Thursday, January 13, 2005

How do you know?

A question I've been pondering lately: How do I know? How do you know? Everyday we make claims about reality and what we know about it. I've claimed George Bush is a war criminal but how do I know? I believe that global warming is a real phenomena and that it is quickening because of human activity, particularly the burning of fossil fuels but how do I know? Further, I believe that this phenomena could endanger humans ability to survive on the planet. How have I formed this opinion or any other that I hold? How do you form your opinions? What are they based on? What are your informational sources? The internet, nightly news, magazines, word of mouth? Do you ever make a conscious effort to corroborate via multiple sources? Once you've formed an opinion on a topic do you remain open to the possibility that it may not be entirely accurate?

I suppose I'm suggesting that it is likely that many of us do not follow a rational process for information gathering and source checking when we form the opinions that we hold. Of course, how can I make that statement? How do I know?

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