The Philosophy Of Ignorance And Knowledge In Buddhism

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In order to prepare for the job interview, I had to hack into Buddha’s iPhone. At first, I did not know what I was looking for, but for some reason, something was telling me to do it. When I was looking through the phone I found something that could help with the interview. It was Buddha’s favorite interview questions: What is knowledge? Can it be defined? How do you incorporate knowledge into your philosophy of life? From looking at these questions it seemed easy to answer but after sitting there for 30 minutes that was not the case. There are so many different ways to define knowledge. Everyone has their views on it. I need to impress The Buddha if I’m going to get the job so I thought about it even more. I read a couple of books that could probably help me with these questions. So what did I do? I simply went back to them and finally found what I needed. To make sure I get this job I must answer the interview questions to each of the books I read.

What is knowledge? In my opinion, knowledge is information acquired by a person through experience, but according to the books I’ve read the definition of knowledge is much more than that. According to Book V in “Plato: The Republic”, Plato states that “Since knowledge is limited to eternal, unchanging, absolute truths, it cannot apply to the ever-changing details of the sensible world. It can only apply to what is completely—to what is stable and eternally unchanging.” In other words, he believes that knowledge does not change. He also states that “knowledge, then, is of what and ignorance necessarily is of what is not. If something is really there between what is absolutely intermediate that will enable us to see it” and “knowledge is naturally related to what is; it is able to know what is and how it is.” Plato supports this claim by giving examples on abilities such as sight and hearing. He states that “when I think about ability, I look at one thing only: what purpose it is disposed to serve and what are its effects. This is the kind of scrutiny that enables me to ascertain whether or not something is, in fact, an ability. And whatever is related to the same purpose and produces the same effects is the same ability, the same power; different purposes and effects prove the presence of different ability.” This helps him build this argument about what knowledge is because he is relating this to us and what we can do.

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In the next book I read called “Other Minds”, Peter Godfrey-Smith explains that “some brains are organized differently from others, with more or fewer synapses, and those synapses can also be more or less complicated”. He continues by saying that “different animals are good at different things, as makes sense given the different lives they live”. His explanation goes back to my definition of knowledge which is information acquired by a person through the experience. It’s very interesting how he explains how smart octopuses are because they are so different from us and yet again we share similar mindsets. I chose this book to explain knowledge a little bit because it shows us a different view on it, meaning animals vs humans in a way. Knowledge also evolves over time cause in the book Godfrey-Smith shows us how unruly clumps of seaborne cells began living together and became capable of sensing, acting, and signaling. As these animals start to coming together they grow more complicated. Like Plato said, “knowledge is the most powerful of all abilities”.

In the book “Galileo” the church could be used as an example of a lack of knowledge because of their excessive obsession with censorship primarily regarding Galileo himself. The church believes that the earth in the center of the universe in god’s eye. With a new invention of a telescope from Holland, Galileo built his own version of the instrument. He said the sun at the center, and the earth orbits around it. With all the evidence Galileo built up, he goes against the church. With the church's lack of knowledge, they did not believe him because they believe it goes against the statements in the Bible. The church forced Galileo to renounce his views in front of them and the whole community. Lack of knowledge could play a big part in someone’s life. Can the word knowledge be defined? Yes! But there are so many ways to define it. This word all depends on you and what you think of it. There are many definitions and theories to explain it that exist.

How do I incorporate knowledge into my philosophy of life? This is a difficult question for me to answer because I never really thought about it. “Philosophy is the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline” according to dictionary.com. So I’ve been thinking and I think my philosophy in life is just being the best I could be in anything I do and in the long run being successful with it. I play soccer in college because I worked hard to get there. My parents, friends, the people I looked up to and the knowledge I learned growing up helped me get where I am now. Being an athlete my whole life had its ups and downs. It was amazing because I played the sport I love and had people in my life that supported me throughout the whole journey. I had parents that gave up everything for me just to play. We did not have time to do anything such as going on vacation. They have their own company and they gave up hours of work just to come see me play. My dad also played soccer when he was younger and taught me everything I know about the sport today. Role models such as Alex Morgan, a professional soccer player, and Stephen Curry, a professional basketball player also played an important part in my life. All the videos and movies I watched and the books I read on them gave me the knowledge of what kind of athlete I would become. I think knowledge is an important thing when growing up because it’s something that could shape you as a person. Living in a healthy, stable environment and having people to love and support you could be different than someone living in an unhealthy, unstable environment and having no one there to love and support you. That lack of knowledge could probably predict where you could go in life.

Now after all this important information I gathered for Buddha’s job interview I think I have a good chance of getting the job. But there’s one last thing I have to think of. What exactly will I tell Buddha during the interview? With all this information I do not want to bore him to sleep. The best thing to do is condense all of this into one good explanation. But that seems like too much work. I think the more information I have to say, the better chance I have. So I will tell him everything! Starting with all the books I read and how I came up with all these definitions on knowledge to how I incorporated knowledge in my philosophy of life. He will definitely be impressed with all the research I did on the word knowledge. Since he is asking these specific questions maybe I will change his point of view on the word knowledge. I have to get to sleep now I have an interview in the morning.

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