Where does knowledge come from?

I’ve been dealing with a religious conflict for a while now, and I need some insight. How are we able to explain the existence of Knowledge without the use of God? (I’m defining Knowledge as infinite truths which are passed down by learning.)

Using God, we’re able to conclude that God is the holder of these infinite truths. (Of course this leaves many unanswered questions about which god is “right” but that opens up new issues, and it’s important to stay with this one) As to where God comes from-He is immaterial, and is different from the material beings of this earth which need a definitive start and finish. This means that there is an immaterial being within us, the mind, the “soul” which is able to keep these immaterial truths, knowledge. End of story.

So, what is the Godless view?
Thoughts and learning are immaterial, and according to the godless view, nothing is immaterial- as there is no god or souls.
So, where does knowledge come from?

This is especially difficult for me, because I use science to prove my disbelief in God. The problem with metaphysics is that science is useless, but these questions cannot just be ignored and neither can the study of metaphysics.

Posted: December 2nd 2011

Blaise www

I have to agree. Your definition of knowledge as “infinite truths” makes no sense to me. I’m not even sure what an “infinite truth” would encompass, but if it is, in fact, infinite, we, as finite creatures, could never comprehend it, so it seems pointless to say it could be passed down from one human to another.

I’m also perplexed by the logic of your second paragraph. You say that if “God” is immaterial, without a beginning or end, and “He” is different from us, that this somehow proves that “there is an immaterial being within us”. I see no such proof.

Thoughts and learning are not immaterial. They are demonstrably patterns of energy and matter within the brain. This has been shown with fMRI technology in several different ways.

The term “metaphysics” literally means “beyond physics”. Before you can use it in any meaningful way, you first need to prove that there is something beyond physics. If you can prove it, you must do so by logical or material means. If that is possible, then it isn’t beyond physics. So in order for “metaphysics” to be anything at all, it must, by definition, disprove its own existence. Given that, I wouldn’t to rely on it to produce any kind of truths, much less “infinite” ones…

Posted: December 4th 2011

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SmartLX www

Thoughts and learning are information, which is material in some sense at least. It is contained within material things such as brains, computer drives and genomes, and as far as we know it cannot exist without the material. Any known form of information is represented as a physical pattern of some kind, whether it’s letters on a page or electrical impulses in a cortex.

The really important thing about information is that there is evidence for it. Whether it should be properly defined as material or immaterial, we know it’s there because we use it every day and it tangibly and unambiguously affects our lives. This is more than can be said for any god.

As for “infinite truths”, we don’t know whether what we know is infinite or absolute, or whether there’s anything like that at all. It’s too much to simply assume that there is.

Posted: December 4th 2011

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