This course will help you explore these questions and develop your own well-considered rules for deciding what to believe.
These rules are called your theory of knowledge , and when you have developed your own theory of knowledge you will finally know how you know. There are no specific prerequisites to this course; all students are welcome.
Lesson 1 – Knowing the Truth
Students may benefit from completing the course Facing Facts before beginning this course. This course is part of the Applied Wisdom curriculum. If you wish to contact the instructor, please click here to send me an email. Many people believe whatever they want to as they select information that seems to confirm what is convenient for them to believe and dismiss contrary or conflicting information. Other people listen to what their friends have to say, or follow the opinions of various celebrities.
It might be that the group that shouts the loudest or most often or most cleverly gets your attention.
Perhaps you are influenced by people in power, listening to what parents and teachers said when you were young, rebelling against them as an adolescent, and then choosing other authority figures to follow as an adult. People are often captivated by attractive, charming, glib, or charismatic people. Mystical language seems to seduce and entrance others. Many of us are members of some tribe which supports its own belief system. This might be a political party, an advocacy group, a professional society or industry group, a club, religious or cultural traditions, or proponents of some ideology.
None of these approaches can accurately distinguish reliable information from rumor, myth, gossip, advertisement, propaganda, or other forms of unreliable, outdated, misleading, untrue, or deceptive misinformation. Also, because we are most comfortable when we are most certain, regardless of the validity of our beliefs, we naturally avoid or resist exposure to information that threatens our own tenuous certainty.
The Supreme Court broadly upholds the first amendment protection of free speech. Hate speech, misleading information, and deliberate lies are all constitutionally protected forms of expression. This constant influx of unverified information makes it essential that we take personal responsibility to decide for ourselves what is reliable and what is not. While tolerance is essential in the realm of opinion, it has no place in the realm of fact. Of course you need to be able to distinguish fact from opinion to be tolerant.
Facts correspond with reality. Because we all live on the same earth, we all share the same reality, observed through our unique points of view. This is our common ground, we need to dig deeply to find that common ground and stand together on the bedrock of reality. Facts establish the middle ground.
We can each choose to move toward the political left or the right, but we each must start from the facts while we constantly stay connected to the facts. If a thing might both be and not be, at the same time and in the same way, then everything can be considered to be nonsense and unknowable.
Socrates - The only true wisdom is in knowing you know
So a system of truth needs to be rooted in the nature of God. God does not know things in the same way we organize them.
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We understand things and ideas by giving names to individual things and ideas. We associate similar things into groups, and give them a group label, or name.
A Guide to Finding Yourself
Systematic reasoning is unique to us creatures. The Creator has a unified absolute mind which we attempt to understand through his revelation. As Creator, he designed us to be able to know what he wants us to know. He used holy men to produce an inspired, objective and infallible record of revelation. Today, the Bible is sufficient to teach us all he wants us to know about himself and about his plan. In our fallen, spiritually dead condition we distort and re-interpret what God makes known.
That we justly deserve his displeasure, and are without hope unless we are redeemed by his sovereign mercy and provision through Christ. That authority is administered by his church as he established it. Paul wrote about this to two first century church leaders. God provides his word, and sends his Spirit to enable the leaders to teach and to lead in a godly manner. Some say we should not have creeds or confessions, just the Bible.
This might seem to be very noble, but it misunderstands what creeds and confessions are. They are not drafted to be another source of truth. They are teaching tools that attempt to spell out the basic teachings of the Bible on different topics. Having a carefully worded creed acts as a set of boundaries. They warn us if we drift off into ideas contrary to what the Bible says. Even a simple translation of Scripture involves some interpretation. When the New Testament writers used the Hebrew Scriptures, they were translated into the common Greek of the day, not simply quoted in their original language.
To put an idea into another language, the translator must first understand what it means. There is biblical precedent for explaining the texts of Scripture beyond simply reading them. The Bible assumes and commands that it will be interpreted by its teachers. All Christians would have to thoroughly know ancient Greek and Hebrew. No comments could be made about what the Bible says aside from simply reading the Scripture texts. Sermons would be forbidden unless they were just the reading of the Bible. The inner critic must be silenced. This blessed me. Thank you. Finding me at the age of 40 was such a profound spiritual awakening that right now takes my breath away.
I am truely greatful for this article as a twenty year old. My brain has been firing off thoughts like crazy each conflicting with one another.
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My current self is lacking in self confidence however masks it behind ego and bravado. I know my true self but the journey from where I am to where I want to be is daunting. I know my true self but the journey from where I am to where I want to be seem. Andrew, I can relate to what you are going through as I was at that part in my life a few years ago. I remember feeling anxious, hopeless and lost when I would think about what I wanted to do in life and who I truly wanted to be. It helped when I reminded myself that life is journey, not a race.
I am a very negative person although people say I am strong. I have no idea how to find myself due to anxiety and stress. First i thought there was no purpose i thought id work in a factory and retire at 50 then i realized that is a life that would be regretting. Then i started to question what is it you want what is you want to make of this life for on the day you die you will be proud you lived. After reading this article i have stumbled upon my path in the woods that would lead me out the bushes.
Many years ago I was married to an abusive husband, he hurt me not only physically, but emotionally, spiritually, economically, and mentally. Before that, when I was very little, I stopped playing with my dolls and started helping my parents who both had to work. I did it for such a long time and never could understand why my siblings never helped out, but I did it for 14 years. I was always beyond my years in how I thought, but that comment set me back.
That derailed my path, I gave up and walked across that stage and left my dream upon that stage. It also helped that my husband and children supported me as they still do. When I decided the direction I wanted to go in, I chose all of the ones o look at and did what I felt good doing. Never give up— Finding yourself may sound like an inherently self-centered goal, but it is actually an unselfish process that is at the root of everything we do in life.
I am 45, and for the first time in my life I am truly confronted with not knowing who I really am. My kids are grown up and I feel I only have a string of failures behind me, including 3failed marriages, currently in the third one. Although my life feels like a mess, I hope to find myself in this mess, and finally become ME. This article was truly amazing, to me as a person, because, I am on journey of find who I am as a person, and it really spoke to me in ways i needed to find myself.
And it taught me how to own my past and be the better person from it. Your email address will not be published. A Guide to Finding Yourself. Self Development By PsychAlive. About the Author. Help support our effort to bring psychological information to the public by making a donation. Related Articles. Is 29 years too soon for self-discovery? I have a background in Science. In Reply. Finding me at the age of 40 was such a profound spiritual awakening that right now takes my breath away Reply.