Yea, I'd say so (at least insomuch as I trust the basis on which this statement lies )
These two concepts you bring up (knowledge and trust or faith), I believe, are more interrelated than is traditionally thought. ... These two concepts in particular, are like two wrestling snakes; sometimes difficult to tell them apart.
...The difference between Faith (or I prefer to term it Belief) and Knowledge is a judgment I make based on the amount of available information, evidence and logic. That point, in my mind where I say "I know" is never 100% sure, nor is Faith in something completely void of any 'facts'. That breakpoint that determines which word I use is different for everyone.
Anyway, barring anything I've missed here, I'd say you're spot on with how I look at it. I started a thread a while ago on this issue; and although it was driving at a Theism/Atheism discussion, I think it's relevant to anything where there's the question of Knowledge or Faith (Link Here).
Good thread starter,
Please help me analyze this concept! Maybe it is old hat, I don't know...
Whatever I call "knowledge" is one or another form of faith.
Whenever I say that "I know something," I am actually saying, "I believe something to be true."
Whatever I claim to "know," is a claim based upon trust in something.
Example: "I know that the earth is round."
Translation: "I have faith that the sources of information available to me, which tell me that the earth is round, are trustworthy." "I have reviewed the information that has been presented to me concerning the shape of the earth, and, based upon my logical analysis of that information, I believe it." "I trust the scientific evidence, the mathematical formulae, the professors, the authorities who say, 'the earth is round'."
But when we say, for example, "I believe that Austin is the capital of Texas," isn't this more a courteous convention, because we know that it is true?
Knowledge seems to have a different status from "belief" or "faith" which usually express either opinion or reservation about the truth value of the statement, since it seems to be able to be both verified and public in an way that belief and faith are not.
Or maybe it is that belief and faith carry with them a lot of connotative baggage that might best be dropped when talking about knowing something is the case, even though our knowing does imply an acceptance of certain rules and premises about what it means to know.
Whatever I call "knowledge" is one or another form of faith.
False. Because knowledge requires justification, and faith does not.
I concede that knowledge requires justification. But here's my problem. When I set out to discover that justification or provide that justification, I always seem to be in the business of asking myself, "How do I know that?" And as I investigate that question, I always come up with answers that direct my attention to some experience or source of information that I trust.
I either trust my senses, my reasoning powers, my memory, my intuition, or some expert, perhaps. I always have to trust something before I can claim that I know something.
But why are you not justified in trusting your senses and your reasoning powers? Our senses and our reasoning powers lead us to truth more often than not. Even if my automobile sometimes fails me, that does not mean the car is not reliable.
I don't mean to imply or suggest that I'm not justified in trusting my senses and my reasoning powers. Indeed, I am doing that as I write this statement. I do it all the time, and, so far as I can tell, they serve me well most of the time. But whether my senses and reasoning powers reliably lead me to truth "more often than not" is certainly an open question, isn't it? Also, suppose we take as a given that they do lead me to truth most of the time. That still indicates that they are fallible, and there are bound to be times when I suppose that they are leading me to "truth" when, in fact, they are not.
But my primary proposition does not have so much to do with the relative reliability of my senses and reasoning powers. The primary point is that if I trust them to support a claim to knowledge, then I cannot deny that such trust is more primary than the knowledge. I claim to know that apples grow on trees. How do I know that? Because I am trusting my senses and my reasoning powers. Thus it appears to me that I cannot avoid the conclusion that trust/belief/faith is prior to knowledge.
Nothing wrong with that, I suppose. It's part of the human condition. But it teaches me that I should be very humble whenever I claim to know something, because my claim to knowledge inevitably rests on something, and I better be conscious of what that is, and I better be careful not to presume to be too sure of what I know. The object of my trust may not warrant such presumptuousness.
But why is it an "open" (undecided?) question.
How have we found out so much about the world if it is an open question?
What do science and common sense rely on?
What means do you suppose does a better job?
I can only speak for myself. My experience is that I often think I know something, then, later, because of new insight or new information, I realize that I was mistaken. In fact, I find my list of things I "know" to be so limited and so subject to revision that I have concluded it is wiser for me to adopt the perspective of Socates and claim to be wise in that I have finally realized how ignorant I am.
Well yes, except that, in turn, trust depends on whether the trust is supported by evidence and reason. Trust and reason and evidence interact. Trust requires reason to support it. For blind trust is useless.
Yes, I agree, I think, at least in part. But I think that when I accept something as evidence, that implies that I have already interpreted some phenomena or data. It is not evidence until I make it so. I have to experience something and do the reasoning before I can count it as evidence.
Just to be clear, I agree that phenomena or data have to be there first. Something has to exist before I can claim to know anything about it. But I'm not investigating (at this juncture) the question of whether anything exists. I'm assuming I exist and the world around me exists, and I'm focusing on my encounter with phenomena and what it means when I say I know something.
When I trust something or somebody, the depth of my trust depends on my evaluation of what I accept as evidence, and my reasoning. I have to do this myself (though I may agree with other people about it). Since I don't have a direct encounter with the phenomena, I have to experience them through my senses. Then I have to process them in my brain.
I say that I know that the earth is round. How do I know that? I can't have a direct encounter with the roundness of the earth, so my belief that the earth is round doesn't seem to depend on my sensory perception.
However, as far back as I can recall, everyone I know has accepted this as the truth. Prevailing opinion is certainly not infallible. However, it is a kind of evidence that I am inclined to take seriously. Now I have experienced the prevailing opinion by hearing and reading--sensory perception. Additionally, I have used my reasoning powers, and have concluded, (probably at some point in grade school) "They all believe it, so it must be true." Now I have at least come as far as the monkeys in Kipling's Jungle Book.
Finally, all my teachers, throughout my schooling, have consistently presented scientific explanations that together yield (in my mind) a coherent concept, and I have accepted that as sufficient evidence. But I had to experience those teachings by hearing and reading--sensory perception. Additionally, I had to use my reasoning powers before I concluded, "Well, scientific explanations are not infallible, but the preponderance of evidence of which I am aware supports the conclusion that everyone around me seems to have accepted. I guess I should accept it too."
So now I say that I know the earth is round. But what is the nature of that particular type of knowing? It is the result of my encounters with phenomena, which I experienced through my sensory perception. Over time, I used my reasoning powers to interpret some of those phenomena as evidence to support the idea that the earth is round.
I trust my sensory perception and my reasoning powers with respect to this idea, so I say I know it. I had to trust something before I could say that I know something. My knowing is a product of my trusting.
And, of course, my trusting is a product of my knowing. It is because I know the physician has the credentials he has that I willing to trust him.
John knows that George Bush is the President. Jim knows that Rocky Balboa is the president.
Belief = Knowledge in any ultimate sense
Obviously, uses of the words in ordinary speech differ. They could be said to denote varying levels of certainty in the knower/believer or the varying probability that others will be persuaded to know/believe.
I agree with that 100%. Knowing can lead to new kinds of trust or new levels of trust. Such trust can then lead to new knowledge.
1. I trust my sensory perception and reasoning powers to correctly interpret data as evidence that my doctor has good credentials. Therefore...
2. I know my doctor is well-qualified. Therefore...
3. I trust my doctor.
4. My doctor says I have arthritis. Therefore...
5. I know I have arthritis.
It often seems to work just like that. The problem comes in when I see a second doctor, perhaps a specialist, who is apparently more qualified, who I decide to trust, on this particular point, more than my first doctor, and I get a different diagnosis.
Now I know that I don't have arthritis. But what if I see another specialist, equally qualified with the first, and he/she confirms "beyond a shadow of a doubt" the original diagnosis?
My journey has been like this: I know A is true. I know A is false. I know A is true. It's just like "She loves me, she loves me not." Should I see another specialist or flip a coin?
So does that mean I never really know anything? I would argue not. I would argue I can know all kinds of things, but I just need to recognize that knowing something always means I have trusted something or somebody and, on the basis of that trust, have come to accept something as truth.
You cannot know that A is both true and false, for that would be a contradiction. So, what you must mean is that you THINK you know A is true, and you THINK you know that A is false. But whether you do know A is true or whether you know that A is false depend on whether A is true, or whether A is false.