Home > Life, Philosophy > Epiphanies Volume 2: Epistemology

Epiphanies Volume 2: Epistemology


“All knowledge is based on the assumption that the product of our senses is real.”

Xenocrates

The thinkerWhat is knowledge? How do we define what it is that we’ve come to know? How do we express what we think we believe? What makes it valid? On what grounds do we make the separation between what is faith and what is proof? The theory of knowledge underscores all of these questions. However, the unfortunate reality is that knowledge as most people understand it, is nothing more than a cultural approximation of information determined by individual perceptions. Most of what you know has very little useful purpose outside of the environment where you learned it. It is a tragic waste of brain cells, and in worst case scenarios, a potential waste of human life where that information is interpreted differently. Humanity’s hunger for knowledge both creates and decimates human existence – although I’m led to believe it’s more of the latter than the former. The following epiphanies examine the flimsy basis on which we define knowledge. As far as I know, these are all my own original thoughts:

On Education:

  • A Ph.D. is a degree where you pay the university to work for them.
  • A university professor is a professional student.
  • A university student is someone who pays a professional student exhorbitant sums of money to teach themself.
  • Education is a clever way of sustaining civilization as every human being is born as a blank slate.
  • Everything is taught in school except how to make money.
  • Professional Education dulls the potential for entrepreneurship.
  • Specialisation is the art of knowing more and more about less and less for more and more money.
  • Only educated people fear genius.
  • Most students fail to realise that all education is second hand information.
  • Brilliant minds tend to make the best pioneers and the worst teachers.
  • Genius is rarely appreciated in its time.
  • Teachers are only as good as their students.
  • Passing an exam only proves retentive capacity, not competence.
  • The cost of ignorance far outweighs the cost of education.
  • Exceptional experience is far more cost effective than exceptional education.
  • Formal education is effectively equivalent to cultural brainwashing.
  • 90% of tertiary education becomes trivia in the world of work.
  • Accreditation is more about prestige than value for money.
  • Knowledge transfer is more important than knowledge.
  • Most people who pursue advanced tertiary level education are subscribing to the social construct of using a sledgehammer to kill a mosquito.

On Religion:

  • Religion is a cultural approximation of universal wisdom. 
  • Everybody needs at least one lie to believe in.
  • When you sin, sin responsibly.
  • Only in death do the meek inherit the earth.
  • People invented religion to rationalise their short, brutish, miserable lives.
  • The pious worry about the sins they’ve committed while sinners yearn for those they haven’t yet committed.
  • If the Bible is correct, then the Devil is God’s most brilliant ploy to force mankind into servitude.
  • A theocracy is a religious dictatorship.
  • Most people use religion for comfort purposes, not for practical ones.
  • Organised religion and organised crime rarely differ.
  • Christians use church services for all the same reasons sinners use nightclubs.
  • The large majority of people who claim to have kept themselves for marriage are those who’ve never been tempted.
  • More women subscribe to religion than men, because it appeals to the emotional propensity, not the logical one.
  • If religious dogma could be rationally explained, religion would immediately cease to exist.
  • Theists don’t like Science, because it takes away the superlative efficacy of hope.
  • Atheists don’t like Religion, because they like the idea that death defeats karma.
  • Religion is the staple of the gullible, as like superstition, common sense is its greatest enemy.
  • Religious apologetics is the science of doctoring religious fallacy to better accede to scientific and philosophical discovery. 
  • If the Bible is correct, then God explicitly designed people to sin, then created Jesus as the ultimate excuse to continue doing so.
  • The Universe is nothing more than a cosmic game of Chess where God is playing both sides of the board purely for His own sordid entertainment.

On Politics 

  • Laws are government sanctioned popular opinions.
  • Election campaigns are glorified popularity contests.
  • Politics cannot exist without a substantial amount of gullibility in the electorate.
  • The term “Political corruption” is an intrinsically redundant expression.
  • Arguing about politics is the same as arguing for your favourite colour.
  • Corruption and bureaucracy create each other.
  • Political success is determined by charisma. Everything else is a clever distraction.
  • Politics is the subtle art of convincing other people that they already agree with your opinion.
  • In any democratic political system, there is only room for two opinions on anything.
  • Politicians are more obsessed with the sound of their voice than the logic of their speech.
  • A political campaign without fluff and empty promises is like a car without an engine.
  • In a political debate, eloquence trumps relevance everytime.
  • The Politician’s Mantra: Taurus excreta cerebrum vincit. (“Bullshit boggles the mind.”)
  • A religious politician is an apple that tastes like an orange.
  • The term “Dirty politics” is an intrinsically redundant expression.
  • Political parties exist to give undecided voters an opinion whenever they don’t have one.
  • The less you know about the issues, the easier it is to vote.
  • A presidential election often forces people to select from two wrong choices.
  • Democracy is flawed by the majority vote principle because the majority is usually naive,  stupid or cluelessly inept.
  • A Government is an aristocratic institution where people give money to an already rich elite class so they can tell them what to do with the rest of the money they haven’t given to them yet.

On Knowledge:

  • Knowledge is not the description of a thing; rather it is the understanding of the purpose of that thing. 
  • A theorem is a logically structured opinion that has been proven to be true so far
  • Wisdom is the application of knowledge and experience is the only teacher of such.
  • Ignorance is not an absence of knowledge. It is an absence of the will to attain knowledge.
  • Experience is more valuable than education.
  • It is more efficient to learn from the mistakes of others as life is too short to make all of them yourself.
  • The first law of truth is that there is no such thing as truth; truth is relative to the observer.
  • Thinking outside the box requires discarding all previous knowledge about the box.
  • Anyone can teach anything to any mind by simply asking the right questions.
  • A professional opinion is still an opinion.
  • Scientific study is the structured art of guessing.
  • Knowledge is not contingent on human existence. Even if the world ceased to exist, a wheel is still a wheel.
  • Nothing is invented. Everything is discovered.
  • Existence is defined by perception.
  • One thing remains true about technological advancement: Accidents and discoveries create each other.
  • Ingenuity is simultaneously the quintessential seed of progress and the penultimate mother of destruction.
  • All proof is based on the assumption that to some degree, sequence implies causation.
  • Every human being has a comfort level with just how much they are willing to know about anything.
  • There is a point in cognitive evolution where the volume of knowledge imbibed by one is inversely proportional to the value of its usefulness to the many.
  • Faith is the cornerstone of human evolution as virtually everything we know is based on several layers of guesses we hope to be true in all cases.
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  1. Olivier
    July 26, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    “90% of tertiary education becomes trivia in the world of work”

    “Most people who pursue advanced tertiary level education are subscribing to the social construct of using a sledgehammer to kill a mosquito.”

    I’m most likely reading this incorrectly, but the way you write this seems as though anyone who wants to better him/herself is simply a drone following the paths put by the generation before them, like pursuing a higher education, attaining that coveted Ph.D., etc. It’s as though going to college because our mommys and daddys tell us to to make the family proud is just buying into a whole hoax.

    • July 26, 2010 at 10:25 pm

      Olivier, the system is only obsolete if you are a consummate genius. If you’re not, then go to college and discover what the other consummate geniuses came up with before you were alive.

      Sure, it’s a system designed more for matriculation than it is for education (since you’ll never use most of it anyway), but what else are you gonna do?

      The only people who avoided college and made it were those who never needed it to excel in the first place. Normally, if you were one of those people, you’d know it by now and therefore you wouldn’t be asking that question to begin with.

      College is only a waste of time if you think you can do better. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Michael Dell were all geniuses. That’s why people with Ph.D.’s work for them – even though only one of the three has a college degree.

      Success is determined by personality – not education. If you don’t have the personality, then go get the education. That way you can work for someone with the personality and you won’t starve to death.

      • Olivier
        July 27, 2010 at 10:24 am

        Well, you got me there. I know for a fact that I’m not a genius, so I guess I’ll go ahead and get that degree; I’m better off doing that than ending up like the 40%+ of the people around where I live that around me with not a care in the world until they’re at rock bottom trying to get off cocaine.

        But tell me something, Xen, are YOU a genius? Did you ever go to college? And if you did, was it a complete waste of time for you as it would have been for Steve Jobs, Dell, and Bill Gates?

        If there’s any quick silver bullet that helps one attain freed from the mindless, sheep like fold of a society that you’ve painted for us, I’d really like to know it.

  2. Olivier
    July 26, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    (On Education) I am planning to go to college for law or something in the computer field. Are you saying that if I do go to college, I am wasting my time?

    • July 26, 2010 at 3:27 pm

      What in that section suggests that going to college is a waste of time?

  3. ha
    April 14, 2008 at 5:04 pm

    lol

  4. March 13, 2008 at 3:14 am

    I like that last one. I guess humans like the idea of certainty.

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