrong as the one claiming it is a Triangle, So not all knowledge is truth :p

I am willing to bet that in 1000 years from now a lot of the knowledge we know today will have been proven false or inaccurate, so we would all be guilty of claiming false knowledge as the truth. Just in the past 40 years some knowledge that I learned in school has already been proven wrong but at the time it was considered the truth.

Someone always has to be the first to challenge a current knowledge based truth, and history has shown us just what happens to that person via crucifixion, burned alive, hung, publicly humiliated, made a fool of, ridiculed by their peers, careers destroyed, Etc.

This is why when someone says something to me that goes against what I think is the truth, I always try to find out why they think what they are saying is the truth, because that person could be the first.


Just my opinion :p
Sadly, I'm pretty sure that the 'TikTok generation' & the perpetually offended on Farcebook will doom all of humanity well before we can get even another 100 years in the history books. <.<

I mean, when we're at the point where "believe the science" instead simply means "believe what *I* tell you to believe and stop asking questions!", we're pretty well screwed. :p
 

Gath Of Baal

Well-Known Member
Sadly, I'm pretty sure that the 'TikTok generation' & the perpetually offended on Farcebook will doom all of humanity well before we can get even another 100 years in the history books. <.<

I mean, when we're at the point where "believe the science" instead simply means "believe what *I* tell you to believe and stop asking questions!", we're pretty well screwed. :p

Yep, we are only a few generations away from the movie Idiocracy :p

There are some quality and intelligent Gorilla glue challenge , moving car dance, twerking, tide pod challenge, Groin punch vids out there to prove it :D:p:D

Might be closer then expected

"Brawndo, it's what plants crave" :p
 

BrinDarby

Well-Known Member
I mean, when we're at the point where "believe the science" instead simply means "believe what *I* tell you to believe and stop asking questions!", we're pretty well screwed. :p
who's science ??? who's facts ???

as you said , we're already screwed.... here's why in a nutshell.

If we cannot globally, correctly put aside emotion/politics in order to
solve a global pandemic in a reasonable time, correctly, when ppl are
die'n in realtime..... then
We have NO shot @ correctly, solving another global crisis that won't
kill massive amounts of ppl, till down the road.... ( climate change )
possibly even causing our own extinction.....
 

The Unbeliever

Well-Known Member
Yep, we are only a few generations away from the movie Idiocracy :p

There are some quality and intelligent Gorilla glue challenge , moving car dance, twerking, tide pod challenge, Groin punch vids out there to prove it :D:p:D

Might be closer then expected

"Brawndo, it's what plants crave" :p
What - a few generations away?! Dude, it's 2021, we are absolutely already living in Idiocracy!:p


@BrinDarby: it's not that we can't get together to solve a pandemic. Rather, we can't really solve this type of pandemic...

There's a reason that we've never done any kind of legitimate vaccine work on corona viruses before, because they mutate far quicker than we can create effective vaccines for them.
This is why we get head colds/'the sniffles' 2-3x or more every year, because the broad type of infections we label as 'the common cold' is in fact just various types of corona viruses. In fact, many on-going studies looking into especially those individuals who've remained asymptematic is leading the theory that the *real* infection rate is likely at least roughly 30'ish% higher than the 'official numbers', in large part because many people are at least partially immune due to high rates of yearly 'common cold' infections.

Influenza on the other hand is somewhat containable, because often times it's harder to contract, (even though many types can be passed via airborn droplets - it's often the larger & heavier droplets which do not remain airborn for as long), but it's still also a highly feared virus, and likely would be almost as hard to contain on a global scale. (remember H1N1 anyone - or the giant doomsday bullet we doged in '08 with avian flu?!)
And while we *do* produce yearly 'flu shots' to protect ourselves, we jump for joy and fist pump ourselves when we manage to get them just 60-65% effective, because the damn bugs mutate on us constantly! Our North American flu shot for example is largely based around the most prevalent strains from the Aussies & other Southern Hemisphere regions, yet we still often have flu seasons where this 'best guess' misses entirely and our hospitals get drowned in flu patients because the shot turned out to be basically useless. :p

This, unlike say, ebola, which while a terrifying virus, is in truth very readily containable, because it only spreads via direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person. (so, to go global, we'd really need to up our 'stupid game' and actively help the virus spread on purpose.)
 

The Unbeliever

Well-Known Member
For some added entertainment, some might enjoy checking this out:
based on the short story of the same name, it's really just two individuals sharing a conversation, both of whom are incredibly stubborn in their own ways & points of view... (also very much oozing irony & tragic foreshadowing!;))

spoiler tagged, warning that film contains some scenes of sci-fi violence.
[youtube]
 

ajqtrz

Well-Known Member
Science is a toolbox of techniques by which we discover relationships between this and that. Each variable (variable thing) is controlled until only two are left and we change one and see how it's change changes the other. That's the ideal, anyway. We then measure not only how much the second thing is changed by our manipulating the first, but we also postulate how likely it is that the very experiment we are doing actually reflects a real relationship between the two items. All of which is a great method of discovering the relationship between two or more things. But science is not perfect. It can be mistaken. Perhaps all the variables outside the two we are attempting to measure, are not controlled. Some of them may be shifting without our knowing. We may not even be aware of all of them. So our statement of the relationship between the two target things is subject to uncertainty. We declare a 95% certainty. Or a 99% one. We say that, given all we know, the structure of the experiment, and the reliability of the measurement, X percent of the time we would expect a change in one thing to lead to a change in the other, and we usually include the degree of change.

But as one mathematician and philosopher noted, no system is sufficient to establish the principles upon which it is founded. If you as any scientist to measure the relationship between any two things he or she will pull the tools of measurement from the box labeled "the physical universe." He or she will attempt to account for and measure how the physical laws of the universe are such that changing X will lead to a change in Y. In other words, science is materialist by default and assumption. It is a system which cannot prove this fundamental principle upon which it is built. And because of that, it is very limited in what it can say, scientifically. For instance it cannot tell us with certainty about any historical event. It may postulate and have good reasons for believing X happened, but since it limits it's explanatory range to a materialist list of causes, it can never anticipate or measure anything outside that fundamental range of explanation. It can, of course, say "we don't know" or it can say, "we think" but it can never declare a particular event of history to have happened in this or that way with absolute certainty. The event itself is singular and thus it is an insufficient data set upon which to create a probability matrix. In most cases it takes 20 or more of the same thing to say anything with even a mere modicum of certainty. History is a series of singular events and thus does not repeat itself without great variances. So science can only say that it's possible for the historical event to have happened this way -- and then explain how a materialist view would explain it. It cannot say that it happened that way because it cannot examine more than one event of the exact same parameters, and thus cannot express a probability for that even having happened in the way the materialist explanation would predict.

In the end grand scientific pronouncements are usually generated by the congregation of hundreds of experiments, each of which expresses a high degree of probability that what it actually measured was measured correctly and reveals what it claims to reveal. But the congregation and interpretation of all those experiments assumes four things.

First, a materialist foundation to all things.
Second, an organization of data based upon that materialist assumption.
Third, extrapolations to more inclusive theories based upon the organization of the data.
Fourth, that the data observed is sufficient to create a probability matrix that the conclusions are at least highly probable.

The first three are all based upon an untested assumption of materialism.
The fourth is based upon a psychological rather than mathematical sense of the strength of the first three.

The untested assumption, of course, cannot be tested within the bounds of science because science is founded upon it and no system is sufficient to prove it's own foundation.

The second and third ideas assume the first, but then organize things as if the first were proven even though there is insufficient data to even state the probability of the first. All three are, in fact, statements of faith.

Finally, the statements of faith lead to a statement that presents everything within the physical universe as a product of materialist laws and principles and that therefore materialism is sufficient to explain it all. And this too, is faith.

Faith is an assurance you have that what you think true is, in fact, true, based upon a set of evidences. To the degree that set of evidences are sufficient and complete, you can be reasonably sure your conclusions are likewise sufficient and complete. But if the evidence is not sufficient, and even more so to the degree they are not complete, you have to entertain doubt.

The irony is that many people, scientists included, fail to recognize the structure of science to be based upon materialism. It's not a bad place to start and I'm not saying it's wrong. I'm only pointing out the foundation of science on the material drives those who hold science in high regard, leaning on the same materialist faith upon which science is based.

Knowledge is expectation and we generally discover what we expect to discover.

AJ