Re: virus: Angelica de Meme

Lee Daniel Crocker (
Mon, 7 Apr 1997 11:49:59 -0700 (PDT)

> >> (3) Do we believe we are capable of knowing this reality?
> >>
> >> Fine with me. Do we?
> >
> >No, absolutely not. That's why I wanted to clarify. Stated in
> >this new way, that's Rand's axiom, and is utter nonsense.
> Does "utter nonsense" mean you are capable of knowing it with certainty
> that it is such nonsense?

No, it only means that I choose to bet my life on it, that's all.

> Why is it important WHO said it? If one concentrates on WHO, one tends to
> bring history of what happened and forget about what one wants to find out.

It's not at all. I was just trying to guess your motivations, and
was probably wrong.

> >To "know"
> >something with certainty is to deny that empirical falsification of
> >the assertion is possible, and can only be true of meaningless
> >tautologies.
> How can it be empirically falsified or proven that we are capable of knowing
> reality? That's where we need an axiom -- something we cannot prove one way
> or another.

Isn't that what I just said? It /can't/ be empirically falsified that
we are capable of knowing reality. We can /learn about/ it, and we can
make rational judgments about it, and we can increase the confidence in
our understanding to a very high degree, but never to certainty. That
doesn't bother me at all--I seem to live a complete fulfilling life
without the need to claim certainty, so I don't see why people are so
willing to resort to taking axioms or faith seriously rather than as the
provisional working models they are.

> Claiming that one is "capable of knowing" is not the same as claiming that
> one is "capable of knowing with 100% certainty"? The reverse of the former
> is "not capable of knowing" when the reverse of the latter is "capable of
> knowing with some, between 0 and 1 certainty".

If you have another meaning for the word that has a genuine referent in
reality, then please enlighten us.

Lee Daniel Crocker <>  <>
"All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC