Does knowlege have a higher purpose?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Glenn Gould, May 30, 2006.

  1. Glenn Gould Registered Member

    We all need knowledge of course. Trade knowledge, work-related knowledge, and a basic education (which most people have) But what about "non-essential" knowlege? Reading about science, philosophy, history, etc. is interesting, but DOES IT HAVE A HIGHER PURPOSE? Or is it just a "fun" thing to do, like reading tabloids and watching sitcoms is to other people?

    Having a broader and deeper knowledge of the world around us, should carry some responsability to society perhaps? After all, ignorance and complacency are all too common.
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  3. illuminatingtherapy Initiate of The Universe Registered Senior Member

    There's a big difference between knowing knowledge and using knowledge. Knowing knowledge makes perhaps a person wise, while using knowledge can be corruptive or be used in obtaining scientific results. We use knowledge to get education, and like you said, many don't care and live their lives in ignorance, allthough they can be smiling, happy people or stupid and aggressive. Everything always depends.
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  5. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member

    With all due respect to illuminatingtherapy, I have to disagree.
    While it is indeed true that there is a difference between posessing knowledge, and making use of it, it's simply untrue that the posession of knowledge makes one wise. Wisdom is the effective use of knowledge, which, obviously, can lead to good or ill.
    I would argue that the original question is somewhat moot: for the most part, it is difficult to see how posession of knowlege doesn't necessarily lead to making use of it, in one way or another. That being said, one could perhaps argue that the 'higher purpose' of knowledge is to be found in its application, but there are of course cases of "pure knowledge" (sic). I think that in these cases, at least from an epistemological point of view, that this is simply a case of knowledge 'awaiting' an application.
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  7. §outh§tar is feeling caustic Registered Senior Member

    I suspect there is no such thing as essential knowledge. People on sciforums will always shoot you down when you presume absolutes.
  8. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    Sure, if power is a higher purpose. Being informed about science leads to better decision making, voting for Al Gore, ect...
  9. baumgarten fuck the man Registered Senior Member

    Knowledge has whatever purpose you give it.
  10. Theoryofrelativity Banned Banned

    There is big difference between knowing and knowledge.
  11. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member

    Indeed. See my post above TOR.

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  12. Mosheh Thezion Registered Senior Member

    the purpose of knowledge... is to teach it to the young.. and instruct them to teach it when they are old.... instruct them to study it, and learn of it.. and improve it..
    and always.. pass along each improvement over time...

    from how to make a spear... to how to make a fire... to how to skin a bear...
    to how to farm....

    and eventually... we learned how to write and read.... in that order...
    and we learned that we could record our knowledge.. to be studied by others...
    so that learning was easier... and could spread....
    we learned to use and recognise symbols..... relative to sounds...

    (WITHOUT THIS.... man would never have advanced.)

  13. Theoryofrelativity Banned Banned

    "The result of knowledge is the elimination of flasehood" doc.pdf

    " The highest knowledge is to be able to see the one reality that pervades through all the names and forms of the universe"

    The highest form of knowledge is oneness, and the purpose of this oneness is 'love'. Love conquers everything

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  14. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

    Knowledge has the purpose you assign to it.


    How to make gunpowder...
    How to make a gun...
    How to make an atom bomb...
    How to ...

    Knowledge without wisdom and a clear purpose regarding how to use that knowledge is dangerous.
    With knowledge comes responsibility.
    Gaining knowledge simply for the sake of knowledge is simply a fun thing to do, and at best, irresponsible.
    It human instinct to thirst knowledge, understanding and experience, but when people give into that passion without a defined purpose or direction it is simple, self-absorbed indulgence.

    "Progress" implies a step towards a destination. How can you have "progress" without a destination?
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2006
  15. Onefinity Registered Senior Member

    I like Mary Parker Follett's definition of progress:

    "Progress is an infinite advance toward the infinitely receding goal of infinite perfection." - The New State, 1918
  16. Glenn Gould Registered Member

    I disagree. Anyone who's passionate about learning, even if seemingly aimlessly, is taking an interest in the world around him and trying (hopefully) to understand it. That is a step in the right direction.
    Sadly, most people seem far more interested in their own pathetic little reality than in the bigger picture these days.

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