You Don’t Know Jack, But It’s Okay

by Luke Nix

faculty jackI Don’t Know Jack!
Something that I’ve learned as I learn more is just how little I really do know when compared to the vast body of knowledge available at my fingertips. Today we have access to so much knowledge that it would be impossible to consume it all. More knowledge is constantly being discovered, so I’d be fighting a losing battle if I tried to consume it all. When we look at the numerous disciplines that one may earn a degree in at the local university and all the research required to master the material, it is overwhelming. And when we realize that people in every one of these fields are gathering more, we realize that the knowledge base is growing not additionally but exponentially.

I have mixed feelings when I reflect on all the knowledge that I don’t possess when compared to what I do have. There is a certain level of humility that is experienced that is so great that even that word doesn’t do the feeling justice. If I were to ever claim that I understand a subject, its indistinguishably guaranteed that someone else understands it better. And since there are so many disciplines of knowledge, it is important for me to understand that even though I may think I’m a master of my field, I am an ignoramus when it comes to practically every other field of knowledge. Due to this reality of my lack of knowledge, my pride must stay in check, lest I be made the fool in discussion or debate.

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On Consistency and Testing
A couple years ago, I wrote a post about the importance of finding consistency among knowledge disciplines when forming a worldview. The lack of knowledge forces humans to work together to discover what is true and what is false about reality. Of course, this cooperation is not limited to just a few disciplines (which include numerous sub-disciplines), but all disciplines of knowledge. This reality of every person on earth (even the most intelligent of us) creates an inner tension that provides an interesting series of tests of worldviews (assuming that the worldviews being tested do value truth about reality).

Direct Negative Tests
And we don’t have to get too specific in the worldviews being tested. We can actually be quite general here. For example, any worldview that holds that all knowledge can be obtained is falsified by this reality. Even if man was able to obtain all knowledge, the very continuation of time would create a universe-worth of new facts to obtain. There would be no time to act based on the knowledge because knowledge would be being obtained in perpetuity.

Another example of a general worldview that is “under the gun” is any worldview that holds that knowledge will save humanity. Without going into whatever it is that humanity is being saved from, how can we know that knowledge will save humanity from it? The reason that I ask this is because no single human would have knowledge of every perspective…


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