Knowing and not Knowing: An Idea Might Not Have Those Consequences

Eidos | 7/21/2019 | Staff
Traight (Posted by) Level 3
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Sometimes ideas have consequences: good and bad. Often people who hate an idea will pretend that an idea has consequences, but it does not. An idea might have consequences, just not those consequences.

This is an another important thing to know! Here is a common example I often meet in the wilds of social media.

Person - Thought - Idea - Exists - Jesus

Suppose a person, after careful thought, decides she knows an idea to be true: “Heaven exists and knowing Jesus is the only way to go to Heaven.” I am supposing this to be true, not arguing for it here. Christian theologians and philosophers have made arguments for this idea, received from (what we think) is Divine Revelation.

Suppose this idea is true for the sake of argument. A critic will claim as a result: “You must know all kinds of other things!” and then suggest those other things are either obviously false or wrongheaded. This might be right: some ideas have consequences that show an idea to be very unlikely to be true or at least deeply troubling.

Reason - Look - Idea - Critic - Leap

That’s a good reason to go look at that idea more closely. However, sometimes the critic has made a leap from what I know to what something that does not follow!

Take the case of Heaven and Jesus.

Critic - Jesus - Way - Heaven - Critic

I have been told (by a critic) that if I believe that Jesus is the only way to Heaven, then I must then know that they (the critic) is going not going to Heaven.

The critic will often go out of his way to show he does not know Jesus. He will assert (even if only for the sake of his argument) that Jesus does not exist, blaspheme Jesus, and deny that Heaven exists. He will state that if Heaven exists, he does not want to go there. Following all this, he will ask why a...
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