To Accept or Reject the Risk of Error

1276 WordsApr 5, 20056 Pages
"To accept anything as true means to incur the risk of error. If I limit myself to knowledge that I consider true beyond doubt, I minimize the risk of error, but at the same time I maximize the risk of missing out on what may be the subtlest, most important, and most rewarding things in life". That was on page three of E.F. Schumacher's A Guide for the Perplexed. It was included on the third page on the text because it is one of the most important reoccurring themes throughout the book. Schumacher means that if we only consider things of proven fact then we would be missing out on the rest of the world. If we only concentrate on what is proven then we will miss out on what is unproven thus far but could eventually be proven.…show more content…
A mineral does not live nor does it have consciousness. A plant is living but lacks consciousness. Animals live and have a sense of consciousness but lacks self consciousness. Man is living, has consciousness, and a sense of self consciousness. Each level has an increasingly important factor. Each level has a parameter of understanding with concrete boundaries, even humans. Humans do not even understand a higher being. Some believe that a supreme being exists but they are those who accept the risk of error. A supreme being whether it be Jesus Christ, Buddha, or any other deity adds an important dimension to most humans lives. Some people even live their lives for their God. If these people didn't accept the risk of error then their lives would lack meaning and be completely different. Schumacher says, "The claim that ‘Science' brings forth ‘Truth' – certain, unshakable, reliable knowledge which has been ‘scientifically proved' – and that this unique ability gives it a status higher than that of any other human activity (106). If something is scientifically proven then it means that is 100% free of error. That means that the fact in question will never change no matter what situation it is in. Schumacher goes on further by defining pragmatism. "Pragmatism is the philosophy which holds that the only valid test of truth is that it works. The pragmatist advises: ‘It is irrational to say: ‘When an idea is true, it works'; you should say:
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