I am asking us to know even more.Without the desire to know we would still be sitting in caves, provided the species survived to this point.
As example, since ancient times our learning was focused on how to find food. But today for we affluent moderns the threat is no longer starvation, but obesity. The problem now is not a shortage of food, but too much food. That's a radically different situation which requires a new learning, a new paradigm, a new relationship with food.
I'm proposing a similar situation exists in relation to knowledge. When knowledge was in short supply and hard to come by, a simplistic game plan like "more is better" was entirely sufficient. But today, like with food, we face not a shortage of knowledge but an explosion of knowledge. Another radically different situation which again requires us to adapt.
I'm arguing for adaptation to the new environment we find ourselves in, which will require additional learning, new knowledge.
I think we probably all agree on the following...Or would you prefer to draw the arbitrary line of where knowledge should be thwarted somewhere further down the line? And that is a question that must be addressed if one is to call for limits.
We all want as much knowledge as we can safely handle. None of us want knowledge which poses the threat of obliterating all knowledge.
If we think of knowledge as an element of nature like water or electricity then a familiar useful construct appears. We all want water to drink, but we don't want a flood. We all want to access electricity, but not a lightening bolt hitting our house. We've developed various strategies to harvest the benefits of water and electricity while avoiding the perils as much as possible. I'm proposing this same common sense mindset can and should be adopted in our relationship with knowledge. Some is good for sure, but more is not automatically better.
To answer your question more directly, here are some thoughts about setting limits. We might establish the understanding that we must clean up old knowledge messes before creating new ones. So, want to experiment with genetic engineering? Ok, let's consider doing that after we get rid of the nukes and solve the climate change problem. If we can demonstrate that we have the ability to solve the problems we create in our knowledge endeavors, that should give all us more confidence in our future knowledge adventures.
There's a psychic hole inside of us that we're trying to fill. That hole is created by the nature of thought.
Put more precisely, you don't get it.I don’t buy it.
We know climate change poses a serious threat to human civilization, and yet we keep pumping oil out of the ground as fast as we possibly can. We'd rather burn every last drop of the oil than consider any significant change to our more, more and more lifestyle. That is not contentment my friend, not delight, but pathology. It would be different if we needed the oil to eat, to survive, but we're risking everything for luxury. These are not the kind of decisions that rational happy delighted sane people make.We strive not because we are not content, not because something is missing, but because we delight in what we can do, what we can accomplish, what we can make of ourselves and our world.
Without ignorance, how would you experience the joy of discovery?Ignorance is a condition. It is not needed to balance knowledge...
Ok, you are articulating the group consensus paradigm, the "more is better" relationship with knowledge. That point of view surely deserves a place at the table in this conversation given it is the majority view.Eating more than we need does not benefit us and is detrimental. The same cannot be said of knowledge.
If you wish to be the spokesman for that perspective, you will bear the burden of explaining how we will successfully manage an ever accelerating rate of knowledge, power and change which hits human societies faster and faster and faster. Please keep in mind that this is not an incremental process, but an exponential one. Get your Ray Kurzweil books out again and give them another look perhaps.
My counter proposal is that everything you've said above will remain true until the day the house comes crashing down around our ears, and then all the great discoveries will no longer matter. You've yet to explain how we will manage an ever growing collection of existential scale technologies which due to their scale, require us being right and doing things correctly every single time forever, something which has never happened anywhere or anytime in human history.As we ponder these questions there are many advances being made that will prolong and improve our lives and the lives of those around us. But not all knowledge is applied or practical knowledge. We will discover things about ourselves, life, and the universe we will marvel and wonder about. We will discover new worlds and things that we cannot yet imagine.
Speaking on behalf of the group consensus, you are the one afraid of change, clinging to the old familiar ways, unwilling to explore and adapt to the new environment. It is actually you who are arguing against learning, insisting that we must continue to have the same relationship with knowledge we've had since 10,000 BC. And of course it's not just you, but pretty much our entire society, so you are in good company.None of this is without its risks, but as some want nothing more than to sit before a cozy fire, others desire adventure, to explore, to challenge themselves to reach new heights. It is perhaps, as with other things, largely a matter of temperament. While some are afraid that opening the door will create a draft, others see the door as an opening.