Friday, November 30, 2007

Belief vs. Knowledge

Recently, a colleague and I heard quite a funny IT related joke. My friend got the jist of it, but whenever he used to tell it to the next person we'd meet, I'd squirm inwardly as I watch him say it -badly- to the bemused clients or visitors. To my surprise, they laugh, though the joke actually makes no sense if you stop and think about it. I see that the person saying it didn't understand the joke in the first place, so their own interpretation is completely incomprehensible, the others laugh either because they don't want to seem out of place or foolish by not understanding it. I just watch and wonder...

My next essay in Philosophy after I finish the current one on Kant and 'the good will' is going to be on Socrates and his idea of belief vs. knowledge. Maybe I notice these things more because I'm reading this stuff. How many of us actually act based on knowledge rather than just belief? Do I act from knowledge? Do you?

8 comments:

DUBAI JAZZ said...

You know, I've always wondered how people were able to hear each other in a loud place (okay, like a night club)...and it's funny when somebody tells a joke that no one other than him was able to hear (you know when people are joking form their body language), everybody burst into laughter.....except me of course, because I'd be sober...;)

I think very few people act out of knowledge (or rationale, it being par of knowledge)... I think behavioural scientist are better able to explain this...

Ibn Bint Jbeil said...

i think that when each of us is alone with himself or herself, within our solitary mind, we are more rational and think on a higher level, contemplating issues and ideas honestly, because one holds himself to a higher standard of thought, one based on reality. but when we suddenly become part of a crowd, or a mob, or a small group of friends, we start to think in a group, and we lose ourselves, and thus we lose much of our ability to reason and think clearly.

Wassim said...

Interesting point IBJ, which makes it sad to see people so desperate to belong to this or that group or cause, are they scared of themselves and what they might start thinking?

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Interesting point IBJ, not to forget that with negative association with groups comes compromise, and compromise brings up resentments and disappointments. To think rationally you've got to believe that rationale WORKS for you as it does for other people. And it sometimes impossible to think in the abstract when there is no bright example around.

I think I've drifted from the subject of the post, but it's an interesting topic. Let's hear more of these ya Wassim!

Wassim said...

DJ,
More of what? Interesting topics? Thanks!!!

;)

poshlemon said...

Well, Ibn Bint Jbeil has a point. But, at the moment, I don't really lose myself in any group because I am just not interested in proving or justifying or altering myself to appeal to anyone or any group. This happens in very rare cases.I am fairly a very transparent person. On the other hand, I have a lot of secrets though. I mean I don't go around publicizing my personal life; that's not transparency, that's stupidity!

Knowledge or belief? hmmm... I'd say both. I think we need a philosopher or a student of philosophy to give a more or less correct explanation.

Wassim said...

You're up late ;)
Yes I agree, we all have secrets and going around publicizing things is not transparency, it's stupidity.

Well, I'm a philosophy student, so I'll do my best to clarify and explain them soon :)

poshlemon said...

Wassim,

please do clarify. It's an interesting and very challenging field, philosophy...

I am a night person hehe so I am often up late.