Monday, November 7, 2011

The One Thing I Know For Sure Is That I Don't Know For Sure

I remember being in my early 20’s and thinking that I knew everything. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that kids in their early 20’s are arrogant and stupid, just that they haven’t lived long enough to realize that it is not possible to know everything. You can argue that there is “too much stuff” to be able to learn everything or that our inability to use all of the brain’s true capacity makes it impossible to know everything. I simply think that we are not supposed to know everything. But, I don’t know for sure.

As I’ve mentioned in other blogs, I believe we are on this planet to LEARN. As that belief implies, if we have learned everything, then what purpose is there to our further existence? And would Mankind simply cease to exist should we obtain “total knowledge” or is there another a deeper purpose to our existence? Maybe we are here not only to learn, but to use what we have learned. But, I don’t know for sure.

Many are disgusted and disappointed in the current common use of the English Language. Words that many would call “expletives,” “rude” or “cuss words,” have increased greatly. As Stephen Fry has written, “There is no right language or wrong language, any more than there are right or wrong clothes. Context, convention and circumstance are all.” Further, he stated in a recent interview:

I’ve never met anybody who’s truly shocked at swearing. Really. They’re only shocked on behalf of other people. Well, that’s preposterous. Or they say it’s not necessary. As if that should stop one doing it. It’s not necessary to have colored socks. It’s not necessary for this cushion to be here. Yet, no one writes in and says, ‘I was shocked to see that cushion there. It really wasn’t necessary.’ No. Things that aren’t necessary are what make life interesting. The little extras in life. (

Is it possible that the increased use of such words is just the natural evolution of the English Language? But, I don’t know for sure.

There has been much discussion recently about the end of the Mayan Calendar on December 21, 2012. Will the World, as we know it, truly come to a grinding halt on this date? Does the ending of the Mayan Calendar at that time mean that they had special information? Did they just figure they’d add more dates later and died out before they had the chance? As noted by Dr Karl Kruszelnicki:

The claims for 21 December 2012 cover a lot of ground. They range from 'nuclear holocaust' to 'Harmonic Convergence of cosmic energy flowing through the earth, cleansing it and raising it to a higher level of vibration', and along the way they include 'the death of two-thirds of humanity' and 'the north and south poles will split' - you get the picture.

But there are two problems with this.

First, when a calendar comes to the end of a cycle, it just rolls over into the next cycle. In our Western society, every year 31 December is followed, not by the End of the World, but by 1 January. So in the Mayan calendar will be followed by - or good-ol' 22 December 2012, with only a few shopping days left to Christmas.

And the second problem is that it is always remarkably difficult to make predictions, especially about the future, and things that haven't happened yet. (

Food for thought. End of the world, or 4 more days until Christmas 2012? Maybe it is silly to think the Mayan people could predict the end of the world, but couldn’t predict the end of their own civilization. But, I don’t know for sure.

I am currently (and not surprisingly) taking more of an interest in others who have epilepsy. To name a few: Julius Caesar, Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Dickens, Alexander the Great, Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Aristotle, George Frederick Handel, Martin Luther, Peter Tchaikovsky, Robert Schumann. Does the “misfiring” of the brain, which causes epileptic seizures, actually awaken areas of the brain that lead to increases in mental capability? I like to think so, of course; but, I don’t know for sure.

What about other “disorders” of the mind? Is it possible that, while they are considered “disorders” or “illnesses,” they are examples of the next genetic upgrade of the human species? Possible. But, I don’t know for sure.

Why do people do what they do? What are their reasons? The Theory of Reasons is a field that Jonathan Dancy, Professor of Philosophy, has developed. As he says, “The theory of reasons has to say something about what it is to act for a reason.” (http://jonathandancy) In his book, “Ethics Without Principles”, he stated, “People do ‘have’ principles, and they do (sometimes, at least) appeal to them in making their own decisions and in judging the actions of others. They condemn anyone who fails to act on his own principles, or whose principles they take not to be the right ones.” Are we correct to judge others whose opinions or actions are different than ours? I don’t think so; but, I don’t know for sure.

To sum up: Let’s listen, rather than speak. Try to understand, rather than judge. Love others, rather than hate. Learn for ourselves, rather than just accept what we are told. But most of all, we need to realize that the ONLY thing we know for sure is that we DON’T know for sure.

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