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Can we have knowledge or belief which is independent of culture?

 
 
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Feb, 2012 02:20 pm
@wandeljw,
A straw man argument as a response to a straw man argument, huh?

What it all amounts to, then, is a bunch of irrelevant nonsense.

Anyhow, you are the one making the straw man argument here by quoting Klotz in response to the topic of this thread, which, as I've already stated isn't about whether "facts" are culturally mutable, but rather the question of whether we have knowledge independent of culture.
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Feb, 2012 03:10 pm
@InfraBlue,
As you have concluded by now I am in your epistemological camp: I consider the role of culture to be at the core of man's existential nature--unlike that of most other animals. But I hope you'll soon come to realize that Wandeljw is one of the most sincere of our A2K truth seekers.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Feb, 2012 03:30 pm
Belief derives from culture; that's the reason why many thought the world was flat at one time.
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Feb, 2012 03:49 pm
@cicerone imposter,
And it still looks flat to me.
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Feb, 2012 03:49 pm
@cicerone imposter,
And it still looks flat to me.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Feb, 2012 03:50 pm
Lemme take another shot at this:

Can we have knowledge or belief, which is independent of culture?

The late physicist, Richard Feynman, probably would have suggested moving the question mark at the end of the topic title from where it is to just after the word “knowledge.”

I remember him being interviewed by Bill Moyers once, and he stressed that “knowing something” is a very, very difficult thing to do…and that he (Feynman) actually didn’t “know” very much.

For certain we can reasonably use the word properly in sentences like, “I know my name is Frank” “I know I am typing at a keyboard” “I know I will post what I write on A2K”…and even, “I know 2+2=4” “I know Luna is a satellite of planet Earth” “I know the speed of light is approximately 186,000 miles per second” and “I know the nearest star to Sol is approximately 4 light years away.”

But “knowledge” in the sense of the subject question (as I see it) implies something more…the kind of thing to which Feynman alluded.

That kind of “knowledge” it seems to me, IS independent of culture…and all the other things mentioned in remarks here. That kind of “knowledge” is hard to come by…and often obtained only after long, arduous work. It is also important to note that to actually have “knowledge” means that the thing known has to be true. “Knowledge” is elusive in large part because of the difficulty in establishing that kind of “truth.”

The “believing” part of the subject topic is a snap. You can “believe” anything you want to “believe”…for whatever reasons you want to “believe” it. Obviously, those kinds of things are almost certainly dependent upon culture—and probably are pure product of culture.

Some people like to argue that their “beliefs” are beyond their control.

Seems rather far-fetched to me…but I guess it can be so.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Feb, 2012 04:10 pm
@sam155,
sam155 wrote:

im interested in knowing whether we can or can not have knowledge or belief independent of culture. in specific, i wonder if areas of knowledge have something to do with this or ways of knowing
It is instinctive to bond, and this could be considered a genetic knowledge, but upon it rests all morality... And, While much of moral precepts are transmitted culturally, they are worthless to one who cannot naturally bond, or who seeks to bond with all of humanity when this is so contrary to morality... When something is actually taught, it is taught with the reason so that the concept comes with the knowledge... The minds of youth are incapable of grasping the notion of conservation common to all laws, concepts, and higher reasoning... Until their mind mature they can only learn by syllogism, and that is a limit... The most important thing a child learns is morality because that turns all other knowledge into a social good; and much of that requires many examples and encouragments along with natural instinctual reactions like fear of the unknown, or fear of strangers... One needs trust in order to learn, and pity that one without trust for they will be forever ignorant.... Who ever destroys the ability of a child to trust is the greatest of criminals because they have trapped that child in a prison for life without doors or windows... It is the goodness of human kind that gives us knowledge, and the evil only learn so much as will cause injury or threaten harm, but for all others it is a trust secured for posterity...
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Feb, 2012 04:13 pm
@Fido,
Your thesis is supported by the fact that all cultures have religious teachings.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Feb, 2012 04:51 pm
@cicerone imposter,
cicerone imposter wrote:

Your thesis is supported by the fact that all cultures have religious teachings.
Culture is knowledge, and community is morality... It is for that reason that much of pagan culture and practice was not displaced by Christianity, but simply given a Christian twist... No person's morality can be replaced wholesale, and pagan cultures like those of all primitive peoples are purely moral... We do not get it because for a number of reasons, primarily in order to be polite, we live side by side with undeniable immorality as no primitive would do... Some of that has to do with their commonly held belief, common even recently in Europe, that all in a community would be judged at the same time and that all the guilty would condemn the innocent... Now, it was universal to have group responsibility, and so for all to be ethical and ethical minded was important lest one bring down retribution on all for acts committed beyond the pale...

God was thought no different than ones neighbors in not too caring about getting the guilty party, so people knew freedom only within their groups, and felt contrained and on their best behavior out of their groups, and this was ethical... Contrast that with today where children only feel free away from their families.... But cultural knowledge also carries warnings about health and sanitation, and really acts to prevent behavior such as infidelity and adultery that is bound to bring about conflict... None of it works without bonding... And bonding was much easier when humanity was growing up with enemies on all sides...

What ever the society, no one can be excluded, but everyone can self exclude... It is by ones acceptence of morality that they are members of a community, and it is by their rejection of morality that they are made exiles or outlaws... And since outlaws, and exiles have no rights anywhere, they are fair game... Socrates preferred death to exile for very good reason...Even the guilty dead in Athens would be taken to the county line and bodily thrown over it lest the innocent be judged for the crimes of the guilty...
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Feb, 2012 05:03 pm
@cicerone imposter,
cicerone imposter wrote:

Your thesis is supported by the fact that all cultures have religious teachings.
Let me put it another way: Religion rides on morality, and we see that religions that did not support morality were no support to the people and were in the end rejected... Culturally, we are religious, and like all culture it is recieved knowledge... It is because people learn that it is useless, and just as in Ancient Judea, and Medieval Europe, that those who are the priests of the religion are the most careful of their perks and power, and some times are the most obvious of hypocrits... If those who teach it do not believe it, or they only teach it because they prefer wealth to poverty, then they are not moral, and I trust it is because they see what vanity and bunk the whole mess of religion is...
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Feb, 2012 05:21 pm
@Fido,
In some cultures, even the "royalty" caused the citizens to accept the religion of their choice. They understood that they could control the people easier by doing so.
0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Feb, 2012 10:09 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Quote:
But “knowledge” in the sense of the subject question (as I see it) implies something more…the kind of thing to which Feynman alluded.

That kind of “knowledge” it seems to me, IS independent of culture…and all the other things mentioned in remarks here. That kind of “knowledge” is hard to come by…and often obtained only after long, arduous work. It is also important to note that to actually have “knowledge” means that the thing known has to be true. “Knowledge” is elusive in large part because of the difficulty in establishing that kind of “truth.”


So, what is this "knowledge?" What's your definition?
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Feb, 2012 06:11 am
@InfraBlue,
Quote:
So, what is this "knowledge?" What's your definition?


I'm gonna do a Potter Stewart on this one, InfraBlue: I can’t describe (define) it, but I know (!) it when I see it.

Outside of what I consider “knowing” that I exist (in a “cogito, ergo sum” sense) I can think of nothing else that I truly “know” in the spirit of what your question asks. All that other stuff (including 2+2=4) seems to come to me sifted and seined by (for want of a better term) culture and as a result of an unending succession of “this, therefore thus” going all the way back.

Everything is a wonder to me…in the several senses of that word. What is “existence” all about—seems to be the only question ever being asked, even if it is being asked in many minute parts?
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Feb, 2012 10:57 am
@Frank Apisa,
I too consider the nature of existence itself to be a fundamental question. I guess that makes us existentialists of sorts
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Feb, 2012 10:57 am
@Frank Apisa,
I too consider the nature of existence itself to be a fundamental question. I guess that makes us existentialists of sorts
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Feb, 2012 01:57 pm
@JLNobody,
JLNobody wrote:

I too consider the nature of existence itself to be a fundamental question. I guess that makes us existentialists of sorts
Here is a hint: The Nature of Existence as a phrase is like the wetness of water... You are stacking your variables with such talk...
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Feb, 2012 02:13 pm
@JLNobody,
I guess so, although it seems as though Fido disagrees. Actually, though, I am not sure of what he was saying with that last comment.

JL...I haven't heard you talking about non-Duality since I've been back. What's the scoop?
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Feb, 2012 05:38 pm
@Frank Apisa,
I forgot.
0 Replies
 
Anomie
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Feb, 2012 07:53 pm
Cultural beliefs are normative.

Cultural epistemology is aposterioristic, synthetic interpretations.
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Feb, 2012 08:08 pm
@Anomie,
Normative to a degree: culture is distributive, which is to say its norms are distributed unevenly across, regions, classes, ethnicities, genders, generations, political parties, etc..
Moreover, cultural norms SEEM to their bearers to be epistemologically aprioristic Smile
 

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