Posts Tagged: experience

When you know for yourself

How do we know what’s true?

For centuries people relied on religious and royal authorities — priests and kings — to explain the world they lived in. These authorities invariably used these explanations to justify their own authority, creating a self-reinforcing circular logic.

The past 400 years or so of human history have seen such authority erode, to be replaced in part by scientific authority and ideas about the freedom of the individual. Science has explained a lot about the world, but it still has many big questions that it currently cannot answer. At the same time, individuals now have unprecedented freedom to decide life’s big questions based on their own authority, even if the decisions are not always very well informed.