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Amily shaw


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Can we think without any presumptions?

Questions arised from one of the conversation and a reminiscence of a old lady who said:"nobody is right but me."

Are we free of personal bias when we think?
how reliable it is for us ourselves to judge if we are free of personal bias or not ?


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    Mar 15 2013: No. We need presumptions, and it is in our nature to make them. Humans are innately ignorant. Because we have to function without a knowing the true nature of everything around us we make presumptions to cope, and these become the foundations of our beliefs. With reason and observation we can make our beliefs as close to reality as we can, but we will never get there. Without our presumptions we have no framework in which to reason about our experience.
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      Mar 15 2013: Scott,
      I, and many others do not "need presumptions", nor do I agree that "humans are innately ignorant. If, as you say, we "make presumptions to cope", and "these become the foundations of our beliefs", what happens if/when we change our presumptions?

      You say...."we will never get there". I suggest that "there", is "here"...."now". When we live in the moment of "now", the presumptions we have created to "cope" may not be needed. With "reason and observation", we can realize that our presumptions were only created to "cope", and perhaps we can move beyond the coping mechenism of our preconceived presumptions to a more broad view of the life experience. Without our presumptions, we have a much broader, unlimited framework in which to reason and experience:>)
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        Mar 15 2013: I never said presumptions are set in stone. Beliefs aren't set in stone either and I think its is very healthy to questions ones beliefs and presumptions.

        I do however stand by my statement that humans are innately ignorant. I didn't mean to be insulting. Remember, ignorance is simply lack of knowledge. If you are not omniscient, then you are, to some degree, ignorant. My acceptance of my own ignorance is important to my sense of humility.

        We all have beliefs that unproven. Some are metaphysical. Is there a reality, or is all of this just a dream? Are other people conscious? Am I conscious? Is there such a thing as free will, and if not what does it mean to be responsible for one's actions?

        Others unproven beliefs are responses to questions about people and society. Should I trust the body of knowledge I am taught in school, even though I have not seen the evidence? Should I trust what I'm taught in church? Is it safe to invest in the financial system? Is this person in front of me being honest? Is the cost of education worth it?

        We make decisions without the benefit of evidence and proof every day, and we do it by making presumptions. That's what I meant when I said presumptions are a way of coping with ignorance.
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          Mar 15 2013: Scott,
          I totally agree that it is healthy, and desirable in my perception, to question ones beliefs and presumptions. We, as individuals, are as "conscious", mindful and aware as we choose to be.

          I stand by my statement that I do not agree that humans are ignorant, because, it is as you say...."ignorance is simply lack of knowledge". If we are willing to question our presumptions and consider new information, what happens to our presumptions? That, to me, is the sticky wicket:>) People get "stuck" in presemptions, do not question them, and live their whole life with the same presumptions.

          As you explain your perception now, yes, I agree...presumptions are a way of coping with ignorance. I don't put all humans in that catagory:>)

          You will, as an individual, trust whatever information you choose to trust:>)
    • Mar 16 2013: Certain questions can only be answered with presumptions. Also, presumptions can provide a starting point for discussions and debate. Presumptions create our human realities.

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