Friday, May 27, 2011

Am I Ignorant?

I do not think I know what I do not know.

Hello Amiens France
I don't know but I think the world generally demands more from us humans than we are capable of giving. It seems we are all expected to have ready answers to anything and everything. Books are written and published, lectures are given, interviews are conducted. There are too many authorities around who aren't really authorities at all, but opinion holders abound.

With very little knowledge of facts legislatures pass laws that make no sense. With limited understanding media editors express observations and summaries of important events. And when an interview is conducted, whether in a public forum or on the street, the interviewee is expected to come up with an answer. "How die you feel when such and such happened? What went through your mind...." Etc. Stupid questions which generally elicit very unsatisfactory answers. "Who knows what went through my mind. I don't remember."

On the other hand if you don't come up with an immediate answer the questioner assumes you don't know. The more we live the more data we carry around in our heads, the longer it takes to address the question.

I was standing on a New York City subway platform reading a paper and waiting for the train when a woman approached and asked me if the train stopped at a certain station. I began to draw up the route in my head to see if that station was on the way. But she immediately said scornfully "Well if you don't know, don't guess." In another moment or two I would have given her an answer but since she decided to be rude with me I directed her to a map on the wall midway down the station platform and went back to my paper.

Socrates was the great questioner. Starting from the assumption that he did not know he probed his and other people's minds to find the possible answers. It is a great lesson. I suggest facing the bewildering circumstances of the world with a sturdy backbone of ignorance about most things, asking intelligent questions and waiting for intelligent answers before expressing opinions or taking actions.

DB - The Vagabond
Never give up.

(This is not a contest)

Come on. Picked up another answer. Where's yours?

NASA has planned to send a two man mission on an 18 month trip to the planet Mars. It would take 6 months for the astronauts to get there and after 6 months of exploration another 6 months to return.

Should they do it and why, and if not, why not?

Only 10 responers so far

I eagerly await your answer.



Jon said...

You've expressed my sentiments exactly.
It was very painful to watch a TV news interview yesterday morning. A roving reporter was interviewing a family who, just hours before, lost everything they owned in a tornado. The reporter asked "How do you feel?"

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

What ever happened to considered contemplation?