History Cannot Be Proven

History Cannot Be Proven

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This is a discussion on History Cannot Be Proven within the Critical Thinking & Philosophy forums, part of the Topics of Interest category; History cannot be proven, it is written by the victors, the victors sometimes lie to make themselves look better in ...

  1. #1

    History Cannot Be Proven

    History cannot be proven, it is written by the victors, the victors sometimes lie to make themselves look better in their own eyes. You cannot know a thing for certain unless you yourself witnessed it, or were presented certain proof of it. How can we know anything we learned in history class it true? How do we know it is not just a complete Hoax perpetrated by top level government officials or conspiring secret society members to make people feel/think a certain way?

    I only recently (maybe a year or so) came to this realization, and it saddens me greatly. I have a proclivity towards historical studies and have always enjoyed and put great meaning into it. I firmly believe history repeats itself, but we cannot know the true history of events because we were not there to experience them ourselves.

    This is partly why i am going to Be an archaeologist, because how can evidence lie?

    Am i wrong? if u believe so, How?
    Do any of you have advice to comfort me about this? like maybe a secret history written by INTs who just sat back an observed?
    Any thoughts?
    Particular Historical Events that you find Suspicious or Questionable?
    Any examples of History being proven false? (i know there are some, cuz otherwise i wouldnt have heard, "so and so rewrote the pages of history" so many times in my life.
    snail, niki, Promethea and 9 others thanked this post.



  2. #2

    If you really think about it, there is nothing that we can prove. Absolutely nothing. We could all be living in a drugged out stupor and just be hallucinating all of this and not know it. You really have to take a leap of faith to believe anything you see, hear, read, or think.

    As far as finding some way to comfort myself with this knowledge, I haven't really found anything yet. It really does come down to trusting yourself, your instincts, and finding discrepancies in events to make yourself try to look deeper into said events until you can find something that fits what you believe happened.

    Nothing in particular jumps to mind as far as a suspicious event or one that didn't actually happen, but if I find any that I can think of I will definitely post here.

    *Edit* Well, I can think of some religious events that I don't think happened, but I really don't want to get into a religious debate right now.
    Promethea, The Psychonaut, Tamweh and 4 others thanked this post.

  3. #3

    It is perfectly reasonable to prove the existence or evidence of something by considering various recorded accounts of an event and linking the similarities.

  4. #4

    The civil war in the US is a good example of history being "tweaked". In the classroom textbooks it is commonly taught that the civil war was basically about freeing slaves. In reality the election of President Lincoln was basicaly the straw that caused everything to come to a head.

    Yes slavery was an issue, but it was not the main point of the war or what started the war, but it is highlighted as the nicest of reasons.

    This is a good summary of the actual causes of the civil war found at ..........................this site
    niki, WickedQueen, Promethea and 9 others thanked this post.

  5. #5

    it really depends on the circumstances but i dont see why you take such a 100% negative outlook on this. Sure some things cant be 100% proven but whats the point of making a fuss about it if you cant prove it. Your point also cannot be proven so
    The Psychonaut and mushr00m thanked this post.

  6. #6

    Quote Originally Posted by wannaBgonzo View Post
    History cannot be proven, it is written by the victors, the victors sometimes lie to make themselves look better in their own eyes. You cannot know a thing for certain unless you yourself witnessed it, or were presented certain proof of it. How can we know anything we learned in history class it true? How do we know it is not just a complete Hoax perpetrated by top level government officials or conspiring secret society members to make people feel/think a certain way?

    I only recently (maybe a year or so) came to this realization, and it saddens me greatly. I have a proclivity towards historical studies and have always enjoyed and put great meaning into it. I firmly believe history repeats itself, but we cannot know the true history of events because we were not there to experience them ourselves.

    This is partly why i am going to Be an archaeologist, because how can evidence lie?

    Am i wrong? if u believe so, How?
    Do any of you have advice to comfort me about this? like maybe a secret history written by INTs who just sat back an observed?
    Any thoughts?
    Particular Historical Events that you find Suspicious or Questionable?
    Any examples of History being proven false? (i know there are some, cuz otherwise i wouldnt have heard, "so and so rewrote the pages of history" so many times in my life.
    What I find interesting is not what is considered false, but what we consider to be true without proof in the face of altered histories.

    What things do you consider true which have no proof (that you have directly witnessed?)
    Also this doesn't apply only to history, it can apply to anything from the roundness of the earth to the idea that Abraham Lincoln or whoever you want ever existed at all (I mean hey, I never met him, have you? It could be an elaborate hoax)

    The point being, everyone accepts truths which they themselves have never witnessed, but we tend to discard the apparent contradiction of accepting some truths without personal experience yet discarding others because they aren't our experience.
    niki, NinjaSwan, Midnight Runner and 2 others thanked this post.

  7. #7

    actually...the point of this post was to reassert the old maxim of Socrates, EVERYTHING DESERVES TO BE QUESTIONED

  8. #8

    I actually became more interested in history when I came to this realization. It was mindblowing - history is so open to interpretation and to different perspectives. It's liberating and makes the subject so much more complicated and interesting. I used to hate history in high school - the single narrative voice and the rote memorization of facts made it very boring. Now I revel in it's complexity - it's a wonderful feeling.
    chasingdreams thanked this post.

  9. #9

    Quote Originally Posted by wannaBgonzo View Post
    actually...the point of this post was to reassert the old maxim of Socrates, EVERYTHING DESERVES TO BE QUESTIONED
    Yes, but also not all questions have answers.

    If you cannot know something then you cannot decide if it is true or a lie. To say it is a lie is saying you know something. To say it is true is saying you know something. So it is more accurate to say "I don't know"

  10. #10

    All that is left are the records - chronicles, stories, mythologies, histories, etc - and archaelogical discoveries. None of the former category are verifiable. The latter category is made up mostly of conjecture.
    So, in answer to your question: no. History cannot be proven.


 
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