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TheCapitalist

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  1. I was recently in an argument with a pair of skeptics, who put forward a number of arguments in order to conclude that the human mind cannot know anything, or is always wrong in any conclusion (epistemological skepticism). This was their 'reasoning': They purported that anything that has the potential to be flawed, is flawed. Thus, since man's perceptions and rational processes can be distorted, by a drug perhaps, or man can make errors in logic, whatever the cause, man's perceptions, and rational processes are inherently flawed. Their rationale is that for any measurement, perception, or course of logic, there is the possibility of error, imprecision, or illusion due to any number of factors, therefore it is inherently wrong. Furthermore, they argued that if I proved them wrong, then I would be validating their philosophy because their entire point is, basically, that everyone is wrong about everything. In response I argued that for one: their condemnation of any sort of absolute, is in itself an assumption of an absolute. Second, I argued that one cannot assume the possibility of error without evidence for such a possibility. Third, I argued that they based their conclusions on their own perceptions and logic, things they were trying to discredit. However through some annoying circular logic they tried to dismiss these points and continue their point that everything is uncertain and knowledge is impossible. This was not an argument for which I was readily prepared, and became exhausted by the circularity of the philosophy they tried to defend. How do you respond to such philosophical standpoints? What is the objectivist response to epistemological skepticism?
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