I Want The Government Out of Everything!

Well, as you can see a lot of people want the government to get out of everything. Obviously, they fail to specify what everything means, if it indeed means anything at all. Let’s see, perhaps they want the government to not regulate the food industry, that way, they can get food poisoning without the government’s help.Perhaps they don’t want to send their kids to schools or colleges where the government provides financial aid and students grants and loans; or maybe they want the government not to fix the roads and highways that allow them to reach their jobs and destinations.

These people are so deluded that they cant really think straight. One guy there screamed freedom!, what freedom is he talking about? What freedom is the government taking away from him by reforming health care? None. Perhaps, the only freedom that they are fighting about is the freedom to manage their own wealth. However, these people most likely want the government to do a lot of things without them having to pay for anything. They probably want the roads and highways to be in a perfect condition so that they can travel smoothly on them, but they don’t want to pay for that. They don’t want to pay for the services that they do want. Probably the only thing that they want the government to do and they would be willing to pay for it is to allow prayers in school, and have the teacher read the bible to children.

If these people are so adamantly defending the “freedoms” that they have, then where were they 8 years ago when The Patriot Act was passed? Where were they when Bush tried to amend the Constitution to ban gay marriage? What has changed in the last 8 years? Oh! that’s right the political party of the person in charge, and the color, we should never forget that Obama isn’t white. It wasn’t fascist for Bush to evesdrop in the conversations of the people, or to know what books you check out from the library; but it is fascist of Obama to do… to do what? OH that’s right to bail out the banks… wait… didn’t Bush bailed out the banks? Oh, I know A.I.G … wait, Bush bailed out A.I.G. I know! the auto industry, that’s what he did, god damned fascist, preventing the auto industry from failing so that thousands of families wouldn’t go without. Damn socialist taking away my freedom to do… my freedom of… not paying taxes… that’s right, that’s the freedom that I want to keep, because I know that the 4th amendment is worth nothing as long as I don’t have to pay taxes and get all the things I want the government to do for me without me paying for it. Obama is both a fascist and socialist… and I think he might be communist too… They all mean the same thing,right?

What is the Meaning of Knowledge?

What is the meaning of knowledge? How can we define knowledge? First of all knowledge is a belief. You believe something therefore you think you know it. Christians will tell you that god is real and that they know that for a fact, but in reality they don’t know that, they just believe it to be true.We all know that believing in something doesn’t make it true, right? If I were to tell you that the world is the center of the universe and that I know that to be a fact just because I believe it to be doesn’t make the earth t center of the universe. So, besides a belief what else is knowledge?Well, knowledge is a true belief. If something is true and you believe it then you know it.However, how can you know if something is real or not? you need to have evidence to justify your belief in order for you to have knowledge; which leads us then to define knowledge as a justified true belief. But something can be justified and still not be true.

Take for instance  Gettier’s Job Seekers thought experiment: “Suppose that Smith and Jones have a applied for a certain job. And suppose that Smith has strong evidence for the following conjunctive proposition:

(d) Jone is the man who will get the job, and Jones has ten coins in his pocket.

Smith’s evidence for (d) might be that the president of the company assured him that jones would in the end be selected, and the he, Smith, ha counted the coins in Jones’s pocket ten minutes ago. Proposition (d) entails:(e) the man who will get the job has ten coins in his pocket.

Let us supppose that Smith sees the entailment from (d) to (e), and accepts (e) on the grounds of (d), for which he has strong evidence. In this case, Smith is clearly justified in believing that (e) is true.

But imagine, further, that unkown to Smith, he himself, not Jones, will get the job. And, also , unknown to Smith, he himself has ten coins in his pocket. Proposition (e) is then true, though proposition (d), from which Smith inferred (e) is false. In our  example, then, all of the following are true: (i) (e) is true,(ii) Smith believes that (e) is true,and (iii) Smith is justified in believing that (e) is true.But it is equally clear that Smith does not know that (e) is true; for (e) is true in virtue of the number of coins in in Smith’s pocket, while Smith does not know how many coins are Smith’s pocket, and bases his belief in (e) on a count of the coins in Jone’s pocket, whom he falsely believes to be the man who will get the job.”

Now, what does all of that mean?Well, It means that Smith knows that the person who will get the job is the person who has 10 coins in his pocket, he also knows that Jone’s has 10 coins in his pocket, which leads him to belive that Jones is the one who will get the job. However, he didnt check his pockets, and he has 10 coins, and on top of that HE is the one who gets the job. So, in other words he had a justified belief, but he didnt know because he didnt check his pockets.

So, if knowledge is not a justified true belief then what is it?  is it undefeated justified true belief as the defeasibility theory proposes? No, thre is another thought experiment  by Lehrer and Paxon that trumps that theory. I will not state the whole thought experiment but I will summarize it: Imagine that you go to the library and you see Tom (whom you happen to know very well) and Tom steals a book, so you report that you know that Tom has stolen a book, however, Mrs Garbit (who’s Tom’s mother) claims that that day Tom was not in the library , in fact, Tom was miles away but that his identical twin John was in the library that day.Now, imagine that you dont know that she has made those claims. Now, her claims would defeat any justification you might have for believing that Tom stole the book. Thus it cannot be said that you know that Tom stole the book. However, at the end we find out that Mrs. Garbit is a compulsive liar and that John never existed. So at the end you did know what you knew but, one simple piece of evidence defeated your original observation, the moment you doubt something then you dont know it, which is why this theory cannot define knowledge. There are two other theories of knowledge, but these other two arent what knowledge is either; they are defeated by two other thought experiments that I will not write because I’m not writting a text book I’m writting a blog. However I will define the theories and give you the names of the thought experiment so that you can see it and read them. The casual theory that states that knowledge is suitably caused true belief, and it’s defeated by  Goldman’s Fake Barn thought experiment, and the reliability theory that states that knowledge is reliable produced true belief, and it’s defeated by Lehrer’s Human Thermometer.

So, after all of that boring and long list of theories and defenitions what is knowledge? Well, we have one more theory that explains so far what knowledge is. That theory is the Explanationist theory, which states that knowledge is justified true belief that provides the best explanation for the justifying evidence. This theory defeats all other theories and thought experiments. So there you have it. I never thought I would have to write so much to define knowledge, but this blog tries to make you think about the things that you know (or think you know).  do you really know that the earth is round? have you seen it? have you seen the evidence? no, and yet you believe it and take it as knowledge. (yes, the earth is round and I know that you know that I know it….or do you?).

How do you know?

How do you know that the world is real? How do you know if the things that you touch,hear,or smell are real?
Your senses can be fooled, they can be altered and changed, they can be created by machines as well. Or all of this could be a dream ,have you ever had those dreams that you wake up within the dream? and to top it of, you don’t know that is it a dream until you wake up, which could happened within a dream, so how can you be absolutely certain of the world around you? the only thing that you can be certain of is that you exist, because you think. You know “I think therefore I am” the reason why is because your thoughts can’t be controlled by anything (they could be influenced,and guided certain way but not completely controlled). Given that, how do you know that you know? what is knowledge? how do you know that you know?

It is hard to know anything, most of our knowledge comes to us by our senses (reading books, listening to a lecture in class, watching some documentary in Discovery channel or something like that). Like I have said in another post truth  and reality are relative to each individual. We realize that this is real, in a court of law witnesses are the most unreliable evidence there is because flaws in the subjects memory, or his/her insincerity, but most important they are unreliable because of the subjects perception. For these reasons such statements must be subjected to a cross-examination and must be made in front of a jury or a judge. So, if this element of human nature in embedded in our legal system, it should also be considered by everyone of us. This leads me to conclude that what one person is saying maybe true in his reality or perception, but that doesn’t make it real or factual. Therefore, you should consider everything that is said to you, never assume that the things someone tells you are real (not even your parents, and especially not your teachers or professors). I guess that concludes this blog…