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The Day Philosophy Would End

Updated: May 4

It is likely that you are aware that the purpose of philosophizing is to become more knowledgeable and to reduce ignorance as much as possible. However, the source of philosophizing, also known as what leads people to study philosophy and become philosophers, is the admission that one is ignorant.

Without ignorance, there would be no need for philosophizing. Therefore, anyone who either follows or generates philosophical content must be ignorant to an extent, and the "pain" behind truth-seeking is the fact that you and I lack said truths. Therefore, ignorance is the basis of all philosophy.

The process of philosophizing and search engines have a similar role: to rid one of ignorance by finding knowledge—insights, evidence, wisdom, and so on—through either consumption or active thinking. The notion of falsehood can either serve as a gap or as a "jumping pad" in the process of attaining truth, and it all depends on whether or not one sees it as the truth itself or as an honest mistake one has made.

Therefore, falsehoods or fallacies should not be seen as terrible things when philosophizing, since one can learn from them that they are wrong, and thus resume one's contemplations. In fact, it should be welcomed when philosophers make mistakes, because once these mistakes have been spotted, they can be avoided over the course of time. Thus, the contemporary process of "fake news" should not be seen as something bad or dysfunctional as long as they are likely to be recognized as mistakes, because then they can be avoided by those who are well aware of it.

Articles, videos, and other sources of information should not be treated as infallible, as humans are prone to make mistakes, regardless of how knowledgeable they may appear. Even news reporters can make mistakes, even though they are supposed to be the agents of truth (unless they are simply spreading propaganda).

Once mistakes are spotted and avoided, one can come closer to the truth. However, the truth is not infinite, as existence itself is finite. Therefore, there could be a time in human history when all of the truth is known, and it can be accessed with just a few taps on a keyboard or a smartphone. On that day, when everything can be easily found, discovered, and understood, there would be no need for philosophy.

Certainly, many things can be learned online today. This, at least for me, somewhat diminishes the need for formal education (unless it is necessary for getting a job). However, the very fact that you are reading this indicates that there are still things to be discovered and understood. This is why I am still a philosopher (and why many others are as well). In other words, even in this age of rapid and abundant information, there is still much to be learned and discovered through art and science.

This raises an important question: will philosophizing be an eternal pursuit? In other words, will we always be ignorant to some degree, no matter how much knowledge and insight we gain throughout our lives? If we will always remain ignorant to some degree, then philosophy itself would be quite Sisyphean, and if so, its value should be questioned.

After all, why should one strive for a goal that cannot be achieved?

On the other hand, if philosophy will "die" when all logical truths in existence are known, then it would mean that there could be a time in the future when there is no need to become a philosopher; one would only need to study philosophy.

Whatever may be the case, the conclusion from all of this is that regardless of the answer to this issue, the time to philosophize is either limited or already futile. Once there is no need to inquire about yet-to-be discovered insights, as everything would already be discovered, that will be the day where philosophy will die out, and independent thought would no longer be necessary to find new realizations.

The question is, however, whether or not humanity will survive long enough to make all knowledge possible to know with no further inquiry. Even before this theoretical period is to be reached, the internet is the largest public information source nowadays, if not the biggest in all of humanity's history. I think because of its sheer amount of content, it is but a question of time when it would contain every possible truth in human existence, and that might be one of our greatest achievements as a species.

Obviously, it contains many falsehoods and mistakes as well, but it doesn't mean that one cannot become significantly wiser and more knowledgeable if they just use it the "right" way, by having the initial knowledge to detect fake news and find sources which provide truth, logical or empirical.

Unless the internet is to somehow be banned in the whole world, it is possible that no other source of information would ever be able to surpass it. I at least hope to keep contributing to it myself, in hope that it would truly become omniscient.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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