Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Perceiving the future

Is it possible to perceive the future? Some astrologers say that they have seen the future through the stars; some claim to know events that will occur before they actually happen. Astrologers study the patterns of the stars to try to predict what's going to happen tomorrow. Do you think that astrology is a valid way of perception even though astrologers are not directly witnessing images of the future? If you supposedly know the future, can it ever be descriptive knowledge or is it always acquaintnace knowledge? because you can't claim to have known than an event will occur in the future because you always have to wait and confirm that it happens.
i.e. Let's say I predict that an asteroid will crash into Earth and destroy Antarctica exactly 1 week from now. Can I claim it as knowledge right now or would I have to wait 1 week and then confirm my prediction? Let's say that I perceived this through the stars, and it does turn out to be true; is it a valid way of perception or did I just make a wild guess and got it right?

10 comments:

Vvyynn said...

I would have to say that there is no way to correctly tell the future. True, Astolorgers may be able to look into the stars and see a possible outcome of the future according to that certain time, however each and every human (and every living thing, really) is given a special quality: A free will. This free will causes us to be in charge of our own future.

EXAMPLE TIME! Let's to say that you look up into the stars and see that a comet will crash into the earth and destroy antarctica in a week. Now that we have this assumption, we (meaning scientists and possibly Sweden...I don't think they're doing anythign right now. Ooh! And Al Gore!) will do everything we can to save Antarctica. Thus, we will fire a missle at the comet, destroying it before it reaches Antarctica, making your prediction false.
Eample number two, because the last example wasn't that great: Let's to say that you look to the stars and see that Charles Davidson of Eastern Montana will die tomorrow. So, the day begins, and I decide that I will eat eggs this morning, so I fire up my stove. The energy used to fire up the stove is taken from the whole of Colorado, and they will need to burn more coal in order to supply this electricity. Thus, the coal miners up in eastern Montana will go to work earlier that day, and will cause massive traffic congestion. This congestion will make it difficult for Charles to get to work on his usual route, so he will take a seperate amount, where the bear-torpedo doesn't hit his car. Thus, Charles lives and the stars were wrong.

So, it is very improbable to tell the future due to free will. Also, Stars are blobs of burning energy, I don't think they know the future.

Deep Chandegara said...

Good point, vvyynn, but i never said that the stars knew the future. Astrologers perceive them and interpret them and make a knowledge claim based upon that. So is it still a valid way of perceiving even though astrologers are not seeing images of the future? In a similar manner, scientists didn't literally see the nucleus of the atom. Rutherford conducted the gold foil experiment and based on what he "saw", he made a knowledge claim.

Vvyynn said...

Is it still valid? I would have to say yes, only because everything is a valid way of perceiving. There, that'll bring up conversation.

NGaebler said...

Nothing can be predicted with 100% certanty. This comes in part from the fact that nothing is definate. When we look at atoms and electrons it is impossible to tell both the speed and the position of the electrons to 100% accuracy at the same time. There is an actual constant and ratio between the two to define this sepiration between our understanding of where it is and were it is going. Since we can never know both at the same time we never know their paths and can never predict were they are going. This translates into an inablity to predict anything with 100% accuracy, there will always be a chance, even if it is infatecimly small, that things may go a different way. The astroyed headed for earth might have all its atoms jump to the other side of earth right before it hits causing no damage. This of course is based of scientific knowledge that might be fasle in some ways but it still works for our understanding of the univers and helps us understand some of what we see.

a casnellie said...

I don't think that you can predict the future by looking at stars. At all. I really think that if you try hard enough, you can find a pattern in pretty much anything. My alphabet soup can predict the future about as well as stars can in my opinion.

Why do I believe this? Well, it coheres to absolutely nothing that I already believe and I see absolutely no logic behind the idea. Rutherford was able to manipulate his materials and at least had logic on his side. I'm with Vvyynn, stars are blobs of burning energy and I won't be looking to them for any profound revelations anytime soon.

Merry_Dip_Salad_Bunny said...

An easy way to answer questions like these is to ask, "Is this a properly justified true belief?"

Vvyynn said...

No, no I don't think so Salad. Then it would be asking us if there's knowledge. This post is asking us if we can predict the future. And no, we can't predict it with 100% accuracy, not even 80% accuracy.

laughingcorpse said...

Deep explain to me. WHat is your definition of future. Is it a future of what you have planned? or that of the near future? Could it be that by random probability you have the ability to guess as to which is right in front of peoples' faces but do not know its there?

Deep Chandegara said...

my definition for the future is the following:
- anything that occurs from 0.000000001 seconds from now to 9999999999^99999999^99 years from now.
- it can be all of the things you listed in your last post. all the examples you have fall into the above definition; therefore it's the future

laughingcorpse said...

Then there is probably not a very long future than one can predict and it is not true to say you'are a seer just because you can say Somtin bad is going to happen tommorow