Other than the fact that it's in our nature to know and be curious, why is it that time after time, after every question is answered we still as human beings are not satisfied and as so it seems will never be satisfied, and want to know more. Doesn't that give rise to the notion that the answers are out there, but we can't "understand" them. And if so, then why can't we understand them, if we are given the capability to question?

Some have thought that if we have the capacity to formulate an intelligible question, then it's likewise in our capacity to find an answer. (Maybe not in practice; maybe we'll blow ourselves up before we arrive at the answer. But in principle we could find it.) W.V. Quine has suggested this (see Question 230 ). By contrast, others believe that our cognitive make-up is such that necessarily some truths will remain forever beyond our reach. Noam Chomsky has suggested this view. Along these lines, some have argued that philosophical perennials (e.g., about the nature of free will) are precisely examples of questions that are intelligible to us but that will also forever elude us on account of our mind's structure. It's in virtue of our mind's having the rich structure that it does that we have learned as much as we have; but that very same structure also brings into being systemic limits to our knowledge. It is difficult to know how to resolve this question. Those who are impressed by Chomsky...

I consider myself a staunch skeptic, and it puzzles me that I had 3 paranormal instances in which I have no doubt that objects, after falling from my hands, have disappeared before my very eyes or reappeared later in absurd places; I like to think that this is a mystical mischief of a friendly "ghost", for there have not been any consequences; I also think there are layers of different unfathomable dimensions that we will never know in this existence. Please elaborate. Eduardo Schwank. Guatemala City

You are a skeptic and yet you "have no doubt" that you had paranormal episodes? Hmmm. I'm not sure what else you believe, so I'll just talk about me. I've never had such an episode so having one would really be Big News for me. On the other hand, I have misplaced objects, often in ways that leave me completely baffled for a while. So, if I had what seemed like a paranormal episode, I think I'd go with the more conservative explanation. Makes life a bit duller than it might otherwise be but (a) this conservativeness in belief formation has served me (and others) very well over the long haul, and (b) life is exciting enough that it doesn't need that kind of boost.

If enough people believe in something, will it be true? For example, does reality conform to the laws that we, as a group, choose to believe in?

Isn't this obviously false? If everyone believes that jumping off a tall building will feel good, that will not save them, will it? There was a time when most every, perhaps every, human being believed that the sun rotated about the earth. We know they were wrong. So, we can appreciate that what we believe (even what all of us believe) is one thing, what's true is another.

Are we directly aware of reality, or is what we "sense" merely a representation of reality?

This is a perennial and extremely vexing question about which there continues to be great debate. You might find this essay in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy to be of value.