How Do We Know?

Life is complex.  Any person who has entered the real world of adulthood can testify to its complexities.  There is no prince charming to the rescue, no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and no four-leaf clover that makes our wishes come true.  If we could magically find our true love, our fortune, or our heart’s dream, we would have to manage and steward any or all of those blessings.  Eventually, the miracle would morph into the reality that we would create.  What we would do with what we were given would build the world in which we would live.  We would be forced to return from the land of wishes and dreams to the land of reality and again testify that life is complex.  
Therefore, we must know how to deal with life.  We must have knowledge, understanding and wisdom.  Right application of truth yields good results.  We all want that!  We want to find the keys that unlock life’s complexities so that we can build our ideal worlds.  The question that begs to be answered is:  Where do we go to find those keys of knowledge?
To find answers, we customarily go to those whom we deem to have knowledge.  We view a parent, teacher, doctor, pastor, or some professional as reliable sources.  Before we would accept life’s answers from anyone, we should have already deemed that person to be a qualified authority.  Authority should only be authority to us if we had predetermined that our source had the right to claim authority.  We could say that the epistemological question – or how we know – rests upon the ontological question – the being from whom the knowledge arises.  Thus, we should have a theory of being already established before we began our inquiry.
On any given day or any average decision, we probably don’t think to ourselves that ontology precedes epistemology.  Nonetheless, we base our decisions upon some presupposition.  Unless we consciously think about how we know the facts, from whom did the facts arise, what is the authority level of the person giving the facts, and other such pertinent questions, we may find ourselves making life more complex rather than actually unlocking its complexities. 
The Genesis story about Eve and the Tree of Knowledge gives us insight into this belief that who is speaking lays a sure foundation for the reliability of the knowledge being spoken.  God had given her information about the tree.  He had told her not to eat of its fruit, and He had spoken the consequences of her actions.  The serpent also offered information.  He encouraged her to eat and promised almost magical results.  
Eve was given two theories of knowledge.  How she knew and what she knew – her epistemology – was derived from two authoritative sources.  However, Eve failed to investigate the ontological question or the beings that were her source.  Apparently, she concluded that what she knew could be decided outside the framework of ontology.  Had she examined the being of serpent against the being of God, she would have compared the created with the Creator, measured imputed knowledge against Original Truth, contrasted a dependent being with the Independent One; weighed temporal life against Eternal Life, distinguished a subordinate being from the Omnipotent One.  
Which key is the right one to use to unlock the complexities of life?  Before we decide that question, we should ask ourselves who is offering the key.  Ontology precedes epistemology.

This article relates to:
Principles from the twelve foundations for freedom and prosperity:  
#1 Reality – There are absolute and objective principles that undergird the created order of matter, personal and social relationships, and the possibilities of sustainable freedom and prosperity within nations.

Featured Product

Life Changing New Book
 
Jesus declared that He would build His church. Church is translated from the Greek word ekklesia. This new book by Dr. Patti, Ekklesia: Kingdom Government in Operation, examines in detail Christ's proclamation, the historical background upon which the statement rested, and the mandate upon the church to respond to His decree.


*****************

Video of the Week

School of Biblical Law: Join me for our 38th module in the Covenant & Law series.  Click here for this week's lesson.

Make Donations Here

School of the Law and all other donations to Patti Amsden Ministry may be made here. 

Sign Up for our Newsletter

Sign up for Dr. Patti's Newsletter
Email:

Article of the Week

Our Inconveniences Can Be For Another's Blessing 

Because By guest blogger, Heather Galloway

How many times do you leave a fast-food restaurant frustrated that you waited too long? Now you are late and you say to yourself, “I never should have gone through that drive-through.” Maybe you’ve been caught in crazy... Read More

Upcoming Events


October 20-22

International Apostolic Conference
Internationale Gemeinde Esslingen e.V.
Plochinger Str. 102
Esslingen, Germany
Coordinator:  Ise Sirovina



October 22-23

Kingdom Life Now
Pamela Giehl
Schorndorf, Germany



October 24-25

Fels Gemeinde Bingen
Mainzer Straße 41
D-55411 Bingen am Rhein
Pastor Ingeborg Barker
Dammstraße 22
D-55411 Bingen am Rhein
Cell phone: 0049 - 178 899 4940