Epistemology: Belief, Knowledge & Pragmatism, an original essay by 420randomness

Guest Post by 420randomness, translated from Greek into English by rootsnwingz for our English-speaking readers!

Epistemology: Belief, Knowledge & Pragmatism

According to recent scientific evidence … living within reason … we find ourselves in a blind existence without any archetypes, where everything seems to happen anyways, for no reason at all !

~ 1.1 Expression ~

one stimulus makes you twice as stimulated becomes one stimulus does not stimulate you at all

In other words, “Once bitten, twice shy,” becomes “Once bitten, never shy,”

But what can we do, if we can’t learn about a subject when we lack the relevant experience in that subject matter?

~~And thus, the rhythms of the natural world are still unappreciated~~

However, let us take a closer look

Passage from: “How We Believe”, Michael Shermer. Scientific American,

‘’I argue that our brains are belief engines: evolved pattern-recognition machines that connect the dots and create meaning out of the patterns that we think we see in nature. Sometimes A really is connected to B; sometimes it is not. When it is, we have learned something valuable about the environment from which we can make predictions that aid in survival and reproduction. We are the

ancestors of those most successful at finding patterns

This process is called association learning, and it is fundamental to all animal behavior, from the humble worm C. elegans to H. sapiens.’’

~ 1.2 Scientific Reference ~

Using evolutionary modeling and having a demonstration through it, Harvard University biologist Kevin R. Foster and University of Helsinki biologist Hanna Kokko in ’08, tested the theory and tried to have a gist out of it:

They begin with the formula pb > c,

where a belief may be held when the cost (c) of doing so is less than the probability (p) of the benefit (b). For example, believing that the rustle in the grass is a dangerous predator when it is only the wind does not cost much, but believing that a dangerous predator is the wind may cost an animal its life!!

 <.Think about it as you consider the following image.>


natural selection will favor patternicity

[Therefore, we agree that –> the cost of believing a false pattern is real is less than the cost of not believing a real pattern.]

[Our goal is to never fall under 80%… Although reaching a high barrier consists a lot of mind streaming continuation!]

So now we can be more straightforward in our definitions:

The weakness of human cognition is the pervasive (to any direction) tendency of human beings to see order in random configurations

~ 1.3 Science ~

– The entire enterprise of science, after all, is the organized and rational search for order in the seeming randomness surrounding us (skeptic).

– Science is not formal logic, it needs the free play of the mind in as great a degree as any other creative art. (believer).

Taking into account the two statements above, the following ought to be emphasized :

“merely noting patterns or coincidences is not proof in and of itself but, applied properly, can be the creative leap needed to devise new and testable hypotheses.” (DBS Sceptic) (M.Schermer ‘The Believing Brain’)

~ 1.4 Meaningful Coincidences ~

  • Every coincidence is meaningful.
  • It happens to everyone but the person far best qualified to comprehend them is the one whom they occur to.
  • It is usually confirmation of whatever it is you are engaged in at the moment.
  • All meaningful coincidences (Synchronicity) are indeed signs pointing us in a specific direction at the most opportune moment.

~ 1.5 Creativity + Apophenia ~

Brugger describes a “‘relativity of creativity,’ i.e., [a] continuum from creative detection of real patterns at one end, to the ‘hypercreative’ interpretation of patterns in ‘noise’ [randomness] at the other end.”

Leonardo Da Vinci, utilizing this tendency in order to harness the creativity of his students, advised them to:

Look at walls covered with many stains . . . with the idea of imagining some scene, you will see in it a similarity to landscapes adorned with mountains, rivers, rocks, trees, plains, broad valleys, and hills of all kinds… also battles and figures with lively gestures and strange faces and costumes and an infinity of things which you can reduce to separate and complex forms.

stains01stains-11To sum up, I have laid down various ways (expression, belief, coincidence, creativity), in which we define “justified true belief” on a personal level, as well as the relationship between synchronicity and our living reality.

Of course, defining Pragmatism and correct logic is no easy task, which is why we ought to live and experience them always through the source of our authenticity.



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