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To know or not to know?

October 29, 2011

How do we know what we know?  Can we ever truly know?  Are there original thoughts?  Or are all our thoughts shaped by another’s?  How do we know what is good?  Is it good for us or can we deem it good for the collective?  Can I ever speak for anyone beside myself?  I suppose if I were to collect surveys on what one would consider a good life and group and classify the responses, I would be able to reach a collective good.  But, what if there are those who respond with vastly different answers.  Do we take a utilitarian stance?

Can I ever really say what is good for another — or am I just applying my value bias?  Certainly food would be considered good — as it is a basic human necessity.  Without food one cannot lot.  But certain foods actually kill people.

I don’t know.  I’m just rambling.  I know that food or shelter are basic goods.  But…I just wonder about my ability to state that for anyone but myself.  But, if you don’t have thresholds than a lot of people will end up flat out.

What I do know is one must have these thoughts.  One must have thoughts that go beyond: what am I going to cook for dinner tonight or what work must I finish this week.  One must have these conversations, too.  It seems, to me, the more technologically advanced society becomes, the less we seem to engage in deep meaningful conversations.  Or, perhaps not the less, but the more of a conscious effort it becomes.  To speak to deep, meaningful, thoughtful topics challenges one.  There is a process that takes place and such topics aren’t quickly traversed.  Time must be invested, and we’re all too busy saving up our time to take time now.  We’re all too busy saving it up, rushing to get there….that we never stop long enough to think of how illogical that is.  There I go again, speaking for others….but, speaking for myself, I do take the time to have these thoughts and conversations.  Not as much as I would like.  Not as much as I used to.  But I certainly take the time.  Or, rather, the time takes me.

Here’s a good ZAMM quote that applies here:

“We’re in such a hurry most of the time we never get much chance to talk. The result is a kind of endless day-to-day shallowness, a monotony that leaves a person wondering years later where all the time went and sorry that it’s all gone. ”
― Robert M. PirsigZen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values

I could continue to ramble on half-coherently, but I should get to bed so I can get up early and write my Ethics paper that I was suppose to write yesterday and today.  The Ethics paper that was due last Tuesday.

A very, very happy birthday my very, very sexy Aunt Jane!!

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