The Knowledge problem

The questioner does not want to come to an end. If there was an answer that satisfies the question, then you would have to rest in that answer and the question plus the questioner would be gone. And that is the last thing you want: for you, the questioner, to come to an end.

The knowledge you acquire does not belong to you. So what does it matter if you are not there? It’s just a mechanical process that keeps itself going. The brain cannot create a question without having the knowledge (answers) to pool from. What good does it do to know a lot more than what you need to? You don’t need so many answers and you don’t need to ask so many questions.

 And even if this process of questioning goes on perpetually, it will come to certain limits.  And when that happens, the question becomes the answer.  And this is where the ontological certainty, the reduction ad absurdum, and the idea is instilled. The questioning becomes posited as an idea, the notion of which becomes a baseline assumption.

Questioning is not an end, but a path.
The path has purpose beyond the continuation of questioning.
When that purpose is met, the questioning, at least along those lines, comes to an end.

Endless and pointless questioning is not rational questioning.

Knowing everything would be a new situation anyway. One in which we could answer the question. We can still question that which we know - making sure, examining assumptions, rhetorical.

The premise is “every discovery generates multiple new questions”. I answered that that does not mean we will never know everything, as at some point we could theoretically (to the point of uselessness) have discovered everything, know we’ve done so, and answer the remaining questions with redefinitions and clarifications, no new discoveries. If that were the case, we would know the answer to your question, of course. It wouldn’t need to be asked.

Maybe I’m missing your point - your argument reads to me as “we couldn’t know everything because if we did we still wouldn’t know whether we knew everything”. Is that the case? It doesn’t seem to be sensible, based on that.

But, back to the OP, we won’t ever know everything, or even a less than a tiny fraction of everything. I don’t really see this as a problem of knowledge, or a justification for embracing ignorance with sloppy epistemology, say, or mysticism, or cheap relativism; it’s a call to treat knowledge claims with patient scepticism and allow for provisionality over certainty. Just as the fact that I won’t ever own all the money in the world is not a fundamental problem of money, nor an excuse to spend it irresponsibly.

 Questioning is not a path, because the path leads you to the answer. Therefore questioning is a seeking the answer through the path.  The path is noteworthy as describing how you get to the answer, but, it's the answer which is the objective.

See that’s what I meant about non-trivial. I Think a good faith read of the OP takes it as meaning not that we could no longer double check but that we would still Think the latest Discovery indicated areas (at least potentially) where we were ignorant. I

Adn then the premise would no longer apply. If we had no sense that we were ignorant of something…etc.

In any case, you can see how I take the OP. I can understand someone taking it the way you are, but to me it becomes pretty meaningless if the questions are not coming from a sense of having discovered - along with the last bit of knowledge - new gaps or potential/apparant ones.

I am not making that case, I am simply working from his premise. I assume that if we knew Everything we would also know we knew Everything. And would have no questions - in the sense the OP means. Why would we.

I have no idea what his motivations were, but I didn’t take the question so cynically, but rather as a more 'is gaining knowledge merely a sisyphusian Enterprise where ignorance actually grows at the same pace as knowledge. The sense of not knowing.

One could go on and make an argument, not a good one, that there is no Point, but I haven’t seen him do that. (I haven’t read all the posts, so maybe he has). But I do see his question as a kind of counter to how knowledge/science is often talked about. There is a kind of end of history air to the way science if popularized and people do talk about TOEs, etc. There is a strong Culture of ‘we are going to get to all the primary knowledge, though perhaps it will take a few centuries’. (or less). Note: I am not saying scientists as a whole do this or that this is a critique of scientific empiricism. Not in the least. But that confidence is pretty common I find. It is not exactly a claim that we will know Everything, but the core.

That’s how I took the OP, or at the very least, I Think that is a good way to take the OP, whatever his intentions. As a counter to that, and perhaps, also an ’ is there a way around this issue’, can one reach a core endpoint to knowledge gathering. Not knowing Everything, but having primarily trivial questions only remaining?’

I can see where you’re coming from.

The ignorance doesn’t grow, but our awareness of it does. Of course, as anon points out, there’s an assumption that science is gradually refining and building on existing foundations knowledge, which isn’t really valid: relativity doesn’t build on Newtonian mechanics, it completely overthrows its core assumptions.

There are many critiques that can be levelled at scientism, not least this one; with the exception of Dennett as a borderline case, there are very few scientist philosophers and very many unphilosophical scientists who see the inevitable march of progress to a utopia of knowledge before us. There are also very many unscientific philosophers with their fingers in their ears hoping that it will all blow over and lamenting the crudity of empirical observation, for that matter.

It wasn’t my intention to be cynical, but I see how that came across. I hope OP didn’t take that personally; it’s a common line to point out limitations of scientific knowledge as a justification for abandoning it altogether.

Yes, it’s the not changing one’s experience that’s seems sisyphusian - if one is seeking to kinda Nail things down. If one likes exploring it is different. And it might be possible that the primary issues get nailed down. Or the primary issues that we are capable of nailing down. That would be very interesting if, say in 2245, we simply stopped finding out much but details. There were still gaps and mysteries, but nothing scraped away at them, for centuries. That would lead to odd feelings I would guess.

It would seem to be doing both.

It’s a powerful, hm, lobby/force/Group that Couples this with rushing to spread innovations technologically, to bring that utopia here as soon as possible. The belief, yes, hovers in the minds of the unphilosophical scientists (and even more so engineers and other more application types on the Tech end and the Corporations hoping to make a mint right now.

I’ve encountered it. Makes for a rather bad heuristic. I mean, there goes taking up an instrument, getting romantically involved, choosing a career and so on…by that logic.

The only certain thing about science is that every theory will eventually be replaced by a new one…

Does anyone know of a field where we have definitive “knwoledge”?

It’s not certain. It seems much more likely in some fields than others.

What is uncertain about our (scientific) knowledge that scurvy is caused by vitamin C deficiency, or that dietary sugars cause humans to manufacture insulin? What’s uncertain about the rules of optometrics? There’s nothing new to be learnt there, no paradigms to be overthrown. Once science becomes that well-established, it becomes technology.

What definitiveness are you looking for?

Knowledge is indispensable when you use it to get results in the material world. Yet, it becomes a problem when you think there is a structure of knowledge that will, when applied, bring you to a better more interesting or more meaningful state of conscious existence which in turn will improve your present life. The mental activity occurring in the mind often makes you think there is a problem with your life when actually there isn’t. This nonexistent problem is the sort of ‘problem’ that is dissimilar to the kinds of problems that are solvable, that are mechanical and material in nature. These nonexistent problems try to manifest themselves as bothersome lines of mentation embedded in boredom or restlessness. And boredom is simply the thought that there is something better for your life than what you are doing now. But life and thought are not identical. You are not one thing and your life another. Life is what is going on inside you physically and biologically, functioning extraordinarily without any interest for what you think it needs. What you think you need is mental and impedes upon the smooth flow of the life. But thought will never allow itself to be removed because what gives it meaning and purpose is the maintenance of its continuity and permanence. It’s a lost battle.