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-   -   Does knowledge make things more beautiful? (http://www.tree-of-souls.com/debate/4643-does_knowledge_make_things_more_beautiful.html)

Theorist 10-11-2011 11:50 AM

Does knowledge make things more beautiful?
 
First off, let me define knowledge. Knowledge is the knowing of facts, or statements of truth, where as wisdom is things such as wise statements about how to live one's life etc.

Okay, does knowledge make things more beautiful? Does looking at a forest, and knowing it is a bunch of atoms, which for compounds, which react, and allow life to exist. Knowing that forest is made up of soil, with microscopic organisms in it. That the leaves on the ground will decompose and becomes nutrients for more things to grow. That those trees are sucking water up from the ground, and it is leaving them into the air, and it returns again as rain.

or is just looking at the forest for the beauty one can see in it just by looking. The colors, the sounds, the life scattering about, but not neccessarily understanding all the parts of the forest.

The same for the stars. Just looking at them in wonder or amazement? Or understanding what is going on in the starts to create them, the ball offire they are, and how incredibly far away they are.

So, does knowledge make things more beautiful, or is it not necessary to make things more beautiful?

ZenitYerkes 10-11-2011 04:51 PM

Knowledge does not necessarily have to have only one plane.

There's scientific knowledge, yes, but there are also other means to know the world. The poetic approach will focus on the emotions the sight provokes on you. Vastness. Warmth. Cruelty. Love. A religious approach will link you to the transcendent and the eternal. A subjective approach could mean anything you want. And so on with anything you can think of.

There's not an only perspective on reality since we are always standing on a point of view, to view it. Changing the point doesn't make reality different, but it can make it mean different things.

Clarke 10-11-2011 06:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ZenitYerkes (Post 159732)
There's not an only perspective on reality since we are always standing on a point of view, to view it. Changing the point doesn't make reality different, but it can make it mean different things.

And that isn't knowledge; at least, not knowledge in any meaningful sense of the term. "Knowledge" is, generally, statements about reality that are completely unaffected by changing points of view. Things like gravity, or "2+2=4." These things quite obviously can't be ignored; and so have to be more fundamental than our opinions.

To answer the original question, knowledge tells you how things could be, as well as what they are. How are you supposed to get anywhere if you don't know what will happen next? :P

Moco Loco 10-11-2011 06:30 PM

I don't think it makes your view of something any more or less beautiful (let's say, the forest), but it gives more insight to what you may not directly be able to observe (let's say, the atoms). The same original beauty is still there, but now there is even more to appreciate, which you may find beautiful in a variety of ways.

ZenitYerkes 10-11-2011 10:17 PM

Then scientific knowledge is good as long as it is what you ask for.

Just keep in mind that just science is not all a full human being needs as an answer (since we would be limiting a person to accepting facts coming from the outside), and that current knowledge is far from perfect. We still have to answer to questions both very specific (quantum physics) and very basic (what is a force? what is energy?).

Science and knowledge are incomplete, both speaking as being far from finished, and complementary to other forms of knowledge (or "wisdom", as the OP mentions it). It doesn't "ruin" anything as long as it is what you want to acknowledge.

iron_jones 10-11-2011 10:39 PM

Sometimes.

I used to love card magic. So I learnt a lot of it.
Not so magical anymore when I see it. :P

Moco Loco 10-11-2011 11:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ZenitYerkes (Post 159764)
Just keep in mind that just science is not all a full human being needs as an answer (since we would be limiting a person to accepting facts coming from the outside), and that current knowledge is far from perfect. We still have to answer to questions both very specific (quantum physics) and very basic (what is a force? what is energy?).

Science and knowledge are incomplete, both speaking as being far from finished, and complementary to other forms of knowledge (or "wisdom", as the OP mentions it). It doesn't "ruin" anything as long as it is what you want to acknowledge.

This is a very philosophical response :S which is fine I guess, but I was answering the first question posed. I guess you're answering the second question then, "is it/is it not necessary to make things more beautiful". Beauty is of course an opinion and anything you see or understand (or even think you understand) can effect that opinion. The second question IMO is entirely subjective.

Advent 10-12-2011 01:47 AM

I guess it differs from person to person. Some people might find knowledge itself beautiful, others might prefer the simple mystic atmosphere of a rainforest.

Pa'li Makto 10-12-2011 02:01 AM

I think simple knowledge is beautiful such as looking at animal food chains and how each creature creates life for another..Also looking at all the different groups of animals and how they interact with each other and the environment makes the environment appear more dynamic and interesting then if you just saw the environment as land. So I think that observational knowledge and things that you might learn from simple experiments can benefit your idea of things being unique and beautiful.

I think personally, that if you always imagine animals as bunches of cells it would make them appear less unique and beautiful. Of course though the idea that any animal is made up of so many cells is interesting but not beautiful..

Human No More 10-12-2011 10:44 AM

Yes, because it lets you appreciate the complexity, the variety of every single lifeform. It lets you understand the uncounted millions of years behind something as small as an insect, and how living things interact when none could survive without others.
The fact of how cellular life works shows how cells, both specialised and unspecialised, work together to do something completely different that no single one could ever do, and create a form. THAT is beautiful.

The opposite, thinking 'it's just there' is what leads to lack of concern about it, seeing it as something there specifically for humans.

Pa'li Makto 10-12-2011 11:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Human No More (Post 159840)
Yes, because it lets you appreciate the complexity, the variety of every single lifeform. It lets you understand the uncounted millions of years behind something as small as an insect, and how living things interact when none could survive without others.
The fact of how cellular life works shows how cells, both specialised and unspecialised, work together to do something completely different that no single one could ever do, and create a form. THAT is beautiful.

The opposite, thinking 'it's just there' is what leads to lack of concern about it, seeing it as something there specifically for humans.

You know tribespeople had such a deep understanding, respect and admiration of all living things and they didn't have knowledge of things on a cellular level. I hope you aren't suggesting that they have a "lack of concern" about animals and nature.

Human No More 10-12-2011 02:44 PM

I said it's what leads to it. The difference is between seeing them as there specifically for humans (and therefore humans not being similar) and seeing all life, including humans, as the same basic type. Some people have been able to do the latter without any proper knowledge of biology, but many more people have not.

Clarke 10-12-2011 08:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pa'li Makto (Post 159858)
You know tribespeople had such a deep understanding, respect and admiration of all living things and they didn't have knowledge of things on a cellular level. I hope you aren't suggesting that they have a "lack of concern" about animals and nature.

I would say that they would probably view nature as we would view a well-made watch; beauty from organisation, precise interaction, and engineering.

Nature is actually a fractal of watches; most of the components are watches all unto themselves, which multiplies the beauty of the whole.

Aquaplant 10-12-2011 10:05 PM

What is beauty?
Why is something beautiful?

Knowledge is objective.
Beauty is subjective.

Does not compute.

Ashen Key 10-12-2011 10:45 PM

Without facts, I look up at the night sky and I see pretty white lights.

With facts, I look up at the night sky and I see millions of suns, each of which could have their own solar system. With facts, I look up at the night sky, and I know I'm seeing into the past. With facts, I know that all the atoms of my body have once been other things (the atoms of my right hand were a different star to my left, as someone once said), and that once I die, all my atoms will become other things once again - we are all connected to the universe because we are made up of the universe.

I prefer having facts.


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