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Steve_A's avatar

Is everything only defined by how we come to know it?

Asked by Steve_A (5125points) September 29th, 2010

Sometimes I wonder who the first person decided this was wrong and this was right.

Or this is good, this is bad. And so on..

In truth if I had kept a person’s view of life skewed they would never draw conclusions for them self. Least only what I would show them.

Though that is not to say simply if I did lift the veil and attempt to bestow them with my beliefs, that the person may not agree, believe, or have his/her own opinion.

More so than anything as the point I am trying to make is what is that spark? The turning point in which one decides this?

Where does this thought come from? Why would it exist if indeed I only give a person only one option if you will or even taught them a certain way from birth.

Why would it even be needed to greater extent, if its purpose only conflicts with things, does that not go against the idea of survival?

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13 Answers

MissA's avatar

Steve, everything is defined by our experience…through or with others…or, by ourselves.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Steve_A's avatar


But more so why the need for it, why are we the only animals that have this type of thinking it seems we take it to an extreme compared to well anything else….

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Steve_A's avatar

For example I enslave someone, they live almost their whole life as such. They do not know what is “wrong or right”. They just know it is their life.Lets even say maybe life was not bad just they had no freedom.

But one day they decide to leave or revolt. What causes this to happen? How would this person draw such a action from nothing, a decision maybe they don’t like, or want to leave for something more.

Yet if this is all they know and have learned this is will be their life how does this happen? What in the brain goes off to say. Hey go do this, or this wrong. Don’t do it.

Why do these thoughts or any thoughts come from nowhere it seems?

EDIT: Because if we learn from experiences, and lets say this person had no “bad” experiences why leave? Why revolt? How one this person even truly learn this is not right or not free had they not been given much experiences of outside life?

Zyx's avatar


This is a long story which is told by the poster showing that monkey turning into a human. Basically while the monkey is standing up and trading in his club for a suit, his mind grows twice as big and while the old brain didn’t change that much over time and allowed the monkey to survive the new brain was prone to radical change. This caused a few lucky monkeys to invent some basic weaponry and EVOLUTION.

Evolving intelligence is just very unlikely, we got lucky. Babies have lost all independance, because of our unstable second brain part. We made life harder for ourselves but now we have a score multiplier. That having been said your hypothetical slave feels bad and understands his situation a lot better than you think. Also, living under a tyranny means being able to smell fear.

MissA's avatar


Why? Because humans ‘are’ extremists, when compared to animals.

As to your next post, humans are curious by nature. You are not the first to ponder these thoughts.

Mista_Reflexivity's avatar

“The only existing things are atoms and empty space; all else is mere opinion.”
– Democritus of Abdera

kess's avatar

You are the ultimate the best judge of all right and wrong, good and evil. And they are defined only you yourself.

How? The things that you like for yourself allow for others. And the things that you do not like for your self do not do to another.

This is the basic simple and absolutely sure way to know the difference between the two.

But true LIFE belongs to those who sees all things as good and right,even and especially the things that are considered evil perpetuated their own selves.

GeorgeGee's avatar

I decided early on that my parents and my teachers were all full of shit and fonts of unreliable information. I decided then and there to determine for myself what is good, what is bad, what is real and what is not. That skepticism has served me well in most circumstances. In a very few circumstances they were actually right. They were right that cigarettes are bad. I can’t think of many others though.

92elements's avatar

we can only understand what we understand from observation and testing we have a image of things but there is always a higher resolution to achieve think of it as you are focusing a lens it may be blurred but clear enough to know. We do not really exist only we thing we exist we are no different to a rock we are what we are we do what we do but trying to understand everything will take an eternity so we make assumptions and generalizations we round things up.

Life is a dream an illusion nothing exists save empty space and you, and you are but a thought.

mattbrowne's avatar

Objectivity seems like an unachievable ideal.

92elements's avatar

Is everything only defined by how we come to know it? We Define everything we know but it doesn’t need defining An Apple is happy not to be defined by us and simple be without a definition

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