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Is all 'knowledge' good?

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Karpel Tunnel
Posts: 564
Joined: February 16th, 2018, 11:28 am

Re: Is all 'knowledge' good?

Post by Karpel Tunnel » November 16th, 2018, 5:56 pm

Alias wrote:
November 9th, 2018, 12:11 am
For example, assuming no good argument can be made to wipe out all life on Earth, how could the knowledge or how to kill all life on Earth be considered 'good'?
Not sure about all life on earth, but if I wanted to prevent someone blowing up the post office, I would need to first anticipate how they would go about attempting it. Knowing how it could be done is a prerequisite.
[/quote]But if the knowledge for how to blow up the post office did not exist, you're knowing how to do this would not be necessary. It only becomes necessary if the knowledge exists.

Alias
Posts: 2531
Joined: November 26th, 2011, 8:10 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Terry Pratchett

Re: Is all 'knowledge' good?

Post by Alias » November 18th, 2018, 6:54 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
November 16th, 2018, 5:56 pm
But if the knowledge for how to blow up the post office did not exist, you're knowing how to do this would not be necessary. It only becomes necessary if the knowledge exists.
It only comes into question after the knowledge exists. All the knowledge that doesn't exist yet is both harmless and unhelpful, and impossible to valuate, until it is conceived. With some not-yet-conceived or not-yet-discovered data, we can be reasonably sure that they will come into existence if we are aware that some intelligent entity has a motive to seek it. For example, medical researchers are tirelessly seeking knowledge regarding the origins, causative agents and vectors of communicable disease, for the purpose of curing or preventing those diseases. That could be considered good knowledge, once it exists. However, at the same time, there may well be interests seeking the same information for the purpose of germ warfare. If they get it first, or acquire it from the medical researchers, it becomes bad knowledge.
I really can't bring myself to wish that the polio vaccine had never been invented.

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