Have you ever heard of, The Fault in Our Stars? It’s a wonderful book written by the equally wonderful, John Green. What he is also known for though is his YouTube channel, vlogbrothers. There he and his brother, Hank, discuss interesting topics and philosophies, and work to decrease world suck.
Their most recent video features Hank Green discussing the limit of our knowledge. Here, I added on to his commentary and quoted some of the most eminent lines from the video.
Hank: “We live in an age where we’re taught to believe that everything has a reason. “
He made many points that I agree with and have pontificated on before. We, as humans do not know much at all, about anything. A “fact” is simply just a widely accepted guess. That is basically all of what our knowledge is-predictions gathered from our own, probably biased, observations and opinions.
Hank: “We want to know everything. We’re humans, we’re curious. And, maybe it’s our culture, maybe it’s just humanity. But, I think a lot of the time we end up mixing up thinking something, with knowing something.”
We as humans, seek for explanation of the unknown. We feel (it is our duty) to find these answers. Which is great, because we would not have many of our innovations without it. However, it can also lead us to presume our views as the ultimatum. That does not exist, there is no correct elucidation.
Hank: “People aren’t basing their opinions on what they think is the best course of action or the actual best explanation for it. They’re basing it on their values…but it might be a little silly to think that you’ve discovered the best possible course of action just because you figured out a way to turn your values into an executable vision.”
So how is it able for us to even choose a choice that we find the most effectual solution to an issue or explanation of a set of observations? How has a guess become something of certainty? Sometimes, I feel that our explanations for what we don’t know is just our brain trying to assure us of our knowledge. We accept certain blind beliefs as it gives us peace of mind or validation for our actions.
Hank: We convert our amalgamated opinions into reality. That’s the terrifying beauty of culture, and more specifically democracy. But, they are just guesses. No one knows the correct course of action. We will never take it…What I’m saying is nobody’s opinions are correct-in the world. And yet it’s impossible not to tie your opinions to your concept of self.”
In conclusion, we need to remind ourselves that we truly don’t know everything. And that facts we are given do not always have to be held with any verity.
Dream & Scheme