Whether or not it empowers us

“In 1620 Francis Bacon published a scientific manifesto titled The New Instrument. In it he argued that “knowledge is power.” The test of “knowledge” is not whether it is true, but whether it empowers us.”

This excerpt from Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari really jumped out at me. What is the point of knowing if it leaves you feeling helpless?

Some questions are impossible to answer like do we have free will? It’s impossible to say for sure. Philosophers and theologians have argued about it for centuries and have come to no definitive answer.

I would say you should choose whichever answer makes you feel better. If having free will empowers you to be bold and make change, then believe that story. If not having free will relieves you of an enormous burden of self-inflicted stress, then believe that story.

When you start thinking about it, many questions are impossible to answer. So the question is, how can you tell yourself a story that empowers you?