There are two modes of acquiring knowledge, namely by reasoning and experience. Reasoning draws a conclusion and makes us grant the conclusion, but does not make the conclusion certain, nor does it remove doubt so that the mind may rest on the intuition of truth, unless the mind discovers it by the path of experience.
Is the conclusion that the universe was designed - and that the design extends deeply into life - science, philosophy, religion, or what? In a sense it hardly matters. By far the most important question is not what category we place it in, but whether a conclusion is true. A true philosophical or religious conclusion is no less true than a true scientific one. Although universities might divide their faculty and courses into academic categories, reality is not obliged to respect such boundaries.
Michael J. Behe
My monetary studies have led me to the conclusion that central banks could profitably be replaced by computers. Fortunately, for me personally, that conclusion has had no practical impact, else there would have been no Central Bank of Sweden to have established the award [Nobel Prize] I am honored to receive.
The contradictory experiments of chemists leave us at liberty to conclude what we please. My conclusion is, that art has not yet invented sufficient aids to enable such subtle bodies [air, light, &c.] to make a well-defined impression on organs as blunt as ours; that it is laudable to encourage investigation but to hold back conclusion.
How can one be compassionate if you belong to any religion, follow any guru, believe in something, believe in your scriptures, and so on, attached to a conclusion? When you accept your guru, you have come to a conclusion, or when you strongly believe in god or in a saviour, this or that, can there be compassion? You may do social work, help the poor out of pity, out of sympathy, out of charity, but is all that love and compassion?
Bit of a limp conclusion if you ask me, ' Osric growled. 'You academics are always so timid with your words. Your conclusion sounds like a different form of the question.' 'And so it is, Osric, ' Fergal said with a chuckle. 'Slightly whittled, sharper, but it is still a question. In time it will be sharp enough to impale the answer.
To me, the conclusion that the public has the ultimate responsibility for the behavior of even the biggest businesses is empowering and hopeful, rather than disappointing. My conclusion is not a moralistic one about who is right or wrong, admirable or selfish, a good guy or a bad guy. My conclusion is instead a prediction, based on what I have seen happening in the past. Businesses have changed when the public came to expect and require different behavior, to reward businesses for behavior that the public wanted, and to make things difficult for businesses practicing behaviors that the public didn't want. I predict that in the future, just as in the past, changes in public attitudes will be essential for changes in businesses' environmental practices.
Coincident with the right of individual property under the provisions of our Government is the right of individual property. . . . When once the right of the individual to liberty and equality is admitted, there is no escape from the conclusion that he alone is entitled to the rewards of his own industry. Any other conclusion would necessarily imply either privilege or servitude.
From the point of view of logic, my report on 'Exclusion principle and quantum mechanics' has no conclusion. I believe that it will only be possible to write the conclusion if a theory will be established which will determine the value of the fine structure constant and will thus explain the atomistic structure of electricity, which is such an essential quality of all atomic sources of electric fields actually occurring in nature.
If I make my window ten days for stand-up, the conclusion is that I failed and that I'm not good at stand-up. If I make it ten years - if I just wait - the conclusion might be something totally different. I think it's so cool to do things in which you discover the malleability of your own mind.
Yet if there really were a complete unified theory, it would also presumably determine our actions-so the theory itself would determine the outcome of our search for it! And why should it determine that we come to the right conclusions from the evidence? Might it not equally well determine that we draw the wrong conclusion? Or no conclusion at all?
During my time here [Guantanamo], as Nelson Mandela says ... the most important thing you have is time to think about things. I came to the conclusion that ... you're not going to gain anything with hate. Second thing, it's more destructive than it's constructive. Third thing: I came to a conclusion that love and forgiveness are more constructive and will bring people together.
The... act of surrender-or devotion, as the case may be-was, to him, a kind of lifeline for those who sought a quick answer and didn't want to stick around long enough to see their doubt through to its ultimate conclusion. A conclusion, which, of itself, was a bittersweet paradox-for how could doubt simply cease to exist by any stretch of the imagination? Doubt was, nonetheless-from his own perspective-the only inclusive insight into the nature of a Truth exclusive of conditions.
Unfortunately, 19th-century scientists were just as ready to jump to the conclusion that any guess about nature was an obvious fact, as were 17th-century sectarians to jump to the conclusion that any guess about Scripture was the obvious explanation . . . . and this clumsy collision of two very impatient forms of ignorance was known as the quarrel of Science and Religion.
Gilbert K. Chesterton
The terminology of philosophical art is coercive: arguments are powerful and best when they are knockdown, arguments force you to a conclusion, if you believe the premisses you have to or must believe the conclusion, some arguments do not carry much punch, and so forth. A philosophical argument is an attempt to get someone to believe something, whether he wants to beleive it or not. A successful philosophical argument, a strong argument, forces someone to a belief.
The statement "I am in pain" may be one piece of evidence for the conclusion that the speaker is in pain, but it is not the only possible evidence, and since people sometimes tell lies, not even the best possible evidence. Even if there were stronger grounds for refusing to attribute pain to those who do not have language, the consequences of this refusal might lead us to reject the conclusion. Human infants and young children are unable to use language. Are we to deny that a year-old child can suffer?
When I was younger, I'd get very empirical with myself. "I have a hypothesis about myself. I'll put myself in a situation, see what happens, then I'll draw a conclusion based on the empirical evidence. Hypothesis: I can play basketball." So I'd try. "Conclusion: I cannot play basketball."
And another thing about German symphonic development. I tell you, our cold kvass soup is a horror to the Germans, and yet we eat it with pleasure. And their cold cherry soup is a horror to us, and yet it sends a German into ecstacy. In short, symphonic development is just like German philosophy and soup-all worked out and systematized. When a German thinks, he reasons his way to a conclusion. Our Russian brother, on the other hand, starts with a conclusion and then might amuse himself with some reasoning.
Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky