Everyday Epistemology # 1

How do you know what you know?

If you don’t know what you know, can you trust anybody else to know it for you?

Be very suspicious.

Everybody is biased - coming down on one side or the other of various issues. For instance there is the freedom -vs- fairness divide . Liberals want everything to be fair - treatment of the planet, treatment of poor people, treatment of threatened species, treatment of rats if you belong to PETA, etc. Conservatives want to be free to do whatever they want to do. They don’t want anybody telling them anything. They don't care if the world goes to hell in a hand basket so long as they get to own the basket.

Everybody is scripted - unwitting players in the family and class dramas by which we view the world and organize our biases.

“I worked hard for my money and now YOU want to give it to THOSE people.”

“Hey man, you know THEY will always keep a brother down.”

Everybody hates - something or somebody. If opposing sides didn’t exist we’d invent them based on our biases and scripts. Although we are a cooperative species we are also a combative species (can’t have one without the other). We need villains.

So, who can you trust?

Not those with biases, not those with scripts, not those with hatreds. Their opinions and ideas are tainted.

(And as I have noted in a previous post, you also can't trust passionate people, people who seek credibility by citing lone-wolf PhD's from MIT, people who place too much faith in single subsets of data, and conservatives with ties to the fossil fuel industry.)

Who does that leave?

Something seems wrong here.

(More to come.)

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