The difference between believing in the truth and knowing the truth

in #philosophylast year


There is a problem that I have observed, which is increasingly common, in my opinion, in the modern world, about how people are having a rather superficial knowledge of the truth, and in many cases there is probably not a deeper understanding. I know this is true sometimes with me. And I explain myself. With the excess of information that currently exists in our society, where we are bombarded with ideas by all places and by all means, I think there are two main problems. Firstly, that much of this information is false and that many people believing they are informed are actually in a state of deep ignorance without even realizing it. And secondly, that many times, when we come into contact with much of the information that is true, and when we believe it, that does not necessarily translate into an understanding of what that truth means, and sometimes it does not even translate into the knowledge of that truth, even when we believe it to be true. The proof of this is that many times, despite knowing that truth in theory, our actions implicitly presuppose that this truth is not true, that is, our actions unconsciously contradict that truth that we say we know, but in practice, we don't know. We are not living that truth, because we are not living as if it were true. The result is that, to a superficial observer, we know that truth because we bear witness to it, though not with our actions, but with our words. We can answer a questionnaire about that knowledge with the rights answers, and although the answers may be right, that does not mean that we understand what those answers mean. I am speaking of a rather superficial knowledge.

For example, we all know Plato's allegory of the cave, it is very popular. Let's assume for a moment that what he says is true, let's not get into that discussion now. The fact that I believe, thanks to him, that physical reality is illusory, and can give the same reasons as he does about it, and even that I understand those reasons, does not necessarily translate into my being able to see through the illusion. In reality, probably most of the people who have heard, and who have believed this metaphor, live in the illusion, because they still continue to act as if the illusion is real. Their actions presuppose that this truth is not true. Therefore, they don't really know that truth, they don't know the essence of that truth until they can, for themselves, see through the illusion.

This applies to everything, with religious, spiritual, political, scientific ideas, whatever. It happens at all levels.

I think this condition is similar to what would happen if we, for example, had never seen the color red in our life, but, nevertheless, we had read all the books about what red is like, and what red looks like, and what is the redness. We have never seen red, we have only read about it. But, could we say for that reason that we know the color red? After all, the information we read about it is all true. We can explain, and even give examples of red things, apples, etc., and anyone who listens to us will believe that we have seen the color before. But, have we done it? We know the name and not the thing, we don't know the essence.

This is just a small reflection on the things we think we know, yet we don't know.

Image Source: 1, 2

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