Paul Lachine

Unwissenheit heute

NEW YORK – Unwissenheit ist die Wurzel alles Bösen. Diese Aussage stammt von Plato, der uns auch eine berühmte immer noch aktuelle Definition ihres Gegenteils gab: nämlich Wissen. Plato zufolge ist Wissen “begründbarer wahrer Glaube”. Für unsere Betrachtung der Gefahren der Unwissenheit im 21. Jahrhundert ist diese Definition ein wichtiger Anhaltspunkt.

Plato meinte, dass dafür, dass wir etwas “wissen” können, drei Bedingungen erfüllt sein müssen: Die fragliche Annahme muss tatsächlich wahr sein; wir müssen sie glauben (denn wenn wir nicht glauben, dass etwas wahr ist, können wir kaum behaupten, dass wir es wissen); und, als subtilste Bedingung, sie muss begründbar sein – wir müssen Gründe dafür haben, warum wir die Annahme für wahr halten.

Betrachten wir etwas, was wir alle zu wissen glauben: Die Erde ist (annähernd) rund. Dies ist so wahr, wie es astronomisch betrachtet nur sein kann, insbesondere deshalb, weil wir über künstliche Satelliten in der Umlaufbahn gesehen haben, dass unser Planet tatsächlich eine runde Form hat. Die meisten von uns (mit Ausnahme von ein paar Verrückten) glauben auch, dass dies der Fall ist.

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