I recently engaged in a rather interesting discussion of philosophy, in an online forum. (See some of the later pages to get to the juicy parts.)
While writing some of the posts there, I had to really formulate for myself what I mean by “knowledge”. I’ve got the LRH datum that “knowledge is certainty”, but I had to ask myself what I mean by it. Certainty about what?
After chewing on it for a little bit, I finally ended up with a definition that I really like: Knowledge is certainty in predicting outcomes.
Which breaks down further into data, faith, and imagination.
Data is part of knowledge since you need to know details to predict outcomes.
Faith is part of it, because data that you don’t trust is less useful than data you can trust, and also because of postulated reality (postulated beingness and nonbeingness). Both are critical factors in predicting outcomes.
Imagination is critical to knowledge, because it allows us to know things that we haven’t experienced yet and that we aren’t just postulating. This can be as simple as extrapolating reasonable outcomes based on probabilities, or as complex as working out detailed universes to postulate. It ties to both faith (postulates) and data (extrapolation).
Without all the Scientology education I’ve been through, I wouldn’t have been able to come to that conclusion. And it’s a very useful definition of a critical concept.