Knowledge Versus Satisfaction By Belief-Only Consumables.
If we direct our imaginations to the pre-history of humanity we may safely conclude that our earliest concerns would have been for satisfaction of our knowledge-only needs for food, clothing and shelter; that our earliest acquisition of knowledge would have been directed to the satisfaction of these knowledge-only requirements, that all such knowledge would have been successively acquired by our imaginations being stimulated by our surrounding reality to beliefs as to the means of such satisfactions; that these beliefs would have been evaluated as to their compliance or non-compliance with this reality in so far as they satisfied one or other of our thus identified requirements; that such reality-evaluation would thus have produced positive or negative knowledge of what produced or did not produce the desired result; that this process of reality-validation or reality-refutation of belief to positive or negative knowledge would have progressively produced tools, weapons and artefacts for the progressive acquisition of food, clothing and shelter in such profusion as to sustain specialisation, trade, exchange, barter, wealth accumulation, and the acquisition of luxuries beyond any known need; and that after many millennia, the cause/effect relationship of tool to work-piece would have led to the investigation of cause-effect relationships in the natural world, and experimentation would have been born to convert hypothetical beliefs to positive or negative cause-effect knowledge of our surrounding reality.
However, despite our progressive acquisition of the reality-validated knowledge which is craftsmanship and science, a school of thought developed in the ancient Greek world which held, and still ubiquitously holds, that knowledge can be acquired by rational thought alone, i.e. without any reference to the reality-evaluation which is indispensable to the conversion of belief (as hypothesis) to positive or negative knowledge. Again, those who believe in knowledge being accessible to rationality alone also believe that knowledge is acquirable through debate, while it ought now to be obvious that the debate of opinion/counter-opinion is no more than the debate of belief/counter-belief supported by partially selected facts/counter-facts, evidence/counter-evidence and/or news/false-news, no set of which is debate-terminating conclusive knowledge; and that such debate never leads to more than a transiently elective belief-consensus pending the next debate and the next transiently elective belief-consensus.
Again, it ought by now to be obvious that while the progress of our scientific, engineering, technical, and craft knowledge, makes all sorts of progress possible beyond our basic needs for food, clothing and shelter, it also makes possible a wide range of knowledge-only responses to belief-only needs such as the range of energy-sources now available as alternatives to those of fossil fuel combustion and such as the range of alternative consumer-products now available for satisfaction of the belief-only needs of individual members of the public as daily advertised in the media. Thus, we may see that knowledge-only hydroelectric power stations, wind-turbines, solar cells, tidal-turbines and nuclear-fission power-stations are already available together with the prospect of nuclear-fusion stations as alternatives to existing fossil fuel- ( oil-, and coal-burning) power stations and with hydrogen-burning power-units in prospect, without any knowledge of need for such alternative sources of electricity, especially if these are producible only at greater unit cost (c.f. Article 29). As to the proliferation of new consumer-goods and their variants, these also seem to multiply without limit, and again, without of any knowledge of need for such multiplicity regardless of comparative cost.
However, we now see that the economies so far sustained by ceaseless proliferation of knowledge-only services for largely belief-only needs, are exhibiting a more or less uncertain sustainability for the long-run; that these economies now seem subject to additional uncertainties arising from our departure from the EU and/or from the Covid-19 lockdowns which isolate the non-infected from the infected rather than isolating the infected from the non-infected as was formerly the accepted practice; that it thus remains to be seen whether or not these now disordered economic systems will be recoverable to their former states, or be re-ordered by a long overdue replacement belief with knowledge in the conduct of existing political-economic systems; that were this transformation from belief to knowledge to occur in light of belief-only lockdowns being recognised as errors of belief-only judgement, then the Covid-19 infection would, ever after, be remembered as having ushered in a recognition of the general benefits which would arise from an overall replacement of definitive belief with definitive knowledge; and that were our joining the belief-only EU to be thus recognised as an error of belief-only judgement, then our departure from the EU would similarly be remembered as having contributed to our recognition of the benefits to be derived from replacing belief with knowledge wherever/whenever such knowledge is available; and to our recognition of the need to acquire the relevant knowledge as soon as may be, wherever/whenever it is recognised as not yet available. 12/11/20.