IS MEMORY RELIABLE???

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Holiday20310401
 
Reply Sat 28 Jun, 2008 09:44 pm
@infinidream,
So we may not know anything at all?:rolleyes:
 
midas77
 
Reply Sun 29 Jun, 2008 03:08 am
@infinidream,
infinidream wrote:
would you go as far as to say you 'know' that you woke, took lunch to school, and entered the class room, and what would be the justification of that knowledge?


Immediate experience type of knowledge has no justification. It does not even need one. It requires explanation, yes. But the proof of the experience is the actual experience.

How about people experiencing metal sickness? well they just like it, mentally ill people. Their memory of the experience can not be trusted.
 
de budding
 
Reply Sun 29 Jun, 2008 04:48 am
@infinidream,
Is this not going to go down the path of Cartesian doubt infinidream? We have what we have, and it is all we can rely on, you have a choice to doubt it or not, like you said- 'If you rely on something for knowledge, you have to rely on it 100 percent, whether it is memory, intuition, perception, etc. If any of these things come into doubt then your knowledge comes into doubt as well.'

You either trust yourself or you don't; I was going to suggest a diary or super computer that wrote down all our thoughts to give us a track record that we could compare ourselves against (it worked then so it will work now) but, I think my Ego hides more from me than he lets on >.> I probably would doubt what the diary said, what I really thought at the time. I guess these are the trials of living with an unconscious mind, all that repression and denial, it's all very confusing.

Dan.
 
boagie
 
Reply Mon 7 Jul, 2008 12:50 pm
@de budding,
:)Some interesting insights

Memory Distortion and its Connection to Reality | Serendip's Exchange
 
nameless
 
Reply Mon 7 Jul, 2008 04:26 pm
@infinidream,
Apologies for not responding till now. This site, for some reason, refuses to send me an email notification of replies to the subscribed topic. I inquired and got no response.
So;

infinidream;15382 wrote:
So in other words you do define knowledge subjectively.

I define 'memory' subjectively. We have the 'memories' that we have in each and every moment of existence. Some moments see us with similar 'memories' with other moments, some moments find us without certain memories (what we interpret as 'forgetting'), other moments can have those memories again (which can be seen as 'remembering').
I define 'knowledge' as an egoic attachment to, and identification with 'memory/thought'.

Quote:
We each just know what we know based on our own, unique perspective.

Yes.

Quote:
I may be color blind and see green as red

Then, for you, in your world, your 'reality', the 'red' that you see is 'red', not 'green' being red.

Quote:
Therefore, you are writing to yourself on this forum. You aren't responding to what people write, you are resonding to what you read and how your unique consciousness interprets it.

Yes, in a way, that is the case. This keyboard, this monitor, this body, this room, the people that I talk to, the moon, etc... all have their existence, to me, in my mind. Like you, but you, perhaps, posit that they/we are 'out there' somewhere. I cannot see it like that.
You (generic) ask questions of me, challenge my words/thoughts/ideas. 'You', thereby, make me think critically (to be able to answer as lucidly as I can). I posit 'thoughts' and 'concepts' and examine them fruitfully in this context. Perhaps 'other' 'selves', Perspectives, can also find fruitful 'food for thought', in the same manner.

Quote:
Under these circumstances do you think it would be possible for you to change my mind?

I would not even attempt to 'change you mind'. 'Your' (that) Perspective is of value in it's uniqueness. The best situation that I can imagine is that we both leave a discussion with a better understanding of another Perspective, having thoroughly cognitively masticated some 'food for thought' (and, perhaps, saved some for later in a mental 'doggie-bag').

Quote:
Interesting. I can't really refute your point of view, but I think it does discredit the word 'know'.

Good. I don't give as much 'credit' to what is considered (egoically) as 'knowledge', as those who 'identify' with the whisperings of ego. I 'hear' ego, I just don't 'believe' it.

Quote:
What distinguishes the word 'know' from word 'belief'?

I see them as inextricably interrelated. The greater the 'belief', the greater the 'surety' of 'knowledge' (don't bother me with 'facts', I KNOW the TRUTH!).

Quote:
What would be the value in telling somebody I know something?

Wouldn't that be the fallacy of an 'appeal to authority'? Would you not, in that circumstance, be claiming some 'authority' in 'knowing' rather than 'positing/thinking/opining/describing' 'your' Perspective, at the moment?
Perspective perceives a different 'existence' from moment to moment.

Quote:
I did not post this topic to establish an objective view of reality. It was to invite someone to establish the credibility of the concept of knowledge in the face of my proposed unreliability of memory.

Well, I guess that is not me, as I find the egoic concept of 'knowledge' to be 'incredible'.
 
GoshisDead
 
Reply Mon 7 Jul, 2008 04:33 pm
@infinidream,
One in essence cannot prove that the past physically exists. One can prove theoretically through things like video etc that the past may have physically existed at one point in duration. So if the past is said to exist presently then it exists in memory. Events in the past being non-existent and memory being the only current record of the past it could be said to necessarily be reliable.
 
Holiday20310401
 
Reply Mon 7 Jul, 2008 09:41 pm
@GoshisDead,
GoshisDead wrote:
One in essence cannot prove that the past physically exists.


And I suppose that it would matter?


Also, What is knowledge other than memory? If you consider knowledge as conceiving ideas then how can you justify certainty and truth to make it knowledge, or does knowledge require such attributes?

Personally, I think knowledge is gained from one's own imagination as well as one's memory otherwise how would we begin to have knowledge through innovation?

I mean we don't need to know that something is true to apply it socially if we are relating to the past. However, if we want to not just perpetuate the stability of a society but to advance it and innovate then we rely on truth, and assumptions- which is the most credibility memory can give.
 
Khethil
 
Reply Tue 8 Jul, 2008 04:48 am
@Holiday20310401,
In my experience the most unreliable memories are those that are emotionally-charged; stored moreso in the emotional context than in the factual.

And although it seems obvious upon reflection, I very much like the correlation between Memories and Knowledge brought up here. Part and parcel of the same process. Good insight.

---------
:Glasses:
 
Ron C de Weijze
 
Reply Tue 8 Jul, 2008 08:24 am
@Khethil,
I fully agree that memory and knowledge are sharply related, however memory recollection is triggered by multiple perspectives, to recognize objects, each perspective relating the memories in its own meaningful way (context/concept, of discovery or of justification).
 
Holiday20310401
 
Reply Tue 8 Jul, 2008 01:22 pm
@Khethil,
Khethil wrote:
In my experience the most unreliable memories are those that are emotionally-charged; stored moreso in the emotional context than in the factual.
---------
:Glasses:


Also, I think that it is easier for me to remember my emotions in a situation that I was trying to recall than what specifically transpired in a given memory. :saddened:

But then sometimes remembering how I felt in a situation helps me to piece together what actually happened in a more intuitive sense, so big plus there.:a-ok:

As much as we rely storing memory on the fact that neurons are 'stimulated' and emotionally based; we rely on recalling memory much the same way, probably.:bigsmile-sun:
 
Thucydides
 
Reply Wed 9 Jul, 2008 06:47 pm
@Holiday20310401,
Solipsism aside, we cannot truly trust any memory to be objectively accurate. I am going to ignore the argument that no objective truth exists so as to more closely respond to the original question.

For one thing, as has been stated, none of us can be truely sure that any memory we think we have ever happened, for two reasons: 1) That the past may possibly have not existed at all, (i.e. our existence started five minutes ago but when our existence began it was equipped with extensive intertwining memory, geological, archaeological, and video evidence, and so on) and 2) that our memories are clouded by an indeterminable amount of delusion and distortion. Because the extent of this distortion can never be known, memory itself has lost all reliability as objective fact, and thus, knowledge.

In practice however, though these two problems exist, they are generally ignored. Because, in recalling a specific event, we can collaborate with others, we can be more sure that a likelier picture of events is emerging. Though the truth of it cannot be really known, the notions we believe to be true are generally (at least in the case of rational people) supported by other factors other than our own recollection. A photo album, a friend's version of events, or a diary entry, for example. So, as someone said earlier, we do indeed 'believe' things based on the authority attached to them. And, for each person, there is a line beyond which 'beliefs' become 'knowledge,' depending on the amount of authority attached to the belief. I reiterate, this 'line' is different for every individual, but the lines follow a bell-curve to the extent that most people's lines are in the same neighborhood. This means that people can come to a general concensus about what is 'fact' and what is 'known,' as is usually the case with scientific observation.

So though nothing besides my own existence can be known in the strictest sense, other things that I 'know' have higher chances of being accurate than others, and as I live my life I forever strive to have on the list of things I 'know' only things that have high likelihoods of veracity. For example:
It is interesting to note that though according to some "all 'knowledge'" has been called into question by our critique of memory, some assumptions of truth, I daresay, some 'knowledge' is key in making these critiques in the first place. Even in my own argument, I claim that "the extent of this distortion [of our memories] can never be known..." That statement, in itself, is something I would claim to "know." How, then, can I know it? My point in this tangent is that perhaps some, finer points of knowledge are not dependent on memory at all, but some other mode of reason.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 27 Jul, 2008 08:33 am
@Thucydides,
Thucydides wrote:

So though nothing besides my own existence can be known in the strictest sense, other things that I 'know' have higher chances of being accurate than others, and as I live my life I forever strive to have on the list of things I 'know' only things that have high likelihoods of veracity. For example:
It is interesting to note that though according to some "all 'knowledge'" has been called into question by our critique of memory, some assumptions of truth, I daresay, some 'knowledge' is key in making these critiques in the first place. Even in my own argument, I claim that "the extent of this distortion [of our memories] can never be known..." That statement, in itself, is something I would claim to "know." How, then, can I know it? My point in this tangent is that perhaps some, finer points of knowledge are not dependent on memory at all, but some other mode of reason.


You seem to mean by "known in the strictest sense" "known with absolute certainty" so that it would be impossible for you to be mistaken. Well, you are entitled to use the word "know" that way, but it has the consequence that on your usage, science cannot give us knowledge, and that seems to me strange. After all, most people would say that we know more today than we knew 100 years ago, and that we'll probably know more 100 years from now than today. And that most of this knowledge has been given us by science. So, to say that unless we know with absolute certainty, we really do not know, implies that we have much less knowledge than most people think we do, and that science, does not give us knowledge at all.

Another thing, it is part of the meaning of the word, "know" that if we know some proposition, then that proposition is true. We cannot know any false proposition, although, of course, we often make mistakes, and we think we know, when we really do not, because what we think we know is false. But if we know a proposition than it is true. There are no degrees of truth. What you may mean is that we believe we know with various degrees of confidence in our belief that we know. And that, of course, is true. But that does not mean that there are degrees of truth. A proposition is either true, or it is false. If we know it, it is true, but if the proposition is false, it cannot be known. For it is logically impossible to know that a false proposition is true.
 
Thucydides
 
Reply Wed 30 Jul, 2008 02:28 pm
@kennethamy,
I do indeed imply that science does not give us knowledge at all, no more than any other arbitrary means of gathering knowledge.

By your defininition of knowledge, which is not itself a bad definition, I would say that there are things that we might know, or that some people might know, but that no one can be sure they know anything. I agree, however in your assessment that there are no degrees of truth, and in no way did I intend to insinuate that there are. Some of the things we think we know we may indeed know. But what we cannot pretend to know is that we know everything we think we know. If that makes sense to you.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 31 Jul, 2008 10:28 am
@Thucydides,
Thucydides wrote:
I do indeed imply that science does not give us knowledge at all, no more than any other arbitrary means of gathering knowledge.

By your defininition of knowledge, which is not itself a bad definition, I would say that there are things that we might know, or that some people might know, but that no one can be sure they know anything. I agree, howSever in your assessment that there are no degrees of truth, and in no way did I intend to insinuate that there are. Some of the things we think we know we may indeed know. But what we cannot pretend to know is that we know everything we think we know. If that makes sense to you.


So, you are implying that we know no more now than 100 years ago? Is that right? But don't you think that is just clearly false. 100 years ago, we knew nothing about the genetic code and DNA, for instance. But now we do. We did not know that viruses cause diseases like colds. But we do now.

Why would you think that we have to know we know for us to know, if that is what you are implying? On the contrary, unless we know in the first place, how could we possibly know that we know? And, if you are right, and some of what we know "we may indeed know", then, of course, we do have knowledge, which I think you denied we have. Obviously we do not know everything we think we know. People make mistakes, and one of the mistakes they make is that they think they know what they do not know. Mark Twain wrote that it is not what people do not know that gets them into trouble, but it is what they "know" that isn't true that gets them into trouble. Of course, what people think they "know" that is not true, they cannot really know at all. That is why quotes are placed around the word, know.
 
infinidream
 
Reply Fri 1 Aug, 2008 04:09 am
@midas77,
midas77 wrote:
Immediate experience type of knowledge has no justification. It does not even need one. It requires explanation, yes. But the proof of the experience is the actual experience.
How about people experiencing metal sickness? well they just like it, mentally ill people. Their memory of the experience can not be trusted.

Even if I do know I am having an experience based on the fact that I can write this sentence, the word knowledge doesn't really seem useful to me until it can link the subject to the object; to say something true about the outside world. :perplexed:
 
infinidream
 
Reply Fri 1 Aug, 2008 04:18 am
@de budding,
de_budding wrote:
Is this not going to go down the path of Cartesian doubt infinidream?.


Well, now that you mention it........:bigsmile:

I just so happen to have a Cartesian doubt to offer.

What if you have no free will? What if you are nothing more than a collection of experiences guided by your DNA? In that case the choices you make are simply illusions that arrise out the mental commotion in your brain as you examine two or more possible courses of action. The external factors of the world around you coupled with specificly arranged processes in your brain (based on dna, memory, experience, etc.) lead you to inexorably make each choice in a predetermined way.

That being true, it seems incorrect to say "I know I am having an experience". If there is no "I" making decisions, the concept that "I" can know something is also an illusion. Not saying there is no such thing as consciousness, just not the traditonal "I" as we think of it. Alan Watts talked about this concept a lot and he called this form of mental state a "happening".

I think that would get rid of your pestering unconsciouse as well.:sarcastic:
 
infinidream
 
Reply Fri 1 Aug, 2008 04:46 am
@nameless,
nameless wrote:
Apologies for not responding till now.

Thanks for the interesting and thoughtful points.Smile

I'm pretty much on the same page as you. The problem I see with redefining knowledge is that it becomes useless as a word. Most people define knowledge as the awareness and understanding of objective facts. If the knowledge of lip diddler in an insane asylum holds equal validity to the knowledge of a prominant astrophysicist, then we might as well not even use the word anymore because no one will know what the hell we are talking about. :sarcastic:
 
infinidream
 
Reply Fri 1 Aug, 2008 05:21 am
@Thucydides,
Thucydides wrote:
I do indeed imply that science does not give us knowledge at all, no more than any other arbitrary means of gathering knowledge.


Thank you for that statement, I got a good laugh out of it. Laughing

The scientific method is arbitrary, yet it is worshipped by its followers more than any god in history. I find it Ironic that the most prominant unified theories postulate the existence of dimensions that are impossible for us to perceive.:surrender:

Maybe knowledge exists on Plato's realm of perfect geometric shapes. we can try to draw a perfect circle on this plane, but it will always be flawed to some extent, just like we can try to attain knowledge but never quite grasp it.

Interesting, thanks for the thoughtful insights.
 
midas77
 
Reply Fri 1 Aug, 2008 06:02 am
@infinidream,
infinidream wrote:
Even if I do know I am having an experience based on the fact that I can write this sentence, the word knowledge doesn't really seem useful to me until it can link the subject to the object; to say something true about the outside world. :perplexed:

I don't see the point of contention here infinidream. I intimated that actual immediate experience of the object seeks to be explained by the subject. Besides from this I also explained that the subject must be prepared to receive the object otherwise, their experience of the object will be inherently flawed.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 1 Aug, 2008 07:08 am
@infinidream,
infinidream wrote:
The scientific method is arbitrary.


What is supposed to be arbitrary about the scientific method? Suppose you want to know what is the capital of Ecuador. Would it be arbitrary to look it up in The World Almanac of Facts? Or, suppose that you wanted to know whether your car battery was dead. Would it be arbitrary to try to turn on your headlights, and conclude that if the headlights would not turn on, the battery was probably dead? What do you mean by "arbitrary"?
 
 

 
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