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RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Maybe might could be what if, even odd both soft and stiff. Of all the tricks we learn in college, which one compares with Middle Knowledge?

Asked by RealEyesRealizeRealLies (30938points) April 4th, 2009

A mild ability for Middle Knowledge is one of the few traits that separate humans from the animal kingdom. We call it “hunch”. But think of Middle Knowledge as hindsight in reverse to the power of a billion, as if intuition meets foresight with a dash of omniscience for good measure.

Learn more of Middle Knowledge here:
http://www.iep.utm.edu/m/middlekn.htm

Assuming there is a God of sorts, does its capacity for Middle Knowledge bring you comfort or despair? Is there any value to the notion that not only does God know what you will do, but also knows everything that you possibly could have done as well, in any given circumstance?

To those who would act as judge upon the Gods, blaming them for pain and suffering in the world, does the concept of Middle Knowledge provide reason for mercy from your judgment of them? Middle Knowledge would suggest that God knows the ultimate outcome of all possible conclusions, and understands how they are intertwined with one another in ways that no human could dare imagine.

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17 Answers

ninjacolin's avatar

Awesome. Thanks man. I was thinking about this the other day and didn’t know it had a name.

I was observing how when observing two people arguing.. sometimes, knowing both parties, you can tell how both OUGHT to act in order for them to have a peaceful resolution. ie. “If you just said sorry about THIS.. and if you just gave them back THAT.. everything would be fine.” It felt like being able to see another dimension of reality that just doesn’t happen to exist but that would be so much better if it did.

But ultimately it’s become clear to me that IF people acted differently than they do, then they would not be the same people that I currently know and love. They would be someone else. I would be someone else for having observed someting other than what I’m looking at…. essentially, the whole universe would be a different place.

For example, if I knew German.. it would mean that sometime in the past I spent my time learning German rather than doing one of the other things I’m proud to have accomplished.

My conclusion on the matter is.. things are exactly the way they are because they HAVE to be.. otherwise things would be entirely different. Middle knowledge = Imagination and seems always to include a certain amount of naivete.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@ninjacolin Fabulous examples. But at the God level, Middle Knowledge is exactly the opposite of “naivete”.

ninjacolin's avatar

I guess to me, the universe we live in.. aka Reality.. has already accounted for everything that is impossible and possible and has forced us to exist inside the one version of itself that was possible.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@ninjacolin That makes a lot of sense. All the more reason for paying tribute to our ability to author reality. Your decision to use the word “inside” rather than “within” has crafted reality as it is, but it should not discount the reality that could have been… by your hand.

ninjacolin's avatar

that’s just it.. there could not have been another outcome from the exercise.
i can’t possibly be about to type the word cow in German: Cow.

Because i don’t know german. Hence, there’s no chance at all for me to have been able to type it in german. The fact that I typed it in English was inevitable.

ninjacolin's avatar

similarly, if I jump off a building.. there’s no chance for me to fly upwards instead of down. Reality dictates that things must go a certain way.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@ninjacolin Every earthly craftsman is limited by skill and tools (and experience with those tools).

If you are intelligent enough to desire upward flight in a downfall, you must have also possessed some degree of Middle Knowledge of what the results would be upon your flightless jump. Way beyond the splat, you also have the ability to use your skill and tools to write a suicide note, imagine your mothers despair, predict the horrific bystanders facial expressions, see your name in the newspaper, become that one statistic that was the tipping point for school seminars about suicide, cause that building to install a security guard… the list goes on and on as to the predictive awareness that you possess as to the actions that you decide to author upon reality.

No one is preventing you from learning German. The word is Kuh.
http://www.google.com/ig?hl=en&referrer=ign_n

ninjacolin's avatar

:)

“If” is a great word. It is used to specify and understanding of the universe so that the words that follow make sense in context OF that specific universe. It is the beginning of a Middle Knowledge type of sentence. It implies the use of imagination and hence ignorance and hence intentional naivete. When you get rid of the IFs.. you’re left with what is ACTUAL. You’re left with what IS. And that’s what I’m drawing my understanding from.

Also, You have to think of things from moment to moment. Consider, in the given moment above I could not knowingly write the German word for Cow. Could not. It was impossible.

Just as, if I wish for you to understand me.. in this moment here, the only language that I BELIEVE you know is English. I know french as well, but I don’t in this moment know whether you could understand my very badly broken french writing.

For these reasons, My knowing English, My not knowing french well, My not knowing whether you could possibly understand my poor french, AND My wanting you to understand what I’m saying, I’ve typed in English and I’ve typed words in as best a grammar as I am able to recall to mind.

I’ve done everything possible my limited brain could conceive with which to fulfill my desire to communicate with you. I’ve acted according to all the beliefs I could access in this moment and according to none that I have forgotten or didn’t have. This is what I always do. This is what every animal always does.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@ninjacolin That is why the full extent of Middle Knowledge is reserved for deity alone. To the deity, there is no “if”. It is… it is eternal… eternal beyond the limited scope of time… eternal in every aspect including possible outcome…

The possible is viewed with the same veracity as the actuality… there is no difference. They are all just as likely given the free will choices at your disposal at any given moment.

As to language, we have different understandings about that. The essence of “cow” has been successfully communicated. That essence is an independent agent from the medium used to express it. The medium is not the message… ever, never ever.

The reality behind language usage is its ability to share thought… not words. You communicated your thoughts successfully. This is accomplished through the abstract use of symbolic logic. Animals do not possess abstract logic.

ninjacolin's avatar

We have different understandings about will too. I, for one, recognize that I don’t have free will and that no animal does.

I agree with your ideas about the use of language but what I was wanting specifically was to communicate not only the IDEA of cow but the actual spelling of the word cow as per the German language. It was a project I wanted to complete that I demonstrably could not succeed at in that moment.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@ninjacolin Key term “at that moment”. Is not success an ongoing pursuit? At this moment, with the provided link, you could translate English into German in a limited fashion.

Free will? Another time please… and hopefully, at that time, you will express the will to discuss it with me.

ninjacolin's avatar

I’m actually trying not to talk about free will but this discussion has everything to do with it. It’s tricky.

yes, the idea of a moment is important. If, in a moment, I don’t know an option, such as that link, then I could not exercise that option in that moment.

I could have success at a later time, but in this moment I cannot have success.

For example, I’m going to ask you to do something: Assemble a qualified team and build a fully functional 747 aircraft.. be done within the next 3 hours.. start from scratch.

I daresay that you would be unable to do it. Meaning the universe (or god, if you will) has determined that it is not something that is possible. Meaning that it is Impossible.

ninjacolin's avatar

And i can even predict that I am right that it is impossible and that you will NOT have accomplished this thing 3 hours from now.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@ninjacolin What do you base your prediction upon?

ninjacolin's avatar

My middle knowledge of course.

I suppose another stray fact about the creature you’re discussing this with is that I have a tendency to believe that we all are god.

ninjacolin's avatar

Yeah.. way.
subtle christian human

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