12 Jan Is What You “Know” True? – Part 2
For the first part, and introduction to this series click here.
2. Inference From Observation
a conclusion reached on the basis of evidence and reasoning.
As we can see from this definition, inference is not possible if our evidence is week or based on false information. If our observations are off our conclusions based on them will be off as well; our knowledge will not be accurate. In contrast, if our perception is clear, and we’re able to take in new information, our ability to infer a reasonable conclusion will allow us to be more accurate in our assessment of situations, which enables us to make decisions that are for our highest good and the highest good of those around us.
If we are too rigid in our beliefs new observations and information cannot enter our minds, and our decisions may not be for anyone’s good. Our decisions, directed by beliefs rather than evidence, will be for the good of maintaining those beliefs as truth, the consequences of which could be harmful or disastrous. Climate change is a great example of this. While the majority of scientists agree that all available evidence points to not only the planet’s climate changing, but that the human species has been the catalyst of that change, there are many people who deny this as even a possibility.
Deniers of climate change question, or charge as false, evidence of the changing climate. Even when projections scientists made a decade ago are coming to pass, there are people who rigidly claim a conspiracy rather than consider the evidence. So in this example the ability to infer in the minds of climate change deniers is limited to seeing conspiracies and lies because their beliefs are making it impossible for them to take in information which may be counter to their rigid conclusions. So the ability to reason properly is only possible when direct perception is not blocked by existing conclusions we hold as absolute truths.
From here we’ll move onto the third way to acquire accurate information, learning from others who are knowledgeable.
May we all be open and receptive to our highest good,