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  • Writer's pictureKlaus Luehning

#32 | DOUBT | Faith, Reality, and the AI Problem

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  1. Crucial Role of Doubt: Klaus reminds us that doubt is essential in questioning and refining knowledge, beliefs, and ideologies, leading to a deeper understanding of the world.

  2. Faith and Reality Dynamics: Klaus discusses how faith, lacking empirical proof, interacts with the tangible realities of life, shaping personal beliefs and practices.

  3. Human Cognition vs. AI: Klaus highlights the unique nature of human doubt and decision-making compared to AI's limitations, lack of self-awareness, and the ability to adapt like humans.


The concept of doubt is an irreplaceable element of any statement, dogma, law, article of faith, doctrine, or ideology. Without it, there would be no further ideas, curiosity, or the shaping of understanding. A continued search for clarity, additional information, and testing competing or alternative suppositions, theories, ideas, or logic will advance knowledge and a more efficient and coincident grasp of our world. The search for “the truth of it” is ever ongoing.

Faith is the belief in something for which there is no discernable truth, no physical or logical that is proof of the matter. It is believing by adherence to an authority of some outside source that defines the proof by simply attesting to it without an iota of substantiation.

Since doubt comes from daily being subjected to the vagaries of reality, it is confounding, critical, countervailing, debatable, argumentative, contradicting, betraying, attacking, confusing, bewildering one’s grasp of personal stability, and a need for clarification.

Doubt shapes the need for continued examination and practice of the rituals and routines of one’s belief system. When reality does not support a known fact or an article of faith, an anxiety is developed that highlights the divergence between the two, and the doubt, in its integrity, creates the question of what is relevant to continued success as a living human being. Doubt nurtures ideas and beliefs that can help clarify and refine the definition of things to be closer to the reality of things.

Doubt, as well, can encapsulate faith in a religious framework of inviolability to reach the goal of its practice, which is everlasting life in the hereafter, despite its unreality. Going to church often on a regular schedule allows the reinforcement of the rituals and routines that prescribe the tenets of the religion and, in some cases, identifies and holds the supplicant in a threat of everlasting life in hell for violations and sin.

Life has been ritualized casually and formally to reduce the incidence and reaction to life’s vagaries without harming others. Etiquette, laws, habits and routines, skills, awareness, and paying attention to one’s presence in and participation in daily activities all contribute to the freedom to choose, and all contribute to the freedom to choose the next right thing to do. Any variation, no matter how big or small, creates anxiety to review and capture the essence of the diversion from known information to correct, avoid error, and survive at the extreme. Dealing with doubt successfully, not ideally, is a sign of accumulating the skills, tactics, and strategies to broach life’s inconveniences and troubles with courage and emotional stability for mutually acceptable outcomes. Doubt then becomes a defensive caution until the fog of available choice has a chance to clear. And where is artificial intelligence?

Artificial intelligence has no conscience, sense of self, or internal track of thinking that signals a gap in understanding of its own future. Doubt is a significant feature of individual life and identity, almost constantly comparing the sensed world against the known world in its memory. But doubt defines a path toward resolution from a simple yes/no to complex planning over time, whereas A.I. must have a direction and its search defined, a path toward resolution. An individual can act and refine the resolution in progress based on further understanding or change the resolution. An individual, however, has a limited amount of information for a path toward a defined resolution. The doubt of a successful outcome based on a goal in A.I. comes after the reveal, not while in progress or change in progress, like for a human. The truth may be more complex than a surmise made in programming and may change in the real world while or before a decision is implemented, like war.

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